Skip to main content

Tintabulations of the Ear

I suffer from tinnitus, or more commonly known as ringing in the ear. This doesn't quite discribe the experience. I'd call it, smoke detector alarm in the ear. Ever try to sleep with one of those things going off? Read? Write? Exactly.
Managing it has been a challege. Particularly because I didn't do many of the things that can land you with tinnitus in the first place. I never hear music loud, I rarely ever go to concerts, and I've rarely fired weapons.
One time I went to a club, the music was too loud but I thought it's just once I'll be fine. But when I came out of the club I was shocked that I couldn't hear well. The next day I couldn't watch Juno with my roommate and his friends because I couldn't hear. Everything sounded muffled. Slowly my hearing returned till now I can even hear the screech of breaks that I never thought I'd miss.

It's gone down quite a bit, at first it was louder than anything and I couldn't even read anything without doubling over and reading it again twice or thrice. Now I can read no problem and I can mostly write fine too. Sleeping is hit or miss. Some nights it's fine others not so much.
The real thing that pisses me off is that the Doctor just shrugs when I told him. He checked my hearing and gave me pills for my triglycerids because it "might" help. This was somewhat frustrating.

Last week when I took a break from watching media on the computer, I discovered that that had a terrible effect on my tinnitus. Apparently concentrating on a Video with audio, forced my brain to drown out the ringing to focus on the dialog. This is called lateral inhibition. It also works with the sound of water flowing (I experienced that in Big Sur) and the sounds of coquis (crickets sometimes work too). Why isn't there a medical program for this? There's got to be one.

Then there are the moments when I've had blissful silence in my head. Suddenly it gets quiet and you realize just how much of your sanity is affected by the ringing. Those are rare, but more common are the moments when the pitch changes. It becomes a low hum that's not bothersome at all. What causes this? Why can't it be repeated? Or why does clenching my jaw change the tone higher?

The most challenging part is that this is a pretty lonesome investigation, since there is very little literature I've been able to find online and medical community is fairly apathetic. Almost all I find is in reference to hearing loss combined with tinnitus. Or tinnitus in career musicians, but for me what then?

I could sure use help on this if anybody knows anything that really helps.


Popular posts from this blog

How to configure Ubuntu's keyboard to work like a Mac's

Typing accents on a PC is a complicated Alt + three numbered code affair. One feels like a sorcerer casting a spell. "I summon thee accented é! I press the weird magical key Alt, and with 0191 get the flipped question mark!" For a bilingual person this meant that writing on the computer was a start-and-stop process. With Mac's it a whole lot easier, just Alt + e and the letter you wanted for accents and alt + ? for the question mark. No need to leave the keyboard for the number pad and no need to remember arcane number combinations or have a paper cheat sheet next to the keyboard, as I've seen in virtually every secretaries computer in Puerto Rico.

Linux has a interesting approach to foreign language characters: using a compose key. You hit this key which I typically map to Caps Lock and ' and the letter you want and voilá you get the accent. Kinda makes sense: single quotation mark is an accent, double gets you the ümalaut, works pretty well. Except for the ñ, wh…

Contrasting Styles of Writing: English vs. Spanish

There is interestingly enough a big difference between what's considered good writing in Spanish and English. V.S. Naipul winner of the 2001 Nobel prize for literature publish an article on writing. In it he emphasizes the use of short clear sentences and encourages the lack of adjectives and adverbs. Essentially he pushes the writer to abandon florid language and master spartan communication. This is a desired feature of English prose, where short clipped sentences are the norm and seamlessly flow into a paragraph. In English prose the paragraph is the unit the writer cares about the most.

This is not the case in Spanish where whole short stories (I'm thinking this was Gabriel Garcia Marquez but maybe it was Cortázar) are written in one sentence. Something so difficult to do in English that the expert translator could best manage to encapsulate the tale in two sentences. The florid language is what is considered good writing in Spanish but unfortunately this has lead to what …

Fixing Autocomplete in Github's Atom Text Editor for Ruby

I really like Github's Atom Text Editor. I really like that it's multi-platform allowing me to master one set of skills that is transferable to all platforms and all machines. 

On thing that just burns me of the default set-up in Atom is the Autocomplete feature that seems to change my words as a type them. Because Ruby uses the end of line as a terminus for a statement you usually finish a word with pressing the return button and you get really annoying changes to your finished typed word a la MS Word. I find myself yelling "No that's not what I wrote!" at the screen in busy coffee shops.

I disabled autocomplete for a while but it is a very useful function. Then I found out they changed the package that gave the autocomplete to a new one called "Autocomplete Plus" that gives you more options. All that I needed to change to make autocomplete sane again:

1. Open Atom's Preferences
2. Search the bundled packages for "Autocomplete Plus"

3. Go to t…