Living With Tinnitus

Imagine hearing a low hum constantly. Even in an empty room where there is complete silence.  This is the lower end of the tinnitus spectrum. A constant, almost unnoticeable hum. That never goes away.

Now imagine what I can only describe as having a jet engine’s high pitched whine in one, the other, or both ears. Or, maybe, a tornado. Although this is not an accurate description, it is as close as I can get.

Now imagine going through this on a daily basis at varying degrees. Most days could be at the low end of the spectrum, but the high end could strike at any moment, caused by any sound…or just the wind blowing in your ear. Or nothing at all. Onset can be heralded by a sudden case of vertigo or even a sudden loss of balance for no apparent reason.

Tinnitus, by definition, is the excessive vibration in the inner ear, causing a buzzing or humming sound that can only be heard by the sufferer. Even definitions cannot define or describe the attacks accurately. These minimally descriptive definitions mislead the majority of people into believing that tinnitus and its effects are “imagined” by the sufferer, even though it is very real and very devastating and debilitating to the one who suffers from it.

Side effects include vertigo, migraines, and temporary (sometimes for hours) deafness. Of course, all of this depends on the severity of the attack.  At the very least, someone speaking to a person suffering from an attack will seem muffled. At the very worst, the person will not be heard. Some attacks can make the sufferer physically ill or double over in pain. One famous sufferer, Vincent Van Gogh,  even cut off his ear and eventually went insane.

Upon hearing that one of my heroes, Eric Clapton, has come forward and admitted that he also suffers from it and is going deaf has caused me to reflect back on my own experience with this maddening problem. It also reminds me what can cause the problem. Yet, mine was not caused by fantastically loud guitars and concerts. Mine was caused by something much more mundane and yet, much more abusive.

When I was five, I had to have fluid drained from my middle ear. When it was through, I had extremely acute hearing. The doctor did warn my parents that I would probably have occasional bouts of tinnitus, but he thought it would clear up after my ears got used to not being full of fluid.He also warned them that there should be no loud noises or there could be the possibility that there could be nerve damage or permanent tinnitus.

So acute that I could hear a mousetrap being dropped five rooms away! My father, thinking himself clever, delighted in waiting until I was nearby, then dropping a mousetrap just to watch me jump because of the loud noise. And, as the doc had warned, I began suffering tinnitus. At first, it was the low  hum. But as my dad continued to persecute me with the traps, the tinnitus began to rise in pitch and severity.

It reached a peak when I was in my teens. I did not know when it would hit or at what decibel I would be enjoying my next bout.  People thought it was weird that I would lose my balance for what they thought was absolutely no reason (one of the reasons I never went pro as a boxer) or would have to stop and wait for “the colors” to go away so I could see. Some couldn’t even understand the connection between my migraines and my “inner ear problem”.

Over nearly 40 years (I am only three years short of the 40 year mark), I have staggered, lost balance, nearly fallen down stairs, winced in pain, had to cover my ears, had to stop for no apparent reason, or sit down for a few minutes simply because I was hit by a sudden barrage of sound that no one else can hear. I have gotten sick to my stomach, had to go lay down, had to brace myself, and had to suffer through migraines that caused me to vomit. I have had more times than I care to count where I had to embarrass myself and ask someone to repeat themselves because the tinnitus had started up and I did not hear a thing they had said.

I can attest that, at its worst, tinnitus is enough to make the one who suffers from it want to commit suicide. And yes, the thought had crossed my mind a few times about chopping off my ear just to find a little quiet. Both were never truly options to me, though. A buzz is bearable enough to stagger through life with and I can handle having that 747 take off in my ear from time to time as well. And though I don’t feel comfortable with asking people to repeat themselves, I will patiently do so as long as they are as patient with me as I am with them.

I was lucky enough for three and a half years, to be relatively free of much of the worst of my tinnitus. While Kelly was alive, my tinnitus had died down to a barely noticeable hum. The migraines and vertigo were almost nonexistent. I had stability and someone who understood my problems and was patient with me.

Now, my tinnitus is back with a vengeance. And I have nothing. No way to keep it at a minimum. If you remember, I told you at the beginning that tinnitus does not need a trigger. silent rooms can shriek louder than noisy ones. The irony is, with tinnitus, one learns that the old adage “silence is deafening” is very true because in silence, the plague that is that infernal hum of tinnitus can grow to a deafening roar.


RTZ…Or Not to RTZ

OK, so I returned to the original title. Seems to be a better fit. Take Me Back seemed to fit better as the episode title….Since we are going back in time only to walk forward 80 years through the whole series.  We are now exploring the year 1920. Next up, after this episode, is 1921. Like The Morrow Family Saga, We are covering a huge period of history year by year, rather the daily grind. May actually do a historical fiction series as a daily thing if this takes off. Don’t know yet.

So How did we like the end of the last “scene”? OK, I admit. I am being a very naughty boy. But I have never shied away from sexual content. Ever. I even have a flair for including food in my stories (and plays) for a reason. Food and sex are the two ways to a man’s heart. At least that is what I have been told. Not that I would know. I am one of those men who also knows that food and sex also helps win other hearts…at times.

The Quietness of True Loneliness

Silence is not golden. It is in silence that pain and loneliness grows. It is also not until it is completely silent that you know what you had when you had bustle. Silence is deafening.

Most people do not know what they have when they are surrounded by the bustle of their families or loved ones. They do not stop to appreciate the activity. Or the noise. Or the sights and smells associated with those they love.

It isn’t until they lose someone that they realize fully what they had. And sometimes, they still have no clue. Or they just don’t care.

Many have no real concept of loneliness either. They have never experienced the kind of loneliness that comes from losing a piece of your heart and soul. to them, loneliness is just a feeling you get when you are alone.

They think that one becomes lonely when they get divorced or separated from someone. Or because family abandons them. Or because of something that is far less than truly lonely. Even I thought this way before I married the last time. But this is simply not completely true.

While these instances bring on the sting of loneliness, they are not all encompassing. They are not as poignant. Or as painful.

True loneliness arrives when you are suddenly removed from a love that you were fully immersed in. It is strengthened when a full union is suddenly shattered. It  causes the colors to lose their luster. The sun to lose its brightness.

I don’t expect many to understand what it is like to become truly one with their mate. Most probably won’t. To many, love is–well, love is something it is not. We mistake selfish desire, lust, or a passing fancy for love. Love is also not holding power over anyone.

A true marriage is a complete oneness with your mate. Your minds, Souls, and hearts become one making you almost bodily a single unit. You think alike (for the most part) and tend to react the same way to different outside stimuli. You have a single purpose, a single momentum. You defend one another because you are a part of each other. You support each other because you are a part of each other. neither does without the other.

This isn’t saying that you do not disagree. But, I can tell you that there are no arguments or battles between the two because there is always a drive to meet in the middle. There is always a drive to compromise for the sake of the whole. A full immersion in love allows one to see the true meaning of “becoming one” with their mate. It also challenges the traditional male dominant view because once you are fully immersed, there is no differentiation between male and female. There is simply a single unit.

But when this is brought to an abrupt end, that is when true loneliness begins. The remaining member is only one half of the whole and thus is now left incomplete. It is upon this abrupt end that there is a realization that there can never be another, that this was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence that could never be duplicated or even attempted. It is a realization that no other “half” would ever fit and that the half that is now gone was supposed to remain to the end. Or as close to the end as possible.

It is at this point the the silence becomes nearly unbearable. It strengthens the loneliness, builds upon the pain, and makes one realize that they do not want to saddle any other with the pain they now feel. As a rule, this kind of love does not end until both halves are near the end of their lives. For those left behind, they never remarry, even if they live for a long time. For some, though, they realize that the end of their “other half” was a warning that their time is also short.

They are often seen as being crazy, but they are not. Something inside them allows them to just know. And they accept it. Even if others do not.

At the moment, I am left with this indescribable loneliness I speak of. I am left with the same deafening silence. The same unrelenting sorrow. The same realization that time is not on my side.

At the same time, I also know that in a little while, I will be reunited with the one who completed me. In a short time, I will find rest. Soon, I will be able to have peace from my battles. Ad these realizations give me a little joy in my sorrow because I am now weary. I now seek rest and peace. I seek shelter from the storms I have endured.


I sit here with a migraine, knowing that I have work to do. Pain. My constant companion. It has been there since my childhood. It has been there through my first two marriages. And now, it has returned to haunt me now that my reasons for not focusing on it is gone.

While Kelly was alive, I had been migraine free. I had been nearly pain free. Sure I had a few stomach issues, but those could be tolerated. Sure, I’d had a month of stress pains and panic attacks brought on by a college financial aid department, but I had gotten past that.

But now, the pain, all of it, has returned. With a vengeance.

Happy Holidays

I will try not to be too preachy. I promise. Oh, fuck it. The truth always sounds preachy, especially at a time like this.

As Christmas Eve approaches, I am reminded how blind “Christians” have become. They think a war is being waged against a holiday that has never really had much to do with Christ, except as an attempt to draw Pagans into the faith through creating a fake holiday “to celebrate Christ” even though it was simply a thinly disguised version of the original holiday it was meant to replace.  Modern “Christians” have perceived imagined oppression and persecution as well.

Let me set things straight. The only war against Christianity is one being waged from within. Fake “Gospels”, false teachers, a moving away from Christ by those who claim to follow Him, and a rejection of the true fundamentals of Christianity through the insistence upon the returning to the oppression of the Old Testament–this is the real war against Christianity, not the neglect of “Merry Christmas” when being wished a happy holiday season.

It took me twenty years to realize the true war. It wasn’t until I began waking up from the spiritual stupor I had been in that I was able to see what was really going on. Politics, money, health, and all things physical have replaced spiritual rewards in the hearts of Christians. They have also replaced Christ and God as a center. “For whatever is in your heart, that is your god.”

So, this Christmas season, Let’s stop hating each other and start personifying the pure unconditional love that was Christ. Let’s drop our prejudices and begin trying to understand with an open mind and open heart. Let’s turn away from our selfish pursuits and return to the true fundamentals of Christianity: the words and example of Christ, not Peter, Paul, Moses, John, or James.

Most of all, let’s remember that a real Christian is never offended by anything. They see each and every person who crosses their path as a messenger of what should be fixed in their own hearts, not the hearts of the person before them. Let’s remember that the greatest mission in our lives is not those around us, but rather our own heart and soul.

Let’s remember our true calling: to follow Christ and love all unconditionally. This means that we expect nothing in return for the love we give. I guarantee you that if you love unconditionally, your rewards-in the end-will be far greater.

Let’s stop judging and condemning each other. Let’s quit waving around our Bibles and start actually Reading and understanding them again…and come to realize that the Bible is a guide for the individual believer, not a tool to be used to justify our biases or our hate (hate is anti-christian, not Christian). Let us begin to work on the planks in our own eyes before we look at the motes in the eyes of our brothers. Let’s remember that the measure we use is the measure we will receive when we stand before God and Christ in the end. Our words will either uplift or bind us, bless us or curse us, save us or condemn us.

Finally. let us resolve to begin the year to come in a new walk. Let us turn again to the true fundamentals of that which we profess to believe and cast away the popular worldly  “Gospels” of health, wealth, and happiness not to mention the popular un-Christian desire to return to the Old Testament, which was fulfilled by the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ. Let us resolve to understand that though the information held within the Bible is good and, to a certain extent, right, we must also understand the dynamics and history of the times that everything was written. The epistles were written to answer specific questions that are not relevant today. They were written to churches that were facing unique and-at that time-common problems which we no longer face. Now, the greatest problems we face are from within our own from people who would seek to mislead and destroy…and even to create a world religion that is so distorted that it doesn’t resemble the belief that it derives its name from.

So now, I take my leave and wish you Bonne Noel, Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas…and to my non-Christian reader, Happy Holidays/Holy Days.


I have been told to have my heart checked. After certain electrical activities began making themselves more noticeable, I decided to ask a relative with some medical knowledge (and family history knowledge) if it was something to be concerned about.

They told me “yes. Go get your heart checked.”

I, then, mentioned (in passing) to my mother that I had been advised to go get my heart checked. She was just as adamant. She, then, explained that there is a history of heart problems in the family on both sides.

So there it is. I need to go get my heart checked. But I do not have any insurance at the moment…that I know of. So what to do? I am damned if I do, damned if I don’t. And so, I am sitting here facing my mortality once again.

Maybe my premonitions were right. Perhaps I don’t have long. Guess I am going to have to step up my game and write 1000 words per WIP until I have finished everything I have started.


I have always had problems with my stomach. I would (and still do) have times where no matter how much I ate, I still felt hungry. Other times, I barely ate anything at all and felt full. I also have a problem where it takes very little to nauseate me or make me sick. It was this last problem, along with another more serious problem, that led the doctors to discover that my gall bladder had ceased functioning.

The surgery for that took place in 2010, the year before I got divorced from my second wife. After surgery, the attending doctor looked at me and exclaimed “I don’t see how you are still alive!” he went on to explain that my gall bladder had completely died and had been releasing all kinds of toxins into my body in such quantities that would have killed most everyone else in the same situation. Of course, I counted myself lucky and went home to heal.

But the “heartburn”, times of excessive hunger, times of lack of appetite, and the sick spells did not end. Nor did the…other problem. It has since made me wonder what is really wrong with me. It has also made it extremely difficult to hold a job. And most people do not understand.

Lately, the excessive hunger seems most prevalent. I can eat a full meal and still feel hungry. But for me, a full meal is not a large one. It only consists of a meat item and one or two veggies. I try to balance my meals in my own limited way. I will also eat bread, but not very often. If I have toast, I will not fix anything with bread (or potatoes) until dinner. Lunch is usually meat and a veggie.

The doctors can find nothing wrong with me, even though I have voiced my concern. It took them until I was between the ages of 35 and 38 to find out that my gall bladder was dead…and the doctor informed me that they had no idea how long it had been so. He conceded that it very well could have failed when I was still a child or in my teens and had taken that long to manifest itself health wise.

Most days, I don’t feel well. I awaken in pain, so I do not know when something is truly wrong. I have been tested for Diabetes, which is a pre-existing familial illness, but do not have it. I am tested for many other things every time I have a physical or a partial physical, or when I have blood drawn, and everything comes out clean. And still, I watch as my overall health slowly fails.

Please understand that this has been going on for at least the last 20 years. Yes, I used to smoke, but have been smoke free since 2011. Yes, I used to drink, but have been sober since I was 25. I am now 42 going on 43.

I do know that my system was screwed up when I was put on Statins for a triglycerides problem. That was why my current physician prescribed bananas and tonic water, to combat the charliehorses and cramps caused by the damage done to my muscles. I no longer have a problem with the triglycerides, but I have the lasting effects of the medicines used to correct the problem.

But, then, I have slowly begun cleaning up my diet. I eat only organics when I can afford them. I eat very little processed  foods (hot dogs, bologna, etc) or snack foods. I limit my sugar to what I use in my coffee and do not use white sugar. Still, this is not helping.

My stomach is still causing me problems and I have no clue how to fix it. Being unable to take most meds that would be given for such problems, I am stuck. At the same time, I don’t have a clue what is really wrong. All I know is that I have a problem and it’s killing me.