Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tinnitus, IMS, and Food Trucks

Today the mail brought a brochure about hearing solutions. We get more junk mail now that we changed mailboxes, and the sign saying "if it doesn't have our name and address on it, shove it where the sun don't shine. If you don't, I will." is gone now.

As some of you know I have tinnitus in both ears. To some people this is a devastating thing that has a huge impact on their life. I tend to think of it as a bit of hiss on the soundtrack of my life and mostly it doesn't bug me. I even remember when it started. I was at a work event at the Crowfoot Schanks. It was loud. It was really, really loud. So loud I didn't enjoy the evening at all.

The next day my ears were ringing a bit, and I didn't think anything of it. It had happened before after rock concerts and such. After a while I realized it hadn't gone away, and I sought medical advice. I was surprised to learn there is no cure, only mitigation strategies. That was nearly 20 years ago.

So I saw the brochure and was thinking there had been some advances in the field. There have been, but it still seems this isn't a cure. What I see is a fancy hearing aid that helps you ignore the tinnitus sound by boosting other sound. I can already do that by listening to music via earphones. "What's that you say, I can't hear you, speak up sonny-boy!" But theirs boosts other sound as well.

So maybe this something I should check out. Ever since it's started I have more difficulty in pulling specific sounds out of background noise and it's been getting worse lately. So unless that sound system is excellent quality, and the people around me are quiet, I'm not hearing that presentation. Parties are a babble of noise that I try to ignore, and the person I'm talking to has to be fairly close and speaking up a bit. Linda has long accused me of being selectively deaf in the frequency of her voice, and I suspect my mom has some opinions on that as well. The various spin sessions are mostly following along what the others do, and trying to reconstruct it from the occasional word I can make out. Phone conversations with a noisy background are nearly impossible.

The worst is two separate conversations going on during a business meeting. I am death on that if I'm running the meeting. If I'm not running it, I make a careful note about who is doing it, and deduct respect points, with a double deduction for the supposed chair. Then I tune out till the real meeting starts again. You only think I'm taking notes on my iPad.

One technology that has advanced is muscle electro-stim. It used to be sharp jabbing little pointy sparks of electricity. Today was more like the vibration from a foot fixer, interspersed with what felt like someone grabbing my butt and giving it a good shake. It was wonderful.

But let me start at the beginning. The assessment was pretty standard, with the therapist taking good notes and asking good questions. He did some mobility stuff, and assured me there was nothing wrong with my knees. He is working on the assumption it's a muscle thing, given all the tightness he found. We started with heat pads to relax.

Then the hard bit. IMS. Intra-Muscular-Stimulation. Close your eyes and skip this paragraph is acupuncture makes you queasy. This is acupuncture on steroids. I didn't see the needles, but they go deeper, looking for tight spots. Lots of needles. With some massage around them. The one just above my left knee was breathe to the pain painful. The others were more of an ache. He said it would feel like I've had a good workout, and he's not kidding. My right calf is feeling tighter than it was, but in a better way. Before it was locked up and numb, so my heel and achilles were taking the brunt of it. Now the calf muscle is waking up. I'm almost afraid to look for bruising when I take my pants off to go to bed.

Then the electro-stim on my butt and outside of left thigh, and my right calf. All good stuff, and will go back in a week to see what's what.

Last thing. Friday is Food Truck Frenzy in the East Village at 11am. I'm going to take a long lunch, and go. Any others? Tweet, or Facebook comment, or comment here, or email, and see if we can meet up.

Comment anyway, just because I like comments. Ever had the new electro-stim? The IMS? Tinnitus?


  1. No ringing in my ears - the treatment/assessment sounds painful - and I wish I was in Calgary today to go to the Food Truck Extravanza! I did the links and it looks like Perogy Boyz will be there - mmmmm, perogies. Saw them on the Eat Street show and would love to try them. Did I mention I love perogies?

    Have fun at the food truck event, Keith - take pics if you can and share with those of us who can't be there ;)

    1. It should be fun today, the forecast says 19C! First nice day of the year. I haven't eaten from the perogy boyz, but maybe will try them. Decisions decision. Here's some photos from a food truck gathering in the same place.

    2. Ooh, thanks for the link. If not the perogies, then I would go with the grilled cheese at The Cheezy Bizness (yes, I googled them and drooled over their menu ;). 15 trucks - a very tough decision ahead of you, Keith!


Looking forward to reading your comment!