That horrible sound, that constant high-pitched eeeeeee in my ear – whining, buzzing, ringing. It was perpetual and unrelenting. It plagued me all hours of the day and night. It was maddening. It made it impossible to sleep.
“Tinnitus,” the doctor said. “A variety of causes, not always physical. Have you been under a lot of stress lately?”
“Stress?” I answered with annoyance. “I’m a lawyer, doc, I work 85 hour weeks, every week.”
“Well it sounds like that’s likely the cause of condition, given what else you’ve told me.” He scribbled something on his notepad. “I’m going to recommend some CBT.”
Great. I can’t sleep because of this ringing in my ear, like I just walked away from standing next to the subwoofer at a death metal concert, and my doctor says I need to go lay on a couch and talk about my feelings.
“Sure, whatever. But what am I supposed to do in the meantime to sleep?”
I’ll admit I wasn’t thrilled. A hearing aid? I’m not a senior citizen. But I’d try anything to get rid of the damned noise, even if it meant putting a little plastic blob in my ear playing a different eeeeeeeeeee to cancel out the one I was hearing.
The problem is, now I can’t sleep at night for a different reason. Because now all I can hear are the screams.