My name is Frieda and I am hearing impaired. Here, you will find stories of my life growing up and what it is like for me to be a wife, a mom of two boys, and hearing impaired.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


My husband and I were wandering the aisles of Costco last night.  Did I say wandering?  Ooops.  I meant to say "purposefully walking" down the aisles.  You can't wander in Costco.  It's too dangerous.  You will almost always end up spending more than you wanted.  Have a list.  Be prepared.

Our list was a mental one.





We were passing through the toiletries section (I still don't understand where the word "toiletries" come from), you know, the section with the shampoo, soap, and bathroom stuff are...

 My husband said, "What about toothpaste?"

"I know we have some."


"Under the sink in the bathroom." (this is where I store the extra boxes of toothpaste)

"Under the sink?  That's a strange place to put toothpaste."

"That's where I always put the toothpaste."

Then it dawned on him that I said Toothpaste.  He smiled.  Chuckled.

"I'm talking about toothPICKS..."


He smiled.  He is beginning to understand a little bit of what I am going through.  What I go through on a daily basis.

He doesn't have a hearing loss, but he has tinnitus.  For him, it is a series of clicks and buzzing in his ears that are so loud and bothersome, that it is affecting his ability to hear.  His ability to go to sleep.  He has had his ears and hearing checked, (no hearing loss) has tried a number of over the counter meds that have not worked.  Combine that with the ultra-noisy, echo-y environment of Costco and you've got a winning recipe for a communication mix-up.

I have tinnitus.  It is a high pitch, continual sound that only I can hear.  Late at night, when I take the hearing aids out, I hear it.  It's the most ominous, annoying, distracting sound.  You can plug your ears and still hear it.  When I have complete silence, I think that my brain makes up the ringing sound to make up for the absence of sound.   When I get a hearing test, I will always hear that particular pitch.....if it goes on for more than a few seconds, I know it's the tinnitus, not the test.  When I wear my hearing aids, I usually don't hear it, so wearing hearing aids is a good thing for me.

Do you have tinnitus?  What works for you?


  1. Hi Frieda,
    I have tinnitus. It is just like how you described yours. My hearing aids don't block it out completely but I usually only notice it when I'm sitting quietly.
    I haven't found any way of stopping it.

  2. I have a mild case of it, but I'm exactly the same. I only hear it when I don't have my CI on. Most of the time, it's bad when I wake up and don't bother to put on my CI for a few hours - that's when it starts acting up. It totally feels like my brain is choosing to stimulate audio nerves of its own volition. Sounds like an ambulence, except it's not...

  3. I also have tinnitus. For me it's a hissing sound. My hearing aids have a circuit noise. This seems to help stop me from noticing the hissing sound.

  4. Mine is a ringing, like the after effects of being in a loud concert for hours. I can usually tune it out, but (thanks to reading this post) I am now very aware of it. Nothing helps, though if I am out in the desert, or mountains where it is really quiet for a long time it will fade a bit.