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Editor’s introduction: This article was contributed by Pam Brukx who shares her story of how she embarked on a quest to determine what was causing her chronic tinnitus – and the surprising conclusion she reached after years of carefully observing her condition and keeping a diary of her symptoms.  Please note that there are a number of medical conditions that may cause or worsen tinnitus and if you suffer from this condition please consult a doctor to ensure that you do not have  a medical problem such as high blood pressure or an adverse reaction to a prescribed medication.

Is Tinnitus Perhaps Nature’s Gift?

Since an oversees trip in 1970 at the age of seventeen I have been aware of a varying patterns of noises in my head, particularly around the time of Willies, my late husband, illness which led me, approximately a year after Willy had past away in 1988, to start a diary.

I have no medical qualifications to justify medical advice; anybody who has medical concerns should see a professional medical practitioner. I have written this article because after years of worrying about the noises in my head and realising that tinnitus can create a great deal of unnecessary anxiety I was greatly relieved to finally stumble on to something solid.

Tinnitus is a condition of noises in the head experienced by a large portion of the population, often by people with a hearing loss but not necessarily so, a lot of research has been done on the subject albeit so far with no results.

Most people are aware of two distinct types of sounds that are predominant. You might be able to identify with any of the following. One of the sounds is a low throbbing hum, the other sound is referred to as that of Mediterranean summer cicadas. It is possible that you experience other sounds as well. Since tinnitus is as changeable as the weather I allocated part of the diary to the simplicity of weather watching. At first I took note of the seasons we were in, what was in bud, blossom or flower. Since the low throbbing hum had a feeling of a depressive nature and since dark gloomy rainy days are often referred to as depressive I wondered whether the two run parallel, only to discover that the weather had no influence what so ever, it could be a beautiful sunny summer day when I would have expected the sound of happy courting cicadas to fill my head, only to be able to record the dull heavy throbbing sound and visa versa.

Next I kept note of what I ate and drank, and for a while boiled all the water I drank, keeping a close eye on dairy food, peanuts, meat, fish, extra vitamin supplements if I took any, the seasons we were in and whether the foods I ate were in or out of season. I am not using drugs, the last time I was given drugs was when I had given birth to our son Ben who came into the world by way of caesarean, which is twenty eight years ago. I don’t drink, alcohol was never in our home when I grew up. Anyway the eating and drinking dairy didn’t give any results or findings that are worth repeating.

It had been known since the early days that the moon had influence on the menstrual cycle of women, so why not keep note of the moon and see if it needed to be blamed for tinnitus, was it full, new, waning or waxing, was the tide high or low of the creek I lived near compared to the state of my tinnitus? The study of the moon did not reveal anything regarding tinnitus, except that perhaps the gums of my teeth, when I brushed them, were more likely to bleed just a few days prior to either a full moon or a new moon.

Was I perhaps extremely tired, moody or depressed when I experienced the low throbbing hum and happy and joyful when I experienced the mating cicadas dancing in my head? After keeping note of my own personal moods I noticed that I could be fit as a fiddle in a happy mood while my head was filled with a low throbbing hum. I could be feeling tired and worn, with cicadas dancing in my head. Although it has to be said that the repeated sound of that certain low penetrating hum, can be very depressing. It is not surprising that a person who is in the dark about the cause of the noise can become tired, weary and irritable. It also goes to say that whenever my day started on a low key and the cicada vibration was predominant I soon felt a lot more cheerful and energetic.

As time went on and my tinnitus kept bothering me my next step was to take note of who I spoke with, who rang me, wrote to me, what kind of post I received, bills or credit cheques, love letters, a love letter can be received from a friend or family member, it does not necessarily need to be a lover, if it is a love letter of that natures, congratulations that’s a bonus.
When I looked through my notes after several months I noticed that I certainly had hit upon something, however I could n’t prove it and dismissed it.

In the years that followed I kept going backwards and forwards over the interactions with family, friends and acquaintances. Time after time I came back to the interactions with fellow human beings, and time after time I had to agree that this was where the mystery unfolded itself. But how could I explain this? It took me many years before I could convince myself how was I going to help others to understand what I had discovered?

I could not deny it, whenever someone was contacting me with positive news, something the other person was really happy to share and looking forward to, this could be an invitation to lunch, the receiving of a cheque, (the coming of money, when it is honestly obtained, always seems to have a positive ring to it) or, as most often was the case, just a caring friend who called to share a few thoughts. Time after time without fail, I would experience the mating cicada sounds in my head before or during any positive inter action or post of a positive nature was received. The coming of a call or news that was worrying to the giver of that news and not the receiver was always experienced beforehand with a low throbbing hum vibration. These low throbbing hums, as well as the crisp cicada sounds could go on for days and weeks, depending on the force of the energy of the person on the other end of the story.

I kept this diary going for at least ten years before I could convince myself and twenty years before I set pen to paper. Countless times I denied the findings of the unusual nature for my throbbing head.

If you think of it, it is really not that unrealistic at all, mankind depends on its thought for survival, whether you are fit, healthy, athletic, ill, rich or poor your thoughts will be your main asset till the day you die, even if you are dying your thoughts will still be with you and will be the only possession you take with you into the next world, we are all connected by thought, before we make a decision or an action to reach out to someone we think about it first, before we pick up a pen we think of picking up a pen before we ring a person we think of the call, this can be two seconds, two day or two weeks, our thoughts are send ahead of our actions. Calls made without any emotional attachment will send very  few waves.

At the time when I was doing my own research on the subject of tinnitus I found it most interesting to read that studies had been done at Gay’s Hospital in London with people under hypnoses and it was found that a good subject under hypnoses could undergo surgery but was unable to block out tinnitus signals.

Our bodies might be made of matter but our spiritual soul consist purely of thought, thoughts are energy and energy produces vibration.

Before you start experimenting with the strength of thought you should remember the law of threefold in which our pre-ancestors believed, which means what every sort of vibration you concentrate on sending out, either positive or negative, can come back to you in three fold, the aim of the direction of your thought should always be to improve living conditions, be it for man, animal or plant.

The dramatic vibration come usually in the form of a low throbbing hum. It is never your own feelings that are the cause of the cicadas leg rubbing and it is never your own feelings that causes the low throbbing hum. The things other people worry about are most likely not bothering you in the least. After years of taking notes I believe that the cause of tinnitus is that someone wants to sent a certain emotion, wants to make contact in a certain way, someone is trying to find a way to come through to you with a certain message.

During my study I woke up once in the middle of the night with a  terrible heavy throbbing head, physically speaking there was nothing wrong with me, a throbbing head as in tinnitus is not a headache and can occur five days in a week or not be experienced for months. I held an unimportant small part-time job at the time and around lunchtime the low throbbing hum in my head became nearly unbearable. Although by then I knew from my earlier note takings that the type of food I ate held no responsibility for the condition of my throbbing head I was still often in the frame of mind to habitually blame it on food or weather. For a long time after I knew what caused the noises in my head I was still in denial to myself of my discovery.

I was considering to go home to take the dog for a walk in the hope of having some distraction of the terrible roaring sounds in my head when Jan walked in, totally unexpected she announced that she did not need my assistance any longer, I only helped Jan once a fortnight for few hours so it wouldn’t affect me financially to bitterly. What I did want to know, for study purpose was how Jan had felt about having to tell me this, had she worried all through the night? Was that why I had woken up during the night with such a heavy throbbing head.

Jan had so far dealt very cool and business like with the matter but the moment I asked her as calmly and friendly as possible whether she had worried about having to tell me this tears sprang in her eyes, yes she said she had worried much about it and explained that her own financial situation left her little choice. I asked her for the sake of my head and sanity to please stop worrying and that she was of great help to me. Needless to say that Jan was confused, it did n’t add up as far as she was concerned, here she was telling me to go home and I said she was helpful. After  Jan had done her painful duty, as I have so often noticed in the past, my throbbing head cleared up as good as instantly.

One of the biggest problems I had for a very long time was that while I experienced a throbbing or cheery vibration in my head, there was likely someone else out there who, for what ever reason, wanted to express something to me. Either happy or worried.. That the sounds (vibrations) known as tinnitus come from an outside source. It took me years to convince myself of that unusual finding, again and again, in the first years against my own disbelief I constantly came to the same conclusion, there was somebody out there wanting to share a certain emotion with me. Once you can convince yourself of that you can do an enormous lot for yourself to speed up the recovery of the throbbing head. Prior to my findings I worried for years about the noises in my head and where they came from. Millions of people suffer in silence all over the world.

I started the diary after Willy died, I only wished that I had known why and what the noises in my head meant in the period that Willy struggled most with coming to terms with his illness, I am sure that Willy often had terrible fearful and lonely moments during that period, at which I often experienced a very throbbing head. At the time of Willies illness I largely blamed myself for having a throbbing heavy head, although I did n’t know what I had done wrong I presumed I had done “something” wrong. This made me even more angry with myself, with the result that I got snappy at Willy at a time when he needed my support most. As always, would I have known than what I know now, I could have dealt with though situations a lot better and would have been able to lead the conversation in painful situations when we had to discuss issues that we both found hard to approach, most of all I would have been far more aware of Willies fears and we could have dealt with the situation better as a couple instead of me getting irritated and flying of the hook due to a throbbing head.

Years ago I had no intention of sharing my findings with a world full of sceptics presumably making a fool of myself or worst, being told that I should see a psychiatrist, I have now reached a point where I see it as my duty to reach out. What about those people with tinnitus that have come to the same conclusion as me but are to scared of criticism and live there for a life of seclusion.  Did they come to the same conclusion as me but did they find that there was nowhere to turn to and that the discovery frightened the bottom out of their pants because the battle just seemed so lonely with the certainty of ridicule if they would let the word slip at an unguarded moment? There have been many times that I fell back to self denial but I know there is no doubt and no need to deny it any longer.

A relative from Holland had come over for a holiday to New Zealand and was staying with us for a few weeks, we were sitting in the living room, talking about things to see and do when all of the sudden I experienced such a clear crisp vibration of cicadas in my head that I lost the line of the conversation for a minute. Twenty minutes later my daughter Esmerelda walked in to tell me she had past her bachelor of business and post graduate. Their was no need for me to ask whether she was happy, the smile on her faces said it all. After a certain news is broken the vibrations usually go back to normal instantly. Loosing the line of the conversation is an embarrassing dilemma I have experienced as long as I have had tinnitus. The experience is as if all of the sudden you have a phone call coming in but only you can hear the silent phone.

However personalities do differ, my mother had tinnitus long before I was aware of my own tinnitus. Mum would get very irritated and wary when she had a throbbing head, she would grind her teeth, complain that her head was throbbing and feeling as heavy as a brick, grumble that there must be a lot of heavy weather on the way. She would shout at the cat for staring at her and tell the dog off for standing in her way. Mum remained industrial minded, the truck would soon be there to collect the day load of eggs, and she would soldier on.

Sometimes, whenever I had cicadas dancing in my head at the approximate time that the mailman was expected to go past, even if I was hours away from home, I would take note of the time and have a look in the letterbox as soon as I got home to find a letter from a friend or a cheque that had arrived in my favour.

Can you only be aware of the vibrations of people in your close surroundings? No it doesn’t make any difference whether your son or a friend is going to ring you from the U.S.A. Great Britain, New Zealand or where ever in the world. The vibrations are absolute the same, the strength of the vibration depends on the persons strength of character and desire to share his or her emotions with you, not on the distance, the distance is not relevant at all. I have often experienced a clear happy cicada vibration to go on for several days, wondering about its source to be pleasantly surprised with a call from one of my sisters, who had been thinking for days to ring me but was delayed because of little interfering factors, besides because the twelve hour time difference between Holland and New Zealand. It wouldn’t be appreciated if  she or I would say at two pm in the afternoon “Let’s ring one another.”

Is it possible that you might experience an increase of happy clear crisping cicadas in spring? Generally in spring, after spending months of the time indoors with cold, rain, storm, and absence of green and colour in the garden people in your surroundings are a lot happier when spring finally arrives. This increase in happy clear cicada vibration also goes for the time around Christmas, new year and your birthday or any day were people get together for a celebration and direct there thoughts more outward than inward. At this time of the year you can clearly sense the vibrations (sounds) of people wanting to do something positive for each other.

When was the onset of your tinnitus?

A lot of people I spoke to over the years have told me that the first time they became aware of there tinnitus was while they were travelling overseas. People who are travelling e.g. on holiday, leave all their worries behind (or so they should) while they are free of all the daily worries they open up to receive sounds (vibrations) like tinnitus.

Several people have told that they became first aware of their tinnitus in hospital after surgery when they awoke from anaesthetic, at a time as such we send strong thoughts to our love once, in a fraction of a second the vibrations of our thoughts are received by the people we direct them to, a person who is under anaesthetic is possible unaware of anything else but will still open up to vibrations e.g. tinnitus. With everything else knocked out, the tinnitus kicks in.

If you are lucky enough to have tinnitus and you wish to test your abilities spent first a few weeks of becoming aware of the different noises.  Give yourself plenty of learning space, it took me the best part of fifteen years before I got confident about the connection between tinnitus and the world around me.

Many people with tinnitus experience the noises and vibrations in their head most severe when they go to bed. By the time we go to bed we try to put all our days activity behind us and get rid of al the so called clutter in our heads, with all the clutter gone we are most open to receive external information as in the form of tinnitus.

When I first discovered that tinnitus involved the emotions and energy vibrations of others I was very excited. For the last fifteen to twenty years I had been aware and questioned every sound and vibration in my head and now I knew what the source was. The last part of my personal studies was the hardest. I broke all my relations with my families and friends oversees and with most of the people I had dealings with in New Zealand. I felt I had to break all my relationships and live a semi hermit life in order to see what would happen to my tinnitus. The vibrations (tinnitus) was as good as zero but my life became very empty. For a long time I thought that throbbing vibrations were a bad sign, but they are not, people just worry about different things.

I have found that the vibration patterns from any given person can change as well as their circumstances and my  relationship with them. One friend had at least four major operations, in the beginning of our friendship which was shortly after her last surgery and her vibrations were often heavy and throbbing. She often told me she felt bad, even ashamed, because of her lack of energy, I reassured her every time and made it clear to her that it was most normal after an operation, when in time her condition picked up and the friendship stabilised the vibrations became light and crisp.

I received very strong throbbing vibrations for months and months on end when my late husband Willy was diagnosed with cancer and when he struggled with the thought that he had to leave his young children behind sooner than he wanted to.
For a long time I wondered whether this article would be a wise idea, would it really help anybody? Will people understand? I suppose that the last part of understanding has to come from the reader itself. When the Assyrians invented the sundial it was a step forward from just looking at the sun to tell the time and it was also a lot more accurate, there was a start, the precision of the clock and the digital watch came later. If we had waited to start work till the clock was invented we wouldn’t have had a clock.

The crucial proof should be based on science. If it can’t be proven yet than it will be most possible in the near future.
I hope that this article has been of any help to you and that you will be able to think about tinnitus as a gift rather than a handicap.