One summer day in the 90’s, I strolled around the historic courthouse in Prescott, AZ with my mom. The trees were full, green and leafy. The afternoon was bright and thunderheads in the distance promised rain later. We were taking in the sights and the cooler weather (cooler than Blythe where we were from).
As we walked side by side, my mom said, “The cicadas are deafening, aren’t they?”
Even with my hearing aids in, I couldn’t hear them. I remember their sound from childhood and I heard them all the time in my head. “Really,” I said, “I didn’t know that.”
My mom stopped dead on the sidewalk and I stopped to see what was wrong. She stood there staring at me.
“What,” I asked.
“You really can’t hear that?”
I strained to hear what she was hearing and couldn’t. “No,” I said.
“Not at all?”
Now I started getting irritated. Why were people always surprised at what I can’t hear. When they will get it? Then just as quick, my aha! Light came on.
“Mom. That’s what I hear ALL the time. That’s my tinnitus.”
She was astounded. Seven years after the fact, my mom finally understood tinnitus and what it sounded like for me. It’s one of the priceless moments of break through that I will never forget.
These days I don’t have to wait for summer cicadas, the internet has tinnitus simulators available so check out this link from the American Tinnitus Association. http://www.ata.org/sounds-of-tinnitus. It will amaze your family and friends.
I have the first three kinds: the 7500 Hz, the 4000 Hz especially, the teapot and I was surprised to see they actually list cicadas with the buzzing. Interesting huh?