Early this morning I was nudged to wake up. Like when you’re at the beach and your body tries to will you awake while it’s still dark so you can watch the sun rise over the ocean. I remembered it was Christmas Eve morning, but no plan to get up early. And then I knew. There was no ringing in my ears. I have had consistent tinnitus for the last five or six years, a constant ringing in my left ear that has left me only twice. Today makes three times. My first response was to relax and enjoy the silence, and then to cry with relief.
The ringing that I hear day and night is like jingle bells but without the lower register, it also reminds me of a yard full of cicadas in summer in the South, that cadence of pulsing sound that is layered over all other noises. I have tried to label the sound with positive experiences, because it can be truly maddening at times.
I quietly woke up my guy and whispered that the ringing had stopped. I didn’t want to waste the time with sleep. I wanted to enjoy the silence with him, but knew it wouldn’t last long, I don’t know what causes it to recede or to return. He knew immediately what a big deal this was for me, and even though it was 5:30 in the morning, he opened up our house for the day so we could enjoy it together.
I can hear the distant sounds of ringing, I know it’s coming back as I write this. I know I have a decision to make; I can feel hopeless because the ringing will return soon with a vengeance, or I can feel grateful for a short reprieve. As much as I hate having tinnitus, it is a great reminder that we’ve all got something that we get to choose how we’re going to respond to. Today I’m choosing gratefulness and a Christmas miracle in my little world. Merry Christmas!
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