Problems with sounds... A rant

I have noticed lately how much trouble I have with sounds. I can't stand loud noises, I can't stand repetitive noises, I can't stand background noise. I can barely drive and listen to the radio and sometimes I will have to mute the radio whenever I have to do something that requires more than just driving in a straight line. I cannot tune out 1 sound and focus on the other, they both invade my brain and then cancel each other out and I can't understand either of them.

My left ear (the AVM was near my auditory nerve on my left side) is not as sharp as my right. Sounds sometimes get muddled and I can't understand things, like if I was talking on a phone with just my left ear, I might have trouble hearing the other person, especially if there is other noise over the line.

And whenever my uncle calls me, he usually puts me on speakerphone so that his partner can also hear me and talk to me. This is great, I love him dearly, but I really can't stand it, because it takes waaaaaay too much brain power to process! "Normals" don't understand how much processing power it takes to do stuff until you have to do it linearly and can't really think in layers...

And he will also usually be in the car where the connection is not the best. I cannot stand when people talk to me from their car, I understand they do it to save time, but sometimes I can't understand them when the sound of the wind is whizzing past or they are talking to other people or ordering from a drive-thru (I have a friend that does this). Or they talk to other people while on the phone with me. Not only is it rude, it makes it doubly hard to have a worthwhile conversation.

All of this is just a recipe for a migraine for me. And then having to focus on the subject of the conversation is a whole other can of worms. So I end up either not remembering what was talked about or I sound like a fool. Or I don't say much at all.

Can I tell people that I have a hard time focusing and discerning when 2 sounds are going on at the same time? Will people "get it"? Will it get better with time hopefully? Is there any therapy I can do for this problem?

Nicole noise is also a big problem for me. I used to turn the radio up full blast in the car. Now I'm constantly turning it down. Bass in particular is very annoying. I've not noticed problems on the phone. Definitely when I'm in a crowd I find the noise overwhelming. It's very difficult to focus on one conversation. You can tell "normals" (love that, by the way!) that focusing is a problem for you. They may not get it but they should respect it and try to help not overwhelm you. For me it hasn't gotten much better over time. (4 years post bleed, crani.) I still sometimes have to leave the room if there is too much noise and activity. It may not be the case with you. You're still pretty early in to your recovery. Best wishes and hang in there!

Hey Nicole - I kind of had to chuckle when reading yourcause it was funny-ha-ha, but because I could so relate.

I recently went t of me's memorial service planning meetinsoon found out what a HUake that was on my part...the multiple conversations and the subject matter - l - was just way too much for me..initely needed naps after that =)

Loud noises don't upset me much but I'm getting older-darn kids! =) But definitely the multi-conversations at once wear me out - if I don't sound like a complete idiot - btw, I tried to avoid chiming in - which holding back and biting my tongue is an cha for me now...boy, am I glad I'm not in that world-the one where musations are actually okay and make sense...you really couldn't pay me enough to go back there.

Hi, Nicole! Totally understand your problem; my AVM is in the same area. As a matter of fact, that's how my AVM was discovered...went to an ENT for a hearing aid because my hearing was getting so bad! BTW, the hearing aid made it worse...everything sounded like I was underwater.

I always had trouble hearing conversations in clubs and bars. Now I have that problem in restaurants too. Oh, and in cars on rough road surfaces...forget about it!

You should definitely mention your hearing problems to other people. They'd be a upset if they thought you were just ignoring them!

Best wishes, Connie

WOW, I am so glad that I'm not alone in this! Sometimes I wonder if I'm going crazy when I think about this stuff! Thank you, all of you, for sharing.:)

Nicole...when I first had my bleed (12/2007, I had an extremely difficult time with sound. While I still do, it's not as bad as it was in the beginning! Hang in there!

I'm a "normal," but I absolutely cannot drive with the radio on, or do any kind of task that requires concentration if there is background noise. It's the same with visuals -- I can't tolerate ceiling fans because the moving blades are in my field of vision, and I go nuts if I'm in a theatre and people are turning on little illuminated screens all around me. We really are constructed differently, and all of our brains are unique, damaged or undamaged.