Here is another question I have.  It is about new reactions to old sounds.

My partner liked dogs, but hated dog barking.  Since the TBI, however, he has developed a huge sensitivity to my dog's lip-smacking and self-cleaning, to the point where he has to leave the room; somehow the sound has become linked to something horrible.  He also finds a lot of music really distressing, although we have just discovered that he likes some music if it is very low, thank heavens, because I love music. 

I would like to know if others among you have experienced severe reactions to noises or music and, more than this, to know if any of you got over this.

He is, however, doing better and better on his return to content management for our net-site and beginning to work on real articles again; to think more deeply.

It occurred to me, from reading Norman Doig's The Brain that heals itself and Oliver Sack's Musicophilia (which is an amazing work I was familiar with before my partner's accident - in fact I have read all of Sachs's books)  that my partner's brain, whilst the neurons were dying in the week or two after the accident, decided to take over a lot of the musical and some other parts, and allocate them to the political and computer parts, which James probably would have prioritised.   My partner has also lost a lot of interest in films, books, tv, which could be due to loss of curiosity, but I wonder if it is more a way of saving his concentration for more important things, since he is only just beyond the immediate survival stage - and now trying to consolidate chances for long-term survival.

In this case I am hoping that these interests will come back to some extent.

So far a lot is coming back - thank heavens.


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Hi, Queenie.

I am closing in on 4 years since my tbi. I am more tolerant of noise than I was in the early years, but always carry ear plugs with me and frequently wear them (I actually have them in as I write this, as my husband has the tv on). It sounds like your partner's injury is more recent? I know that for a long time after my tbi, I was extremely physically and cognitively fatigued, and I had trouble keeping my focus on anything except trying to deal with my injuries and trying to function at essential daily activities. I couldn't handle most tv or films for a long time, due to the noise, but, also, because things on screens visually overwhemed me -  they were too bright and things in scenes changed too quickly (older shows with more predicatble plots were easier, as they moved in more real time and didn't have all of the special effects). I, also, had difficulty with stressful or violent, action shows and following plots was hard - I got exhausted and confused trying to keep up with all of the details. Commercials broke my train of thought, and it literally was hard to get back with the program.  I, also, couldn't handle people interrupting me when I watching something for the same reason.  I loved complex novels and read a lot of professional literature before my tbi, but I couldn't keep track of characters or important details after my accident.  I, also, had lots of trouble with my vision blurring, not being able to process the print in front of me, not being able to keep my place without an aid to limit the line I was on, etc.  I often misread words or missed words, when made it harder to make sense of what I did read, too. Thankfully, I am doing much better at reading for pleasure andremembering content after vision, SLP and cognitive therapies, but I still have limits on what, when and for how long I can manage to read.  As for music, anything fast, loud, or non-melodic still agitates or totally overwhelms me.  I haven't been able to go to any concerts or bear listening to a lot of music that I enjoyed, or at least could tolerate, before my tbi. I am getting to where I can sometimes listen to the radio in the car now, but the multi-tasking is still too hard most of the time - driving really demands my full attention now.  As for sounds that I used to be able to tolerate, sometimes I can't handle eating with others if they chew loudly, there is a lot of silverwareand glases clinking, or more than one person talking (restaurants and coffe shops are still just too hard most of the time).  Knowing my limits, I try to set myself up for success by avoiding what I can't hand, letting others know what I need (e.g., have to turn off the radio or tv if I am going to hear and understand them), and use the accommodations that I know help me.  I wish you and your partner well on this journey of recovery. He is lucky that you care so much, and are trying to understand his needs - now, as well as his brain's potential for healing. Doidge's "The Brain That Changes Itself" is full of "plasticity hope" for healing even years later - something folks at this site even 10 or more years out from their tbi's have attested to!  They are my heroes and give me hope for my own continued recovery, too! :-)   Take care. ~ Kathie

Kathie - There's a lot (of ideas) above which you write about which I can identify with.  Examples: ...I...carry ear plugs with me...I was extremely physically...fatigued...I had trouble keeping my focus on anything except trying to deal with my...essential daily activities. I couldn't handle...tv or films for a long time...action shows...following plots was hard...I got exhausted and confused trying to keep up with all of the details. Commercials broke my train of thought...it literally was hard to get back with the program.  I, also, couldn't handle people interrupting me when I watching something for the same reason...novels...literature before my tbi, but I couldn't keep track of characters or important details after my accident.  I, also, had lots of trouble with my vision blurring, not being able to process the print in front of me, not being able to keep my place without an aid to limit the line I was on, etc.  I often misread words or missed words, when made it harder to make sense of what I did read, too. Thankfully, I am doing much better...but I still have limits on what, when and for how long I can manage to read.  As for music, anything fast, loud, or non-melodic still agitates or totally overwhelms me...I am getting to where I can sometimes listen to the radio in the car now, but the multi-tasking is still too hard most of the time - driving really demands my full attention now...Knowing my limits, I try to set myself up for success by avoiding what I can't hand, letting others know what I need (e.g., have to turn off the radio or tv if I am going to hear and understand them), and use the accommodations that I know help me...brain's potential for healing. Doidge's "The Brain That Changes Itself" is full of "plasticity hope" for healing even years later - something folks at this site even 10 or more years out from their tbi's have attested to!  They are my heroes and give me hope for my own continued recovery, too... Reply from Charles:  Since I was born with what is called Organic Brain Syndrome due to a birth injury (head injury), my life experience was that my difficulty in trying to sensory integrate everything naturally (normal sensory integration) was foreign to me.  I was quite surprised to discover, many years later, that three FDA approved medicines (Tirend, NoDoz;  also, Bonine) for me, rapidly (within less than 30 minutes) temporarily improve 90% cognitively of everything for me for about a four hour symptom reduction period (aka involuntary distractibility reduced, attention span increased, comprehension (whole vs parts) increased).  In college (1967), I would use a yellow pen underliner so as to keep track of what I had read.  If I underlined it, I knew I had read it at least once.  My use of a yellow pen to read everything was simply not how most other persons (99%+) read reading material.   At college, I discovered I was unusually sensitive in a positive manner to NoDoz (contains 100 mg caffeine/other ingredients - St. Louis, MO type only).  The NoDoz, for me, temporarily improved my ability to see print clearly and to read the print with a little more real comprehension.  Today I know my positive reaction to NoDoz is very unusual;  most persons find that caffeine simply keeps them awake.  Authors like Walter C. Alvarez, M.D. and Jack Dreyfus wrote books about Dilantin.  Even though Dilantin does not work for me (NoDoz/caffeine does), I believe that both Alvarez and Dreyfus are sharing aspects of neurology and why a few medicines can help a few users in the areas of cognition, perception, thinking, and human brain/mind issues.  Since I did not discover caffeine (NoDoz) helped me a little until age 21, I had 21 years to evaluate what is called neuroplasticity.  My Organic Brain Syndrome only went away (temporarily) using a medicine.  That's been my experience.  I am not that enthusiastic about medicines in general because medicines don't work for everyone at all;  they do work for a few as Alvarez, M.D. and Dreyfus report.  - Charles  X-ref:  Awakenings movie (1990)(L-Dopa);  fictional movie Limitless (2011) about the fictional medicine - NZT-48 (cognitive enhancer).  I personally feel that caffeine compounds (how they can impact cognition for persons with brain concussions/brain injuries) are intentionally ignored by the powers that be today (2014) in favor of stronger prescription medicines such as Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Adderall (all three which fail to work for me).  Often modern health care is based on the old slogan:  Follow the money, follow the Madison Avenue (sometimes false) advertising (my view).  That may or may not match the concept of the pursuit of the ideal of truth about brain concussions/brain injuries at all (my view).  I am very grateful for sites like this TBI Survivors Network which allow the free discussion of all aspects of brain concussions.

Hi, Charles.

Yes, it is interesting how similar many of the challenges are with brain injuries - regardless of how and when they happen. I'm glad that you've found the No doz works for you. Everyone's brains/bodies are a little different, so it's good to see what works for each of us. That much caffiene sends my heart racing and makes me jittery and unable to think or talk well. I have benefitted from taking supplements prescribed by a doctor through the Amen Clinic, and recently tried an actual medication for the first time since my tbi (I am very med sensitive and more inclined toward natural interventions anyway). I have to say, that once we got the dose right, it has been helping with my attention,memeory, and organizational challenges - I feel more functional and more llike my old self than I have since my accident... thathas reduced my overall anxiety, too. It's a drug called Amandatine and wasn't originally intended for use with TBI's. The info I have says that iti was developed as an antiviral for flu, but after they found it helped with Parkinson's they start trying it with folks with brain injuries. The theory is that it helps to "restore balance to the neurotransmitters in the brain", especially dopamine. My neuropsych talked me into trying it, and I'm so glad she did!   Thanks for writing and continued luck to you! ~ Kathie

Charles Thomas Wild said:

Kathie - There's a lot (of ideas) above which you write about which I can identify with.  Examples: ...I...carry ear plugs with me...I was extremely physically...fatigued...I had trouble keeping my focus on anything except trying to deal with my...essential daily activities. I couldn't handle...tv or films for a long time...action shows...following plots was hard...I got exhausted and confused trying to keep up with all of the details. Commercials broke my train of thought...it literally was hard to get back with the program.  I, also, couldn't handle people interrupting me when I watching something for the same reason...novels...literature before my tbi, but I couldn't keep track of characters or important details after my accident.  I, also, had lots of trouble with my vision blurring, not being able to process the print in front of me, not being able to keep my place without an aid to limit the line I was on, etc.  I often misread words or missed words, when made it harder to make sense of what I did read, too. Thankfully, I am doing much better...but I still have limits on what, when and for how long I can manage to read.  As for music, anything fast, loud, or non-melodic still agitates or totally overwhelms me...I am getting to where I can sometimes listen to the radio in the car now, but the multi-tasking is still too hard most of the time - driving really demands my full attention now...Knowing my limits, I try to set myself up for success by avoiding what I can't hand, letting others know what I need (e.g., have to turn off the radio or tv if I am going to hear and understand them), and use the accommodations that I know help me...brain's potential for healing. Doidge's "The Brain That Changes Itself" is full of "plasticity hope" for healing even years later - something folks at this site even 10 or more years out from their tbi's have attested to!  They are my heroes and give me hope for my own continued recovery, too... Reply from Charles:  Since I was born with what is called Organic Brain Syndrome due to a birth injury (head injury), my life experience was that my difficulty in trying to sensory integrate everything naturally (normal sensory integration) was foreign to me.  I was quite surprised to discover, many years later, that three FDA approved medicines (Tirend, NoDoz;  also, Bonine) for me, rapidly (within less than 30 minutes) temporarily improve 90% cognitively of everything for me for about a four hour symptom reduction period (aka involuntary distractibility reduced, attention span increased, comprehension (whole vs parts) increased).  In college (1967), I would use a yellow pen underliner so as to keep track of what I had read.  If I underlined it, I knew I had read it at least once.  My use of a yellow pen to read everything was simply not how most other persons (99%+) read reading material.   At college, I discovered I was unusually sensitive in a positive manner to NoDoz (contains 100 mg caffeine/other ingredients - St. Louis, MO type only).  The NoDoz, for me, temporarily improved my ability to see print clearly and to read the print with a little more real comprehension.  Today I know my positive reaction to NoDoz is very unusual;  most persons find that caffeine simply keeps them awake.  Authors like Walter C. Alvarez, M.D. and Jack Dreyfus wrote books about Dilantin.  Even though Dilantin does not work for me (NoDoz/caffeine does), I believe that both Alvarez and Dreyfus are sharing aspects of neurology and why a few medicines can help a few users in the areas of cognition, perception, thinking, and human brain/mind issues.  Since I did not discover caffeine (NoDoz) helped me a little until age 21, I had 21 years to evaluate what is called neuroplasticity.  My Organic Brain Syndrome only went away (temporarily) using a medicine.  That's been my experience.  I am not that enthusiastic about medicines in general because medicines don't work for everyone at all;  they do work for a few as Alvarez, M.D. and Dreyfus report.  - Charles  X-ref:  Awakenings movie (1990)(L-Dopa);  fictional movie Limitless (2011) about the fictional medicine - NZT-48 (cognitive enhancer).  I personally feel that caffeine compounds (how they can impact cognition for persons with brain concussions/brain injuries) are intentionally ignored by the powers that be today (2014) in favor of stronger prescription medicines such as Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Adderall (all three which fail to work for me).  Often modern health care is based on the old slogan:  Follow the money, follow the Madison Avenue (sometimes false) advertising (my view).  That may or may not match the concept of the pursuit of the ideal of truth about brain concussions/brain injuries at all (my view).  I am very grateful for sites like this TBI Survivors Network which allow the free discussion of all aspects of brain concussions.

Oh, just saw this, which I wrote in 2010.  It is now nearly the end of 2016 and my partner not only enjoys music, but he is performing in a choir!  We found that he had B12 deficiency (pernicious anaemia) and hypothyroidism, which had been undiagnosed and untreated while he was in a coma in May 2010 after a being hit by a car.  He has improved immensely since these problems were treated.  Bizarrely, I have also developed the same treatable illnesses.  I have written a book about us called, When we were human: Brain injury in a time of electronic memory, which is available at https://www.amazon.com/When-were-human-injury-electronic-ebook/dp/B...

It goes into a lot of different treatments and problems, but especially my partner's attempts to retrieve his computer science knowledge.

From the sound has really become a problem I spend the day trying to not hear noise there are many days that I go about with your plugs in my ears so that I can minimize the noise I think for people with brain injury that noise is a problem and I don't think that the problem goes away

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