Laughter as brain injury medicine … Do you hear what I hear

12 Jun

When I woke this morning I heard a faint buzzing or ringing tone.  It sounded to me as though it were an alarm clock in the distant room. I only heard it in my room.  It became bothersome and distracting after a while and I asked three others about the faint noise.

Two heard the noise in my room and the other was not available. The first person also heard it outside another’s door.  I didn’t hear it there! The second person heard it in my room but later thought they heard the noise upstairs long after I located the culprit.

Human ear icon

The third person heard it sitting in the kitchen and told me it was the “smoke alarm”.  The smoke alarm in question was on the counter without a battery for the past 24 hours waiting for me to put a new battery in that day.  How could that be the “smoke alarm”?

I was puzzled.  I only heard it in my room.  Were we hearing the same thing?  Is this a test of perceptions?

As I was getting ready for bed I opened a drawer and found an old dog’s bark collar buzzing/ringing faintly because the battery needed replaced.  We removed the battery and the annoying noise stopped.

Who was hearing things? Are we all hearing something different?  How reliable are your perceptions? With the aging process hearing becomes diminished.  Does this cause an imaginary perception of what others believe they hear?  Does our hearing pick up sensitive noises that otherwise we wouldn’t hear?

Feel The Noise

Feel The Noise (Photo credit: Blue Yonder)

Do you hear what I hear?  Are you hearing things? Can perception be deception?  In the end, another heard exactly what I was hearing … and the buzzing or ringing stopped once the battery was removed! It wasn’t the constant buzzing or ringing in my ears that come with my TBI. This was an external ringing.

Others don’t become so distracted and fail to spend time looking for the cause. Here, it’s about persistence to find the cause.  Distractions because it was so annoying.

Nonetheless, we all are grateful to have hearing regardless of how our perceptions interpret environmental stimuli.

Remember when your mom or dad said “Did you hear what I said?”  And they would say “You aren’t listening to me!”  We’ve all heard those statements but has anyone given much thought when “You only hear what you want to hear!”  This is a prime example of hearing what you want to hear!

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**********All material presented on Brain Injury Self Rehabilitation (BISR) is copyright and cannot be, copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Edith E. Flickinger, BSN RN. 


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3 responses to “Laughter as brain injury medicine … Do you hear what I hear

  1. behindthemaskofabuse

    June 12, 2013 at 12:48 am

    What was that you said? 😉

  2. wendy

    June 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    My husband had ADD, and I will often feel like he is not listening or hearing me, but it’s the fact that as I’m talking his brain is moving on to the next thing….so even though he thinks he’s listening, he isn’t really hearing me.

    But I can tell you from someone who is deaf without her cochlear implant….I hear things much differently than others sometimes…it all has to do with context. I often get lost if the subject changes.

    then there are the sounds I hear and no one else does… tinnitus….the other night I had this squeal in my ear…I cringed and told my husband that my brain was getting an Emergency Broadcast. (if you can’t joke about it, you may go insane.)

    I would never hear that buzzing. Sometimes I realize things like that are a good thing when you can’t hear….it would have driven me crazy.

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      June 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      I love your sense of humor about the brain giving an “emergency broadcast”. Many people with brain injury have constant high pitched ringing in both eyes that never stops…it just becomes part of life of course often with hearing deficits, albeit not necessarily “deafness”. For that reason, those can who can hear are grateful regardless of constant “high pitched ringing” which is part of brain damage.

      How is your cochlear implant working? I was thinking you were having some difficulty with it. Do you get things adjusted or fixed yet? Take care and stay safe.


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