Sound, how does one define something so international and at the same time so personal? Sound is all about us. In fact, we are constantly in the midst of some type of sound and are very seldom in a void of sound. For me, sounds can be soothing or they can be the opposite. Since being in the rollover and being diagnosed with a TBI sounds are louder and my ability to filter out multiple sounds in a room to focus on one thing can be quite challenging. For instance at this moment I can hear the wisp of my pressure cooker on the stove, my TV babbling in the background, my computer keys clicking and my canary singing. It used to be that I could block out the secondary sounds and focus on my task at hand. Now, I must turn off something or leave a room to find solace without sounds. How can I have so much on and write? I can’t. I just muted the TV so that I can concentrate.
What sounds are more tolerable? Sounds that are not loud, repetitive, or brash are comforting. I love to hear the laughter of a child, the song of my bird, the sounds of nature, the sooth music from my radio. Those things comfort me and aid me in being able to cope in life.
What sounds are bothersome? The sounds of traffic are difficult for me. If I hear brakes squealing I panic. Loud banging music is another one. When someone pulls up next to us when I travel and their head banging music is entering my sound zone, my personal space, the pulsation of the beat pains me. It is not that I do not want you to listen to your type of music. It is that your music makes me ill, physically ill. I need to begin to carry ear plugs with me as that is the only way I know to block it out. A crying baby or an upset child that is wailing is another one. The high pitched sound is hard for me to handle now I have a bran injury. Group conversations are very hard. To try to block out one train of thought to hear another one is not easy. Most often I get up and leave the room as the multiple sources made me shaky and uneasy. Loud sudden noises now startle me more than ever before. Those make me literally jump out of my seat. Those are the worst.
Sounds are those things that can soothe us or stimulate us. At times they motivate or remind us of something/someone from our past. For me, in many ways sounds are like they have always been. But in other ways they are so different. As a TBI survivor I am learning each day how to live a life filled with soothing sounds and how to modify my life when in the presence of sounds I can barely tolerate. Be patient with me as this is all new to me. I pray for those of who live with a TBI. May you find solace in gentle sounds as I have. HUGZ