Wednesday, April 19, 2017

You Need A Higher Dose of Meditation

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, vacuum, vacuum cleaner, white noise, relaxation, stress
Unsurprisingly, vacuums abhor Nature, too.
Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right? Well, you're having another one right now, because today we've got neither news coverage, an Earwigs cartoon, or even Busty Ross buffing her nails.

Rather, you've just accidentally stumbled into a whiny rant from which there is no escape, assuming you don't know that there are an infinite number of other websites only a click away.

Our subject du jour is "stress" - and how we personally try to cope with it.

The Stressors:

• Yesterday, daughter Jarlsberg made the long drive back to Oklahoma City (always a source of parental worry). No sooner had she departed than previously unpredicted storms popped up along her entire route. And for those who don't live in Texas or Oklahoma, we should specify that when storms "pop up" (which sounds cute and fun), it can also mean the appearance of volleyball-sized hail traveling faster than the speed of sound, and tornadoes whose sizes are described on a scale ranging from "F1" to "F5" depending on how many times you use the F-word upon seeing the funnel heading your way. (Spoiler alert: she made the trip without incident).

• We simultaneously had a visit from a (ha!) service technician from Frontier Communications. The idea was to increase our Internet speed - a gift from Frontier for having screwed up our account every month for an entire year. When the tech left, our Internet was indeed blazingly fast for the 5 minutes it stayed connected. And - oops! - our television was completely out.

We subsequently spent four agonizing hours on tech support lines - getting hung up on at least three times despite our inordinate civility and goodwill - and ended the day with Internet working sporadically, but still no TV. Which wouldn't be a great loss, but when Drudge is screaming in red headlines "NUCLEAR WAR AT ANY DAMN SECOND!" it does rather pique one's curiosity about what might be happening on the news.


• Added to this, here at Castle Jarlsberg, we're preparing to do some major renovations. How major? Let's just say that the word "gut" is the most frequently used verb. For those of us who are, by nature, barnacles, it can be highly disconcerting to entertain the idea of throwing things out, tearing things down, and then having new things built, painted, patched, plumbed, or plundered by the same sorts of pathological "service providers" that Frontier Communications uses to terrorize their customers.

• And then there's all the usual background stress, including that pesky "possible nuclear war" thing, random Facebook killers (happily, that one has sorted itself out), pro-Trump and anti-Trump people beating the snot out of each other in Berkeley, the infirmities of advancing age, the stock market (we lost a bundle today), and - oh yeah - a blog deadline!

How We Cope With Stress:

• We'll bet you said "by drinking," right?! HA! Well, okay, we do have a snort or so of Clan MacGregor.

• Cheap Chinese food also works in the short term.


• But the most important factor in reducing stress is: listening to a good, loud vacuum cleaner. We're not joking in the least. For us, that jet engine whine with just a soupรงon of suck is the sound of peace and relaxation (not to mention a great help with our unending smoke-detector-shriek tinnitus).


At this very moment, we're using the Amazon Echo device (with 7 microphones reporting our every utterance to the NSA) to play an endless loop of a vacuum cleaner in order to keep our heart rate beneath that of a meth-addicted hummingbird. And when we go to bed at night, to soothe us into stress-free slumber, we'll listen to our MP3 recording of a vacuum cleaner in a thunderstorm


In any event, just complaining about all of this stuff has helped us feel a bit better. And if we unfortunately stressed YOU out in the process, well, here's 8 hours of sonic relief...

49 comments:

American Cowboy said...

And I thought the last three days on the phone with someone in India, or Pakistan or wherever performing cheat-sheet tech support with no good results for my Century-link internet was maddening.

Rain slowed the outside work so I had the immense pleasure of trying to order building materials online with a blazing fast 0.01 Mbps internet speed. Century-link assured me that they showed this "valued" customer was receiving the full 40 Mbps I pay for.

Of course that means no TV either because nothing will stream at that speed and this cowboy is to damned cheap to pay for satellite TV, and there doesn't seem to be an antenna big enough to pull in any TV stations off the air available to private citizens.

If I were paranoid I might think it had something to do with comments about the liberals in the country that I have made.

Bruce O'Hara said...

Thank you for the 8 hours of vacuum cleaner sound. Who would have dreamed that such a video existed? Not to mention WHY would such a video exists... :-)

RP Free Speech said...

Needless to say, that REALLY sucks, Stilton...the diaper right off that cute little 1950s baby who's in her/his mid-60s or so, if,if,if,if,if...well enough of Osh*tehead!!!

It does, however, as you mentioned, REALLY help disguise the tinnitus AND the harmonics of my newly-purchased 9" fan.

Therefore, you have provided a wonderful gift for me...and it will relieve some of the stress of fibromyalgia accompanied by osteoarthrits!!! Thank you from the bottom of my Afib-bed heart!

P.S.: I DO hope and pray the renovation goes well. Do keep an eye on your contractor. And, remember: before any work is done, spend some time on YouTube, researching, so you know the basics of what is being done. Looking forward to some before/after photos, if possible!?!

REM1875 said...

That sucking noise at our house was the lower part of our anatomy finding out the tax forms are still here on the table.
Rems secret tip: -dust IRS envelope with dirt and drag over front patio- find something with a treadless wheel under 2 inches thick run it over envelope 2 or three times - they will blame the post office for it arriving late because they lost it.
Well folk this year it's gonna cost us a couple of grand more to be good Americans (i.e. Taxpaying) anything to help the leeches known as demonRatz and make sure they have a comfy mom's basement to come home to after a hard night of using fascist tactics against an imaginary fascist enemy.
Or maybe they will use it for poor disadvantaged ms-13 gang members/children?
Bonuses for top VA officials?
I trust my govt will us it wisely
My gun of the month fantasy has been put on hold again.

REM1875 said...

BTW Doc have ya thought about buying Klan mcgregor by the hogshead? 63 or 64 gallons will get ya through a bit.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

I get my white noise sedation via the soothing sounds of steel wheels on steel rail...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kmAL7YCPmI

It's also fun to put these vids on fullscreen, sit back with a snort of Clan MacGregor and enjoy the ride!

Bobo the Hobo said...

I prefer ocean sounds on continual loop but whatever floats your boat. Good luck with the renovations, Stilt!

Paul said...

Having lived in Paris, TX for 5.5 years, I certainly know what those TX / OK 'storms' are like. We had a tornado within sight of town the first week of May every year I was there.

Fred Ciampi said...

Ahhhhh, once upon a time I too, had Frontier dot net. This is where the term cluster f**k came from. So I moved to another town that had Comcast. But then I retired and moved to still yet another town that only had Verizon. Verizon is better than nothing whereas Frontier is not. I did write an old fashioned letter to the FCC and some other alphabet agency. Never got a reply but it felt good just writing it. Sort of like self gratification.

And for tinnitus, my $8,000 hearing aids are supposed to cancel it out by some voodoo magic but they don't. I'll be getting new ones in August so we'll see.........

Fish Out of Water said...

While I do not miss for even a microsecond, the worst electoral mistake since the peanut farmer (and chronic scold) from Plains, Georgia, I do recall an idea from him for a federal mandate for equal internet access for all. And having the blessed luxury of high speed service in an urbzn area and having experienced the lack of choices, service and speed in less populated areas of the country, his call for equal internet is not that bad on an idea.

Bobo the Hobo said...

I forgot to add:

When you feel overwhelmed by stress, assume the lotus position and chant, Hillary Clinton isn't President. Hillary Clinton isn't President.

Meh, it works for me.

chef621 said...


Aww....yes, tinnitus, the punishment for living to long. I have learned to ignore it except for when someone mentions it, like right now.
Stilt, the only way the vacuum sound will work for me is if I know that someone is pushing it all over my house. Then, I would be ecstatic, grinning from ear to ear. ;-)

Do you have ATT in TX? They have great service and usually fast too. I have their wireless modem service and it works great. My brother in IN has service like you do so I can never send him anything with pictures. It takes an hour for him to download them and it usually cuts off before it gets finished. You would think in this day and age that technology would be good all across the country, but I guess not. Only shows that there are still things to be invented to make everything better. (or are we (USA) that far behind other countries?)

I wish you well with your renovations. The end justifies the means. I always used to say that I wanted to move every once in awhile, because I always got rid of so much junk when I did. Now, I have been here for 25 years so the only way I can get rid of junk is to have a yard sale and take the left overs to the good will.

enough rambling for now. Have a blessed week.

Geoff King said...

I, for one, do not fear a NK nuke attack. Kimmy boy likely cannot have enough warheads to penetrate our defenses and his missile accuracy is iffy at best. Since the rumor is that his latest failed launch was due to hacking, he should be worried that any nuke he launches will explode right over his head. If not, I'm sure our retalitory strike would suffice in that department.
As for soothing background noise try:
https://www.noisli.com
On a mobile device I highly recommend the app "Ambio". It has a multitude of customizable sounds that can be blended together into favorite "playlists".

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@American Cowboy- I'd suspect politically-related sabotage too, but I think "systemic incompetence" seems the more likely explanation.

@Bruce O'Hara- The Internet is a big, dumb, strange place. Still, some good things come out of it - like extended recordings of vacuum cleaners. Turns out that many people, even those without tinnitus, find such sounds profoundly relaxing. In fact, there's a whole field of study called ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) related to the fact that some such sounds can cause a pleasant tingling of the skin.

And there's a whole world of similar recordings of vacuums, washing machines, train wheels, cars, etc being used to help babies sleep through the night.

Personally, I also get some pleasure from going to Youtube and watching ingrown toenail surgeries - but that's another neurosis entirely. (grin)

@RP Free Speech- In my first year of experiencing tinnitus (caused by an ear infection), I would have gone nuts without the sound of a vacuum to give me an occasional bit of relief. I'm delighted that the Youtube recording may give you some comfort, too!

@REM1875- I actually received an IRS refund this year, owing to my clever strategy of not earning diddly-squat. And when I say "refund," I mean an actual refund of money that I'd pre-payed in a burst of optimism, not the "refunds" that people get who haven't sent in a dime.

And I just may look into that hogshead of Clan MacGregor. Also a box of crazy straws.

@M. Mitchell Marmel- Nice video! It's sort of hypnotic watching things go by. The occasional voices and radio static are a bit distracting for my purposes, but I may try watching this video in fullscreen on my TV and see how long I can stand and sip scotch before I fall over.

@Bobo the Hobo- Ocean sounds are nice, but not optimal listening at night for people with 64 year old prostates.

@Paul- These storms, especially in the Spring, are scary. "Popping up" sounds sort of inconsequential, but it really means atmospheric instability which can turn ugly pretty quickly in these parts.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Fred Ciampi- I too had Verizon, then Frontier bought them a year ago. I was trapped. The transition has been a disaster by all accounts - Frontier had neither the personnel nor expertise to take over. Impressively, after a full year they're no better. Although maybe I'll get some leverage with them by pointing out that when I'm not getting television, I spend my time telling thousands of readers how much Frontier sucks.

And wow - $8000 hearing aids?! Mine are more like $2000, and not programmed to help with tinnitus although they DO help a bit by amplifying other high-frequency sounds that are in my tinnitus range, giving a little "masking."

There are some interesting treatments being developed to combat tinnitus, and I really hope they eventually pay off. It's almost impossible to imagine how frustrating and stressful the condition is until you have it yourself.

@Fish Out of Water- The idea of solid high-speed Internet for all is appealing, but the reality is likely that with the government running things, service would stink for everyone.

@Bobo the Hobo- Trust me, I get satisfaction every day from the fact that Hillary isn't in the Oval Office.

@chef621- If there is a person pushing a vacuum cleaner around in my presence, it's entirely possible that I will fall into a coma of relaxation. When I listen to my vacuuming MP3 at night, it actually has stereo sound so there's movement around the virtual "room."

I think ATT may be available in my area, and may specifically look into it if things don't go well today. Mind you, at the moment I've got blazing Internet speed (tempered somewhat by still using a coal-burning computer).

As far as renovations go, we're long overdue for some upgrades. That being said, I don't expect to enjoy the process. But then again, I'm a curmudgeon. And wow - do I have a lot of junk that needs to go. And Mrs. J assures me that it will!

@Geoff King- My biggest worry regarding NK is an EMP attack with a missile launched from a ship of some kind, giving us very little reaction time. Granted, we'd turn NK into glowing green glass - but it would be too late to save our country.

Thanks for pointing out Noisli and Ambio. I know of other such sites and apps, but tend to collect them all.

Rod said...

Tip for old farts: Don't pull or trim the long hairs growing in your ear canals & around your ears. The damned tickling will take your attention off Tinnitus.

This technique may be abandoned when you start shaking your head in little fits. Try to enjoy the concert.

jlw said...

with a few minor variation you just described my average day. (variation examples: comcast instead of frontier. white noise generator instead of vacuum. Bushmill's instead of Clan MacGregor)

but today, my coffee maker quit, too.

GenEarly said...

the Vacuum doesn't do it for me, sorry. Try this it may help you even more.....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfcAVejslrU

Pete (Detroit) said...

Just heard here we're having a c0-ordinated test of sirens and radio alerts at 1 pm - unless we're having ACTUAL storms, in which case the test will be postponed... Errr, WHUT???

Vividly recall driving out of a storm once in TX - was one of your typical 'frog drowners'- windshield like a fire hose is playing on it, water coming down faster than it can run off the pavement... then suddenly, drops and damp pavement, and suddenly bone dry, and a WALL of water in the rear view...
Also, flying in to Houston once, flew over a thunderstorm growing in 5 directions at once, "anvils" pointing like a star. Wish I'd had a camera to take a picture. Had to drive through it on the way home, of course...

Have a friend who grew up in Moscow, RU. Apparently, the topology there (Like most places, apparently) does not support cyclonic storms. We had an alert (watch, warning, some such) and she was all "I googled it, it seems to be some kind of storm?" Well, we already had plans to get together, so I told her "I have a movie"
I brought "Twister"
At the end, she was rather pale - "THAT is a "Tornado""????
Well, that's a HOLLYWOOD tornado - they're not *usually* that big.
2 weeks later, there was one a mile wide that erased a town in west TX... She's still paranoid...

I have WOW (Wide Open West) internet / TV, and my only real complaint is that the phone (THIS one, previous was fine) has issues w/ *my* wireless unit - which is not *their* issue..

Speaking of vacuums, need to run one around here again, cat's getting sneezy...

Alfonso Bedoya said...

Hang in there, Stilton. Don't blame Frontier, though; it's actually the Russians who have "wiretapped" your home. The vacuum cleaner bit isn't the answer; it is actually the source of the "tap." Looking on the bright side: I hear Putin hates the whine of vacuum cleaners.

TMay said...

Thank you for your cartoon about the vacuum. It reminds me of "Dear Kitten" when Big Cat (voice of Ze Frank) gives advice to Dear Kitten about vacoom, an ad on Youtube, part of a series.
Watch "Dear Kitten" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/G4Sn91t1V4g

Your vacuum cartoon also reminds me of "Singing along to the washing machine" on YouTube
Washing machine:
https://youtu.be/Hkp2saxfSmY

I believe I heard an interview with the man and he took his washing machine to Europe for his tour, and had adventures, like it breaking down before a performance.

In any event, no matter how bad your day was, it wasn't as bad as the late Aaron Hernandez, who used to be an NFL player with the Patriots making $40 million dollars a year and he murdered someone and was serving a life sentence for first degree murder, and his former team won the Superbowl, and they will be visiting the White House today, and he committed suicide and his body was found today. Last week he was happy that he was found innocent of 2 other murders.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Rod- I haven't tried the "tickly hairs" technique, though can occasionally tell my tinnitus to "back off!" by cupping my hands over my hearing aids and creating a squeal of feedback. One of the only benefits of aging is learning to let go of your dignity (grin).

@jlw- I kid you not, my coffee maker broke too. I just didn't mention it in my list of scourges.

@GenEarly- Vacuums, fans, and rain sounds are what work best for my tinnitus - but I love ambient music for relaxation, and the piece you linked to is great! There's even an official version that is a half hour long, which I may try at bedtime.

@Pete (Detroit)- I don't think I've ever seen a tornado (there was something in a lightning flash that might have been one), but there have been plenty of near misses in my life. One of the closest was when I lived in a trailer in Indiana and had nowhere to run. My wife, our cat, and I all ended up hiding under the trailer once as the sirens shrieked and the wind roared. Mind you, hiding under a trailer is a TERRIBLE idea - but good ideas seemed hard to come by at that moment. The funnel missed us by about a mile.

And I was disappointed by the movie "Twister." It was very special effectsy, but didn't capture the real sick-making tension of boiling green clouds.

@Alfonso Bedoya- I pity anyone assigned to monitor the sounds coming out of my home. It's mostly silence, typing, vacuum cleaner sounds, and a half-hour of "Senior Jeopardy with Tourette's" when we pour our evening beverages and try to match wits with Alex Trebek.

@TMay- Speaking of musicians who incorporate washing machines into their act, here's an amazing video which is not restful or soothing in the least.

And regarding "no matter how bad your day was," I need to make it very, very clear that my day was - if anything - blessed. I had no big, life-changing problems at all. I had worries about things which didn't happen, and a handful of frustrations which were all of the nit-picking variety. The point of my complaining (other than just venting) wasn't to say "poor me," but rather to admit that I do a crappy job of coping with stresses that most people could easily shake off. It's part of what makes me (ahem) "colorful."

Cookie said...

My only comment is to say that I feel your pain where Frontier Communications is concerned as my dad (may he RIP) once had Frontier Communications as well. At the time, it was the only internet service available in his community. *sigh*

John the Econ said...

Well, let's see if I can find the bright side here:

o Daughter Jarlsberg is both blessed and competent. She'll be okay.

o No Internet: At least you have toilet paper, which is something lacking in places that are praised by Bernie Sanders. Speaking of removing excrement from your life, you're missing little on TV.

o Nuclear War: Ever notice how that seems to get hyped as an imminent threat every time a Democrat is no longer President? Especially ironic considering that it's been Democratic President's that gladly hand out the resources to these people who wish to nuke us.

o Renovations: You wouldn't be doing it unless you'd expect life to be better when it's done and over with.

o Background stress: I know you have plenty of adult beverages to deal with that.

And finally, I like when the stock market takes a dip. It means that America is on sale. Remember, people like me make money when everyone else freaks out. (I really wish I'd bought UAL last week, except I really don't touch airlines) To my conservative friends, I offer this as advice. To my Progressive friends, I tell them this to piss them off.

Anonymous said...

$12,000.00 hearing aids for me, courtesy of the V.A. I promise they work as well as the $2,000 ones after working on jet aircraft for 30+ years.

For those of us in eastern New Mexico (Clovis), the "pop up" storms are less frequent but no less disconcerting.

As for Clan Mac...I'd rather save a little money by making my own so I can afford a little bit better internet here.

...and on the coal-fired computer. Is it grandfathered in, or subject to regulatory control by the EPA? Perhaps POTUS can address that.

Glenn sends...

Shelly said...

Stilton, you might want to try Time Warner (now Spectrum). I have the bundled service of internet, TV and phone and for the most part have been very satisfied with them. Just last week I noticed by DVR was not recording my scheduled programs and I could not access the program guide, etc. I initiated chat on their website and was able to fix the problem without a service call in a matter of minutes. I live in your area so it should be available.

I also suffer from tinnitus. Like most people, I can tune it out unless I'm thinking about it like right now but at night when all is quiet and I'm ready to go to sleep, it is deafening.

Stress: At the age of 70, I am buying a house, remodeling said house and moving, three of the most stressful things you can do. It seems my apartment owners have turned into the Gestapo with fines and penalties, not to mention continuing to price me out. I can't afford to stay here. I considered all the options and purchasing the house was the only answer. Luckily I found one in my desired neighborhood, across the street from the daughter to boot. I'll be cutting my monthly expenditures by about $500. Worth it.

Pete (Detroit) said...

Agreed, Stilt - a sky of boiling pea soup is a gut clencher...

Colby Muenster said...

Comcast, Time Warner, Frontier, AT&T.... they all suck at some point. We have Time Warner, and it's pretty darn good until about 3-4 days before the bill is due, then it's down to .00001 bits per fortnight, if it works at all. We have tested this theory many times in the Muenster household and are pretty sure it's accurate.

CenTexTim said...

"...Ocean sounds are nice, but not optimal listening at night for people with 64 year old prostates."

Stilton - my prostate turned 65 this year. If you think you've got stress now, wait until you sign up your gland (and everything else) for Medicare. Better get more than one hogshead.

TMay said...

Regarding nuclear war:
"Four warships Donald Trump claimed were being sent to North Korea last week, were in fact steaming in the opposite direction to take part in military exercises with the Australian Navy over 3,500 miles away. The USS Carl Vinson ..."
Turns out that Pres Trump was faking it and continuing to build his reputation of being "unpredictable".

Geoff King said...

Regarding Tinnitus, which I also have, I have found - after extensive internet search - that if you cover your affected ear with one hand and then drum directly behind that ear with the other hand,it will significantly reduce the background buzz.

Paul D Garber said...

I almost fell asleep listening to only 30 seconds of the vacuous cleaner noise (a throwback to my toddler days I guess). Anyway congratulations on kicking Frontier in the backside to get them to fix things for you. Don't feel too bad, I fell for the same sales pitch from AT&T U-verse for their super duper internet speed upgrade. After paying an exorbitant amount to get this new modem upgrade (& having to change all wireless connection internet accesses)not only was it SLOWER than what I had, it dropped connections much more frequently and the signal was not as good as what I had previously causing many devices (that had worked) to stop working. I feel your frustration & I cured mine by getting an new Internet provider (Including phone service) for a ton less money.

Rod said...

@ Geoff King. Many thanks; that technique does seem to help. Never heard of it so thanks for posting. I hope it doesn't get to "Drum with a ball bat" stage.

I have it worse in one ear. When that ear is down (laying on my side) Tinnitus can really get going. Turning over to put the cicadas on top often shuts it down for a while. Maybe it's just the turning, but sometimes it works quite a long while.

So far I think background music or white noise is a good solution. And when my wife is around & talking, Tinnitus becomes negligible. [grin]

Youngsters: Use hearing protection for loud &/or high frequency sound. Start now.

Colby Muenster said...

You can't really tell because not everyone has a blog photo, but it seems everybody on this blog is a geezer except Cookie. Prostate this, tinnitus that... Medicare and Social (in)Security.... crimony!

Of course, I'll also admit that I also have $5k worth of electronics in my ears and Harry Truman was president when I was born.

And I'll second what Rod said. I spent about 15 years playing my bass through an amp taller than me, playing rock and roll on weekends in bars in Wyoming for drunken cowboys. Now my oldest grandson has a similar rig in the trunk of his Jetta. I can hear him coming blocks away. I try to tell the little dumbass how friggin stupid that is, but he just laughs. He best start saving money now; hearing aids will be $20k by the time he needs them (when he's 40).

jlw said...

now your computer's broken? if only you hadn't said all those bad things about hillary.

did you try moving it to the bathroom?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers - The fun never stops. My computer died this morning in a "not ever coming back" way. I've ordered a replacement (ironically an older used computer because me favorite programs won't run on current systems). It's going to take me a few days to get up and running (or limping) again. I've got backup, but I'm about to find out how good it is or isn't.

Probably nothing new here till next Wednesday. Dammit.

Joseph ET said...

A few months after my discharge from the Army I filed a claim with the VA for hearing loss and tinnitus. (I first served in field artillery and then on a flight line and we were not able to get any ear protection even after it being requested.) The first thing they asked is what treatment have I been receiving? Then I had to explain that all the Doctors that I’ve been to tell me that the is no treatment. Anyway, this was in 1968 and they told me that they didn’t cover tinnitus as a disability and they gave me zero percent disability for the hearing loss because I was able to hear speech. Over the years I reapplied on and off and always got the same result. In 2006 I was told by a co-worker that tinnitus is now covered as a disability and I should reapply. I now have a ten percent disability for tinnitus. Still zero for hearing loss even though they provided hearing aids. I have always felt that the Doctors at the VA are told to sandbag our disabilities to save money. I’m told that when the VA first started to cover tinnitus they gave 10 percent for each ear, but later decided that tinnitus was really in the head and made the disability 10 percent period. BTW with VA math a 10 percent disability for each ear would be a total of 19 percent disability. It works like this. 10 percent leaves 90 percent therefore the next 10 percent would be taken out of the 90 percent left making it worth 9 percent. Dealing with the VA is always difficult because it is set up as an adversary system and most of us are looked upon as malingerers.

Fred Ciampi said...

Joseph ET, I got out in '63 and went through the same caca as you. In 2014 I met a VA advocate who helped me reapply. I now have a 30% disability and they provided me with $7,000 hearing aids which will be replaced with $8,000 aids in August. Find a VA advocate in your area. Good luck. BTW, my advocate recently told me that the vertigo that I suffer from is caused by hearing loss/tinnitus. I have just applied for additional benefits for that. Yay for advocates.

Joseph ET said...

Fred
Thanks, I went through an VA advocate after I got the 10 percent and he was able to get me some retro pay on that. The VA advocates are a good and hard working bunch. I tried the hearing aids at my work place and found that they only make EVERYTHING louder including all the machine noise. I worked repairing sorting machines. In the office area I could hear sound bouncing off the walls. And at my age, I'm tired of fighting the VA. Even at home with the aids I don't hear people when they are facing away from me or when talking or with their hand in front of their mouths. I've gotten used to the buzzing but occasionally I get very loud bells going off. That's hard to take. Oh well! That's life.
I'm doing okay. ☺

jlw said...

@ Fred Ciampi and Joseph ET

after this mornings first discussions of tinnitus i recalled that my brother (USMC '66-'70 Viet Nam vet) had 10% hearing loss from artillery. was told no payments. i emailed him to tell him to reapply as i see no harm in asking and i did read on the VA site that if a disability increases, you should reapply.

other than a VA advocate (which i had never heard of) do either of you -or anyone else for that matter- have any ideas as to how to increase possibility of getting some payments or easing the amount of hoop jumping that will be involved?

Fred Ciampi said...

jlw, only the advocate. Got to find the right one. It's like trying to find the right spouse. (#3 worked for me, 43 years now). I do know that President Trump is working to get better deals for us. I know for sure because some of the folks down at the VA who are real assholes are pissed. They will now have to do the work for which the are getting paid. Just don't give up. A good part of not giving up is that disability payments are retroactive from when you first filed/applied. Took me two years and that first check made it worthwhile.

jlw said...

Fred, thanks. and give my best to #3

jlw said...

Fred, when you refer to VA Advocate are referring to the lawyers at "The National Organization of Veterans' Advocates, Inc. (NOVA)" or "the Patient Advocate at your VA Medical Center" or something else that i haven't yet found?

Joseph ET said...

jlw
The VA Advocate I had was with the DAV. You can find your local office here: https://www.dav.org/veterans/find-your-local-office/
Save all documents FOREVER. I found that one of my exams that I was sent to Reno for the VA had asked the examiner about my tinnitus, but he never questioned me about it nor mentioned it in his report. That fact helped getting the retro pay. Note: The VA often takes up to a year to respond to claims and each appeal.

Fred Ciampi said...

jlw & Joseph, the advocate either at the VA Hospital or a local DAV office. The ones who have helped me the most were the local offices. You have to keep sniffing around and asking 'stupid' questions. And, on those rare occasions that someone tells me that's a stupid question I just respond with "I suppose that means you don't know the answer". It pisses them off and gives me satisfaction. We all collectively have earned that right by putting our lives and futures on the line for our country. Semper Fi!!!!!!!!!!!

jlw said...

thanks to you both. i used to be a big DAV donor, but they quit taking my money and wanted my estate. i'll point my brother in their direction and also see if DAV will settle for more money and not estate planning.

thanks again to you both

jlw

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- Despite my computer-impaired status, I've got to express my amusement and pleasure that this rant of mine has turned into a much-commented on topic! So many "geezers" (as someone noted) comparing stories about tinnitus, hearing aids, prostates, and the VA. That last topic is especially dear to my heart, because nothing pleases me more than having vets here. I am not blowing smoke when I say I am humbled and honored just to play host.

I'll admit to feeling martyred much of the day over the computer nonsense, until I stopped to count my blessings and appreciate the fact that if I have "first world problems," then I don't have much in the way of problems. And I DO have a bunch of friends right here! So thank you, one and all, for being yourselves and being here!

Pete (Detroit) said...

Glad to have a place to come to, Stilt.
Also nice to know that my 54 yr old prostate / tinnitus issues are NOTHING to bitch about - a mild buzzing that's usually easy enough to ignore, rarely keeps me up at night.
The tinnitus, on the other hand...
>ba-dum ching<

Anyway, sorry the EPA revoked the coal fired computer, but seeing as there's a 'newer post' tag, hopefully it's all fixed?

John the Econ said...

Tinnitus: Have had it my entire life, although I didn't realize that this was an "affliction" until well into adulthood. Just thought it was the "normal" noise my brain made. Unfortunately, the incessant ringing usually isn't loud enough to mask the insanity constantly surrounding me.

Broken Computers: Arrrgh! Now I know how millennials felt when Jon Stewart quit. Until Busty or Lucy return, I just won't know what to think anymore. But as @Stilton points out, it's definitely a "first world problem". We're blessed just being born into this country.

@Joseph ET & "VA Math": Get ready folks. This is our future.

Speaking of Blessed: As a non-veteran, let me sincerely thank those of you here that are. I feel privileged, not just to be an American, but just being in your presence.