March 21, 2016


Cicadas in my Head: Tinnitus By Lisa Kunkleman

As a teenager, walking around the massive arena parking lots after rocking to Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, or Grand Funk Railroad, still floating on excitement from seeing a favorite band, I remember saying, “My ears are ringing so loud, I can hardly hear.”

“Mine too,” my friends always agreed. “That’s crazy. You sound like you’re in a box. I have to lip read.”

I hate to be a worry wart or Debbie Downer but when I watch people jamming with their earbuds in, if I can hear what they’re listening to, I have to bite my tongue not to mother them. I hope we don’t have a whole generation with ringing ears. It’s called tinnitus, but I call it “cicadas in the head.”

That temporary, amusing feeling in youth lost its hilarity long ago with the constant teapot whistling and whirring in my ears. It’s like having a head full of cicadas buzzing away. Incessant sounds I can often ignore during busy daytime hours but at nighttime, the swamp inside my head comes alive.

Opening our bedroom window adds additional critters and harmony to the bug songs. I pretend the highway sounds are ocean waves and passing motorcycles are jet skis. With my nights filled with oceans, lakes, and swamps, I lie back and attempt ride the sound-waves to dreamland.

3 thoughts on “Cicadas in my Head: Tinnitus By Lisa Kunkleman

  1. I feel the same way, Lisa, when I see and hear people blasting music while wearing the earbuds. Overall, my hearing is still okay, but I do have more difficulty on the phone. If we only knew then…

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