Liz - Navigating Misophonia as a Work-From-Home Mom

S1 E23 - 4/15/2020
The podcast features Adeel's conversation with Liz, a mom working from home, who shares her experiences with Misophonia, tinnitus, and parenting a child with autism. Liz discusses the benefits of working from home, especially in managing her Misophonia, and the challenges she faces with daily triggers like loud eating noises and voices. Discovering Misophonia through a colleague, she pursued therapy focusing on flexibility and boundary-setting. The episode also touches on Liz's coping mechanisms like music, finding comfort in controlled sound environments, and her interactions with family and colleagues who are understanding of her condition. Liz offers insights on managing Misophonia in various social settings, emphasizing the importance of accommodation and self-awareness.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia podcast. This is episode 23. My name is Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This week, I'm bringing a conversation with Liz, a mom who works from home, who suffers from Misophonia and tinnitus, and also cares for a child with autism. Now, even though she works from home, this interview was recorded a few months before this whole coronavirus pandemic hit. But we do actually talk about working from home and some tips and problems for misophonia sufferers. Hey, I hope you're doing all right stuck inside alone or with others, hoping you're finding ways to stay sane and connected. Let me know how you're doing. You can email me at hello at If you send me a mailing address, I'd be happy to send stickers out anywhere in the world. Connect with us. Instagram and Facebook, we're at Misophonia Podcast or on Twitter at Misophonia Show. And for now, here we go. This is my conversation with Liz. I want to say, Liz, welcome to the podcast.

Liz [1:08]: Thanks. Thanks for having me.

Adeel [1:10]: Cool. Yeah, so I guess what I usually start off with is just kind of like, you know, a little bit about you, like where you're located, what do you do for work, that kind of stuff.

Liz [1:22]: Sure. I am in Kansas City, Missouri, and I work through a pharmaceutical company doing contract and budget negotiations between pharmaceutical companies, and doctors that perform clinical trials.

Adeel [1:39]: So you do contract negotiations. Are you in an office environment? How does it work?

Liz [1:47]: Yeah, I work 100% from home, so it's kind of nice. Excellent. It really helps with a lot of the noise issues, actually, because that's where the majority of the time I think it triggers me the most. So being in a controlled work at home environment suits me well.

Adeel [2:06]: Did you kind of evolve to that after like years maybe of hell or was it something that you kind of looked into?

Liz [2:13]: Yeah, you definitely have to pay your dues and prove that you're capable enough or at least that used to be the way. I don't know that it necessarily is anymore. I feel like more and more companies are moving towards this model just for, you know, save them the bottom line. Um, and it's easier for their employees, kind of like a nice little perk for them that they don't have to, they actually save money to offer. So, um, but back when I first started, uh, yeah, you had to pay your dues to show that you're the reliable person that can work from home.

Adeel [2:48]: That you're not going to take naps all day. What kind of tools do you use? Do you use Zoom? I'm curious if they've given you anything, set you up with anything that's particularly useful for working from home.

Liz [3:03]: I mean, really, we rely heavily on Skype and other Microsoft clients. It's a pretty large company, and so they stick to the basics. They're not going to try out new tools.

Adeel [3:17]: Kind of hip. Right. Hip stuff. Yeah. So have you been at this company for a long time?

Liz [3:22]: I actually haven't. It's only been about two years that I've worked here. And then previously I worked in a Kansas City located pharmaceutical, what they call a CRO, which is kind of like a third party that does the same job, but for several sponsors. So that was an in-office job that I used to hold.

Adeel [3:42]: Gotcha. And how was that?

Liz [3:46]: I mean, I had ups and downs. It was never fun because I can't stand driving in traffic. So cutting that out automatically.

Adeel [3:58]: Yeah, it is. It's the one time where you were kind of like by yourself, unless you're carpooling. But yeah, it's just a taxing on the mind.

Liz [4:06]: It is. And you know, I love to sing. And so, of course, you know, it's kind of good music. Oh, perfect. Sing your heart out on everything. Yeah.

Adeel [4:16]: Cool. Okay. Yeah, no, commuting can suck. So, yeah, it's great to work when we get that extra time. And obviously, if you've got kids, it's a lot easier to run errands and pick them up from emergency injuries and whatnot.

Liz [4:29]: Well, and that's one definite benefit to working from home is that today, for example, is a snow day and my kids are at home. But if I have a meeting or, you know, doing something like this, I can just shut the door and they're old enough. They can just kind of... take care of themselves, keep themselves busy. And I don't have to find daycare or, you know, somebody to watch them. So it's got a lot of perks for sure.

Adeel [4:55]: And, uh, okay. Yeah. So, um, yeah, cause so how, so you, yeah, you're in a good place now. Um, but how, so let's, let's go back to like early, early Liz days. Uh, what, uh, when did it all start for you?

Liz [5:10]: You know, when I saw that question, it was really hard for me to nail it down because I don't specifically remember when it started bothering me. But I can tell you that I do recall being a preteen or a teenager and hearing my friends just stomping their food with their mouths open. And it just it was. not just disgusting from like a sound perspective, but just, you know, did your mother not teach you manners? So I don't know if that all kind of blends in together, but that was when I really noticed that it was something that bothered me on a larger level than my peers, I suppose.

Adeel [5:48]: And it was mainly your friends, roughly your friends that were triggering you or was it not?

Liz [5:53]: Friends and some family members, of course, because that's the people that you eat with the most. Yeah. you know, one in particular that you're always, you can probably always pinpoint. That's the one that I'll get it. But, um, but yeah, I, it was, I mean, it was everywhere. Even if I was at a restaurant, if I could hear people doing it, it just always, even to this day, if I can, I can tell when someone is eating an apple or, or chips or whatever the case may, you can like hear that distinct sound, that distinct crunch or crisp or whatever. Um,

Adeel [6:24]: Right. It just takes over your, uh, whatever sensors are going to your ear. Um, and, and okay. Yeah. I mean, preteen is very common from, from what I, from, you know, from, from talking to folks. Um, what, um, so how was your reaction? Was it, uh, cringing, closing your ears, uh, jumping on the table, you know, screaming or, or do you remember what that was or, or kind of bottling it up?

Liz [6:49]: Yeah. I've always called it like my itchy sweater.

Adeel [6:51]: So, um,

Liz [6:54]: it's kind of the thing that you can't take off and it's just driving you nuts, but you're, you're sitting there trying to be pleasant. And, and I don't, I don't know if some of this has to do with culture or if I, because I'm a female. And so we kind of are, you know, proper or whatever. Yeah. Yeah, we're kind of trained to just be polite and go with the flow. So it's always been the way that I've worded it to my therapist is that these are the things that are my itchy sweater, and that's definitely one of them. And so the reactions that I typically get is I just feel very uncomfortable. All of a sudden, I get very grumpy, and I'm normally a pretty pleasant person. And so I do the thing where I... met up on this where it's called fleeing or something to that effect. And so that's kind of like having that desire to flee the situation. That's totally me.

Adeel [7:51]: Yeah.

Liz [7:51]: Yes. I will just get up and walk away if it's to the point where I can't take it any longer. So those are mine.

Adeel [7:56]: That's for everyone. Yeah.

Liz [7:58]: Yeah, it is. For sure.

Adeel [8:01]: And so did, and that, uh, yeah, I mean, always, again, super common, like the eating stuff. And did that, um, so did that sort of affect school at all when you were on preteen high school?

Liz [8:14]: So the only thing that I can think of that affected school-wise is there's this people that... And I don't know if this... Because I'll be honest, I don't know a lot of how this blends into other aspects of life, but... Things that would bother me sound wise would be like people tapping their feet or their pencil over and over. And that would be it's distracting to me. So that is one thing that I would say was probably the only thing that really affected my schooling would be just if I was taking a test and somebody was chewing gum or tapping the pencil repetitively because repetitive noises really drive me crazy. But that was a huge distraction.

Adeel [8:59]: And potentially, like, yeah, just make you have to, you know, work harder on that test, I guess, to do well. Did it start to affect grades at all?

Liz [9:10]: Yeah. I don't know if it affected my grades necessarily, but it definitely made it more challenging for me to focus. And so, you know, potentially, yeah. Because if you're not focused, then you're not getting your best results.

Adeel [9:25]: Yeah. So, and how about socially? Like, you know, friends, friends, were you, you know, obviously you're bottling things up a little bit, but were you confiding in anybody at the time or telling anybody?

Liz [9:38]: No. I didn't even know this was a thing until probably two years ago when I met somebody that had the exact same reaction as I do.

Adeel [9:48]: When did you meet that person?

Liz [9:51]: Through work, actually, through my new job, current job, I should say. And her and I became friends, and we found all these things that we had in common, and this happened to be one that we had very much in common. And she's the one that said, well, there's an actual name for that. And so then I started talking with my therapist about it, and that's how I kind of found out that's what I had.

Adeel [10:11]: Gotcha. And had your therapist heard about it? Yes. Oh, wow. Okay, cool. That's pretty good. Yeah. I mean, there's been a lot of awareness that's been spreading the past couple of years. So that's great to hear that you're meeting people at work and then your therapist hasn't even heard about it because it's still not common in the medical and therapy community, unfortunately. And did your friend or your therapist, did they have like some coping mechanisms that they suggested?

Liz [10:45]: So my therapist, we focus a lot on, because I also have OCPD, so obsessive personality disorder. And so we focus a lot on me trying to like be more flexible with things. And so with this, that's one of the things that he's trying to help me become a little bit more flexible and also setting up boundaries with people. So if people are chewing with their mouth open, it's okay for me to be upset about that because it's an upsetting thing. And so giving me permission to say, hey, do you mind chewing with your mouth closed and not feel bad about actually using those words, which is kind of a funny thing. But just having a permission from a third party just makes it.

Adeel [11:27]: Yeah, I can totally see that. And you used a term, and I was going to say, also thinking about, for example, in an eating situation, just in your head knowing that it's going to be over within 30 minutes. Reminding yourself of that kind of helps, I guess, just power through. Yeah.

Liz [11:54]: Yeah, like he helps me with things like, you know, is this something that is going to affect my mood tomorrow, five hours from now, you know, five minutes from now? And then that kind of helps get a grasp of the severity of the situation and if it deserves your energy based on doing that kind of thought process of like, how long is this actually going to affect my life? Is it worth that energy?

Adeel [12:18]: Yeah, and has that kind of helped deal with situations a little bit better?

Liz [12:25]: It does as far as my reaction to it. I don't think it helps. I still get the same itchy sweater kind of feeling. At least I'm a calmer person in a sense. My reactions don't go to the extent that they used to. I do sometimes still plug my ear, the one ear closest to the person. I haven't gotten over doing that, but at least I feel like I'm a little bit more content, a little bit more pleasant to be around during those situations.

Adeel [12:57]: And do you get any, what kind of reactions do you get from people who are closest to that ear? Do they look at you like, what the?

Liz [13:07]: Yeah, I mean, of course, if somebody knows that I have it or not, like my family, they're 100% used to it. My husband, my kids, they know. And they're pretty sympathetic toward it, especially since the more research you do, you find like that's just not anything you can really help. You're being purposefully mean or, you know, indignant toward the other person. It's just something that is a part of who you are. So they're very understanding. But yeah, if you have a stranger that has no idea that you have this and you see that, you know, they've seen you put my finger in my ear. They're like, what is this?

Adeel [13:41]: yeah like why am i eating this freak and what am i how do we get out of here when they think there's like a loud noise that they're just not privy to yeah right right am i deaf what's going on i don't know oh that okay um cool okay well that's that's uh that's interesting and um and does your fans your immediate family trigger you like your kids your your husband or um

Liz [14:07]: well i guess they do in general but no other i mean okay gotcha yeah i mean any i'm going to be honest with you if anybody's eating chips or cereal cereal is another one i cannot handle yeah yeah i mean the crunching and the slurping of the milk it's just like game over um is it an apple those are like my three big ones that just bother me and those happen to be like my family's like three favorite things to eat so yeah i mean of course they you know i would say i'm triggered on a daily basis but I get to walk away and they know that it's not any offense toward them or I stare a little further away from whomever or whatever the case may be.

Adeel [14:44]: So you try to sit there, but yeah. Okay. Yeah. No, that's, that's a, it seems like, uh, it seems like there's a mutual understanding there. And honestly, if they, if your family wasn't eating apples, they'd probably getting sick and then you get got to deal with all the sniffles and the stuff. So it's a pick your poison. Um, yeah. okay cool and um um so i guess and and have you have your triggers so it's it's those three were they always those three have have they kind of expanded i've seen i've heard you know triggers kind of like expanding over time to more people more kinds of things i would say that those are the three that are probably like the top most but definitely it's gotten worse as i've gotten older um to the point where like people's talking voices bother me

Liz [15:30]: So if I feel like they need to take a drink of water, I get really frustrated. If there's just like a sense of dryness in their voice, let's say. Or if they have a little bit too much vocal fray. There's certain things about people's voices that sometimes will drive me over the wall.

Adeel [15:52]: I think a lot of us listening know what you're talking about, yes. There's that, oh my god, there's this one character you're like, ah, just clear it. Just, you know, just clear it.

Liz [16:00]: Yeah. And I find myself, like, making the action, like, I'll clear my throat, hoping that maybe they'll subconsciously think.

Adeel [16:09]: Oh, suggestive. Yeah, yeah. Because I've heard of mimicking as also a coping mechanism. So if, like, somebody's eating that apple, you just start eating an apple even louder, and somehow that helps some people. But interesting that you're using it kind of like a Jedi mind trick kind of thing where you try to suggest that they clear their throat. That's an interesting idea, too.

Liz [16:28]: Well, there is, like, there is a social construct that, exists where you want to get if you want other people to like you you tend to mimic what they're doing and so that is kind of a it is like a psychological trick that sometimes it does just because it's that whole mob mentality of everybody you know everybody needs to be similar and So I don't know if it's scientifically proven to work, but I've noticed for me it sometimes does. It's kind of that thing like if somebody's got like, you know, eye goop in the corner of their eye and you just start rubbing your eye, they just instinct go up and kind of rub their eye. It's kind of a thought process, I guess.

Adeel [17:10]: That's really interesting. Yeah, I should try that. I'm just afraid that if they don't do it, I'll get carried away and get really loud with my experience. That's probably just on me. And then speaking of that, do visual triggers kind of trigger you? I've heard more about that recently as well.

Liz [17:30]: Like, give me an example, because I don't know what that is.

Adeel [17:32]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So let's say you can't hear somebody tapping that pencil or whatever, but you can kind of see it. Or you can see somebody eating one of your triggers, like, far away. But you know, it's not that loud to you. Does that kind of, like, the anticipation of hearing that sound bother you?

Liz [17:50]: You know, I don't think so. I think for me it is truly the sound or the movement, because I will say that, like, somebody shaking their leg repetitively is just as bad as somebody tapping their pencil repetitively.

Adeel [18:04]: Yeah, so that's part of mesokinesia. It's kind of that fear of movement. Not fear, but the sensitivity to movement, I guess. So, yeah, that is kind of part of it. Okay, so you have, you know, the suggesting people close their throat. You have a great contract with your people, your loved ones, where you can kind of like plug your ears at will or leave. Do you have any other kind of coping mechanisms like music or sounds that you listen to or stress balls you destroy?

Liz [18:36]: I do. Well, so Tara... add insult to injury i also have really bad tinnitus and so music always been a very huge part of my life i can't fall asleep without noise um because otherwise all i can focus on is the tinnitus which is a in itself a repetitive noise and so that bothers me um so music and honestly just tv i cannot i can never just sit in an absolute void of sound because that would be just as bad for me. Whereas with other people with meso, it might actually be like a sense of comfort. For me, it actually is the opposite because my tinnitus bothers me just as much as everything that I hear in the world. So it's a balance for sure.

Adeel [19:27]: yeah interesting okay and uh so yeah you'll you need some sound to kind of mask that tinnitus tone or whatever it is um and um did you have tinnitus since around the same time or was it also something that uh did it come up later that came up later i would say starting in my late 20s um and it's gone progress i mean as tinnitus does get progressively works as you get older

Liz [19:54]: I really started to notice it in my mid-30s is when it kind of hit its highest point to date into where I went to an audiologist. And they said, there's really nothing much that we can do for you because if you have a hearing aid, it's going to pick up all of the sounds that you're trying to drown out.

Adeel [20:17]: So they knew about your misophonia?

Liz [20:20]: Yeah.

Adeel [20:22]: Did they know about the misophonia before or did you tell them that you had it?

Liz [20:29]: I knew about it. I told them that I had it because this was just in like the last year I went to an audiologist for how bad it sounded. And basically it's kind of that situation of you're going to make one thing worse in the hope of making something else better. So at least with the tinnitus that like it stays at a solid sound so I can find something that can drown it out. Whereas with, with the miso, it's like, if there's somebody chewing, that's just like a, it's a start and a stop. I don't know how else to describe it. And so there's no like consistency to it. So there's no way for me to regulate it necessarily.

Adeel [21:05]: Interesting. So your tinnitus does kind of, that sound is kind of a trigger for your miso too?

Liz [21:11]: I feel like it is just because it's already taking in so much information with just the tinnitus. But when you introduce something else, it just feels like it's chaos.

Adeel [21:21]: It's just too much. So I guess, how old are your kids, by the way? I'm just curious.

Liz [21:26]: Yeah, my daughter is 11 and my son is, he just turned eight.

Adeel [21:31]: Okay. And they're not showing any signs of miso? Not that it's hereditary or anything. I'm just curious if... I go to that convention. There's always kids who just have it that are there, but then there's also sometimes discussion amongst the adults about... you know, how do you talk about it? Do you talk about it with your kids? Because we don't know if it's, you know, purely genetic or is it something that comes up in the environment. Do you want to shine a spotlight on it or do you want to kind of just not shine too much of a spotlight on it in hopes that they won't kind of pick it up? I'm just curious, have you kind of thought about this as you've dealt with this and raised your kids?

Liz [22:11]: So I have, and the main reason is because my son has autism and he also has like a sensory processing disorder, which can sort of be similar in a sense, because he's got those heightened senses and every bit of information he takes in, it can be, you know, if you, if his tags are too itchy, then that's going to set him, that's going to be the thing that triggers him and sets him off. Or if he hears a sudden burst of sound, then that triggers him. So to a certain extent, I'm like, well, gosh, is this, Is this like a precursor to a sensory processing disorder? Is this something that's like one step below it? Or is it related in some way? I mean, I've always kind of been curious about that, just in the sense that they kind of seem like they have some commonalities. And I've never done the research into it. I don't know if anybody has, but... It's just something that's kind of not at the back of my brain.

Adeel [23:04]: Yeah. I don't, I mean, I've heard that there's, they can overlap, but they also don't have to. It's like there, there isn't a, I don't, I don't think there is a one-to-one correlation by any means. But yeah, that's interesting. Yeah. That's interesting. and do you um do you guys go to uh i know so in the last few years there's been so many um like sensory processing um i don't say themed events but like uh you can go to theaters and grocery stores even where it's like uh sensory friendly um yeah and i've been thinking of like collating like getting a list of these together but um because because you can search for them and find them in various places i'm curious what are your experiences with those and not do you take your kids there yeah we've tried a couple of them and they they definitely

Liz [23:47]: they help sometimes and sometimes they make it worse. Um, and for him or for you or both for him, for me, no, I mean, I put up with whatever, just cause you know, as a mom, you know, but, um, for him, it's, it's, it's a matter of like, you know, you got to kind of weigh your options. Cause if it's, um, because the fact that most kids that have sensory are a little less, um, apt to be, um, calm 100 of the time right not that any kid is ever calm 100 of the time but there's going to be more movement and more more noises and more action that come from a child that has sensory issues a lot of the times because they have um you know other co-mingling disorders that go along with that so So it just depends because he gets really frustrated when kids yell because that bothers him. So if you have a child that's got a sensory processing disorder, but that also like has a tendency to call out and have a tick that where he yells or she yells or anything like that, then that's going to bother him. So sometimes it works out great and sometimes not so much just because then you're kind of. increasing the opportunity for him to have those triggers just from yeah so just it depends um i think that with people with me so though i don't know i have they had sensory events that are related toward people that have something such as us or is that just more

Adeel [25:23]: Specifically misophonia? No, I have not. It's just whenever I read about these, and one of the fascinating things is when you describe that, it sounds like there's got to be some overlap with miso, but I don't think that's conclusive at all. But anyways, when I read these descriptions, it just seems like, oh, okay, well, grocery night, we're going to turn the lights down. It doesn't affect us. Also, they're not going to, like, there's a grocery store nearby. They're not going to, you know, collect the carts so you don't get that big, you know, whatever and all that crap. and um i don't know what else i think they turned down like the um the beeping of all the cash registers and things like that so i feel like yeah i mean i'd be i'd go shopping there for sure um it's not specifically for me so they may not even heard of it so um but i feel like the well yeah i feel like the society is slowly uh accommodating these other like autism and i feel like we should kind of uh i don't think there's nothing specific for me so yet but you know we should just uh voice our appreciation whenever we go to these things and maybe say you know um thank you for obviously for helping my son but also did you know that you know i have this and you know that might kind of spark their creative juices too or you know we might come up with some suggestions but I feel like it might not happen like right away, but I think, yeah, society is kind of evolving to kind of make things a little bit easier for all of us. So, yeah, it's this interesting trend, the sensory friendly nights or events.

Liz [26:54]: Well, yeah. And I mean, it's all about advocating for yourself, right? I mean, if you have some sort of a condition that causes you discomfort, you know, it's The only way you know if somebody is going to accommodate is if you speak up and say something. Otherwise, you know, the lack of knowing, you know, ignorance about this particular disorder is going to mean that nobody is going to make accommodations because they just don't know it exists. Which, I mean, really, it's not something widely known. It's not a common thing for people to discuss.

Adeel [27:26]: Yeah. And so how did you bring it up with your now husband? Was it something you talked about before you got married? Or was it like you sprung it on him after everything was signed and everything?

Liz [27:42]: No, I'm pretty much an open book. So he knew. He knew why things bothered me. which especially when it came to like eating, he could see, I think he, I think he was just perceptive to it and it could be that I was bothered by, you know, what at the time I just kind of correlated with manners too. Now it's kind of more has a name to it, but, um, he was just really just understanding about it. He never, he's a pretty easygoing guy. He never really has any, any, uh, bad things to say about it. So.

Adeel [28:17]: Yeah, cool. Yeah. And did it affect other friendships? And I guess we talked about kind of earlier on, I'm wondering college 20s as you're kind of like. Becoming independent into the world, did it kind of affect, I don't know, early jobs or opportunities or relationships and things like that in those kind of like formative independent years?

Liz [28:40]: You know, I don't think so, but I also think subconsciously I just tend to draw towards people that have a pleasant voice. And back to that, I really just... have always honed in on the way that people speak. And so I feel like maybe I've just not put myself in a position of ever having to be triggered by other people consistently. So it could have been all subconscious or, or maybe I just am lucky. I'm not sure which, but.

Adeel [29:10]: Yeah. I'm getting self-conscious about my voice. So cool. Uh, and so other than your corca, have you met other, other misophones, uh, anywhere like online or kind of in, in person in Missouri?

Liz [29:26]: Well, the funny thing is, is after I started talking about it, I found out one of my cousins has the same thing. And that was kind of interesting. Uh, we just have never talked about it cause it wasn't something that again, I knew about, but I'm but yeah, we, so we've talked about it a couple of times. And then, like I said, my one friend that I met that has it, um, through work, her and I joke about, you know, whenever you're on conference calls, you can tell that people are like taking us, they're putting themselves on mute to eat their food. And then they unmute quite finished. And we'll, we'll crack jokes about that. Um, um, I will say I'm very happy. I'm not in an office environment so that I don't get frustrated with how loudly people might talk on the phone or, um, if they're eating masks, those kinds of things I don't miss, or the people that aggressively type on their computers.

Adeel [30:17]: Well, it's because they're so important that they have to type so hard.

Liz [30:20]: Yeah, exactly. That's literally what we think about.

Adeel [30:24]: Yeah. It's funny what we think about when we're hearing that stuff. Interesting. Okay. there's one more thing i was gonna ask okay your cousin um and i don't remember obviously um I guess. Oh, yeah. Okay. Yeah. So, well, yeah. Kind of about your cousin. So I don't know when this is going to, I've got such a backlog. This will probably be a few months before this gets edited and goes live and whatnot. But I do want to talk about just kind of holidays and stuff, you know, in between the big holidays. I'm curious, it sounds like your family is super accommodating, but, you know, have you had... Do you think about that, like your escape routes and whatnot when you're gathering with a larger family? I don't know. Any other tips that you have?

Liz [31:18]: Yeah, I don't know any tips or anything because really I'm probably not the right person. I'm just super accommodating and I'll just kind of, you know, just go with the flow. I don't tend to get... I mean, I feel like I'm triggered more in stressful situations than I am in happy situations. And so, you know, yeah. So if we're celebrating a holiday, I don't tend to be as persnickety about the noise. And plus, you know, there's a lot of people around. So the noise level in general is a lot louder. So it's going to drown out some of those things that would trigger me. So I really don't tend to have issues on the holidays. Mine are more when I'm, you know, one-on-one eating with someone or, Or if I go, you know, to like I said, the office setting would definitely be one that triggers me. Or if I'm at a restaurant and there's too many clickety-clacketys or, you know, just whatever the case is, that's more my, a more lower scale experience.

Adeel [32:14]: Very cool. Those are all great tips. Going with the flow is something I think we all need to kind of remember more. I think we all get caught up with the sounds in our heads that we kind of forget about that. So that's great that people are commenting around you generally and you're able to kind of like take a deep breath. That's very cool. And, um, are you still seeing that audiologist by the way for, uh, or are you planning to see them, uh, more or are you going to, or is that just kind of a test for your tinnitus and whatnot?

Liz [32:47]: Yeah. I mean, I'm sure I'm going to have to go back again. Uh, you know, I'm, I'm 39 now and I already found an audiologist. So I assume that the amount of times I'll have to go back over my course of my lifetime versus a normal person, uh, I'm sure it's going to be more frequent, but, uh, I assume just if I get a new pitch, cause I get, I have different pitches of tinnitus and I, anytime I get a new pitch. Yeah. It's like you get them both at the same time. So like for a while it was just one consistent pitch. And now I kind of have two that go simultaneously at the same time. One's kind of a little higher than the other. And then from what I understand, it's your brain's way of trying to make up for the lack of hearing that's specific pitch that you've lost and so that's why you get um so i just assume whenever i get a new pitch that's probably when i should go in and get tested again because that means my hearing's changed gotcha

Adeel [33:46]: This has been great, Liz. I'm glad we could hear your story. It sounds like you've had a lot of similar experiences that a lot of folks have had. But fortunately, you're surrounded by people who obviously care a little bit more than, unfortunately, some other folks. And that's great to hear. I hope that's inspiring for other folks out there who are suffering. Do you have any – a lot of people have been bottling this up for a while. Do you have any kind of like platitudes or little other kind of tips that you want to share with folks who are listening?

Liz [34:27]: Oh, gosh. You know, I did hear – this is just a fun one. For those that the repetitive noises drive you nuts. So I get earworms, and earworms drive me crazy, right? So if I hear a song – that just is playing on a loop in my head. I found this tip, and I cannot even remember where I heard it, that if you sing a small enough kind of advertisement or jingle, small enough that it can't repeat, but memorable enough that it's stuck in your head, it'll get rid of your earworm. So my family will hear me every now and again and just go, bye, Menon, because of that talent. is I just sing that out loud and then it goes away. So there you go. If you have a little jingle that you are very familiar with and you're trying to get rid of an earworm, sing it out.

Adeel [35:23]: That is an amazing tip and I appreciate that in particular because it's a Seinfeld reference as well for those who follow George Costanza. I forget which episode. Season seven, I think. But anyways, that's great. Well, yeah. Thanks again, Liz. And good luck with everything.

Liz [35:41]: Thank you. Appreciate it. Thanks for the time.

Adeel [35:44]: Thank you for listening to another episode. As always, let me know what you think. Hello at If you like what you're hearing, please leave a review on iTunes or wherever you get podcasts. It really helps people find the podcast by having it higher up in the rankings. I'm excited to start a new batch of interviews in a few weeks, which will be slowly going out over the summer. Check out the website,, for a link to be a guest. A lot of these slots have been booked, but stuff might be opening up as people maybe cancel due to scheduling issues because of the pandemic, or otherwise. Theme music this week is by Moby, and until next week, wishing you good health, peace, and quiet.

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