When Sound Hurts


There was just a super loud THUD from the condo above us.

It was probably one of the kids jumping off the couch…again.

It hurt. It went from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.

This is a common occurrence, though this was probably the loudest ever. I know that kids make noise and that the sound proofing in here is not the best; however when it hurts it is harder to take.

I am not saying it hurts my ears, sound can send pain through my entire body either in one big rush or in waves. Not all sounds do this and the same sound that hurt yesterday may be fine today. It depends on how my body is processing pain at any given time.

I absolutely love music of all kinds. I have to say that blues is my favorite. It can get pretty loud and I can usually take it, depending on whether or not I am in a fibromyalgia or sciatica flare. I have a set of CDs with relaxing classical music. Normally they are just that – relaxing. And other times they sound like fingernails on a chalkboard!

There is a condition, called Hyperacusis, which can cause even the sound of walking through Autumn leaves to be excruciating. But I do not have that (fortunately). For me, it seems, to be totally connected to the chronic pain I have thanks to Fibromyalgia, a couple of fractures in my lumbar, arthritis, etc. I have read studies and talked to other people with these conditions and it seems to be a normal side-effect.

White noise, such as fans are great for drowning out other sounds. However, if I am trying to listen to another person talking or hear the TV/music, fans become a harsh distraction.

My mind is so attuned to managing pain that it can’t process too many other tasks at the same time.

This can be true for thinking, remembering, talking, even walking. The more pain my brain is trying to manage at one time, the less attention it can give to normal everyday tasks.

So, when it is a rainy day and the kids upstairs are restless, I usually retreat to the other end of the house (where a wonderful friend lives above us and makes very little noise) to watch TV, read or just rest in my recliner.



10 Replies to “When Sound Hurts”

    1. Well, we are actually in the process of trying to sell our condo and buy a townhouse where there is only one neighbour to left of us. But it isn’t that really, it can be any noise of any kind that triggers the pain flare. The noise upstairs was just an example! 🙂


  1. Thank you for sharing Lydia… I feel blessed to be in such good health when I read posts like this. I’m sending you my warmest thoughts to have a smooth beginning of this new week…. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lydia, you reminded me of a our ground floor apartment in college. We heard noise as well, then a leak in the bathroom ceiling. The culprits were kids upstairs skating in the bathtub. Sorry for the noise. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, Daisy, it is all part of the lovely package I have been given called chronic illness. I look at it that I have been given these challenges to strengthen me and give me the knowledge to help others. That is why I write about these experiences here in my blog. It is not to complain or get sympathy (and I think you probably know that 😉 ). It is in case just one person reads it and it helps them in even a small way. Like maybe next week you will come along side someone who will wince at a fairly normal sound and you can say “Oh, do you suffer from chronic pain or Hyperacusis?” 🙂 This type of thinking is what keeps me going.

      Liked by 1 person

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