Today I wanted share some of my favorite tools for helping to deal with my misophonia trig gers. For a while, I thought I had lost one of them, but found it right before I left on my trip... My Jabra Rhythm noise cancelling headphones! (See the black headphones next to a set of my earplugs in the photo to the left.) What's funny is that I originally purchased those headphones from a Verizon Wireless store near where I work because I damaged one of the wires in my old cell phone hands-free set, which I used all the time to have phone conversations with my very close, but physically long distance, friends. I told the salesperson that I needed a good new set of headphones because I frequently damage the wires on all my past headphones (I haven't found a Bluetooth wireless set that feels comfortable to me yet and has good sound.) He suggested the Jabra Rhythm because of it's noise cancelling capabilities. I love it for so much more (and not just because I seem to recall they didn't cost much more than $35 at the time...)
The device has three sizes of paper thin rubber sheaths to put on top of the speaker portion so the person can use the one that fits most comfortably in their ear. The solid portion is barely bigger than that metal screen disk at the top earpiece in the picture. (There's actually an air cavity between that disk and the outer rubber surface, so it squishes down to less than half of the diameter of one of those earplugs. They are the most comfortable earbuds I've *EVER* found and the salesperson wasn't kidding when he said they were noise-cancelling. I wear them at work all the time to block out the multitudes of misophonia triggers surrounding me and I swear... I don't hear anything outside my music! Sometimes even when my phone rings - which is only a couple of inches away from my computer monitor. (That only happens when I listen to a song very loudly because the triggers at that moment were loud or frequent.) It also has great sound clarity for my cell phone conversations too. Even the people on the other end say they can hear me very clearly through the earbud microphone.
So, when I misplaced those headphones, I tried to use one of my old, non-microphoned, earbuds from an old music-only device. It made me realized how spoiled I've been with those little Jabra gems... I couldn't get the old, solid plastic, music-only earbuds to sit right in my ears. They were extremely uncomfortable and kept slipping out too. They didn't even block any of the trigger sounds at work, probably because they didn't sit well in my ears to begin with. Let's just say that those first few weeks of the New Year were very frustrating ones to me. I even went back to my foam ear plugs (the version in the photo is the only type that I like for it's comfort and noise cancelling ability) because if I can't have music as my background "white noise," no sound at all is better than having to deal with the open office triggers surrounding me.
Right before I left for this conference though, I started to clean my car out a bit so there'd be nothi. I was thrilled to find my little Jabra headset in the shadows right underneath the front edge of my driver's seat. It must've fallen out of my purse pocket. What a relief to find them again. It sure made the long hours on the plane much more enjoyable.