If you’ve ever had to deal with medical oddness (which is probably something like 150% of the readers here, because most of us deal with it at least twice over) and had to try to explain to the more normal folks why you just can’t do that – whatever “that” happens to be – you’ll understand the sheer relief that happens when you figure out why something is a problem.
In my case it’s rumbly bass that moves into the vibrating range. It’s given me trouble since I was an angsty teen, making me dizzy, vaguely nauseous, and leaving me feeling as though some bastard replaced my joints with rubber bands. Of course, that’s exactly what the mechanical room next door to my new workplace does to me.
At least I know the reason for the unpleasantness: turns out the damn thing is giving off infrasound in the 17 – 19 Hz range, and I get the symptoms at anything above about 25 decibels. I checked: I spent some time Monday walking around the work place with my phone in hand and the handy-dandy infrasound recorder app running while I cross-correlated my symptoms and what the recorder was showing me.
Even more entertaining, the symptoms I get are damn near identical to what happen when I have a cataplexy episode (thank you narcolepsy) – I don’t get the full paralysis effect. Instead I get to feel as though my joints came unstrung and my balance has gone to play with my coordination somewhere that probably involves tropical beaches and drinks with umbrellas in them. And most definitely does not involve me. It’s not a particularly enjoyable sensation. So of course, I freaked out.
Now that I have a solid idea what’s causing the problem, I can more or less deal with it. Better quality noise-canceling headphones are on order (damn I wish Skullcandy still made the aviator model. Those are so comfortable), and I’ve located a handful of places in the area where I don’t get the symptoms. Sadly these places are mostly conference rooms or corporate offices-to-be. At least the HR person at work is trying to find ways to work with me that count as reasonable accommodations, and she is going to get on to building management over getting dampeners on the equipment.
Now we know why they’ve had trouble leasing and keeping tenants in that particular location… And of course since it meets that odd beastie known as “code”, they’re not too keen to do more. Except of course if the balance issues have me falling over at the wrong time, the ultimate liability lands on facilities management once they’ve been notified. In theory, of course.
Meantime, I keep doing what I can and move myself to one of the places where I’m not affected for a couple of hours to ease the symptoms while still working.
I’m sure someone here can use this for “character growth” somewhere.