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Doctor Bell

Doctor Bell

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Doctor Bell

111 pages
1 hour
Apr 6, 2017




Doctor Bell is an optimist. An optimist determined to try anything to develop a miracle cure for tinnitus. An optimist with no medical training, morals, or HR department.


Bell's studies promise more than shivers and fear of bathtubs, but the soft caress of terror that comes from unhinged experiments with unexpected consequences.


Join Bell and his sidekick Baldy through this book's pages as they ignore science, safety, and setbacks while Doctor Bell attempts to find a cure and steal the title of best tinnitus researcher ever.

Apr 6, 2017

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Doctor Bell - Jan Mayes



tinnitus \\ \\

currently incurable condition of the ear(s) in millions of people who hear a noise or sound sensation when there is no outside sound source

terror \ter.ror\

extreme fear

a person that causes extreme fear

tales \tales\

a recital of events told as a long story of woe

psychopath \psy.cho.path\

a person with a personality disorder characterized by amoral behaviour, lack of empathy or remorse, boastfulness, extreme self-centredness, and failure to learn from experience

study \stud.dy\

a piece of work done for practice or as an experiment


Study 1: Desensitization

Tears slipped glossy down Drew’s cheeks. But everyone has told me nothing can be done. You just have to learn to live with it. Learn to cope.

Nonsense! said Dr. Bell. Currently, I am doing a study investigating a cure for tinnitus. It will be revolutionary research. Very optimistic.

Can I be in it? asked Drew.

I am very selective about my Subjects. He looked at her documents. Flipping through the large file. You would have to give informed consent. Maintain total confidentiality regarding my research. Consider yourself cautioned. Legally speaking. And so on.

No problem.

He nodded his head thoughtfully. I think you might work out for it.

Drew smiled widely. What’s involved?

Dr. Bell smiled back. The most current research definitely shows that the amygdala, in the brain, and the auditory system, in the brain, are entwined. Interconnected. Fear plus hearing. All together in one package. And that is what happens with tinnitus. Causes the fight-or-flight response.

Uh huh, said Drew.

Systematic desensitization therapy has been used since 1947. Psychology types invented it. But it is I, James G. L. Bell, who is maximizing its use to the fullest extent. In my current research study, I am examining Sound Desensitization. Eliminate the fight-or-flight response through progressive exposure.

How does that work?

Have you ever heard of treatment to help people stop being afraid of flying? asked Dr. Bell. They gradually get exposed to airports and being up in the air. Avoidance is not the answer.

Drew nodded.

He went on, This is the same type of thing except with sound. Fight sound by incremental exposure to sound. Now, everyone talks about using pleasant sound. Calming sound. That is utter balderdash. Never cured tinnitus yet. I believe I have found a completely new type of sound that will blow tinnitus to smithereens.

What’s it called again? asked Drew.

Sound Desensitization.

I’ve never heard of it, said Drew. And I do a lot of reading and research about tinnitus. Mostly on-line.

Well, as I just informed you, I have developed it based on poorly utilized historical methods. The old become new again, thanks to my keen intellect, high level analysis, and detailed interpretations.

She slapped a hand on the old textbook sitting on the desk between them. A ray of sunshine illuminated a small puff of dust, but she didn’t notice. So that’s why you’ve got all these real books. They’re not out of date?

He rolled his eyes. Not literally. Figuratively. He couldn’t have the Subject see any rolling eyes. Of course not. Leave the science to me.

What would I have to do?

Dr. Bell leaned forward. Listen to ten sounds. Tell me what you think of them.

That’s it?



Afterwards, I would provide you with an audio file for the most desensitizing sound, said Dr. Bell. You would have to listen to it for six hours a day. Then move up to twelve. Then twenty-four hours. For three months. Consistently. Conscientiously. At that point…tinnitus gone.

It could really fix my tinnitus? asked Drew.

Dr. Bell looked serious. I cannot make any guarantees, of course, but if it works? The thought of it leaves me speechless.

There was a long silence. Or as silent as it could get for Drew.

So do you want to participate in my study? asked Dr. Bell. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Drew nodded. I’ll do it. What did she have to lose?

On the day of her appointment, Drew signed a mass of documents and fidgeted in the waiting room. It was in an old Victorian style house that looked like it had been renovated into office space. There was the faint smell of paint and bacon in the air.

A tall bald man arrived to take her to the testing area. Leading her downstairs into the basement. There was only one sound booth. Drew guessed it was probably really heavy. So it had to be in the basement.

There was a row of black wetsuits hanging on wall hooks. The man motioned to one in the middle. Put that on. I guessed size medium, he said, with a wink of his strikingly green eye.

Total creep. Despite his pretty eyes.

I don’t think so, said Drew.

Dr. Bell came down the stairs. Is there a problem?

I don’t understand why I have to wear a wetsuit.

You agreed to participate in this study, said Dr. Bell. You must wear the appropriate protective gear.

Baldy waggled his eyebrows, and handed the wetsuit to Drew. She sighed. Now she knew why they had asked her to wear form fitting clothes. He helped her get into it. Even the gloves and boots. She hated that it did fit.

Dr. Bell motioned towards the open booth door. As Drew stepped over the sill, she hesitated. Instead of the usual carpet, the floor looked like easy clean linoleum, and there was a drainage hole underneath the chair. She felt a push in the small of her back, sending her stumbling to the seat.

Baldy tucked her black hair up underneath a flowery pink swimming cap, taking care it fit properly across her forehead and behind her ears. He rolled the foam tips between his fingers, and fit the ear inserts into each ear. Wires from the inserts led from her ears to plugs underneath the window to the control side of the booth. She could see Dr. Bell getting himself organized.

Before she realized what was happening, Baldy had strapped her arms and legs to the chair so she couldn’t get up. She tried to rock the chair, but the legs were bolted to the floor.

Baldy smiled. Good luck. He winked again.

Drew could feel her heart beating faster, and her stomach was doing flip flops. What did I get myself into?

Dr. Bell’s voice came through the inserts. So as I explained before, you are simply going to listen to ten sounds. I need you to tell me what you think of them. In that way, we can choose which will be most effective for your desensitization.

What if I hate them?

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