52 Weeks of TS: Week 43

EDITOR’S NOTE: Every Tuesday, noted Tourette Syndrome advocate Troye Evers shares his “52 Weeks of TS” blog journal with the TSParentsOnline community. With just 9 weeks remaining in this series, there’s a chance you missed one more entries from his exciting, revealing journey. You can read all of them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.

This week has been a bit of a stressful week. Now remember there is a difference between stress and anxiety. My anxiety is still at an all-time low, but we are always going to deal with the everyday stress that life brings us. I’ve been planning a big book release/signing party for my book “A Day in the Life of Tourette Syndrome.” This event is going to be a big event, with approximately 150 people, and just finalizing all the plans and making sure there are enough books for everyone is stressing me out a bit. I think the excitement of the situation is also adding to the stress factor.

It has been an interesting week looking into myself and my anxiety. I know that different medications and supplements work differently on different people, but I do have to say, I’m really believing that the fish oil has helped with the anxiety. The anxiety plagued me 24/7, but all of a sudden, it’s gone. My unwanted neighbor, anxiety, has been evicted.

I do wonder if it is the fish oil, or maybe even the waxing and waning of TS, but I’m going to go with the fish oil. I have been on quite a few medications for the anxiety, including Klonopin, for the past six years. This week I actually reached a point of wanting to cut out the Klonopin. I have been on Klonopin for the past six years, with no real relief at all.

Upping the dosage, lowering the dosage, changing the times of when I took the pill, and nothing helped. The anxiety was still there, but two weeks of taking fish oil, I miraculously notice a difference. I’m going to see my doctor next week and talk to him about getting off the Klonopin permanently, or at least for the time being.

The anxiety might be gone, but the tics and the OCD are still there.

I discussed the idea of removing the Klonopin with my acupuncturist/ herbalist at this week’s appointment. Yep, I went for my second acupuncture appointment this week. As for the acupuncture, I haven’t really noticed much of a change, but it might be something that takes a few weeks. She asked me if I thought that the acupuncture was the reason for the decrease in the anxiety, but I explained to her that I felt the levels lowering before I started with her.

She is still working on my anxiety, but her main focus is my tics. Last week we just did a few needles in my hands, chest and feet, with no avail. This week she used a lot more needles and this time there where quite a few needles in my scalp. That was a very weird sensation, but I have to say, I still feel no change.

We also spoke of the possibilities of experimenting with Chinese herbs. The only problem with this path is that some Chinese herbs contain animal byproducts’. I was not aware of this until she told me, she wanted to let me know because I am a pescetarian. A pescetarian is someone who is mostly vegetarian, but does eat fish. She wanted to know if I would still be against taking one of these herbs if it had some type of animal byproduct.

I thought about it for a second, but still concluded that it is still taking in an animal and declined the option. She did ask me about one herb, that contains seashell and if I would be all right with that. I said, “Yeah, that was fine.” I went on to think about this, is there really something in sea shells that help with tic or as they say muscle spasms? If I knew this, I would have spent my summer in Martha’s Vineyard on the beach eating shells.

Could you imagine that, seeing me sitting on the beach eating seashells? “Hey Troye, what are you doing?”, “Oh I’m feeling a bit ticcy today, so I thought I’d eat some sea shells.”

Hey, if it works I’ll try it, not actually eating the shells of course, but a Chinese herb with seashells, yeah. I mean, I’ve tried different over the counter medications, with little to no help.

Now I’ve been trying different vitamins and herbal supplements and have finally seen a difference, so I will continue this path of possible treatment. I’ve never been one who liked taking over the counter medications, so if I can cut them out of my treatment and go on a complete herbal route, I’ll be much happier.

I remember as a child I was prescribed Ritalin but I hated taking it. I would have to go to the nurse office everyday at school to take my medication. I would make it look like I took the medication, put it under my tongue and spit it out when I left her office. Once again, I’m not suggesting doing this. You should always talk to your physician before stopping any medication, but I was young at the time and didn’t know better. I wish my parents had talked to me about how I felt with the medication, I might have told them I didn’t like the way it made me feel.

Enough about medications, vitamins, and supplements, one thing that I want to talk about dealing with my TS and OCD’s is my personal space. I have discussed my issues with being touched and how I’d love to live in a bubble. This is not just an issue outside, but also inside too. I have no problem touching my husband or my cats and dogs, but when it comes to going to sleep, don’t touch me. I can’t deal with the feeling of anything touching me while in bed.

Recently my oldest dog, a Shih Tzu who is 15 years old, has started sleeping with us. Now I’m dealing with three cats, a dog, and my husband in bed with me. I spend most of the night pushing all the animals onto my husband’s side of the bed. My poor husband and animals. I know that they just want to be close to me, but it just drives me crazy and I can’t sleep. All night they wander over to my side of the bed, try to cuddle, and I just push them away. Bubble boy has to come alive :-).

Well, I am going to get ready for my book release party, and the possibility of a storm coming. I’m not too worried about the storm; by the time it reaches N.Y., they usually just turn into northing and just cause people to overreact. I hope that this is the case.

Until next week, “I’ll tic to you later.”

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