HolisTIC: Magnesium Citrate and Taurine

This post is dedicated to Veronica, who was sweet enough to write me a little note asking me where the heck I have been. She misses me! Hooray! I have missed this site, too. To be honest, I have been kind of a whirling dervish of house work, kids, trying to figure out employment, getting a new job, quitting because my boss was an 84-year old maniac who couldn’t stop screaming about my subject lines “Horseshxt! Superfulous Horsehixt!”, fretting over finances, attempting not to fret over finances and ultimately deciding that my priority for now is to be as present with my kids as possible given that we have a four-month summer coming up.

Yes, let me say that again. FOUR MONTHS.

Here is how I feel about that concept.

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Just kidding. It’s more like this.

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But that’s okay. I am going to make the most of it. I have finally decided to make my income by concentrating full-time on Ebay and freelance writing. Sounds like a weird mix, but it works.

Writing Clients

Blogging for a surrogacy company – GlobalIVF

Bloggin for a prescription discount company – SimpleRX

Ebay

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Here’s my store. I am figuring out the most efficient ways to list, sell and ship my items. The ultimate goal is less thrift store items and more New with Tag items purchased downtown. I figure if I buy the same item in bulk, I only have to list it once rather than taking a gazillion photos/day. Other than filling orders, I can spend my time taking care of my wee ones and working on my book marketing which leads me to my final two points:

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52 Weeks of TS: Week 41

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 11 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.

Change, change, change. I have made so many changes in my life in the past few weeks and months, but I can’t say there is much of a difference. It’s really hard to tell. I was sitting on the subway the other day thinking, and I started thinking about my anxiety. Has is calmed down? I’m not really sure, but I think it actually might have a little bit.

With all the changes, I can’t really say what has caused the slight relief of anxiety. Could it be the vitamins, the fish oil, or the fact that I left the setting of my stressful workspace? The anxiety might have calmed down a bit, but the tics and OCD’s are still there. Now I’m not saying that I’m completely stress free, and void of anxiety. It’s still there; I just feel it might have calmed down a bit. I guess for this upcoming week I’m really going to feel it out and see if it really has calmed down.

I’m actually surprised that my anxiety has not skyrocketed this week. I started my new job this week, and that’s usually not the calmest of moments, but I have to say it has been a stress free change. I have told everyone that I have TS, and I’m very comfortable with the new people in my life. It’s actually really nice to want to go to work, and not have to deal with the dramatic situations I was dealing with in my previous work setting. To keep it simple, I’m happy.

I’m still trying to gather up the nerve to make my yearly dentist visit, but the time has really come. The anxiety might have calmed down a bit, but the tics are in full force. One night, I was having a tic attack. I was trying to relax the tics, but the tics were in control. Besides all the head jerking, minor vocal tics, back contorting, nose pinching and rubbing, I was also grinding my jaw. I always forget to mention the teeth/jaw grinding tic — it’s one that is just there. I forget that I’m actually doing it.

This one night I was reminded that I was doing it, when I chipped one of my teeth. Both my parents had bad teeth, and my dentist has told me my teeth are soft. No matter how much I brush, floss, and take care of my teeth, something ends up going wrong; I just never thought a tic would cause me to chip a tooth.

This same evening while I was having my tic attack and chipping teeth, I post a status update on Facebook at 12:30 a.m, saying, “stressed, ticcing, and can’t sleep :-).” I had many supportive comments back, but one that really made me laugh. One of my friends told me to meditate. He said he found meditation and it has helped him out in stressful situation?

I responded that anxiety disorder and meditation doesn’t really combine well. I have tried meditation before, but with anxiety disorder and ADHD, I just can’t do it. I wish I could. The same goes with yoga. Try staying in a yoga pose, while your mind is telling some part of your body to move. It’s impossible.

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Questions about ignorance in the workplace

The following questions and comments were recently posted by a parent to the Facebook wall of the NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS).

Has anyone here ever felt it difficult explaining to co-workers the difficulties of having Tourette and the emotional/physical backlash that comes along with it? Has anyone ever had a co-worker who was completely ignorant and insensitive to the plight of someone with Tourette? Has anyone here ever felt completely mentally exhausted from constantly having to explain the social behavior of someone with Tourette?

I know I have. I have experienced all of this. Part of me wants to let it go … yet the other part feels a great injustice has occurred at my job. 🙁

I could be ticked off, but I’m too excited!

kids start school

Greetings from Happily Ticked Off. Remember me? That once faithful blogger who helped you navigate through the highs and lows of tics? The person who gave you all sorts of encouragement when you felt worse than a nit in your kid’s hair after a session with the lice lady?

Side note: Do any of you non-L.A./New York readers have this service? A real, live nit-picker who will comb baby lice out of your kid’s hair one painstaking strand at a time? Yes, even with much of our world in dire poverty, I say without apologies that I blew $400 bucks a few years back to deal with what I can only refer to as the Lice Infestation of 2010. It’s chronicled in this article, “Of Lice and Men.”

SUMMER

Did you all have a good summer? I, personally, did not. Mine consisted of this:

  • Commute 1 1/2 hours each way for a writing gig that kept promising insurance but didn’t give it
  • Schedule kids for play dates and camp dates around my husband’s work schedule – that schedule being his very own IT company start up which, of course, does not pay insurance, but we have a dream, people! Dental, schemntal, insurance. Who needs teeth! I’ll start on my smoothie regime, lose weight, save money on the gym, and buy health insurance!
  • eBay on the side to make $29/month to put toward elusive insurance, only to inevitably spend it by the end of the month because I can’t take cooking, cleaning and kid wrangling ONE.MORE.SECOND. so I give my hard earned income to El Pollo Loco, Taco Bell or some other fast food joint that is not full of gluten but inevitably causes me to worry that I’m going to make my kids die an early death from their GMO-laden, toxic, hormone pumped chicken/cows, not to mention increase tics because, you know, I’m going to cure this whole syndrome with food alone.
  • Have a few people close to me be less close to me because I’ve been so busy working my patience resembles a burned out electrical chord on a dried out Christmas tree and, well, apparently I’m not as much fun to be around when I’m on four hours of sleep, six cups of coffee, and enough Oreo cookies to make Santa vomit.

After 8 weeks of this insanity routine, my kids started school.

Normally I cry.

This year, it was all I could do to numbly kiss them goodbye at the classroom door.

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10 Common Tourette’s Questions & Answers, Part 7

Living with neurological disorders can be full of challenges for both children and adults. The good news is that life with these disorders can still be filled with joy and adventure. It just takes some creative thinking and flexibility to get there, and that’s what I’m here to help with! Visit me on my own site, brittanyfichterwrites.com, if you want to know more!

10 Common Questions and Answers About Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome, despite all the information we’ve gained in the last 15 years, is still a hard topic to find information on. Unfortunately, the media has chosen to pick out the parts of the disorder that it deems funny, and the rest of the information seems tucked away in textbooks on dusty corners of doctors’ desks.

Well, no more. Here is the 7th of 10 questions that touch on topics I’ve talked about with parents of children (and individuals) with Tourettes multiple times. You want a quick, easy answer to share with someone who doesn’t understand? Hopefully, I’ll have it right here as part of this series!

In case you missed them, here are links to the first 6 parts:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Also, if you want more information about a certain topic, I’ve linked related posts underneath each answer. My related posts will have more sources that you can look up on the topic if you so desire.

Can People with Tourettes Go to School or Hold Jobs?

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52 Weeks of TS: Week 12

EDITOR’S NOTE: Every Tuesday, noted Tourette Syndrome advocate Troye Evers shares his “52 Weeks of TS” blog journal with the TSParentsOnline community. In cased you missed the first 11 weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.

Hey world, get off the phone!! Technology is killing me. I witnessed a scuffle between two people on the street, because they both ran into each other because they were too busy on their phones. Walking around NYC, you see a majority of the people texting, or talking on their phones. You can even catch someone actually on his or her computer.

I’m not sure how to link this with my TS, but I’m sure I can. People drive me crazy. Is it my social anxiety, my OCD or a mix of both? I hate walking down the sidewalk, trying to dodge all the people on their cell phones that are not paying attention to the world around them. Do they really think this is socially acceptable? Where has technology taken us?

I’m not sure if it is my TS, but when I was younger, I had a thing with numbers. I had a little bit of a photographic memory, now I feel like we’re all turning to some type of technology to do anything in our lives. I don’t know anyone’s phone number except my husbands. Now all we do is press a name and it automatically dials for us.

To this day, I still remember my child hood phone number, grandmother’s phone number, aunt and uncle’s phone number, but now I have to look in my phone to give someone my work number. It’s sad what we have turned into, and who knows where the next step is going to take us.

I suppose I’m fine with most technology as long as it stops slowing the world down and making me late. That’s one of my big things, I hate being late, and I hate waiting. So when people are slowly walking down the sidewalk and not paying attention, there’re making me late. My head goes crazy with these thoughts, even though, for example, I’m never late for work. In fact, I’m usually there 15 to 30 minutes early, left outside waiting for someone who has keys to arrive.

I sit there waiting and the OCD sets in. I stare at the windows of the building across the street while I wait and think, are there people looking out those windows at me? Do they see me ticcing? Do the people in the cars, driving by, see me ticcing. I do this every day before work, and I don’t know why. I know the person with the keys is going to be late, she’s been late every day for the five years I’ve worked there, but I just can’t be late.

I still suppress my tics at work as much as I can. Everyone knows I have TS, but I only really talk about the extent of it with a few people.

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Help make workplaces TS-friendly!

Many people tell the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada (TSFC) that they are concerned about workplace discrimination. We are too! The TSFC is committed to advocating for appropriate, improved and respectful treatment of people with TS in the workplace.

The first step in improving workplace conditions and reducing workplace discrimination is gathering information. We need to learn about what is happening in workplaces right now and what has happened in workplaces in the past.

To do this, the TSFC has joined forces with York University to create an anonymous, short, easy-to-use e-survey about what is like to have TS and work. This is where you come in.

We need your help in getting this survey filled out by as many people as possible. Every time someone fills out the online survey, the TSFC’s ability to advocate for positive change grows stronger.

Help make sure that the rights of people with TS in the workplace are protected! It only takes a few minutes of your time! If you are 18 years or old, have TS and are either working or have worked in the past, please click here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/tourettesurvey

And if you know someone with TS who is 18+ and has work experience, please share the link with them. Together we can create an empowered community in an inclusive Canada.

My Story: “One Twitch At A Time” part 8

Here’s the continuation of my story, which I started posting on here a few months ago and initially started on my One Twitch At A Time page on Facebook.

On Sunday, Dec. 6, Joyce and I hit the road with only our essentials crammed into my dumpy old Subaru Brat. The drive was long and scary, mainly because I had never done anything like this without my parents before and Portland was a totally foreign place to both of us, but we wanted to prove we could make it on our own and nobody or no place was going to stop us.

As we rolled into Portland on Sunday night, it had begun to snow — something I had never really had to deal with — and by morning there was roughly 18 inches covering the city. So on Monday morning I chained up the tires and slowly made my way to my new job.

Obviously we had no place to stay yet and we were at the mercy of local churches. Our first night was at a hotel paid for by a local church, but the second and third night was spent in the tiny cab of our Subaru Brat. Yes it was cramped, uncomfortable and cold, but we weren’t giving up.

Joyce would tag along with me to work and spend 9 hours in the Brat reading and listening to the radio. Thankfully, God provided us with a camp trailer in a church parking lot to stay in until we got on our feet. We stayed there for a little over a month and even had our first Christmas there. It was small but cozy and we knew it was only a little longer until we could have our own place.

Just after New Year’s 1993, I was finally able to sign the papers for our first place. I remember Joyce and I sitting in the middle of the floor of the barren apartment with nothing but two sacks of clothes and huge, proud smiles our faces. We had nothing but we had all we needed. Eventually my parents were able to get all the contents of my old bedroom up to us so we spruce the joint up a little.

Now, Portland was an entirely different world than good ol’ North Bend, and soon things began to take their toll on me. I had developed a dangerous case of road rage while dealing with the PDX freeways, and the various “Nudie” bars began to become an all too frequent part of my agenda. I knew this stuff was becoming a problem but didn’t know what to do about it. My walk with God was nonexistent at this point, but that didn’t mean He wasn’t looking out for me.

Joyce was a big fan of one of the local craft stores, and while browsing through one of the aisles, I heard some nature sounds being played through the store. It instantly reminded me of back home, and the smell of the natural twigs and branches in the aisle hit my nose, further reminding me of home and then something in me SNAPPED — I looked over at Joyce and said “Dude, we gotta move back home!”

Now, of course, she thought I was crazy — we both knew how the job market was back home — but at the same time we both knew we didn’t want to raise kids in the big city. So after almost 3 years we packed it up and moved back home. I remember laying there the first night back thinking about the job I had given up & about the 401k I given up and said to myself, “What the hell have I done?!?!?”

I was able to get various part-time jobs here and there and we were able to make it work, but we both knew something was missing. We’d been married for 4 years at this point and things were getting rough. It seemed as though our marriage was falling apart and nothing was working. Even my favorite time of the year, Christmas, seemed to have lost something. It was only by the grace of God that we made it through 1996 — commonly referred to as “hell year.”

Joyce & I were able to work out the various problems the year had thrown at us, though it would take years for the scars to fully heal, and we decided it was finally time to expand our family. We’d always talked about our future children, and giving them names, personalities and even faces, but we never felt like the time was right until then.

After a few months of trying and failing we began to get discouraged, but as Jeff Foxworthy once said, “If there’s anything to be a failure at… ” Moving on, we kept at it and each month hoped for the best. Finally, one night Joyce took the test but didn’t have it in her for another disappointment, so I decided to check to see if it was one line or two.

Moments later Joyce knew something was up when the talking turned to silence, then from silence to a strange noise she had never heard me make before. She came in to the bathroom and with tears pouring out of my face in a way that had never occurred before I showed her the test and squeaked out “WE’RE HAVING A BABY!”

My Story: “One Twitch At A Time” part 7

Here’s the continuation of my story, which I started posting on here a few months ago and initially started on my One Twitch At A Time page on Facebook.

I know it’s been more than two months since I posted part 6, but the past couple of months have been a tad strange/difficult. Foremost, we had a death in the family so that took most of my attention, and after that I was just not “feeling it” because of personal issues, then I got straight up l-a-z-y.

But I’m back on track now. I’m going to try to keep them more Tourette’s-focused, as I noticed that the past couple of installments seemed to veer away a bit to much. So here we go …

I had managed to scrape up enough money to buy an engagement ring but I had no idea what size to get it in, so I embarked on several attempts to covertly measure Joyce’s ring finger. After realizing what an impossible task it was I just took my best guess and bought the ring. So with ring in hand I invited Joyce out to my house and led her out to my old go-kart track.

I remember just how clear and starry the night sky was that night, everything was in place and I was moments away from one of the biggest crossroads of my life. We talked for a few minutes, but I’m sure she knew something was up, so in the middle of the old track I got down on one knee and asked the most wonderful, beautiful, smart and caring woman in the world if she would marry me.

Much to my relief she said “Yes!!” so as I slipped the ring on to her finger I realized that my estimate of how small her finger was waaaaaaay off, but it didn’t matter because I was now ENGAGED, something I never thought would ever happen to me in a million years. My whole life the world had told me I was worthless and nobody would want me, and God came along and said “Oh yeah? Well check this out Billy” and gave me the perfect fit for a soul mate, for a lifelong friend and for a wife, He gave me Joyce.

Now neither of our families were particularly well off so as far as the actual “getting married” part we were not really sure how or even when it was gonna happen. By this point it time Joyce and her Dad had had a bit of a falling out and so my parents offered to let her stay in the camper we had until we were able to get married and out on our own.

Meanwhile, my mother had been planning on taking us with her on a trip down south to San Diego to visit friends & family and was a little concerned that may look a little odd for us to be “together” but not yet married, so one early July morning we all met in the kitchen and out of nowhere my mom says, “Hey, do you guys want to get married TODAY?”

We were genuinely surprised at the offer but we knew it was a golden opportunity so we jumped. Later that day we were standing in the Coquille County Court House exchanging vows, Joyce in her best white and blue dress and me in my best Levis and tank-top, the only thing missing was an angry father with a shotgun!

It didn’t take long for me to realize that my job at McDonald’s was never going to pay enough for us to get out on our own but I had no real skills or experience, so I was rather limited on what I could do. Then one day in October 1992, Joyce’s step-cousin-in-law came and told me about what sounded like the perfect job for me — it was warehouse work at an industrial hose company, it was full time, paid well and had good benefits, so I took a shot at it and went and interviewed then waited. And waited. And waited some more.

So I decided if they weren’t going to call me, I was gonna call them. So for the better part of two weeks I called every day and finally in what I’m sure was a desperate effort to shut me up they finally said, “Yes we will hire you, you start Monday.” I was ecstatic, I was married, I now had a real “grown up” type job and things were looking awesome. The only thing was, the job was in Portland, Oregon…

To be continued …