Hi, I’m Jordan, I’m 17 years old and from Paris, Texas. I’m head cheerleader, in marching and concert band, and play golf. I PROUDLY have Tourette Syndrome. :) My whole life I have had symptoms of Tourette and OCD. I was officially diagnosed 3 years ago during my freshmen year of high school — already a stressful enough time, right??
My tics are face, shoulder, arms and finger twitching, which are constant. Vocal tics such as grunting/yelling happen only about 5 to 10 times a day. My OCD often controls my life, and I feel like a prisoner in my own body. Contrary to popular belief, OCD is not just “clean freaks.” Below are the things that set me off into panic attacks (ones with a * are extremely bad):
- Finger licking*
- Nail biting*
- Nail picking
- Showers that aren’t white
- I’ve NEVER washed my hands without lotion*
- Other people’s driving
- My hair not being perfect
- People pulling at ears/belly button
- Textures of certain foods*
- Being alone
- The smell of other peoples car/home
- Being told I’m wrong
- Chewing on ice*
- Not having a Butterfinger
- Air blowing on me*
I was at the neurologist one day explaining to the doctor my symptoms when he mentioned that I probably had Tourette. He asked me if I knew what that was.. My heart sank, and my eyes welled up with tears. I sort of knew what it was, but all I could think about were the stereotypes that were the butt of numerous jokes.
In that instance, I felt like I was plagued. He started throwing around names of medications, but I just tuned it all out. I got a prescription, and my mom and I left. When we got in the car I just started crying, talking about how I felt like a loser.
Now at least when people asked I could tell them what I had. Notice, I didn’t say, “Tell them what was WRONG with me” because there is nothing wrong with people with TS :) I twitch in class, and I yell in public, but I’ve learned to not care what others think. Yes, the jokes hurt sometimes, but other times I’ve learned to laugh at myself and the things I do.
I have also learned to cope with some of my OCD habits. I hope to start new medication soon that will work better. But in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my senior year :) I have lots of stories about Tourette/OCD (both funny and serious) I would love to share :)