Hello, my name is Caleb, I have Tourette Syndrome. When I was 6 years old, I started making funny noises with my nose and throat. At first, we thought that It must be a bad habit that I had developed. We then decided that It must be my tonsils, because I just wouldn’t stop making noises. I got my tonsils out at 7 years old, but the noise just kept coming and coming.
After that, the noises went into what you could call a bit of a recession for a few years. Then, when I was about to turn 11, they gradually started again. They soon dispersed. We had forgotten about the strange things until about May 2011. I soon started flexing my arms and legs randomly. I started to kick my feet out in front of me and my arms would reach toward them, sort of like I was stretching for a basketball game.
But they wouldn’t stop, and I would randomly have to stand up when in the car and shrug my shoulders. I would roll my feet, jerk my neck and walk as if I had to hit each square of cement evenly with both of my feet. At first, me and my parents believed that It was my anxiety acting up, for I had always struggled with anxiety- and depression-related things.
After a while, it was really starting to hurt me. My arms and my neck were in so much pain toward the end of the day it was unbearable. It hurt my parents more than me. They began to research things and taking me to different doctors until we were at last sure that I had something that I knew nothing of. I had Tourette Syndrome, and I was one of the 100,000 Americans that suffers from “full-blown” Tourette’s.
I was completely bewildered. What me, along with so many others, thought about Tourette’s was that is was just people yelling out cuss words uncontrollably. I even believed for a period of time that everyone with Tourette’s will do that.
I started researching for myself and talking to my doctors. I found out a lot, and it did relieve me to hear how rare that certain case of Tourette’s was, but then again, how rare Tourette’s in and of itself is. It was very stressful and very depressing, and I hated how people looked at me.
My mom is an amazing person. That is all that I can say. She sticks with me through and through, and taught me the most important lesson that I have yet learned: You can be bitter or you can be better.
She taught me that instead of mourning about my problems like so many people do, go out and make a difference. She taught me that, instead of worrying about what people will think of me, just go out and just be yourself. And that is still helping me get through everything. I still find myself down in the dumps at times, but you got to pull yourself up and be strong!
If I thought that flexing was bad, it was nothing compared to me now. I yell random words such as “What?!?” or “Wow wow” and just about anything else. If I am thinking or saying something when I yell, sometimes I yell the word I was saying or even thinking. I still flex randomly, but not as much.
But the thing is, I am doing better now with dealing with it. And my top two goals are to help people that are going through the same thing and to spread Tourette Syndrome awareness and make it more known for what it really is.
It is not as much a disability as an ability. If you suffer from something like that it gives you the ability to truly be able to help someone that is suffering the same thing. You can help teach people about whatever it is that you have to deal with. We are all human, and humans have trials. Tourette Syndrome is the trial that I am currently facing, and if I want to spend my life mourning about it I can, but I have other plans for my future.
Thank you for reading my introduction. You can contact me by e-mail at TouretteSyndromeandTrial@gmail.com. You also can follow my blog, Tourette Syndrome and Trial, on Facebook. Thank you for your interest!