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 13 weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.
April showers bring May flowers, and allergies and the flu. Actually one of the worst flues I can ever remember having in my whole life. I felt it creeping up for a few days, but with my workweek, I would not admit I was getting sick. It worked quite well until last Sunday when I was writing last week’s entry, I said the dreaded words “I’m getting sick”. That was it, I admitted defeat, and within a few hours was feeling like death.
I have heard people say, “I was so sick my skin hurt”, but never experienced it until now. It was horrible, I was so congested, lethargic, my muscles hurt, my eyes hurt, there was such a pain in my lower back that made it so difficult to get comfortable, and yes my skin even hurt.
I get my fair share of illnesses, which I find hard to understand how, with the amount of antibacterial I use and lack of touching people and things. This one is one I wish on nobody, there was actually a point there I slept for 24 hours, yep 24 hours straight. Most of the time when I’m sick I just cuddle up on my sofa and watch horrible TV, but not this time. I didn’t even want to leave my bed.
While fighting this infection inside of me, I realized, I didn’t have anxiety. I’ve noticed this before when I’m sick, but got to thinking about it this time. I have bad anxiety, if I’m awake, I’m anxious about something, but not when I’m sick. Am I onto something?
There is some sort of chemical reaction when you’re sick that cures anxiety, well at least for me. That’s the one thing I like about being sick, I don’t have a care in the world. Wow, did I just come up with the cure for anxiety? lol. I doubt it. Even if I did, I could never prove it, I’m a writer not a scientist.
In the midst of this contamination of my body by yet another uninvited guest, I did have a special appointment this week, that appointment that I waited three long months for. Yep, the TS specialist at Columbia university. As the days approached I started thinking to myself, why am I going, what do I really want to get out of this visit?
The answers I came up with was very lacking of substance. I mean, I didn’t have much of a desire to try a chemical cocktail of medication. I’ve already been diagnosed with TS, so I didn’t need him to tell me that. Why was I doing this, just so I can walk into his office and say, “Hi, I have TS, and I’m not going to shake your hand because of my OCD, can I go now?”
I mean the truth of the matter is that I don’t think there is much you can tell me that I don’t already know. Its 2012, we have Google and WebMD, I already know everything about TS, I mean everything. Lol. Does anybody have a broom to push me off the high horse that I have climbed upon?
I’m pretty sure the other people with germ OCD can see where I’m going with this. I will come up with any excuse I can to go to the doctor. Oh my god, my eye is itchy, I must have pink eye, now I’m going to go blind. Oh no, my stomach hurts, I must have cancer and I’m going to die, I know I got it from the subway. However, as soon as it’s time to go to the doctor, I will come up with any excuse not to go.
This time I decided I knew more than the doctor did, so I didn’t have to go. I’m surprised I didn’t rediagnose myself with not having TS, which would have been a valid reason not to go. Oh, the babbling rant that goes on in my head, lol.
Don’t worry, I went. I did walk around the block three times, and then sat in front of the facility for 10 minutes, watching the people walk in and wonder, “What do they have? Can I catch it?” I finally harvested enough strength to go in. It was pretty much what I expected, 12-page questionnaire, thirty minute interview, etc. etc.
The doctor came in with his assistant and three student doctors. They told me not to suppress any of my tics, just let them all come out as they videotaped me and watched. I was not one of those kids that ever wanted to run away to the circus, but here I was. I felt like a circus act. ”Come one, come all, and watch. He twitches, he grunts. Now twitch for the audience.”
I kid, it wasn’t that bad, but it was a bit demeaning. I let all my tics come out, I don’t ever do this outside of the comfort of my own home, and it was strange to have all these eyes watching me for the purpose of my tics. We talked a little about my medication history and I informed them that I was currently taking Klonopin, but that I only took it when I needed, or at night before I went to sleep.
He decided to keep me on the Klonopin, but to slowly increase the dosage to a regimented daily dosage, and call him once a week to check up. Basically the old, “Take two of these and call me in the morning.” What the hell, I’ll try it. As long as I don’t become a zombie, I’m all-good. Right now, I’m at half a pill in the morning and a full pill before bed. Each week I have to increase the dosage by half a pill.
Well, spring is finally here, and I’m feeling a health kick come on. There have been many studies involving TS and nicotine therapy. They say nicotine has help some people calm down their tics. I have been a smoker for quite a long time, too long to even say, but I’m quitting this week. I guess this will be my own nicotine therapy study. Will my tic increase if I quit? We’ll see.
This is something that I’m actually going to pay close attention to. I’m also starting a weekly workout regimen. Let’s see if working out can calm my anxiety and/or tics. What a week to look forward to, I’m excited for new adventures. Until next week, “I’ll tic to you later.”