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 any of the first 26 weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.
Find a penny, pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck. Do you think this really works? I don’t know, but I have a secret: I’ve only told one person this so far, and it’s not even my husband. In the past month, I have started to develop some sort of OCD/germaphobia to pennies. It’s actually growing to all change.
It used to be if I saw a penny on the street and it was face up I would pick it up, and if it were face down I would flip it over for the next person to find. My husband would always leave change all over the house, and it was my morning ritual to walk around and collect it all and put it in the change jar, this is no longer the case.
It started about a month ago, I saw a penny on the carpet in my house and it was facing head down. I didn’t even want to touch it, to flip it over, because I knew it would still be me who picked it up later. Wouldn’t that defeat the whole purpose if I were the one who originally flipped it over?
I find myself now walking around avoiding all change I find anywhere. If I really start thinking about it, (OK, I’m not thinking about it — I’m obsessing about it, but anyway) how many people, with how many germs have touched that coin, or any type of currency for that matter. Even look at the trail of paper currency, they actually have a web site where you can track where that single dollar bill has been.
When I get to thinking about this (obsessing), I think about rumors per say, about there being residue of cocaine on most paper currency. REALLY? After a million people have touched that dollar bill, you’re comfortable to shove that up your nose. I’d like to invite the world to come pick my nose. I don’t think so!
Enough with the bitching about my germaphobia with money, I’ll figure out another way to save money. Let’s talk about change, but not that kind of change, change that we can achieve.
A few months ago, my husband and I were chatting about all the work I do in the TS world. It was during a stressful time in my life where I was doing many things for the TSA, working on my book, and just trying to advocate in some way. He saw how stressed and filled with anxiety I was and said to me, “Do you really think you’re going to change anything in the world? We are all just pieces of sand on this planet earth, you’ll never make an impact.”
Here’s the thing: I’m not looking to change the world, but if on my journey I change one person’s views about TS and help one person out with TS, my life is complete. Last year was not the best of years, and I told myself that I am going to do something this year; I’m going to make it a good year.
This week I have achieved that, besides finishing half a year of 52 Weeks of TS, this week I also finished writing “A Day in the Life of Tourette Syndrome,” a biography of 17 different people with TS. I still have to deal with the editing process, but the writing is done, and I hope to have it released by Christmas.
Last week I spoke of my stress level being at an all time low from being relaxed on the vineyard. I’m still somewhat relaxed, but my OCD is causing a lot of anxiety. I am in a house filled with people, and the kitchen is always a mess. Not saying that that we are all messy people, but when you’re living in a house with seven to 10 people, depending on the guests, someone is always cooking.
Every morning the kitchen is a disaster, and my inability to leave it drives me crazy. Every morning, I am cleaning and sanitizing the kitchen, even after my cousin and her wife said that they don’t want me spending my whole summer cleaning. The truth of the matter is, even if someone else cleaned it, I would have to redo it anyway.
I am excited to find out that one of the other houseguests has a touch of OCD, and needs a clean bathroom. I need a clean bathroom too, but I just can’t clean it. I’m too grossed out about what goes on in there. I have discussed my ways of using a bathroom and being able to do it without touching anything. How would I clean a bathroom without touching anything? We both agreed, we are guests here, she can do the bathroom, and I will do the kitchen. Truthfully, I find it therapeutic, relaxing, and get such a sense of relief to look at a sparkling clean kitchen.
Even though I’m out in paradise, semi calm and relaxed, I’m still ticcing like crazy. I still spend most of the days suppressing my tics, for them only to come out and say hello at night. I usually can tell when its 7:30 p.m., because that’s when they all start getting worse. I have my subtle complex tics during the day that I try to suppress, or let out at the right moment when I think people are not looking or won’t notice.
However, after 7:30 p.m., all bets are off, the complex monster comes out. It is a constant shoulder jolting, head flinging, arm twitching, back contorting movement mixed with some type of vocal variation of a loud hum, hut, ohh, throat clearing and or hey. It’s stressful and very tiring.
I need to make sure to take my Klonopin before I go to bed, just to make myself fall asleep. After the Klonopin, falling asleep is not that far off, but boom, at 6:00 am I’m up and ready to start my day. I have been realizing, my body is waking up hungover and sore from all the ticcing the night before. Not sure if it’s just me getting old, or what, but I wake up so sore. I usually try to get some type of light exercise in and stretch to help loosen everything, and within a few hours, I’m all-good, and my daily cycle starts all over again.
We might not be able to change the world by ourselves, but we can do it all together. Tell your story, and educate the masses. Well I’m off to clean the kitchen, so… Until next week, “I’ll tic to you later.”