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52 Weeks of TS: Week 37

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 36 weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.

I’m sick! I find it funny how a couple of weeks ago I was talking about people with TS having a poor immune system, especially if you have anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder can take a huge toll on your immune system, and here I am sick once again. Now besides my normal everyday pain and body ache, I have the ache from being sick.

I hate being sick, but there is a small part of me that likes it. I’ve said this before, but when I’m sick, my tics are very calm, and there’s not much anxiety. I think my body is so focused on fighting the infection, that it somewhat shuts down. It’s nice. My brain is quiet, and my body is somewhat still.

Next week I leave for Tic-apalooza and I’ve been so excited about going, but as the event come closer, my anxiety is building. I think many people that have TS deal with confidence issues. Even though I’m going to be surrounded by people with TS, I’m dealing with self-confidence issues. I know I’m going so I can help. I’m going to be a camp counselor, and I need to be strong and show these kids that we cannot let TS hold us down, or hold us back, and I have to keep that in mind.

I know in the past I have let my social anxiety get in the way of doing things, but this week I did fight my fears. I said last week that I had a wedding to go to this week, and I sucked it up, and went. It ended up being a beautiful event, and a great time had by all. I was glad I could crawl out of my shell and be a part of my friend’s special day.

I saw a few friends that I had not seen in years, and ran into an old client whose son I know has TS. She had just sent him off to college, and we briefly talked about treatment options they have been taking. She was telling me that they had tried many different things, but had recently gone to a Chinese herbalist who had put him on a regimen of herbs for muscle spasms. She went on to tell me that of all of the different treatments he has been on, this one has worked the best, many of his tics had disappeared.

I have heard many things about Chinese herbs working for some people with their TS. Is this a possible answer? Does it help with just the tics, or could it help with all the underlying disorders, too?

I think this is why, medically, it is so hard to prescribe the right medications to someone with TS. We can have so many underlying disorders, that one medication can help with one problem, but not another. Some medications can actually exacerbate another problem.

Either way, this is something that actually interests me. It’s different than some doctor giving me a bunch of medications that have a range of side effects like drowsiness, weight gain, addiction, or even something that my body will get immune to. Now I guess the search for a good Chinese herbalist will start.

Besides finding a Chinese herbalist, my husband’s new insurance company has forced me to find a new dentist. I try to go to the dentist once a year. I know we should go twice a year, but the dentist is one of the most feared medical professionals in my mind. With my OCD’s with germs, the last thing I want is someone’s hands in my mouth for an hour. Even though they wear protective gloves, it is still one of the scariest and grossest things I can think of. It’s hard to find a new dentist, because I always have to start with a TS conversation.

It’s also hard to control my tics while in the dentist chair. Imagine someone holding some type of drill type object in your mouth, and your head twitching around. I try to take good care of my teeth, but I’m a big grinder. I’m not sure if it’s actually a tic, or just a side effect from the anxiety. I have talked to other people with TS, and I know I’m not the only one who does this.

Once again, it always leads back to the germaphobia part of my OCD. I always say I like my OCD’s, but is it doing more damage than good? I’ve had many people tell me that the excessive use of antibacterial is limiting the amount of germs that enter my body. Germs that my body needs to come into contact with so it can build immunity to, but I just can’t fathom the idea of willingly letting these germs into my body.

Because of this mentality, agoraphobia, and bubble boy are born. Just put me in a bubble armed with my Lysol, and antibacterial hand sanitizer, and push me down the road. Okay, so I’m not going to be able to go through a revolving door, but who cares, at least I’m germ free. I think I’d rather people look at me for my bubble than my tics, or is it really just another excuse for me to hide from the world?

I think I’m really going to start doing some research on some Chinese herbalists. My TS has caused many problems, and issues, maybe there is some type of herb that can help. I have spent all year doing different types of research to find something, or anything that will help mostly with my tics, but maybe it is time to look for something to help with my TS, including all of the underlying disorders

I have said that I am happy with whom I am, who I have become in this world, but my life is still a struggle. There is enough going on in the world that I should not have to struggle with what’s going on in my body. This week to come, is going to be a bit busy, but I guarantee there is going to be a new search starting.

Until next week, “I’ll tic to you later.”

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