EDITOR’S NOTE: Every Tuesday, noted Tourette Syndrome advocate Troye Evers shares his “52 Weeks of TS” blog journal with the TSParentsOnline community. With just 11 weeks remaining in this series, there’s a chance you missed one more entries from his exciting, revealing journey. You can read all of them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.
Change, change, change. I have made so many changes in my life in the past few weeks and months, but I can’t say there is much of a difference. It’s really hard to tell. I was sitting on the subway the other day thinking, and I started thinking about my anxiety. Has is calmed down? I’m not really sure, but I think it actually might have a little bit.
With all the changes, I can’t really say what has caused the slight relief of anxiety. Could it be the vitamins, the fish oil, or the fact that I left the setting of my stressful workspace? The anxiety might have calmed down a bit, but the tics and OCD’s are still there. Now I’m not saying that I’m completely stress free, and void of anxiety. It’s still there; I just feel it might have calmed down a bit. I guess for this upcoming week I’m really going to feel it out and see if it really has calmed down.
I’m actually surprised that my anxiety has not skyrocketed this week. I started my new job this week, and that’s usually not the calmest of moments, but I have to say it has been a stress free change. I have told everyone that I have TS, and I’m very comfortable with the new people in my life. It’s actually really nice to want to go to work, and not have to deal with the dramatic situations I was dealing with in my previous work setting. To keep it simple, I’m happy.
I’m still trying to gather up the nerve to make my yearly dentist visit, but the time has really come. The anxiety might have calmed down a bit, but the tics are in full force. One night, I was having a tic attack. I was trying to relax the tics, but the tics were in control. Besides all the head jerking, minor vocal tics, back contorting, nose pinching and rubbing, I was also grinding my jaw. I always forget to mention the teeth/jaw grinding tic — it’s one that is just there. I forget that I’m actually doing it.
This one night I was reminded that I was doing it, when I chipped one of my teeth. Both my parents had bad teeth, and my dentist has told me my teeth are soft. No matter how much I brush, floss, and take care of my teeth, something ends up going wrong; I just never thought a tic would cause me to chip a tooth.
This same evening while I was having my tic attack and chipping teeth, I post a status update on Facebook at 12:30 a.m, saying, “stressed, ticcing, and can’t sleep :-).” I had many supportive comments back, but one that really made me laugh. One of my friends told me to meditate. He said he found meditation and it has helped him out in stressful situation?
I responded that anxiety disorder and meditation doesn’t really combine well. I have tried meditation before, but with anxiety disorder and ADHD, I just can’t do it. I wish I could. The same goes with yoga. Try staying in a yoga pose, while your mind is telling some part of your body to move. It’s impossible.
I did have a weird tic happen this week. I know many people with TS that have a barking tic. I have never experienced this. I do have a humming, and a growling tic, but never a barking tic. This week a strange thing happened. I live in a quiet area in Manhattan, a lot of families and dogs. Inevitably, there is always some ones dog barking in the area.
One day I was running some errands, and some ones dog was barking. It was a low-pitched bark, and for some odd reason it was triggering me to repeat the bark. I know I have a bit of echolalia, but have never experienced it like this. As soon as I got home it was gone, and it hasn’t happened again.
This TS thing is an odd, strange disorder. It’s almost like a haunted house in our head; we never know what’s going to happen next? Our tics wax and wane, one day we could have one tic, and the next day it’s gone, but what’s next. This is always a concern of mine. My tics have been so frequent and sporadic, or sporadic, I never know what’s next, and if it’s going to get better or worse.
No matter how much research we do, we can never come up with accurate answers. I am excited because tomorrow the TSA-NYC is having a Tourette talk with very distinguished doctor of psychology. He’ll be talking about TS, underlying issues, coping mechanisms and following up with a Q&A. it will be nice to ask some questions that I have been wondering about.
Besides chipping a tooth, and some weird barking tic, this week has turned out to be quite incredible. My book “A Day in the Life of Tourette Syndrome” was released. It was so exciting to go on Amazon, look up my name, and have my book come up. I have received so many requests for autographed copies, which just feels surreal.
I guess there has been a lot of excitement and anticipation for the books release, and now it’s finally here. I’m really just hoping to help people understand the reality of TS, and how it varies from person to person. TS is almost like a snowflake, no two cases are the same. We have different tics, different underlying disorders, different attitudes, and we deal with it in different ways.
I deal with my TS the best way I possibly can, I speak out, and I resist the feeling of shame that can often come with such a disorder. Yes, of course there are times that I wish I was normal, but what is normal? If we spend our lives trying to be normal, or like everyone else, no one will be able to see how extraordinary we really are.
Until next week, “I’ll tic to you later.”
PS. I have conquered one of my fears this week. I officially made an appointment for acupuncture. Stay tuned next week for that interesting outcome.