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 6 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.
I’m tired!! I have to say, I think this has been one of the longest, most exhausting weeks that I’ve had in a while. I had a freelance job doing hair and makeup for a high school musical, which I do about 5 times a year, but this one was different. I usually design the show three weeks in advance, but I missed two weeks. I ended up designing the show on Monday, and we opened on Wednesday. This just made for a very stressful week, not anxiety, but a lot of stress.
Just like anxiety, stress triggers my tics, so it’s been a very ticcy week. I feel as if my brain has been bouncing around inside my skull all week. My neck tic has been bad all week, and I’ve been taking aspirin for the constant headache that does not seem to go away.
Usually, I try not to suppress my tics in my everyday life, but while I’m working in the high school all bets are off. I just feel as if I have to suppress them.
I guess it has to do with my own high school experience. There was always constant mocking and my fellow students were always making fun of me. Once I walk back into a school, it tends to bring me back to that time and place. It’s a cruel world we live in. I try not to suppress my tics in many adult situations, but when you’re dealing with uneducated ignorance and immaturity of high school kids, it can be hard to explain. How do you teach someone something who thinks that they know everything?
A person with Tourette Syndrome has to have thick skin. It’s not something we are born with, but we have to grow it. I thought about this a lot this week, and I’ve realized that we have been supplied the greatest weapon for our fight to educate — our mouth. The more we open our mouths, the thicker our skin becomes and the stronger we become, but it can be a hard thing to do.
When we are kids, we are scared, nervous and possibly beaten down by ignorance. It can take a lot for those shy kids to battle their own fears and demons, to turn around and speak about the very thing that has brought them down. Look at me. It took me about 15 years to start my battle against ignorance, and I still deal with fear. Despite the fear, I still try to fight the fight and continue to educate people.
A few weeks ago, a TSA chapter leader approached me from a neighboring chapter. Coincidentally, this same chapter covers the school I was working at. She informed me that there are a couple of kids at the school that are in the need of assistance of the TSA to educate the students and staff. Since I was working with the school, she asked if I knew of someone to talk to.
While working at the school all week and trying to suppress my tics out of my own fear, I thought this to be the perfect time to help educate and open my mouth. I set up a meeting with the assistant principal and discussed what we do at the TSA. The meeting went very well and she was very responsive.
I set up an introduction between the TSA and the principal and hope for a possible educational seminar soon at the school. This is really the reason I do everything that I do in the TS community. If I’m able to reach one person, I feel like I’ve accomplished a great thing.
I’m still Klonopin free and only taking Chinese herbs, vitamins and doing acupuncture. I still feel as if the fish oil is working, but I cannot say I have noticed any difference with the acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I know it takes about four to six weeks for them to take effect, but that time limit is coming close.
I’m getting to the point of chalking it up to another failed attempt. One thing after another with not much of a positive outcome, but I am glad and relieved that the fish oil worked with my anxiety and is still working. However, there is still the thought in the back of my head wondering how long it will last.
It’s funny, I was talking to a friend about the fish oil and anxiety this week. After she told me about the anxiety she had been suffering after giving birth to her son, I told her about the fish oil and it might be something to discuss with her doctor. Her first concern was that she heard that taking fish oil makes you smell like fish.
I immediately started laughing, and told her that I never heard of or experienced that, but I guess I could be possible. I went on to do an internet search of people taking fish oil and smelling like fish. It could be possible, but it’s not always the fact. I think it has to do with the type of fish oil you take and your body.
Well, I guess I’m glad this week is over and excited for next week. Next week should be a lot calmer compared to this week, and my birthday is next week. Another year is gone, but when I look back on this past year, I have done so many firsts. It just goes to show you, no matter what might be in our paths, we’re never too young.
I’m almost 38 and I keep on surprising myself. Every day, my life begins. Every day is a new chapter to my life, to our lives. If we keep this attitude, we all can accomplish great things, and I plan to continue on this path. Until next week, “I’ll tic to you later.”