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 FIVE 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.
Happy birthday to me! Speaking of birthdays, I think I have concluded that I want my cake and I want to eat it, too. This has nothing to do with my actual birthday, but more about my life. I have been taking the fish oil for about two months now and have noticed different changes in my body.
Not only has it helped decrease my anxiety, but now I’m thinking it might be helping a bit with my OCD. I don’t think it is actually ridding me of my OCD tendencies, but I think that a lot of my anxiety triggered my OCD. It’s not affecting the germaphobia part of my OCD, but the cleanliness part is being affected. There are little things around my apartment that are taking me longer to do than they normally would. I’m actually leaving dishes in the sink, and I’m not freaking out about things being in the right place.
I’ve spent the past year trying different things to rid myself of different symptoms of TS. Now that I have decreased my anxiety, I’m happy, but am I ready to rid myself of certain OCD tendencies? I have always prided myself on the cleanliness and organization of my home, and now I feel as if it might be suffering.
There’s no winning. Either I can be filled with anxiety and have a clean home, or I can be relaxed in a dirty home. I know it’s really just my mind; my home is not that dirty. It’s yet another roller-coaster of emotions going on in my body. For example: Once we are done cooking, I will look at the dishes and have a little freak out in my head, telling myself I should clean the dishes, but there’s another voice that says I can do them later. It’s time to relax.
Who is this voice telling me that I can relax? I haven’t relaxed in years, and now that I am, I’m not sure if I’m ready. I know that this might make no sense, but I guess this is why I’m writing it. Sometimes things that happen in the head of someone with TS doesn’t make sense to someone else, but it might make sense to us.
I had yet another acupuncture appointment this time, but this week was different. Every week she pokes me with a bunch of needles, always in different places on the body. Sometimes on the head, sometimes in the ear, or wherever. It doesn’t hurt, but I have yet to notice any differences with my tics until this week. Nothing got better, but instead got worse.
All evening I kept on experiencing weird muscle spasms and new tics, but they were not like normal tics. I know when I’m about to tic, but these tics came out of nowhere. They just happened and that was it. This went on through the night and even after I went to sleep. That night was one of the worst night’s sleep I had in a long time. Every time I fell asleep, one of my muscles would jerk and wake me up. I was freaked out, wondering how long this would last. Thankfully by the morning I was my normal ticcy self, but I was left with a horrible back pain from ticcing all night.
The back pain is not new to me. This is the back pain that I spoke of before. I get huge knots in my back from ticcing, stress and anxiety that cause excruciating pain. It’s always on my right side, causing me not to be able to move my neck, turn my head or have much movement in my right arm. There is also another thing that lives on my right side, all my tics. Every time I tic, the pain just runs through my whole right side. I’m not blaming the back pain on acupuncture, but it is definitely something I’m going to bring up to my acupuncturist next week.
Despite all the pain, I still had to live my life. It was a full week. I also did a book interview for an online web show. Normally I would be extremely nervous about this, but I wasn’t. I’m not sure if it was the fact that I had so much going on, or maybe it was the fish oil calming me down. No matter what it was, the interview went well.
I’ve never been one for public speaking, but I do have to say, it’s much easier when you know what you’re talking about. I have yet to actually watch it. That’s the thing, I hate watching or listening to myself. I can hear my tics and see them. I have become more comfortable ticcing, and being myself, but that doesn’t mean I sit around watching myself tic. No matter what, there is still that little self-conscious boy inside of me. That shy, scared little kid that doesn’t know what’s going on.
No matter what is going on in our life, I’m sure we can find something we are thankful for — we are alive. We have been blessed with the gift of life. Even though we might be given other gifts in life, we need to acknowledge that they are gifts. I might have spent most of my life hiding from my TS, but I now see it as a gift.
I feel I have been given this gift to learn from, and to educate people about the syndrome. I’m thankful for the people that I’ve touched, I’m thankful for the syndrome I was blessed with, and I’m thankful for you. Until next week, “I’ll tic to you later.”