52 Weeks of TS: Week 15

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 the first 14 weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.

So I guess this week is really like a results show. How was my week with my new medication regimen? Did my tics change with the void of smoking? Did my new work out schedule change anything with my tics and anxiety? These are all difficult questions to answer, especially after only one week. I’m sure with all the changes going on in my body it will take time to see any results, and I’m well aware of that.

I guess I can start by saying that as for the quitting smoking, I’m a failure. I did not quit. I will be 38 years old this year and I have been smoking for almost 20 years. About five years ago, I did quit cold turkey for three years. I can’t really say if I noticed any differences in the tics at that point, but I wasn’t really paying attention at that point.

When I quit five years ago, I read a book “The Easy Way to Quit Smoking” by Allen Carr. The book points out many facts of smoking, and is almost like a hypnotism book to make you stop smoking. You read the book, and by the time you finish the book, you don’t want to smoke again. For me, the book did what it said it would. I quit for three years.

As I said last week, there are many studies out there that says, nicotine helps reduce tics, but nothing is actually proven. This concept confuses me seeing that nicotine is a stimulant and studies say that stimulants actually trigger tics. Is there anything out there that will actually help us? I guess we all just have to try different things for ourselves, but I am going to make another attempt to quitting smoking this week.

Maybe next week I will actually have some more info for you. I have been smoking for so long, and honestly, I HATE it. It’s gross and expensive, so I hope to not let you down and actually defeat the nicotine addiction and say farewell to the evil beast.

This week I am up to half a Klonipin in the morning, half in the late afternoon, and my normal full pill at night. Have I noticed a difference with my anxiety? Again, I don’t know. In the past few weeks, I have been organizing about four different events with the TSA-NYC that have really had me on edge. I am organizing a family bowling day, our monthly Social hour the last Thursday of every month, a family dinner in July and I’ve signed up for the National TSA walk for a cure.

All of these projects along with working, and writing and life have had my anxiety sky rocketing, but as we know, I can’t and don’t want to say no. A good thing is that this week I finalized a lot of the bowling event, which is a great weight off my shoulders. I have been feeling a little less anxiety, but I can’t say if it is actually the medications, or the feeling of accomplishment.

I still have anxiety about a million other things, but finalizing these few events are a relief. I guess as for the medication, I will feel it out over the next few weeks. It’s hard, because the stress and anxiety actually causes more anxiety. Five years ago, I owned a hair salon, and because of the stress level I had to step down and leave. It was even more stressful selling the salon and starting at a new salon.

During this same time, my husband and I moved, and my mother passed away. This all happened within a month’s time. It was a very hard month. As a result of all the stress and anxiety, I got shingles. Yep, a healthy 33-year-old man with shingles. It was horrible and the most painful thing I could ever explain. They were all over my hands, and up my arm.

The doctors were baffled and could not explain why or how I got them, seeing as I was so young, and in good health. I didn’t tell them I had TS, and anxiety disorder, that might have helped. Still to this day, when I feel very stressed and an overload of anxiety I freak out that I’m going to get shingles again. Maybe with the new Klonopin regimen things will get better.

I have started working out this week. This is actually making me feel better in some way. Yes, the anxiety is still there, but I feel a little bit more focused. I have a lot more energy, and the bonus is that I’m toning up for the summer, and I’ve lost a few pounds. I’m not really looking to lose weight, but if I quit smoking, (sorry when I quit smoking this week) I’m sure I’ll put on a few pounds. Maybe with working out I can turn those extra pounds to muscle. As for the tics, once again, I haven’t noticed too much of a difference.

A few weeks ago, I spoke of how my right trapezius muscle (the shoulder muscle) was larger than my left due to a majority of my tics are on my right side. I did something special for myself this week. I’m a big fan of tattoos and I’m pretty covered. There’s more then I could count, but the past few months I’ve wanted to get the TS ribbon tattooed on me. This week I decided where to do it, on my right shoulder. All of my tattoos have some type of meaning to me, and this one just adds one more special meaning to my body.

This week I also tried to educate someone. A famous female pop rapper released her new album this month. I’m actually a fan of hers, but listening to the lyrics, she rapped, “Yes, maybe just a touch of Tourettes”. I twittered her, “love the new album, but quite disappointed she went to the media stereotype of Tourette syndrome.”

I never received a responds, not that I was actually expecting one, but hopefully she received it and will educate herself more, or reach out. Well this week I’m going to focus on having a relaxing week, and quit smoking. Make sure to check out next week’s blog, it is going to be a very interesting and special one.

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

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