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 20 weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.
Have you ever tried to do something that you know is just stupid? We all have done something in our lifetime that we ask ourselves, “Why did I just do that”? Well I did that this week.
I have spoken to many other people with TS and what has helped them in the past. Now I’m not suggesting that anyone attempts to self-medicate or try any path that is not suggested by their doctor, but I have talked to a few people that have said that marijuana has helped them.
I smoked marijuana when I was younger — much younger — and remember it did not work well with me. Having anxiety disorder, smoking just made me crazy, but I thought maybe that I would give it a try again. Our bodies change over the years, and I thought there’d be no harm in trying. Wrong thought!!
Not that it harmed me, but I took the smallest hit a person could take, not even holding it in. I took a hit as if I was smoking a cigarette, in and out. Then next five hours were a roller-coaster of fear, anxiety, paranoia, and major ticcing, or major suppression of those tics.
As I said, I never suggest that anyone tries something that is not suggested by their doctor, especially something as trying, or purchasing illegal drugs. This might help some people and maybe one day the government will legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, and that’s the only time anyone should attempt to use this for their TS — under a doctor’s supervision. Some things work for some people, but this was not one for me.
Speaking of attempts to find something to help our TS, I spoke last week about a study that there is an enzyme in yogurt that is rumored to help calm down our tics. I did another self-study this week and had a yogurt every morning to see if I noticed any difference. I eat yogurt all the time, but I have eaten it in a while and when I did, I never really paid attention to my tics or lack of tics.
This week I did, I ate a yogurt every morning and honestly didn’t really see a difference. Maybe this is one of those things that it takes time, but once again, I have found another thing that did not work.
This week has been a little hard for me.
I think with a mixture of my anxiety disorder and my tics I often develop huge muscle knots behind my right shoulder blade. They are usually quite painful and cause me not to be able to turn my head. This is somewhat hard seeing one of my tics is head shaking and turning which then causes more pain. This week I have a new pain on the top of my shoulder. It is different from my normal pain, but at least I can turn my head. It just hurts to lift my arm, which makes it hard to do my throwing of my arm out tic. It’s just an endless cycle, there’s always something wrong.
One of my best friends keeps telling me to go get acupuncture, or a massage. Eeewww. No, that’s not going to work. Getting a massage means there is someone touching me with his or her hands that’s been touching how many other people. Yeah, I know, I’m sure they wash their hands but it’s still gross to me.
As for acupuncture, I’m not sure about someone sticking needles in my body. Once again, I’m sure they’re sanitized, but I don’t know who they were in before. I have had an interest in acupuncture because I have heard is supposed to help with tics, but I think it is one of those, “over time things”. At some point this year, I will gather the strength to actually try acupuncture, but not today.
I went to a BBQ this weekend. I had my issues as usual with going, but I went. It was in a friend’s NYC back yard, so not a huge space. I was worried about the amount of people that were going to be there, and how long I would be able to suppress my tics.
My husband was away for the weekend so I figure, why not get out of the house on this holiday weekend and get some free food. Once I got there, it wasn’t that bad, but as the crowd grew, so did the anxiety. Along with my many issues I’ve discussed over the week, I also have an issue sharing food. Needless to say, I didn’t eat anything. I watched everyone dig their grimy hands in bowls full of chips, and double dipping sauces. Excuse me; I don’t want to eat your germs. I hate double dippers.
My husband hates the non-sharing food phobia. If we go out to eat with friends or family, everyone wants to do family style eating, I just can’t do it. I have to have my own food, and no one is allowed to share it. I don’t want your fork touching my food. This issue came up a few times this week.
I was out with a friend who ordered a bowl of Mac and cheese and insisted I share it with him, because he could not eat the whole thing. I did have a few bites, but it was from the opposite side from where he was eating. I also went with a friend to a farmers market where they have the best pickles in the world. They should be world famous. They had samples of the pickles and tooth picks to take the samples. I told my friend, she had to try them.
As I was about to try myself I watched the people in front of me take the same toothpick and continually dip. That changed my mind in taking a sample. Why can’t you grab a new toothpick to take a new sample?
Despite everything that I have talked about today and in the past, I am very comfortable with my TS, and myself, who I am. It does seem like I am constantly trying something new to miraculously void me of my tics and TS. I think we all do in some way. We hear, or read about something that might help us a little bit. We search for that one thing that might make us feel one-step closer to normal, but really, were not that different. We’ll all have arms and leg, ours just move on their own sometimes. :)
Until next week, “I’ll tic to you later.”