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 32 weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.
This year is sailing by. I have one more week until I’m back home in New York City. I think I’m as excited to get back to NYC and my normal life, as I was to get out of the city and to the Vineyard. I know I was excited to come out to Martha’s Vineyard and work on writing, and relax, but it has not turned out quite how I hoped it would.
Besides the confliction of many personalities, I’ve also had to deal with many of my own problems and OCD’s. As I said before, I’m living with eight people at the least, at one point there were twelve people. It’s hard to clean up after that many people the way I want to and keep it clean. I will clean the kitchen, I swear, I could finish cleaning and walk into the bedroom for a minute, and once I get back the kitchen is trashed again. I’m not saying it’s my responsibility, but it will be nice to get back to the comfort of my own home, where I know where everything is and I’m only responsible for my husband.
Even though I am excited to get back home, I have a feeling it’s going to be more craziness with my OCD’s. I know after two months away, that there is going to be a lot of cleaning and reorganizing of my apartment. I have had a few people staying at my apartment caring for my cats and one of my dogs, and I know things are not going to be to my standards upon arrival.
It’s nothing new, I go through this every year, I get home and spend about a day unpacking and getting my home back into “Troye order.” The only issue with getting back is that the last house sitter will be staying with us for three weeks after we get back. At least it’s my home, and I will be able to get into my own setting, but I feel as if I’m still going back to a setting where I have roommates.
I did stop drinking coffee this week. Cutting out the caffeine got rid of the jittery anxiety, but the normal anxiety is still there. I take my .5mg of Klonopin as soon as I wake up, but I think it really just takes the edge off a little bit. I guess I just have to face it, I’m stuck with this anxiety. It’s part of me, like my arm or foot.
The OCD triggers the anxiety, which then triggers more OCD, and more anxiety. Is like a tennis game in my head, and then both the anxiety and the OCD triggers more tics. Wow, did I just figure out why I have the head-flinging tic, because anxiety and OCD are playing tennis in my head? I guess anybody’s head would fling around if there was a ball flying around inside their head.
This week has been an interesting week for my TS.
This is a big celebration week on Martha’s Vineyard, they have a big fireworks celebration, and a big fair. It’s always a fun week, but quite exhausting. Lots of stimulation and excitement and a lot more triggers for my tics. This is the week that most people come to the vineyard, including many of my friends from all over the country. I love this week, because it is the week I get to see friends that I only see once a year, but it’s a tiring and eventful week.
With all the excitement and stimulation, I just spent the majority of the week going into tic attacks, head flinging, shoulder flopping, face smacking, head smacking and many interesting vocalization tic attacks. Since most of the events were at night, it made it even harder to suppress any tics, so I just went with it. Hello world, here I am and I have Tourette syndrome!
I try very hard to suppress my tics in public as much as I can, but this was not the week. There was just too much going on to even try and suppress them, plus I think it’s more exhausting to try to suppress them, then it is to let them out. One of the good things is I was always around a big group of friends. I find it much more comforting if I have a tic attack, to be around a group of friends.
People don’t tend to look at you that funny if you’re with a group of people. I still get stares, but I think they might look at me, see that I’m with a group of people and they just go on with their business. I guess the point is I’m just less self-conscious about my tics when I’m around friends. People still might stare, but I just don’t care.
Other than all the excitement, and random tic attacks, this week wasn’t half-bad. In the beginning of the week, I did have funny little OCD moment. I went to go brush my teeth and I couldn’t find the toothpaste. I asked my husband if he saw the toothpaste and as I was asking him, one of the housemates over heard me. She replied, “Oh, I had it last.” As the look of horror grew on my face, my husband looked at her and said, “You realize he can use it anymore?”
Panic just grew in me, all I could think is that her toothbrush touched the same toothpaste top that my toothbrush did. Now her germs were all over my toothpaste, and my husband was right, I could not use that toothpaste anymore. Good thing I’m as OCD as I am, I just went into my room and grabbed a new bottle of toothpaste and gave her the old one.
What we have learned this week, is not to care what people think, and surround yourself with friends. A good friend can help you get through anything. Also, hide your toothpaste. :)
Until next week, “I’ll tic to you later.”