Jeff Matovic has lived more than half of his life with a cruel case of Tourette Syndrome. For years, he experienced violent tics at inopportune moments, swinging his legs and arms around like a marionette without any control, left feeling helpless and depressed.
With his tics and outbursts getting progressively worse through the years and with no relief from drugs or therapy, Jeff decided to take action, convincing his doctors and insurance company to try an experimental operation — surgery to implant a small pacemaker into his brain — that would change his life for good.
For James Fussell, a journalist from Kansas who also suffered from Tourette, good days were hard to come by. Living for more than 40 years with the condition, Fussell finally hit his low-point — crying under his office desk — and didn’t know how much longer he could survive. It wasn’t until Oprah Winfrey sent him a tape of her interview with Jeff Matovic that Fussell saw hope.
“Ticked: A Medical Miracle, A Friendship, and the Weird World of Tourette Syndrome” (Chicago Review Press, May 2013), by James A. Fussell and Jeffrey P. Matovic, with a foreword by Jeff Foxworthy, is the tale of one man’s personal struggle and triumph over a debilitating condition and how his miracle has inspired others.
“Ticked” gives a rare glimpse into the lives afflicted by the bizarre brain disorder in a double-narrative that is both eye-opening and inspiring. Fussell and Matovic’s stories bring smiles and tears as readers follow them through their daily bouts with the disorder, from the maddening frustration of regularly spilling Corn Flakes to the heartbreak of scaring the family pet.
In accessible and simple terminology, Fussell explains the wide variety of different symptoms — seen firsthand when he attends the national Tourette convention — and discusses the latest in medical research and treatments for Tourette Syndrome, reassuring those affected by the disorder that all hope is not lost.
A remarkable story about a blossoming friendship and overcoming a debilitating condition, “Ticked” will inspire readers to look beyond the stigmas and peculiarity of movement disorders and see the real human struggle that lies behind those afflicted with Tourette Syndrome.