Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Sometimes Forget I have Tourette's...Oops My Bad

So I don't usually actually forget that I have Tourette's but I do sometimes forget to think of myself as a person who may have some limitations because of Tourette's. I have always been told that if I set my mind to anything, I can do it. And most of the time this is true. If I want to do something, I do it regardless of the fact that I have TS. It doesn't even pop into my head as something that could stop me. However there are some things that I just can't do because of Tourette's. For example, I can't be a rower. I'm a coxswain and I can do that very well, but my tics get in the way a whole lot if I were to actually row. I've rowed a few times before and there are a few things that would make it very hard for me to row. #1 is that my feet are strapped down in these shoes and when any part of my body is confined or strapped down, tourette's throws a tantrum. Its similar to how men with TS start ticcing like crazy when they're in a suit or have a tight collar. When my feet are strapped down in the boat my legs just jolt up over and over again until my feet come out of the foot straps which would make it very hard for me to actually row on a regular basis. When I get out of the boat (i've only tried out rowing a few times) I shake all over, hop up and down, and basically spaz out completely for at least a solid hour. Tourette's gives me limitations. However, I forget these limitations on a regular basis because they don't come up in my day to day life.

The other day however, was a time when the limitations of Tourettes came up. Just another time that I realized that Tourettes can make certain things very difficult for me. This was my first day of a new history class and my teacher, Mrs. Baltimore, asked if we could have two time keepers to make sure she didn't run over time. One girl volunteered and then no one else wanted to. After a little bit, I decided I would raise my hand and volunteer since Mrs. Baltimore is my college counsler and since I wanted to do something nice for her. Here's the part where I say, oops I forgot about Tourettes. The signal for class being over was to put your hands together like a T like the time out referee's do  but as soon as she told me this, Tourettes took action. The T signal was meant only for the end of class and if I did it I would draw her attention to me, which made it a prime tic candidate. Tics are all about the forbidden, and doing what your not supposed to do. If there's a gesture that I'm not supposed to do at a certain time, I do it. It's a part of copropraxia. So it was unavoidable, I began making the T signal forcefully with my hands which included be jamming my fingers into my palm (which hurts)! I realized I should not have volunteered for this position number one because I could now not stop myself from making the "class is over" sign when class was not over and number two because I move around so much because of motor tics that no one would notice if I was trying to get someone's attention with my hand gestures, they would probably just think I was ticcing. Hopefully the other girl will take over the job for the most part. Oh well, I tried. Just another day in the life of someone with Tourettes.

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