Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summer Tic Update

Today, I wanted to give you all an update on how my tics have been this summer. When I started out the summer with my job at opera theater, my tics calmed down a bit, but were still pretty bad for the most part. I  still had lots of vocal tics getting on my nerves and plenty of motor tics that were active as well. Like I have blogged about before, my tics were still noticeable and I had to tell pretty much everyone who was an usher or garden host about my TS because they just kept on asking!

I didn't mind telling the opera people about it at first, but after a while I got kind of annoyed with people continually asking me about it when I felt like I had pretty much told everyone! By the end, my tics were still bad and I was still annoyed with people asking me about it, but I still did really enjoy my time as an usher. In college, I think I will have to try a bit harder to not get annoyed with people's questions. I guess I just have to prepare myself mentally and realize that for the first couple weeks, yes I will be talking about Tourette's more than I usually do. 

After ushering was over though, my tics really calmed down. The ease of summer time, and lack of stress made my tics fairly mild. My vocal tics calmed down a lot, and my motor tics didn't give me any trouble with falling asleep. I really was appreciating this because I HATE it when my motor tics give me trouble with sleeping. 

Even when I started my OCD intensive program, my tics were still fairly mild. I still told the therapists and other members of the program about my TS, because even when my tics are mild, they are still noticeable as something different to some extent. I was really enjoying the mild tics. No more violent head and neck tics! No more falling to the ground on my knees! No more loud screeching and squeaking and squealing! And no more trouble falling asleep! This must be what its like to not have Tourette's and to just be able to be still! 

Even at my work in the neuroimaging lab, my tics were mild even though I was looking at videos of kids ticcing and talking about tics pretty much 24/7 when I was there. Boy do I love the waning phases! 

And then even when I went to my Art Sci weekend for school my tics were mild as well. I was pretty much only doing some minor motor tics and a little vocal tic that was quiet and sounded like a little grunt. Although people still did notice the vocal tic and ask about it. I had a few people ask me if I was "okay", but overall I only had to explain my Tourette's once to a Nem (who already knew) and to another boy I was hanging out with at the time. Yes, it was something out of the ordinary, and yes it was noticeable, but it wasn't loud and it didn't make people turn around and stare at me or persistently ask "what's wrong?" "are you okay?" "what was that?". Gosh, I did appreciate this very much. 

However as always, waning phases are short lived for me lately and my tics are back to being pretty prominent and annoying now. I only have 5 more weeks until my freshman year of college starts and I've been stressing out about it. My OCD intensive therapy is also getting more challenging as I am now doing larger exposures and two days ago after a large exposure on my way home one of my most dreaded tics came back to bite me! 

I hate the tic where my arm and hand bashes into my stomach repetitively! But that's what i've been doing for the past two days. Two days ago after my exposure I was doing it a lot, and then yesterday I ended up on the floor twice, falling to my knees, hitting myself in the stomach, jerking my body violently, and making a loud grunting/guttural noise for at least 5 minutes each time. 

Now I am getting really nervous about college, and this certainly doesn't help! It also doesn't help that my nervousness is coupled with extreme excitement! Even though i'm nervous about it, i'm also just so excited for college! Nerves and excitement however, equal more tics for me and i've also been having more trouble sleeping lately because of this. My tics have been bad in bed for the past week or so, and its so hot that I can't even use my weighted blanket to help my tics calm down at night. 

So pretty much, I haven't been getting enough sleep, i'm stressed and nervous about starting school, and i'm super excited about started school as well, and i'm stressed about my OCD therapy. This all makes for an increase in tics. Well at least I had a month or two of calm tics as a little bit of a break from it all. That's pretty much all there is to the update about my tics this summer so far. 

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