When people think of Tourette's Syndrome a lot of them think of someone swearing uncontrollably, however very few people with Tourette's actually suffer from uncontrollable swearing which is called Coprolallia. I am always able to say "I do have Tourette's, but I don't have Coprolallia" but unfortunatly I have never been able to say "I don't have Copropraxia". For those of you who don't know, Copropraxia is a tic that involves inappropriate gestures or inappropriate touching and it's something that i've dealt with since I was a kid. One of my first tics as a child was grabbing at my crotch area and it was a tic that I truly hated. Even though I sniffled, made slurping sounds with my mouth, and twitched my eyebrows, none of these caused me as many problems as the Copropraxia did. The other kids made up stories that I had grown up in a trailer park and no one ever told me not to grab at my crotch. I absolutely hated that I did this, but I couldn't stop myself no matter how hard I tried. I no longer have this tic, but Copropraxia just doesn't seem to want to go away. Right now my two tics that would classify as Copropraxia are making my fingers point like guns and putting up my middle finger. So far i've been able to keep these two tics under raps for the most part by sitting on my hands, clenching my hands, and holding my hands under the table but today my hands just didn't want to cooperate. I'm pretty sure some freshman thought I was giving him the middle finger in the hallway and I was putting both of my middle fingers out the whole ride home with Freshman Buddy, my car pool from rowing. The middle finger tic now seems to be combined with a body and arm jerk as well but Freshman Buddy seemed unfazed as I jerked and stuck out my middle fingers rapidly. Of course I would never choose to stick my middle fingers out if I had a choice in the matter which is why I really hate Copropraxia. I may offend people and I really have no control. Freshman Buddy knows that I have Tourette's so she wasn't offended in the slightest which is really great. At rowing today I shared with her the story of how I don't do well on long bus rides thanks to full body tics and on planes people have confused my tics for an epileptic seizure. She laughed along with me as I told her this and we were both in good spirits about the whole thing even with my middle finger tic. Hopefully Freshman Buddy will sit with my on the ride to the Regatta. She doesn't seem to mind my tics and sitting with her would give me a certain amount of comfort as well as allowing me to avoid giving the Tourette's explanation to yet another member of my rowing team. Rowers are very curious, and although I really don't mind explaining, sitting next to someone who is not yet fully comfortable around me when I tic might not be the best thing for me or the other person on the 7 hour bus ride when my tics will probably be rather forceful and loud.
Note from November 2011: I now have completely gotten rid of of the middle finger tic thanks to a bloggers comment on this blog. It took lots of time and practice but instead of doing the middle finger tic, I now just grab at my middle finger from time to time so that its not longer the inappropriate gesture. Thank goodness that's gone! It was really no fun at all. Still do the guns with my fingers every now and then but they are not as frequent.