Monday, September 24, 2012

Going to make a Questions/Answers video!!!

So I decided that I'm going to make a questions and answer video on youtube about TS/OCD/any of my other neurological conditions and about my life in general. You can ask me anything! It can be about TS, OCD, SPD, GAD, Panic attack disorder, Dysgraphia, Discalculia, Dermatillamania, college, my childhood with these conditions, or you could even ask me what my favorite color is! Comment here or on my facebook wall with your question and if I get enough questions I'll make the video! :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

An Action Packed Weekend of Fun at College!

This past weekend I has a blast! On Friday I went to the balloon glow event in the park next to campus with a group of people from my floor. That evening required a lot of walking and walking long distances or even moderate distances seem to set off my vocal tics especially. I met another person who I think might end up being one of my good friends. I'm going to call her April. April is very nice and doesn't seem to be uncomfortable with my tics at all since i've explained them to her. I explained to her that I have Tourette's and what it is when I was walking with her at the balloon glow and she seemed pretty chill about it. She and another girl I was walking with didn't shy away from asking questions! I always appreciate when people ask questions rather than just saying "oh" and being awkwardly silent. They asked me if I can feel a tic coming, if it gets annoying sometimes, and generally seemed to be accepting and positive about it.

Since then i've been hanging out with April and the other girl who I explained my tics to on the night of the balloon glow (who I will call Gretchen) quite a bit. They're both very nice people who I can see myself being even closer friends with in the future. April also told me that her younger brother has a form of Aspergers and at one point he had some tics with his neck and pulling at his collar so this is not her first exposure to tics and neurological differences which always helps!

On Saturday a group from my floor took the metro to target which was fun but took a long time and was once again a lot of walking! Luckily both April and Gretchen were there and I got to spend more time getting to know them and they got to spend more time getting used to my tics. Then Saturday night I went out to dinner with a friend of mine from the Nemrov group (Laura) for her birthday dinner! That was really fun and it was nice to get off campus and hang out with Laura who I don't get to see as often as the people who I live with on my floor.

Tonight we had a floor event called community night with our floor as well. Goldie (my awesome RA) and Viv (my other awesome RA) did a great job planning the night. We played games to help us get to know the other people on our floor better and guess what???? Our group won!!!! I even got to be in a group with April which I really appreciated. I felt way more comfortable about my tics with April around and even though I was doing a lot of vocal tics throughout the night it didn't really bother me all that much because April's nonchalant attitude about it made me feel way more relaxed. During a section where we had to do some writing though I kept throwing my pen. Then later in the night I ended up throwing my room key on the ground as well. Well that's a new tic....gotta love new tics.

Then we had to go outside on a scavenger hunt, we were running all over the place, it was dark, and then it started raining really really hard and there was lightning too. I got soooo soaked and just my luck I was wearing a white shirt which got completely soaked all the way though and I was wearing shoes made out of recycled paper! The rain and the fact that we were running all over the place made me tic a lot more, but April was really helpful because she stopped with me when my leg started cramping up and when my tics started getting bad. Even though it was crazy and even though I was ticcing a bunch it was still really fun. I sure won't forget my first freshaman community floor night!

April and I bailed out early because we were so soaked and when I got back to the dorm, my RA Goldie was there. She saw how wet we both were and hugged us even though we were soaking wet! Then Goldie went outside to stand in the rain so she would be wet too, lol. She really is a great RA!

It all payed off in the end when we won the activity though! We won a trip to get frozen yogurt with our RA's  which I'm really looking forward to :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Opening Up About Tourette's In College

So over the past few days I've really been opening up more with my new friends about my Tourette's. I figured that pretty much all my friends i've made so far have noticed my tics and it's always easier to explain it sooner than later. Basically, i've been taking opportunities in casual conversations to just mention it briefly and for the most part I try to mention it is a nonchalant way so it's not a huge deal.

Lucky for me, talking about the lab I'm working at in the med school is an easy way to bring TS up. I mention that i'm excited to start working in the lab again next Thursday and then whoever I am talking to is always curious about the lab. I then mention that it's a neuroimaging lab that focuses on movement disorders like Tourette's Syndrome and explain I got involved with it through my neurologist and that I see a neurologist because I have Tourette's too. Pretty easy way to bring it up.

Another way i've been bringing it up is by talking about my documentary that I made about Tourette's. This is a good way to bring it up too because I can explain how I wanted to make the documentary to educate people about Tourette's because it's really amazing how few people know what it really is and that it's not just all about swearing.

So far when I mention it, it seems like my friends aren't too surprised for the most part. They've seen my tics and are happy to get an explanation. They sometimes ask a few questions too. So far the questions i've gotten from my friends are:

"Is there a cure?"
"Do they know what causes it?"
"Do you have vocal Tourette's?"
"Do you know when you're doing it?"
and some other ones.

I've been trying to answer the questions the best I can, but every time after I answer them I always feel like I didn't answer them in the best way and that I could have explained it better! This really bugs me! Maybe it's my OCD, but I always have to go over what I said in my head and then I always get kind of mad at myself because I think I could have answered the question better than I did. Anyone feel like this sometimes when you explain TS to other people or try to answer their questions?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wearing my TS Wristband at School

Today was my first time wearing my "Tourette's Tics me Off" wristband in college. I wore it all day, and near the end of the day added another wristband that says "Donate Life" because I signed up to be an organ donor. No one really commented on my wristband, but I still felt good just wearing it! It made me feel more open about my TS and made me feel more like I accept the fact I have TS and accept myself.

Since moving into the dorms, I've been talking less about TS because even though I have told quite a few people about my tics briefly, my new friends and I are not close enough to feel comfortable talking about it quite yet. They don't really know what to say I think, and truthfully I don't know how to bring it up very well without being awkward about it either.

One thing I know though is that time helps everything. In time I will be more comfortable talking about TS with my new friends, and in time they will too. For now though, wearing my wristband today was a start. Hope all is well with those who read my blog. Feel free to comment here or on my facebook page or give me suggestions about blog topics or anything like that. Just in case you've missed my facebook page for this blog on for posting about TS in general, here is a link:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

TS Story of the Day: "OH NO! Are you getting sick too?"

Tonight I was doing my sniffling tic a lot at dinner and a girl on my floor who I haven't told about my TS yet turned to me and said "Are you okay? OH NO! Are you getting sick too??" She was very concerned because there are apparently multiple people on my floor who are getting colds. I assured her that I was not getting sick, but didn't tell her they were tics. I didn't really feel like going into it I guess, particularly because I had already explained it two other people at the table before. But if she asks again, I'll probably give her a legitimate tic explanation. Well that's my TS story of the day :) Maybe I'll start doing these little TS stories of the day more often haha :P I think I'll give it it's own label. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Starting College (in 15 sentences)!

Okay, so I'm finally ready to write a post. I've been avoiding blogging, because i've been being lazy about it and well there's just too much to actually blog about. So I'm not even going to try to blog about everything that's happened with me starting college in the past week or so, but I will do my best to summarize.

Summary of starting college (in 15 sentences)

1. My roommate and I are very different people, she's not going to be my best friend, but we get along well enough and she is being respectful and accepting of my tics and OCD.
2. I did decide to tell my roommate about my TS and OCD over facebook about a day before she arrived and I made the right decision because when move in day came around, everything was so crazy that I wouldn't have really had the time to tell her in a non-rushed way anyway.
3. I've made lots of friends! Of course, we'll need time to get close, but we're getting there.
4. My classes are great and I'm really liking them, and so far I haven't been ticcing too much in class (well i've been doing a lot of motor tics but not my loud vocal tics so far).
5. For the most part my tics have been moderate; i've been having a lot of motor tics but not so many vocal tics.
6. The only vocal tics i've been having are a loud barking cough sound, a softer grunting/coughing sound, sniffling, throat clearing, a little bit of squeaking, and whistling.
7. I've started a clapping tic lately and I'll just do one or two claps.
8. So far, i've really only told 6 people about my tics directly besides the Nemrovs and they have all been accepting and pretty cool about it.
9. I have my first OCD therapy appointment with my new therapist since i've started college on Thursday
10. My new puppy is adorable and I love her so much already and she's visited me at college twice so far.
11. My freshman floor is pretty close and a lot of the friends i've made are on my floor.
12. My floor does all these fun activities together like going to dinner, watching movies, doing yoga, playing cards, playing sardines, watching Dr. Who (which one of my friends here has gotten me to start watching), and much more.
13. The food here is great and I have so many choices for every meal.
14. My OCD is pretty darn good right now and I can do laundry and do a lot of things that I wasn't able to do before and I'm really not having a lot of trouble with my OCD right now which is really really fantastic.
15. I have my first quiz today in linguistics; wish me luck!