Thursday, December 25, 2014

Pre-Hanukkah Party Tics 2014

Well it's that time of year again that every ticcer seems to look forward to and dread at the same time, the holiday season. With all the commotion, excitement, preparation, and family, tics always seem to run rampant this time of year. Today is the day of my family's yearly Hanukkah party and my tics are getting pretty darn forceful.

After 5 months of CBIT treatment for my tics, my tics have been steadily decreeing, and i've started to get used to having less tics. However, coming home for winter break and having the holiday season has not been great for my tics. Being around my family members is very stressful for me (tic wise) and i'm sure those of you who have been following my blog for a while know why. For those of you who have not been following my blog, i'll just say this: I come from a family who values perfection and social status, and Tourette's doesn't really fit into that mold very well. Don't get me wrong, I love my family and I really do enjoy being home and spending time with them, but it's very rough on my tics and anxiety.

Being in my home environment has quickly made my tics increase. When I saw my CBIT therapist last week, she immediately noticed how much I was ticcing and told me she hadn't seen my tic this much in months. We discussed new strategies to try to decrease my tics in the home environment, such as taking "tic breaks" where I excuse myself to go to the bathroom while i'm around my family and just trying to spend less time around my family members (spending time with them in 30 min increments). These strategies seem to be helping to some extent, but my tics are still much worse than they have been over the past few months. As soon as i'm able to escape to a place where I can let my tics out, I start having so many facial tics, vocal tics, head and neck tics, and even full body tics. The other day I spent a solid period of time parked in a parking garage kicking, vocal ticcing, and jerking my body so hard that I felt my brain rattling around in my skull and got pretty dizzy.

Right now i'm up in my room while my parents prepare for the party. I've been helping prepare for the party quite a bit, but I had to escape to my room to tic and also to avoid the onion cutting. When my mom cuts onions for the Latkes for this party, my sensory processing issues go into overdrive as soon as my eyes feel any small amount of onion. It feels as if the onions are going in through my eyes and are filling my entire head with this sour and tingling feeling. The feeling will last for hours after the onions have been cut. Even though i've been avoiding the downstairs as much as I can, I've still gotten a bit of the onion feeling in my eyes. It's not nearly as bad as last year, but it's definitely still contributing to my tics.

I'm having a lot of tics right now. I hope they calm down for the party, but I kind of doubt they will. Luckily one of my very good friends will be coming to the party. Having her there will help me feel better, and like the previous years i'll be able to come upstairs with her to let out my bigger tics.

Anyway, I will probably make a post after the party is over about how it went. Happy Holidays to everyone and good luck to everyone trying to manage the holidays with tics!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Junior Year First Semester! Prove them Wrong :)

Well i'm back home for winter break. Overall, I had a great semester!

I was appointed to two leadership positions on campus. I'm now on the Executive Board for my university's chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honorary Society for Psychology and I was also appointed to be on the University Policy & Practice Affecting Students with Disabilities Committee.

I continued with the research i've been doing on Tourette's Syndrome and Traumatic Brain Injury on the medical school campus, and am working towards a number of publications for next semester. Hopefully at the end of next semester I will be able to say i've published a full paper on Tourette Syndrome and presented a poster on Traumatic Brain Injury at the National Conference of American Clinical Neuropsychology.

I also got two final grades back for the semester. One is an A and another is an A+ ! I'm pretty sure that the rest of my grades will also be A's as well. So far it's looking like I'll meet my goal for this semester which was to make the Dean's List at my University again.

Last thing I promise, I'm moving into a new dorm for next semester! I not only get a much bigger dorm room, but I also get to be closer to my classes, closer to the Starbucks on campus, and I'm right above the dining hall so I won't even have to go outside to get food. I get to be in a new dorm environment, meet new people, and live across from one of my friends in my sorority. I have a feeling next semester is going to be great!

Anyway, that's my semester in a nut shell. Don't ever let Tourette's hold you back! Make goals and work towards achieving them. Don't ever let someone make you think that you can't do something because of your Tourette's. If anyone ever does tell you something like this, prove them wrong :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Emotions and Stress affecting my tics

I have one week left of classes, reading week, and finals which leads to a lot of stress, but on top of all that I have extra anxiety going on because of something I found out about a family member over thanksgiving break. I can't go into much detail about that situation, but it is pretty devastating and life changing for this person and the rest of our family to say the least.

Yesterday and today my muscles have been extremely sore from ticcing (mainly muscle tics in bed, and even when half asleep). Yesterday I was sore and exhausted all day. My best guess was that I was ticcing through most of the night and didn't get a lot of deep sleep, hence the sore muscles and exhaustion. A few times I woke myself up from ticcing last night and the night before.

What is happening is affecting me because not only is this person a member of my family, but my OCD/ anxiety is acting up about the situation as well. It's making my OCD thoughts worse, and is making my compulsions worse as well.

Even though it's very upsetting, one positive is that it's made me even more grateful for the life I have. It has put a lot of things into perspective and even though my tics are bad right now, I am grateful for my life, all the opportunities I have been given, and for my ability to take full advantage of these opportunities and work hard to finish my college education, apply to grad school (next year), and hopefully use this education I have been given to make a difference in the lives of others through research and clinical work in my future. I am also grateful that I am able to make a difference in the lives of others now. I love volunteering at my local Children's Hospital, forging long term connections with the patients, volunteering at camp twitch and shout, and making a difference in the lives of all of you through this page.