Saturday, January 31, 2015

Is it time to tell him about my tics?

Last night the guy I have been going on dates with asked me if I would like to go out with him officially. I said yes smile emoticon 

So now I can say that we're officially going out and that for now I am no longer single. I like so much about him. I really like how open he is with me and that he is not afraid to show me who he truly is. I also really like his personality in general and how he is a really great conversationalist. We always have something to talk about and it's always engaging and thought provoking to be around him. I like that he wants to spend time getting to know me and he really seems to like me. He gives me so many complements and tells me how cute I am, how much he likes spending time with me, and how happy he is that he met me.

Today he opened up to me about some things that were more on the personal side, and even though I was hesitant to, I opened up to him more too. I told me that I have sensory issues and OCD traits. He seemed really okay with it and didn't seem to think much of it at all. It didn't seem to affect how he feels about me and after I told him that he asked me to get ice cream later tonight and hang out more. This gives me more confidence that if I told him about my tics, it wouldn't affect how he feels about me either. There is still that nagging thought in the back of my head though, that fear that he will not accept me. I know it's just the fear that has been instilled in me by my parents that is making me feel this way. I know intellectually that he probably won't reject me because of my tics. The fear and the emotion is so real though. I think at this point I just have to take a leap of faith and plunge off the diving board. I think the sooner I make the leap, the easier it will be to be myself around him.

I'm not sure when exactly i'm going to take that leap and tell him, but I am hoping I will have the courage to do it soon, maybe even tonight when we get ice cream together. I plan on telling him in a very casual way and not making a big deal about it. I'll keep you guys updated on what I decide to do! Please wish me luck :) 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Dating with Tourette Syndrome

Aw I love this! This is so cute! I recently started going on dates with a guy that I really like. We have known eachother for about a little more than a week and have been on quite a few dates. He really seems to like me and I really like him as well. I haven't told him about my TS/ tics, but I have done some very mild tics around him that I haven't been able to hold back. I don't think he's noticed, but I can't really tell. 

This video helps me feel more hopeful about telling him. I have never in my life had anyone to comfort me when I was having tics. My parents always asked me to stop, my friends understand my tics and what they are but don't quite know what to say when i'm having a lot of tics besides asking "are you okay?" or ignoring it, and so i've always relied on self comfort or just "getting though it". If some day I could get to the point with him (or with someone else, if our relationship doesn't continue) where he could comfort me or hold me while i'm having a lot of tics, It would be so nice and so comforting. I have never relied on anyone else in my entire life as far as my tics go. So I do think letting someone else help me or comfort me would take some getting used to, but once I got used to it, I think it would be so nice.

For now, i'm no where close to that though. For now, he doesn't even know I have tics. I suppress around him because I am afraid of how he would react if he found out. I'm afraid he would reject me because of my tics. I know it's almost unfair for me to judge him like this. For me to assume that he would be the kind of person that would reject someone based on a medical condition is almost the same kind of judgment that I am afraid of. I don't make this assumption based on the kind of person he is. Actually, I feel like based on what I know about him, he would be accepting. Right now, the reason I am not telling him and have no idea at what point I will tell him is because of what I have been told ever since my diagnosis in high school. It's so hard for me to get past the possibility that he will reject me. As soon as I was diagnosed (actually legitimately at the appointment when I was diagnosed) they told me not to tell anyone. They told me if my friends found out, they would no longer be my friends. They told me if an employer found out, they would fire me and/or I would never get the job in the first place. They told me doors would close for me. And most of all they told me no one would ever date me or be interested in me romantically if they knew about my TS. This crushed me, and it has been so hard for me to get past.

Even with all of my amazing friends who I have told about my TS and who have always accepted me, even with the evidence that not once has anyone ever rejected when I told them about my TS, even though everyone has been nothing but kind and incredibly accepting, it is still so hard for me to emotionally get past the fear of what my parents told me would happen.

Right now I don't know when or if i'm going to tell him about my tics. I know it's not practical or possible for me to hide my tics from him forever, especially if we start a real relationship (and so far, it looks like that's the direction in which its moving). Right now all I know is that i'm taking it one day at a time.

Tonight we're going to a party together and then we're going to hang at his apartment and watch Sherlock! I'm looking forward to spending more time with him. I think tonight we'll have a good time. Suppressing my tics around him can be difficult, but so far it hasn't been spoiling anything or affect my ability to have fun/ be myself around him. The more time I spend with him, the more difficult it is becoming. I just try to relax and forget about my tics though. It can be hard, but the more comfortable I become around him, the more I will be able to relax and let some tics out. I'll keep you guys updated.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2nd Date!

My tics are pretty intense today. I'm nervous because I have a date tonight with a guy I really like! We're going to get a drink at an awesome bar near campus. This is our second date. Wish me luck! He's such a sweet guy and although he doesn't know about my tics yet, I'm feeling good about telling him about them when I get to know him better :) 

The next day: 

My date went really well last night! Thank you to everyone who wished me luck! Hoping things will progress from here and that we'll have a third date. I think we will based on how things went last night :) 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Telling a Friend Who i'm going to Live with Next Year about Tourette's

Talked to my friend (who is a sister in my sorority) tonight, and it went great! I She asked me to live in an on campus apartment with her for next year so I thought it would be the best thing to tell her about my tics ahead of time. I told her in a casual way and in a way that made it seem like no big deal, while also letting her know what my tics are like and about my vocal tics. She didn't bat an eye. She wasn't phased at all. She treated me just like she always does. I told her people usually get used to it pretty quickly just like you might get used to someone who has allergies and coughs or sniffs a lot. She smiled at me in a very reassuring way and told me that she's sure that's what will happen with us and that she isn't worried about it at all about it when it comes to housing next year. So we will be living together next year as long as everything goes as planned :) 

Can't wait to spend more time with her and get to know her even better! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Diagnosing A Child With Tourette Syndrome: What are Tics? How are Tics Different From Normal Childhood Behavior?

Cerian's Tics: What Do Tics Look Like? 

Here's a video of what to look out for when considering a diagnosis of Tourette's Syndrome or Tic Disorder. This is a video of Cerian! In the video you can see Cerian shrug his shoulders, stretch his mouth and nose, and blink in a repetitive manner. These are simple motor tics. You can also see him sniffing many times. This is a simple vocal tic.
Many children will occasionally shrug their shoulders or sniff. What makes these movements tics rather than regular movements and sounds that are typical for a child of this age?

The key question to ask when determining if something is a tic or a regular behavior is: is the movement or sound repetitive? In other words, does the movement or sound happen multiple times over the course of a day? Does it happen over and over? And does it look very similar each time the child does it?

You can see in the video that Cerian's mouth movements, sniffing, and shrugging all happen again and again over the course of the video. Each time he does it, you can also see that the movements happen in a very similar way and look very similar to the previous movements that he has just done. 

Tics also tend to be quick rather than sustained. They tend to  occur in bouts, where one tic occurs after the next for a period of time. There can be periods where the child displays no tics at all, or periods where the child displays many tics all in a row.  There tends to be no change in consciousness, awareness, or behavior while the child is having tics. If there is a change in your child's level of awareness, consciousness, or behavior during a period of facial movements or other types of movements, then you should immediately consult a doctor and mention this, as this could be a sign of seizure activity.  

If the tics last less than a year, the child may have a transient tic disorder, meaning that the tics will go away. In fact, it's pretty common for children to have tics in childhood that appear for a short period of time and then disappear. 

If your child's has both multiple motor tics and at least one vocal tic for more than a year, then your child might have a Tourette's Syndrome, a more chronic tic disorder. Still, the tics of Tourette's may fluctuate in frequency and severity over the course of childhood. Many children with tics grow out of their tics by their teen years. Other children do not grow out of their tics and may have tics in different degrees of severity over the course of their life. 

Remember: If you think your child may have tics or Tourette Syndrome, you should schedule an appointment with your pediatrician or with a pediatric neurologist to rule out the possibility of seizures or other movement disorders.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Professor with Tics!

One of my psychology professors has facial tics! So cool! I love seeing people with Tourette's / tics making their way through life, succeeding, doing what they love, and never letting their tics get in their way!

I haven't officially talked with her yet about my Tourette's and she hasn't told me she has tics, but as someone who has TS and researches it, I know tics when I see them.

I'm going to meet with her next week to talk with her about my TS. I originally wasn't going to, because it's a bigger class, but I've been having a tic of raising my arm/ hand and supressing it in that class has been interfering with my concentration, so I decided I'm going to meet with her so I don't have to worry about it.

I will update later about how that goes.

Yesterday I told another professor and a class about my TS, and like usually it went so well. The professor was amazing and I absolutely love her and how she mad me feel so accepted and comfortable about my tics. She told me she had a grad student who hiccuped and that everyone got used to it very quickly. She was very warm and welcoming. Her class is developmental neuropsychology and since that's what I want to focus on in grad school, I couldn't be more excited for her course! She says it's her favorite course to teach, so that's always a great sign :) 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A great start to 2nd semester!

Yet another fantastic start to the semester! Today was my second day of classes for the spring semester of my Junior year. For this semester, I've decided to explain my Tourette's to my professors or classmates for my smaller classes only since my tics have been starting to become less noticeable and i've been having less vocal tics thanks to CBIT and medication. I talked with one professor about my Tourette's today and will talk to two professors and two classes about my Tourette's by the end of the week.

All together i'm talking to two of my smaller classes about my Tourette's, and three professors. That means that this semester two of my professors will not explicitly know about my Tourette's since the class size is larger 70 students. They may still notice my motor tics if they happen to look my way, but hopefully since the class is so large my tics will fly under the radar. We'll see.

The professor that I talked to today was kind and understanding, like always. I've been explaining my TS to my professors since Freshman year and I have never had any problems and have never experienced anything except for compassion and understanding from them. The professor that I talked with today told me to make sure to take care of myself during the semester and do whatever I need to to make the semester a successful one. I appreciated his kind words.

I am also loving being back on campus with my friends. I missed them over break and am really enjoying spending time with them now that we're all back on campus. So many people to get dinner and catch up with! This week is crazy busy between my new courses, catching up with friends, and my research. Off to study with two of my friends now, so I will update later. Hope everyone else is adjusting well and getting back into the swing of things after the holiday break as well.