Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Today was a better day. I have one more exam tomorrow and then my first set of exams will be over. I'm feeling the pressure and stress leveling out as I finish preparing for this last exam. And so too do I feel my anxiety and emotions leveling out as well as my tics.

The first set of exams are rough. They come with heightened anxiety, heightened tics, and heightened emotions. Its rough to feel all of that at once on my shoulders. I'm finally feeling that i'm getting closer to letting out that sigh of relief. In reality though I know this is just the beginning of a very challenging year to come. Since it's my last year of college and i'm applying to greaduate school there are just so many things on my plate. Some of you may ask why I do this to myself if I know it will make my tics and anxiety so much worse. The answer to this question is because I am pursuing my passion and my dream and i'm not going to let my tics stop me from doing that.

This Saturday I get to volunteer at the brain tumor education and awareness event with some of my favorite little kiddos and that's whats going to get me though the rest of tonight and my exam tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Missing camp

I am missing camp today. Missing not being the only one ticcing and missing feeling "normal". The number one thing I love about camp is being there for the kids and forming amazing bonds with them. The number two thing I love is forming amazing and lasting relationships with the other counselors. And the number three thing I love is feeling normal. Well these things are all so amazing, I really do hate ranking them. All of things things are really of equal
I try as much as I can to separate my tics from myself and remind myself that Tourette's is a part of me but it doesn't define me. Today though I'm feeling different. I've been having a lot of vocal tics in my classes lately, which I think is the cause of the way i'm feeling. I know that no matter how much I tic, i'm still me, but sometimes I feel the tics are winning and making me very "different" from everyone else. Today that's pretty much how I felt. As I sat in my classroom vocal ticcing away, I looked around at everyone else (who are all used to my vocal tics by this point) and thought about how strange it is that they're all sitting there silently and with their bodies completely under their control, and i'm sitting there jerking my arms, squealing, and barking. I think about how the first day I gave my TS speech in class, they probably went home and told a friend or their mom over the phone that that have someone with Tourette's in one of their classes, and that that person they're talking about is me. 
I feel singled out today, and alone. I feel like other people seem as the girl with Tourette's or they think that having Tourette's makes me this person with a "disability". I don't feel like someone with a disability. I just feel like me. 
I know i'm kind of rambling, but i'm just writing out my thoughts. I know this page is supposed to be a place for other people to come and be encouraged and I know this is not so much an encouraging post. I am realistic though. I want to show the good days and the bad. Just because I have Tourette's doesn't mean I am always positive about it or always feel great about having it. It doesn't mean i'm an inspirational person or that it's inspiring how I deal with so much on a daily basis. I'm just a human on this earth moving forward in life like everyone else, and like everyone else i'm not positive about everything every day. Every day I don't wake up thinking "I have tourettes but tourettes doesnt have me". Today I just feel different. Today I just feel like I don't want to be "the girl with Tourette's". I want people to see me for who I am, not the tics I have.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The dreaded cold means I can't visit my favorite kiddos.

Today officially came down with a cold which I was SOOO dreading and hoping wouldn't happen. Everyone around me seems to be sick and I was feeling it coming on but was so wishing it wouldn't happen. Having a cold means I can't do two of my favorite things. I can't put hope boxes together and I can't visit my favorite little kiddos in the hospital. Both due to the fact that the kids I send my hope boxes to and the kids in the hospital have surpassed immune systems due to chemo and can't be exposed to any risk of getting even the common cold. 
I miss my little kiddos in the hospital! I wasn't able to visit them last week because they weren't in the hospital. I'm so glad they got to spend the week at home, but I always miss seeing them! Now that the two are coming back this week, I'm the one whose not able to come in! Grrr! The little baby I visit (who I almost feel like a second mama to!) will be coming up on a longer stay in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit so even though I don't get to visit him this week, i'll visit him next week. He recently started babbling which makes me so happy to see! He's been all smiles lately and has recently learned to wave as well which I love to see! All the nurses love when I come and visit him and they all see how he lights up when he sees me. He just loves me which makes me feel so great When a little baby with cancer loves you, there's not much more you can ask for in that moment (besides for someone to take away his cancer that is). 
The other little girl I visit is 3 and is too cute for her own good! It amazes me that she isn't trying to be cute! The other week she said "Daddy, if a shark came into my room I would be so brave and I would fight it with my sword! Can you bring me my sword Daddy?" I just about died from the cuteness when she said that! 
Anyway, today I am saying prayers for them that their treatments will work and am also thankful that they are part of my life. People often say to me "You are so incredible for spending your time with these kids when you could be doing other things". What they don't realize is that I benefit just as much if not more than the kids do from spending time with them. They brighten my day so much and I am lucky just to know them and be a part of their lives. I love them more than I can even say. Seeing their brave and smiling faces gives me so much. Can't wait to get rid of this cold so I can go back to visiting and playing with them

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Aftermath of Tics

Today was a better day tic wise, but a much worse day pain wise. 
Because my tics were so bad and the feeling of tic-energy inside my body was so intense I had the sudden urge to run and jump and get all the energy out of my body. So in addition to ticcing like crazy all day and having tons of muscular tics, I decided I could not stand one more second of the way my body felt and that I just had to run and jump and get the energy out. So I decided to try an exercise tape from youtube. 
The only problem was that my body was so hyped up that I put everything I had into tiring my body out. I did the exercise in an incredibly intense and exhaustive way because I didn't care what kind of pain I felt later all I cared about was getting the energy out. So I did jumping jacks, push ups, kicks, running, squatting, leg lifting, etc for a solid 20 minutes or so giving each jumping jack or push up all the energy I had in my body, which was A LOT of energy. 
So today because of the sheer amount of tics I had in the past two days in combination with the intense and exhaustive work out I did, my muscles are incredibly sore and i'm in a pretty significant amount of pain. Putting on pants, moving from a sitting to a standing position or a standing to a sitting position, walking up and down stairs or just walking on a flat surface hurts like you would not imagine. In addition I have a coughing tic and each time I do that tic today I have doubled over and my abdomal muscles have screamed out in pain. 
I didn't know my body was capable of becoming this sore! All I can say is wow and that I really hope my muscles heal quickly because today was pretty miserable. My throat is also sore from the crazy number of vocal tics I've been having. Overall, I just felt sick all day. I skipped my first class this morning because of the pain (it's the first class i've missed so far) and slept in, but that didn't help much. At least my tics were better today! The aftermath is tough though.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Rough day

Today was my first real rough day with my tics of the school year. It's my third week of classes and I have two exams and a paper due next week, so I guess it was time. It's always rough though because it makes me feel so different. It makes me feel like my body is out of my control. I know there are people who deal with this feeling every day, and I feel lucky that I have mild days or mild weeks, but a day like this still hits me hard.

My day consisted of almost constant eye blinking and rolling to the point that most of the time I had to type without the use of my vision (luckily i've become pretty good at that), and was punctuated with many body jerks, squeals, barks, and grunts. It felt like I was in a body that wasn't my own, a body I couldn't control. It's so frustraiting having to do these things that I know look and sound pretty darn crazy and not being able to have the control to stop it.

I am hoping for a better day tomorrow, and am just continuing to tell  myself that i'm just fine. I have Tourette's, but Tourette's doesn't have me.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Two Weeks into my Senior Year

Well i'm two weeks into my senior year and there's not all that much to report! I really like all my professors and classes (besides one) and telling my classes about TS went very smoothly, as expected. After I got settled into my dorm room and told all my classes, my tics have calmed down compared to how they were after camp. They were pretty bad after camp up until I started school because I was nervous about the transition and had also just spent a week being triggered by everyone else's tics. Camp is so worth it though, so I really don't care that my tics get worse there and afterwards.

My stomach punching tic has pretty much disappeared which is fantastic and overall my tics have calmed down. The one thing i'm not a huge fan of right now is that I've had quite a few times while at college when my tics have become more severe during the evening while i'm in my dorm or before bed. Strategies are helping to some extent at night, but i'm still working on trying to find ways to reduce the episodes where my tics act up at night.

I tic quite a bit during the day, but some nights the tics just tend to really wax and I have the feeling of "not being able to get the tic out" where I just feel very unsettled inside and like ticcing isn't helping make this unsettling energy go away for very long. I doesn't feel to great and it's upsetting, so I'm just trying to figure out how to have less of these episodes.

Besides this, all is well. Classes are good, friends are good, research and extracurriculars are good. I went over to a friends apartment last night after my grandma's 80th birthday to watch a movie and have dinner which was fun. Tomorrow is labor day so i'll be going over to my grandpas house to have our annual labor day pool party and to see my cousins.

Wish I had more to say right now, but the heat has made me so worn out! It's been so hot lately which has been making my tics act up a little more these past few days and has been making me so incredibly tired!! It also makes me feel like I just don't want to move at all. Thats all for now.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Counting the Goods - Sept 4th

1. I spoke up in class today for the first time since classes started and shared my ideas not being fearful that I had said the wrong thing.

2.  I get to tic in all my classes and not worry. All my classes know I have TS (my professors are great this year and don't even bat an eye when I tic. Everyone in my classes has gotten pretty used to my vocal tics which tend to happen a lot in class since the classroom is always a trigger for me.

3.  I went to a new student group meeting that i'm excited to get involved with and it sounds like a great opportunity to meet new people

4.  A good friend is being very helpful with my new non-profit and is super excited to be involved. She's got tons of ideas for moving forward with it and fundraising. We're going to study together at her place Monday night which we did last Sunday night and was super fun. I felt welcome at her place.