Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The First Days of College: Move-In and Work

On August 11th at 8:30AM, my parents and I officially headed out to Manhattan, KS. By 4:30PM I was completely moved-in to my dorm at Kansas State University, with an ID card, and a bed to sleep in. My room is plenty spacious. AND it's a single, which allows for me to get my tics out without disturbing my roommate. I'm currently sitting at my new job in the ResNet office (K-State's campus0-wide IT department). So far it's been pretty relaxing and fun. The real work begins on the 15th, when all of the band camp and sorority rushers move in. The 15-17th are ResNet's busiest 3 days of the whole year.

My tic levels have increased (obviously) due to the excitement of being in college, but remain much lower than they were in Algebra in high school (I don't have to take math in college).

I'm hopeful that I will remember to take my medicine every day.

No homework yet, so I think I'll end the day by getting something warm to eat (the air-conditioning in here is freezing), and winding down with Mrs. Doubtfire in honor of the late, great, Robin Williams.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Talking With Friends About Tourettes

Tonight I went to my "second family's" house. It is SO wonderful to know (and feel like a part of) a family such as theirs. "Dad" as I call him, asks so many wonderful questions about Tourettes. I don't know about other people with TS, but I love it when people ask me about it. It's great when people truly care about what makes you tic (I'm so punny).

Seriously tho, if you're a ticcer: be open to questions about the syndrome! Don't get irritated with genuinely interested people (like I used to). 

If you know a Tourette patient: ask them the questions you've been wondering about! And if the patient isn't exactly a "nice" person, email me! I'd be glad to answer any real questions about TS. You can contact me via the "contact form" on the right sidebar of this site.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

An Interesting Article About Tim Howard (US Soccer Goalie)

My uncle sent me this fascinating article about Tim Howard. Tim has been the goalkeeper for the United States Men's soccer team since 2006. He has been extremely successful, and blocked 16 shots in Fifa 2014's US-Belgium game alone. However, Tim has Tourette's Syndrome. This article refers to several different medical professionals who believe that people with TS have a gift for sports and time-related activities. Click here to read the article.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

No Better Ticcing Time than World Cup Time

FIFA is here and Team USA is doing a great job. If you're looking for a great place to get out your tics, look no further than a World Cup watch party in your city. 
I just went to the Belgium/US watch party in the Kansas City Power and Light district (look on ESPN. We are wild.) 
You can hardly hear a single thing at these crazy fun watch parties. Which for a TS patient is a wonderful thing! About the only problem  was trying to do my arm jerk in the middle of the crowds because so many people were near me (I didn't want to hit anyone face).
Seriously though if you need a place to get out your tics, but have a great time doing it, go to a FIFA watch party your city. Such out my videos of the party in the link below:

Friday, June 20, 2014

CBIT - A Habit Reversal Alternative

So about two months ago I started a new program at my doctors office called CBIT (Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics). It takes a few qualities from Habit Reversal Therapy, but also includes the process of defining one’s tics. The basic idea is that a person has to know what their tics are - and when they’re ticcing - to know how/when to stop them.

When I took Habit Reversal (different than CBIT), the instructor asked me what my tics were. Then for basically every tic I had (be it screeching or blinking) she told me to wiggle my toes. As people who have Tourettes know, wiggling your toes is not going to help with those types of tics.

However, CBIT gives an entirely knew look at the good qualities of Habit Reversal. CBIT literally provides an entire “manual” of alternatives to tics. These alternatives are, of course, not nearly as annoying or emberrassing. What’s even better is that the goal is to eventually have NO URGE. WHAT???? That’s right. By resisting the urge to do the original tic and transferring the urge to the tic alternate the urge to do that tic should eventually decrease dramatically (if not go away entirely). And once the urge is gone, you don’t even have to do the alternates anymore.

One if my tics is squeezing my eyes shut as hard as possible. My CBIT instructor and I looked at every movement I made throughout the proccess of the tic: "I breathe in. I squeeze my eyes shut. My face scrunches up. My teeth show. I’m not breathing throughout all of this."

Then we look up the different movements in the proccess in the CBIT “manual.”
For “squeezing one’s eyes shut” the CBIT manual suggests that instead you stare at one object and blink in a controlled slow manner, opening and closing your eyes every few seconds. The crazy part? It actually works.

Eye-blinking isn’t the only tic covered in the manual. Any tic you can possibly think of is in there. You can even combine different altternatives for those tics which aren’t specifficaly defined in the manual.

If a certain alternate doesn’t get rid of the urge within 5 minutes, you just try a different alternate that does work for you.

To find out more about CBIT go to the TSA website here.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hoping for Brotherhood

I'm typing this post from the basement of the Kansas Farmhouse Fraternity (in Manhattan, KS). Farmhouse isn't like other fraternities. There's no drinking, drugs, or constant profane language and talk. Instead these men strive to live their lives as is pleasing to God. I'll be a freshman next year at K-State, and my hope is to be a part of this wonderful brotherhood. The Farmhouse motto is "Builders of Men." And build, they do. I arrived this morning, and now after the older guys took us out for a midnight pizza I feel like I have tons of new friends. Maybe one day they'll even be brothers.

People say laughter is the best medicine. That is the absolute truth. I've cried about 4 times (because I've laughed so hard) since arriving this morning. The best part: each time at least 2 other guys were cracking up right beside me. My tics have actually been kind of high, but I've hardly noticed them, I'm having such a great time laughing and getting to know these awesome guys that my tics can't handle the joy, and they've fled my conscious. 

If I get accepted to Farmhouse - or even if I don't - I know I'll love getting to know some of these guys over the next four years. 


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Kids with Tourettes Are Not "Special"

Obviously every good parent on this earth thinks their child is special. That's awesome! Parents: encourage your kids as much as possible. It helps A TON.

However, the whole special treatment of kids with TS drives me crazy.
Yes. I need notes given to me, because my handwriting's terrible.
Yes. I need private testing, because my tics get really high when I take tests.
And yes. I do need to be pushed every now and then to get my homework done.

When every single student in my school district gets a day off, why shouldn't I?
The common answer from my teachers and parents, "You don't go to school nearly as much as everyone else."

Well yeah. Of course I don't. But I'm still doing all the work, aren't I? And if I get done faster than everyone in school, what's the big deal. In some places they'd call that higher intelligence. I oughta be awarded, not taking a test on a "day off."

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my teachers and my parents. But this is not a "special" case. I'm a student who does the same work as everyone else. I may do it outside of the school building (shoutout to Starbucks), but that doesn't mean I'm not working. And if I happen to get my work done faster than the kids in school, why can't I have a break? Heck! I should get more breaks than the kids in school if I'm doing the work faster.