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Monday, June 25, 2012

My Fourth "Twitch Day"

On June 25, 2009, I was officially diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome.  Since then, every June 25th has been deemed my annual "Twitch Day". 

Life has undergone so many changes since I started exhibiting symptoms of TS.  If not for Tourette's, I wouldn't have started writing.  1,149 posts later, I'm still at it.  Granted, it's not as often as I would like to publish.  As I have been feeling better, I've been spending less and less time online.  But, nearly 1,200 blog posts is quite an accomplishment (for my ADHD ass, anyway). 

Because of Tourette's, I am also currently on Social Security Disability.  I'm making less than half of what I did, working technical support for Verizon Wireless, but we get by.  Some months, it requires one hell of a juggling act to make ends meet.  But, if it weren't for TS, I wouldn't have become a stay-at-home dad.  I would likely be working 10-12 hours a day, and my little girl would spend most of her week in daycare.  There is nothing better than sitting on the couch, having her walk into the living room, staggering and sleepy eyed, and getting the first hug of the day.  I am so incredibly lucky to be able to stay home, do some chores around the house, and spend time with my baby.

In the last 4-6 weeks, I have doubted the possibility that I have Tourette's Syndrome.  Since starting on a gluten free diet, my tics have all but disappeared.  Up until today, I have only had one tic in the last month.  I have read in a couple of places that, for unknown reasons, Tourette's and Celiac disease tend to go hand in hand.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that if you have Tourette's Syndrome, odds are you have some type of gluten intolerance.  

So far today, I have been ticking like mad.  They're complex tics, meaning that I'm having motor tics and vocal tics simultaneously.  My "go to" tic has always been where my head cocks back violently, and I, well, bark.

I have been stressed out today, and I didn't sleep very well last night.  Pair that with the fact that I'm exerting myself more and more each day (physically speaking), and I tend to overdo it.  I forget that, just six weeks ago, I couldn't walk.  Now, I'm spending more quality time with my daughter.  I'm doing dishes, and laundry, vacuuming, and taking out the trash every day.  I've started to add some type of physical activity to my day.  I have also stepped up my volunteer work in recent weeks.  I have to remember, "baby steps".  I need to pace myself, so that I don't die from exhaustion before the end of the month.

I thought my Tourette's had completely gone away with the start of the gluten free diet.  Turns out, I was wrong.  It's no big deal.  I can handle this. 

I've said it before...the twitching, the stuttering and jerking and shouting have all become part of who I am.  To be honest, I can't picture myself without it anymore.

I am Twitch, as much as I am Adam. 


Rachel said...

It's cool that you can accept yourself for who you are. Without the Twitch, you wouldn't be you!