Finally focused!

For my first blog I wanted to share a little bit about when I was first diagnosed. I’ve always been a little twitchy, I started blinking my eyes and sniffing when I was in preschool and developed many more simple motor tics. Since I was young, nobody paid any attention to it. As I got older however, my tics became complex and starting causing problems with my grades.

At this point, I was in fifth grade and my little brother had already been diagnosed. I knew I had Tourette Syndrome, too, so I sat down with my mom and told her about it. A few minutes later she was on the phone with my neurologist scheduling an appointment!

When I reached sixth grade my tics were awful. I couldn’t focus, I was always holding my tics back, and they were hurting me. So I did research and decided to educate my class on my disorder. My class handled the information so well and treated me the same as everyone else! It was such a relief for me.

But through my research, I found out about the Youth Ambassador program and we found NJCTS. Now, my I’m doing fantastic and I’m so thankful for all of the people who helped me along the way!

Friends are our first line of defense

Feeling a little better about my new swearing tic thanks to my amazing friends! I was texting one of my best friends in college who is going to live in my suite this year and I told him about it. He was so amazingly supportive like always. We’re going to be in a class this year together and so he texted me back saying, “if you do it in class, i’ll give a mean glare to whoever looks at you!” He also said, “I was going to say that I would swear with you, but then I realized that would cause more problems. haha, if we aren’t in class I’ll definitely join in.

I have the best friends in the world! I was feeling so nervous about starting school with this new tic earlier today before I talked to him, but now I’m feeling so much more confident and less nervous about it. Out of all the things I can try to do to make myself feel better when i’m ticcing or nervous about ticcing, nothing helps more than when other people make me feel at ease about my tics by standing up for me when people stare, joining in with me, or joking with me/making light of my tics.

Accepting and supportive friends truly make such a huge difference in my life that I can hardly put it into words. Thank you to all those friends out there who are our first line in emotional support. You do more for us than you could ever imagine.

Wisdom teeth aren’t that terrifying for tics

Hey guys! So recently I got my wisdom teeth taken out and I wanted to share my experience with you. I am currently still recovering from surgery, and am sporting a little bit of chipmunk cheeks. They’re cute but I cannot wait to get rid of them! Anyways, I wanted to share what it was like to have the surgery and be in recovery because I know that before getting it I was terrified.

When I got there, I thought they were going to put me to sleep, which did not happen. I was awake throughout the whole surgery, but it went by very fast. The first thing they asked was if I liked music, and of course I said yes. The doctor asked if I had any requests to put on, and of course I said Panic! At The Disco because they are my all-time favorite band.

So he put that music on, and then gave me laughing gas. I was afraid of how the medication was going to make me feel, and if I would tic under it or not. After I was breathing in the laughing gas for a little while, he put a needle into my arm that had anesthesia.

I felt very calm and happy, and then they started the surgery. They had my arms loosely buckled down so I wouldn’t move too much, and I’m glad they did. I would have to say I had around 3 tics throughout the whole surgery, and they were arm tics, but they weren’t too powerful and didn’t interrupt anything. All in all, everything went smoothly and I was all scared for nothing.

The recovery is a pain because my mouth hurts all the time, but its getting better with each given day, I am constantly taking the medication and advil in-between to ease the pain, which is helping.

All in all, I just wanted to let you know that anyone who is going to have their wisdom teeth taken out, you’ll be fine!

My Medicine of Dance

This blog post originally appeared on BrittanyFichterWrites.com.

I don’t watch Dancing with the Stars often, but when I heard that there was going to be a  Disney night, I couldn’t resist. And I was not disappointed.

I grew up dancing. It was always one of the biggest parts of my life, but I didn’t realize how much it did to improve my Tourette Syndrome, OCD tendencies and anxiety until I graduated from high school and my tics began to get worse. I’ve given it quite a lot of thought, trying to put into words what my body and soul feel when I’m dancing, attempting to make sense of why dance so helps calm my mind and loosen my tics that cling so tightly to me.

This is what I’ve come up with.

How Dancing Improves My Tourette

If you’re not familiar with Tourette, having it makes you feel like you’ve got a million little bursts of energy all over your body. These bursts of energy make you feel like you need to constantly move, your tics (involuntary vocal sounds or physical movements), itching to escape. Suppression is possible, briefly, but what you’re left with is a body with a ton of energy that has nowhere else to go.

Unless you dance.

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Things Tim Howard Could Save … the world?

Today I was standing in line to get lunch and was doing a bunch of vocal tics and the person standing in front of me wasn’t reacting a whole bunch, so I thought to myself, “Maybe she knows what Tourette’s is because of Tim Howard. Maybe one day everyone will know what Tourette’s is and people will stop staring at me in public when i’m ticcing.” What a nice thought it was.

Also Tim Howard is becoming an internet sensation!!! #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave is trending right now on Twitter and if he could save your parents divorce and the save the citizens from being eaten by Jaws, maybe just maybe he could save my sanity one of these days!!! Lol, OK maybe i’m being a bit dramatic, stares in public don’t make me loose my sanity completely, but I sure would feel a lot better if people stared less often!