A Slight UpTIC: PTTD

Stink has been a wee bit more ticky lately. I do mean wee. It’s small enough that I’d gladly take his T.S. the way it is now forever if I could. He just does this occasional minor sputtering with his mouth. And the Tarzan. Gooooooddddd the Tarzan. “Ah ah ah…”

A tingle ran down my spine the other day when I heard it. It was so faint. I’ve probably heard it only about ten times since. But this summer it was so persistent and non-stop, it about drove me mad. It wasn’t until I heard it again, after months of silence, that I remembered how much I really struggled with that one tic.

A friend of mine is going through something herself with her daughter. She’s had a few years of quiet. She thought she had figured out the “cure” for the tics. To have them come back – even if just a small bit – triggered a fearful reaction in her.

I call her response, and mine, PTTD: Post Traumatic Tic Disorder. Perhaps you’ve experienced this phenomenon also. It’s a reminder for me, and for you, that T.S. is a weird disorder. There’s a lot you can do to suppress tics, and accept them, but the biggest gift you can give yourself is to remember that often it rears its ugly head for no apparent reason. The only thing certain is change, right?

That said, I do think part of Stink’s uptick is based on having acupuncture once/week only instead of twice. I had cut down for financial reasons, as well as time (there’s only so many hours after school to get stuff done… two sessions/week of acupuncture is a lot to squeeze in) but I might just have to make it happen twice again. I’ll give it a month and see.

That’s the scoop on me. How are you?

6 thoughts on “A Slight UpTIC: PTTD”

  1. Hey Andrea,

    My little guy’s tics have been up for a while (as I’ve mentioned in recent posts). So on Sunday, after church we went to lunch with friends. Usually we are real strict with his everything-free-might as well eat cardboard diet, but in a moment of weakness I totally caved. In my mind I told myself, “the tics are already bad on the diet, so what will chicken nuggets, fries, and a frosty matter?” Let the child live a little, right? Well, he was completely thrilled about my caving in. But sure enough, a few hours later the tics were CRAZY! It was a good test, because until then I thought the diet was pretty useless and that I’ve been torturing him for no reason, other than some test results.

    So, back on the diet…… It kind of hurts me though for him, because he was so happy eating regular food for just one meal…..I mean ecstatic! But I guess if I really think rationally, those nuggets and fries are basically as processed as it gets and not even a little bit healthy.

    His tics have settled a little more since Sunday, but he is still going strong with the eye tics and facial grimaces. I’m ready for those tics to go away, but wish I could choose the ones that come in it’s place.

    I’m interested to see how the acupuncture continues to work for Stink! We may explore that avenue eventually.

  2. What a great term, PTTD! I understand how you feel – my son’s whistling has gotten out of control lately, I’m hearing Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” in my sleep. . .at least it’s in tune.

  3. @ Courtney – I will keep you posted. Glad you are checking in. How are you doing?

    @ Jennifer – You know, I ALWAYS forget that your daughter has a stutter. I have never heard it. Goes to show that parents are always most sensitive about their own kids.

    @ SallyGK – How did your daughter do today at the acupuncturist?

    @ Mom Meets Blog – PTTD… yes. It’s true. May you not need rehab should you suffer also!

  4. I don’t do a “special” diet for my son, but we most definitely avoid certain triggers like food dyes and preservatives. It is usually pretty simple to enforce with him because he likes a wide variety of food and he likes whole foods and home made food better than manufactured food. With that said, holidays, special events, birthday parties etc. do cause an increase in his tics as well. For him, a large part of it comes from anxiety about changes in routines and sensory overload, but there are definitely food triggers that go along with these events. I don’t always say no, but I do prepare him for the fact that his tics will increase if he chooses to partake. I am trying to give him more choice and control over these decisions as he gets older. Valentines was bad though. Some kids in his class gave our these heart suckers that were full of red food dye and he chose to eat one. His cough / throat clearing tic went through the roof. Two nights later I took the kids to see a movie and sat on the edge of my seat the whole time worried that someone near us would complain about it because it was so loud and distracting. At one point I asked him if he would like to move down the aisle further from people so he didn’t have to worry about his tics and he told me no, he liked his seat. I guess that is one advantage he gains from also having Aspergers… he really doesn’t notice or have the theory of mind to worry about the discomfort his tics may cause others. As you have pointed out Andrea, when you can’t change the tic, change yourself. I just sometimes wish I had a bit of that Aspergian attitude to others’ reactions.

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