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Monthly Archives: February 2014

My Little Lazy Ticker

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A quick check in to say all is status quo around these here parts. Tics mild as opposed to moderate – likely due to a big drop in gluten intake.

Stink is tired of the acupuncture – says he’s bored of lying on the table when all he can do is think about Mario, Pokemon and create comic books in his head. Then again, he’s also bored of school. He thinks waiting around for everyone to finish math on their worksheets while he’s done the mental computations is completely a waste of time. He is considered a “slam dunk” by our principal’s office for a GATE program at a local middle school should we choose to send him to a new Junior High, but he says he doesn’t want to take the gifted test because he doesn’t want more than ten minutes of homework every night.

Basically, I’m raising a gifted lazy ass.

Prayers accepted.

PS: If you live in Los Angeles, there is a Tourette Syndrome event happening in Hollywood this evening. It is featuring Michael Wolff – a gifted pianist – who is apparently the inspiration for the movie The Tic Code. Am I the only person on the planet who never saw this movie or even heard of it?

 

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Not Normal and Loving It

Conversations with Stink can be considered either terrifying or hysterical depending on one’s mind frame. I choose the second option – it’s so much freer. People who insist in living life at option #1 are going to be forever frustrated with Stink’s personality. While those on Rigid Island insist my son is aggravating, Stink lobbies fart bombs and puns their way at such a rapid fire they don’t have much chance. It’s lovely living in Stink’s world.

On that note, here is a conversation we had last week. It involved my need for Stink to learn a life skill, so that he isn’t living with me for the rest of his life, and his insistence that I am horridly unfair that he only gets to play video games on the weekend. We settled on the agreement in the following manner:

Me: You can game 20 minutes/night if you learn an instrument. I’m thinking piano, violin, guitar, drums….

Him: I like the xylophone. Or the harmonica.

Me: Um… well… how about a language? We can go with French, Italian, Spanish…

Him: I have always wanted to learn Mandarin. I love Chinese. Don’t you just love Chinese people and everything about that country?

Me: Sure, Stink. Chinese people are amazing. But what about your hair? What are you going to do with an afro on the Great Wall of China? We will see you from space.

Him: That would be awesome! But you know what I really want my hair to look like?

Me: Short? (Dear Jesus on a pogo stick, please let him say he wants a hair cut.)

Him: I want my hair long. And straight. (Giant pause) And black. Like Violet… from the Incredibles.

Picture me passing out as I visualize my trans-gendered ticker in China collecting rubber ducks and passing out camel cards.

What are camel cards? His Valentine’s Day cards of course. Because “Humphrey”  – a silly stuffed animal – is his favorite hump day treasure. He brings it to school in the middle of the week, shouting, “It’sssssss…. Hump Day! Humpty humpty humpthy huuuuuump Day!” He took a photo on his Tablet, turned it into a card, and added a Pokemon to the inside of it. It matters little if everyone else likes Pokemons. He does.

Me: Is it possible you’re a bit old for this kind of, um, behavior?

Him: (faux offended, mimicking a knife going into his chest.) Are you kidding? People love Humphrey! People think he’s so cool. In fact, he is our class mascot now!

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Of course he is.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I find this behavior outrageous, hilarious, and terrifying. If you’re a praying type, I accept your prayers. If you’re not, I accept your wine.

Good night, dear friends. If I can survive my kid, so can you. If you have a child like mine, he is not weird. He is an artist! And really, that is the way to be.

Andrea

PS: Stink told me he very much loves girls. He wants to marry a girl. In fact, Tuskany’s lovely lady is still #1 in his book. (Sorry, Tuskany, if my 6’9 beef cake whisks your petite doll off to China.) Stink also agreed to let me blow out his hair today. This is the result. He is now less Jew fro and more Beetles fro. It’s all great until the braces come. And his feet threaten to require their own bedroom.

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Acupuncture Video #4 – How T.S. translates in Acupuncture Terms

tics are up

Tics seem to be up for a lot of folk I know – including my own kid. More vocals – this time kind of a high-pitched squeak. Not really loud, but it is punctuating his sentences big time.

Last night, while doing math with him, he was doing quite a bit of nodding and squeaking, along with some eye rolls. Did it worry me a bit? Yes. But I also have to say that he cracked me up. He’s just so funny and charming.

We had this entire discourse on the pros and cons of adding up the perimeters of an object. I wanted to take the area of the invisible square and then do some subtraction, where he came up with some theory on multiplying a side by 10 and then dividing some fraction of the base and mixing it with the hair of a chihuahua and a bald eagle tail feather. (I swear, his mind moves so fast, I can’t keep up with his figures.)

Bottom line: We both got the same answer and had a lot of laughs in the process. I’ll take it, even if this means fighting my instinct to freak out about tics.

One might be led to ask, “Really? Then why do the acupuncture if it’s not working?”

I think that’s like telling a person who has been fat since childbirth to not exercise since they are large anyway. Movement keeps them healthy on the inside and keeps less chunk from accumulating.

Likewise, Stink has T.S.. As much as I want acupuncture to be a silver bullet, it serves more like a nice balance for his system. Some days are better than others. Martina is not the Tic Whisperer – she is not going to eradicate all symptoms  through her magical fingers – not when we don’t 100% stick to diet, a perfect sleep schedule, a perfect exercise routine and a no-video policy.

What is your tic management protocol?

I’d love to hear where you are all at in regards to managing tics. Personally, I am really listening to my readers who have T.S. and encourage me to let my kid be who he is. (As long as Stink remains happy regardless of a few twitches.)

If I ever sound like a broken record, too, I want to know.

In closing, I leave you with Martina, talking about how the Western label of “Tourettes” can be treated with the Eastern method of “Acupuncture.”

Martina Eberhard – Acupuncture Referral

Martina is available for acupuncture treatment in the San Fernando Valley. She also does phone treatments. More information can be found on her here

Find Me

You can follow me at Twitter @Andrea Frazer.

You can find me on Facebook under Happily Ticked Off

You can email me at HappilyTickedOff@Gmail.com

I’d love to connect with you!

My day job as a writer for Spark Network

You can find me writing about my faith at Believe.com. Any writers out there or people of faith? Contact me and I’ll be happy to link you from my posts when applicable!

Check out more posts about Tourettes at the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome where this blog is syndicated.

Acupuncture Video #4 – Definition and Relation to T.S.

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Stink’s vocals are back. Stink has also not been to acupuncture regularly in two weeks. Me thinkey there is a connection!

He will start up again tomorrow. Meanwhile, here is Video #4 where Martina discusses the definition of acupuncture and how it affects tics and Tourettes.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

PS: You can find me on Twitter. Just look for Andrea Frazer with the picture of my family as my avatar. Apparently there are 4 other Andrea Frazers – who knew!?

My Daughter Has Special Needs, Too!

As many of you readers know, I have a little girl I refer to as Pip. She’s a year behind Stink in school. She pretty much worships the ground her brother walks on. This includes not wanting to give up sharing a room with him, laughing until her eyes pop out of her sockets at him, and giving a speech at school about why “Stink is My Hero.”

None of her adoration comes from feeling sorry for his tics. Quite the contrary, she just finds him hysterical because, well, he is.

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I write this because I’ve had this huge shift lately in how I talk about my son. While yes, he does tic (and with that comes some special accommodations like diet and the whole ‘he has T.S.’ speeches for new play dates and school years) he is not really what I’d consider special needs. There’s not a darn thing wrong with his academic or social life.

You know who does have special needs more and more? My daughter.

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She is traversing those rocky waters of pre-tween years. Her math and science are starting to take a dip. Some of this could be said that I spend too much time with Stink, but truthfully, that’s not it. I am hyper vigilant about spending time with her, from our mommy daughter library days each Monday to our road trips and nightly reading. (We are half way through Anne of Green Gables. The little orphan kid is a kick in the gingham pants, for sure!)

The truth is that Pip is stumbling a bit because of me. I’m just not around as much as I used to be. I’m working full time. I am tired when I get home. I always figured my pragmatic Hermione Granger had it all together because, well, she mostly does! But these days, she needs some extra support, and all fingers point to me and my performance in the past 3 months. I have been there each day – picking her up after school at 2PM on the dot. But, after getting up at 4:30 for a 6am shift, I’m not there for her. And that needs to change.

The nail in the coffin came a few days back during one of my weekly gatherings.  With 12 kids running amok like feral beasts in my back yard, the conversation turned to male/female dynamics shifting at school. A friend turned to me and said, “Bekka really misses spending time with Stink. She thinks he’s awesome, despite the fact that some kids in school find him odd.”

* Side note: Last year that statement – the part about him being ‘odd’ – would have broken my heart. But this year, for whatever reason, I am 100% confidant in his “weirdness” as being what makes him brilliant and eccentric. Like my daughter, I find him outrageously hysterical. I am no longer going to put my fears on his tics. He is proving himself “innocent to self-confidence plummets’ until proven guilty.

“Belle,” I told my friend, “My kid is awesome despite some special needs.”

She slammed down her wine glass which, frankly, was kind of dramatic and awesome all at once. C “He does not have special needs!” she bellowed. “He has a medical condition! There is a difference.”

I was stunned. And you know what? She was right.

Then and there, it hit me like a ton of gluten free bagels from a toaster (which translates to the same as “bricks.”) It became as evident as white on rice that it’s time to put that special needs label to rest. I’m not against labels, but I don’t need them anymore to as a stamp of protection on my self-depricating “I know my kid has issues” defensive diploma.

In the blink of an eye, I got the upgrade I had been looking for but didn’t know I needed. My son has a medical condition. Not my fault! Let it go, mama! (Only took 5 years of blogging and a finished book to get there. I’m a slow learner.)

If you think about it, don’t we all have special needs? I do for sure. My throat is killing me. I haven’t seen a dear friend in over a month. My new dog is scared of other dogs and subsequently wants to eat them! And, yes, daughter has needs, too. Because of it, she’ll be getting some special attention today.

Today we will sit side by side in our local library. We will talk fractions and loft beds. We will discuss Junie B. Jones, Anne of Green Gables, and lament the fact that there has not been a new Clementine book in a YEAR!

And then we will go out for ice cream because my son with the special needs medical condition shouldn’t eat it right before acupuncture.

Do you have special needs? What are they? Mine is for connection, great food, a glass of red wine and a super book. What are your thoughts on labels vs. no labels?

PS: Here’s my latest column at Believe.com. If you’re a person of faith, or even if you’re not, I’d love for you to register there and leave a comment. Thank you!