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Deceptively Delicious: Supplements in Food for Tics

sneaky mom

As you know from my last post, my kid refuses to take supplements for his tics, those specific supplements for now being Magnesium Citrate and Taurine.

Four days ago I was fine with that. He’s confidant! God loves him! Hooray! Guess what? Mama loves him too and she’s not happy about it at all.

It’s not just the sounds that are of concern to me. With them come a hyper-activity that is going to cause more harm than good when his father and I decide to kick him out of the house. It’s OVER THE TOP.

Who’s the Parent Here?

There is a fine line between letting a kid be confidant and taking control as a parent. And that fine line, my friends, is coming into play with diet.

Mom the Sneaky Chef

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I am putting some supplements in his food. This morning, he had rice, meat, veggies and a topping of salsa Taurine! It was “delicious” according to my ticking preacher. I am grateful that he was none the wiser and I feel better that in a few days we’ll hopefully (God willing) have a reduction in tics.

Mama Guilt Sneaks in the Back End

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I feel a wee bit bad about this, honestly. It feels a little con-artisty. That’s because it is. And maybe that’s okay.

When our kids were toddlers, did we ask them if it was okay with them that we mash bananas into their cup? Did Jessica Seinfeld ask permission from her kids to blend veggies into their pasta sauce? No. (And she made a crap load of cash off it, also! I really should ditch my spouse for a movie star. Having an affair with Hugh Jackman would not only cure Tourettes but it could quite possibly get me a cookbook! Duh!!!!!!!)

Making a Decision Based on a Bunch of Factors

Sometimes in life we have to look at what we’re dealing with. In my case, it’s a few things.

1. Confidant Kid: My kid likes himself. I don’t want to be the one person who makes him feel bad about his tics by constantly forcing supplements down his throat. (Believe me, I could go there. “No video games if you don’t take these, sucker.”)

2. Brain Unbalanced: While I am relieved that Stink is happy with himself, I see the tics as a sign that his brain is a bit unbalanced. While some things I cannot change (Translation: I am not going to fix Tourette Syndrome) some things I can fix (Translation: A few supplements, prescribed by a doctor, can even out his symptoms and help him to concentrate more in school, reduce tics and keep the energy level here down to a reasonable amount.)

My God Story

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While for my son the tics might just be a part of “God’s story” for him, I’m a child of God, too. As one person in my “Twitch and Bitch” private support group pointed out, I get to direct some of my son’s plot, just like God directs mine. This means calming down the symptoms a bit. He thinks he’s not taking pills (a win for him) and I see a reduction in symptoms (a win for me).

What’s My Intent?

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In closing, I have to really look at my intention with the supplement seeking. If I’m doing it just to make me feel better, that’s not good enough. If I’m doing it for his health, that’s another. If I’m sneaking around because I’m afraid to stand up to my own kid, that’s a problem. (No, there are MANY places I hold my ground.) If I’m working around it to allow him the grace to feel good in his own skin without constantly bringing up tics, that’s another.

What’s Your Intent?

Does anyone else out there struggle with this? I have found that situations like this are the most difficult part of my journey. I want my kid to advocate for himself, but at the same time, I don’t want to constantly throw “tics” and “tourettes” in his face. I want him to be a kid who is confidant, happy and joyful who happens to tic, not the other way around.

What is the story you want to write for your child?

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About Andrea Frazer

Find me at www.happilytickedoff.com! I'm a produced television, magazine, newspaper and national blog writer available for freelance writing in the areas of faith, parenting, lifestyle and healthcare. In addition to ghostwriting and content creation, I am proud to be publishing my first book. Called "Happily Ticked Off," it is a humorous mom-moir about raising a son with Tourette Syndrome. I can best be described as Erma Bombeck meets Nora Ephron. I live to connect with others through writing, authenticity and just a wee bit of sass.

3 responses »

  1. I have been thinking about your previous post and am not sure what I would do. My kid is only seven so it’s a bit different. All I know is I am inspired by you. You are very encouraging and I love your sense of humor! I seems you are raising a confident son!

    I want to hear more about Taurine. My doctor won’t give the “ok” because she just doesn’t know enough about it. I am not sure if I should try it or not. Any side effects? So far we just do a good probiotic, multivitamin, Magnessium and fish oil

    Reply
    • Andrea Frazer

      Hi Holley – Thanks for your comment. It’s tough, huh? I struggle. Today, I’m struggling more than normal. Probably because I have so much work, kids home, bla bla bla. First world problems.

      That said, I wouldn’t give my kid Taurine without talking to a doctor. A western med doc likely won’t know anything about this supplement. They are trained in meds which do work, but often they treat the overall symptoms, not the root. (Full disclosure, I do not know a ton about meds and will be writing about it soon.)

      To the note of treating the “root” – this is of course a problem, is it not, since no one knows what causes tics!!!!!!! There’s so much to think about, from treating the gut (which you are doing) to food and diet and supplements. Some of my friends are dealing with mouthpieces for their kids.

      I say all this to offer the suggestion I offer myself: Go with YOUR gut on treatment. Find a great naturopath who can guide you. See what you CAN do with diet and supplements. It doesn’t have to be all guess work. For me, I’m getting Stink’s blood work done and a saliva test to see what he’s missing nutritionally. I am framing it as “You don’t want to go on ADHD meds, then this is another option.” I want him happy, but I need him to focus in school, too. In our case, tics are often a symptom of other hyperactivity. What can we do to minimize it? Exercise, diet, supplements, happiness… it’s all good. I’ll try that, personally, before a drug. Most days I succeed. Today, not a good day. It happens.

      I hope this makes sense? I have no answers other than I’m doing my best and I know you are, too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep coming back!

      Reply
      • Hi Andrea,

        Yesterday we (I) had a TERRIBLE and FRUSTRATING day and today is ok. It can certainly be a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I just want it to stop!

        Thanks for your encouraging comments. I believe, like you, that God has a plan for our awesome and brilliant children!

        I am currently searching for a good naturopath doctor. I am realizing that the pediatrician isn’t the route for us in this area.

        Thanks again for your encouraging blogs. I will keep reading and I amwishing you all the best!

        Holley

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