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Happy New Year! Tic Resolutions?

skating

Keeping this short as I’m at work. (Unless you’re my boss reading, in which case I am diligently coming up with 75 Examiner Headlines.)

How was your holiday season? How are the tics? How are you dealing with them?

One dear friend of mine from my private group keeps a Victory journal. It’s a faith-based writing memoir in which she shares her struggles and hopes for her son with God. By writing down verses and scriptures, she has an automatic go-to way to release some of her fears. I love that!

As for me, I am a pray-er and list maker. Here are my goals for dealing with Tourettes this year. Would love to hear yours.

Fantasy Goal

Not let tics bug me in the least!

Realistic Goal

Find the courage to accept the tics I cannot change, change the tics I can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Vocal Tics Gone

Thanks to acupuncture, Stink’s vocal tics are gone. I mean GONE. Given how much crap he ate over Christmas, combined with video games and lack of sleep, I don’t believe this is just coincidence or part of the tic cycle. Acupuncture is the reason, so I’m grateful. (Stay tuned this week as I video tape the lovely Martina speaking on this subject!)

Still Shaky Shaky

Unfortunately, my son’s head shakes/nods are at an all time high. I mean, NON stop. (How they don’t bug him is amazing. I honestly get so drained being around it sometimes. I swear, it’s ME who needs some kind of hyno-therapy for this. Still, not depressed like I was years back. Just working on acceptance. There is hope!)

Martina thinks that the supplements will kick in after six weeks and to be patient until then. If the constant shakes don’t go away, it’s time to reconsider how much time he spends on the computer.

NOTE: I pray that he does find relief via the herbs she is prescribing, because he SOOOO loves his gaming. He is not playing all day. He plays weekends only. During vacation he plays 1 – 2 hours/day. This might seem like a lot, but as a kid, I watched TV 1 hour-2 hours/day. I also biked and ran and hung out with friends, just like Stink. We’ll have to see.

Realistic Plan for 2014 for Tic Treatment

* Gluten free unless a birthday party in which he gets pizza and cake. (Similar to me and wine. It’s all moderation.)

* Computers weekends only except 10 minutes/during week to feed some virtual plant in some game. (I know, it’s dumb)

* New sport introduced for daily exercise

* Dog for him to walk daily! (Stay tuned! He got a promise for a dog on New Year’s Day which was also his 11th birthday! Tics increase in the tween years, so I’m keeping this in mind.)

* Acupuncture 3 days/week + supplements

More Hardcore Plan if tics don’t decrease by Spring

* No 10 minute virtual plant feeding during week

* Going dairy free again

* Revisit the idea of Brain Balance now that I’m working and might be able to swing the 5K

* Consider some kind of Lens Treatment for tics

* Revisit an environmental doc to guide me on pros and cons of letting a kid be a kid (video games) and supplementing with good stuff I’m already doing

For Me

* Daily exercise

* No wine during the week

* Church on Sundays with family

* Bible Study daily (just ten minutes)

* Life Group (small groups of people thru church) to connect with once/week and remind me that my life is not based on tics but something so much greater than myself

I pray that 2014 brings you peace that transcends understanding. I pray that you (and I) remember that all kids have something. We can’t always fix the tics, but we can encourage the gifts our kids are born with. Personality trumps Tourette Syndrome. Love you all!

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

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It Finally Happened – The Mean Kid Tellith Stink To Stop Ticking

Tonight I had to write the letter below to Stink’s teacher. Apparently, this is the week of honest correspondence. Spineless salespeople…. ignorant gradeschoolers… at least I knew Stink’s teacher would be receptive.

From our first conversation last year in the halls – before she was even Stink’s teacher – she demonstrated not only humor and smarts but an emotional intelligence that I’d been dreaming of in an educator.

Still, those fears I had when he was diagnosed five years ago – worries that included being teased and harrassed for noises and twitches he couldn’t control – were finally being realized. It was a somber moment.

At the same time, it was liberating. Because although I wished I didn’t have to deal with this, I wasn’t scared. And my son wasn’t too upset either. Sad an annoyed? Yes. But broken? Hardly. The past five years had been spent concentating on Stink’s strength, not his weaknesses. No fourth grader was going to take him down.

So with strength (I fake it sometimes) and lack of fear (anxiety will hit later when I’m PMSing or out of Zoloft or Day 6 of my no nightly glass of vino quest) I give you the letter which all mothers of tickers worry about writing:

Hi –

So I hate to be THAT mom, but I was saying prayers with Stink tonight and he mentioned feeling sad about some kid named Mama Never Taught Me Empathy I’m a Cry For Help who always asks about his tics.Stink doesn’t care if people ask, and he gives the standard, “Oh, I have Tourettes and make tics. I can’t help it!” and that usually suffices.

But apparently this kid keeps saying, “You CAN help it. You CAN help your T.S..” He will move out of line if he’s next to Stink and say he does not want to stand next to him because of the sounds.

There’s 3 things going on in my opinion:

1. Of COURSE people are going to be annoyed sometimes. As a mom, I get annoyed myself but…

2. It’s an opportunity for kids to be more accepting of others.

3. Stink needs to educate the class on his condition. It might make his tics calm down.

Is there any way, sooner than later, my son can have the floor and just give an update to the class on what it is to have T.S..? I can get a video about it if that will help.

Or maybe Stink can talk about it in a PLC? (TRANSLATION for my blog readers: PLC stands for “Peaceful Learning Circle”. My kids go to a fabulous developmental hippy co-op amazing public charter school. They call teachers by first names. They used to have an assistant T.A. who wore mismatched socks named who sported a fro and went by “ChaChi”. I can’t make this stuff up. Now back to the letter to Stink’s teacher.)

I feel bad hitting you with all this on the 3rd week of school. I just want to nip the “social” stuff in the bud now so I can really focus on, well, getting Stink to FOCUS and be the best he can be.

Thank you –

Andrea (and Rex!)

My question for you readers: So what would you do? No, kicking some kid to Mars is not an option. Stink doesn’t want meds for his tics. He says he feels sad, but not enough for more medicine. He thinks this kid just needs to deal with it. Do you? I see both sides, honestly, but most of all, I’m happy my kid is confident in himself. Still… where do I make choices for him where his social life is at stake? You know, like being invited to a party by an ignorant dumb ass who only hangs out with ignorant dumbasses? Oh, wait…

Note to self: Cancel anti-ticking drug order. And congrats on 5 pounds lost! 10 more to go!

Here are my babies at our cabin this weekend. They cracked us up by surprising us with Twin Day outfits in their suitcase. Of course they had no tooth brushes, but who cares? They’ll be old with no teeth but like each other. Let’s see if Ignoramous STOP TICKING bully boy from Stink’s class can boast that. Well, maybe the no teeth part. If he keeps it up, someone will knock his front chopper out one day. I won’t cry will fake compassion for him.

* This site is syndicated at The New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome’s blog. Come on over and meet other writers who share similar joys and struggles. Do you write and want to contribute posts to the NJ Center or guest blog here? Email me at LifeHappins@Gmail.com
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A Cure For Tics! Really! And Pigs Fly! It’s True! (Well, They Sell Cure-Alls!)

I am steaming mad tonight, and it’s not that Stink’s tics are pretty non-stop. Quite the contrary, I am really taking on my mantra: “If you can’t fix the tics, fix yourself.” I am exercising, relaxing, off the wine  (in an attempt to drop 15 pounds) and just counting my blessings.

I’m mad about the response I received from an advertiser who will remain nameless. I will not reveal if this douche bag advertiser sold magic pills, e-books, supplements or therapies for tics. I will just say that they claim to stop twitches and sounds for a fee that’s more than a cup of coffee but less than a pair of Lucky Jeans. (Evasive enough? Good. Let’s continue.)

The ad promises it will work 100% and that their own kid suffered from tics and they can END! YOUR! KID’S! TICS! ALSO! It’s that easy! Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wrote them and said I would do a review for them in exchange for a free product. I was upfront that I could not spend more $ on something that I wasn’t sure worked. “But if it’s all it claims to be,” I wrote, “Then I will shout it from the rooftops and spread the word throughout Facebook and the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome.”

I would run a contest to get him more traffic! It would be a win-win for my son, his wallet, and nervous parents everywhere.

I received a quick response where I was asked for my site stats. I sent him a copy of them. (Believe me – I’m not exactly getting a million hits/day.)

He wrote back 24 hours later with this response. What you see is unedited. The first paragraph is in relation to my question about tic elimination.

His response

From my own experience and from feedback I get from people I would say the following numbers apply:

50% total elimination – it can take anywhere from a week (! but these are rare cases) to 3-4 months

30% significant reduction – and I mean noticeable and significant!

20% no significant change. Although many people say the kids are less hyper and calmer. And happier.

I think you would understand why i am hesitant to commit to your proposal…

Do I send you the eBook, wait for you 2-3 months and then unfortunately your case belongs to the 20% or even 30% and I get a nasty or no review?
My reputation could be damaged unfairly…

YES – i know! The way the sales page appears is as if this is the miracle cure. Sorry ….. so does every other product. 
My website consultant suggested and created it. (the testimonials are real by the way !!!)

If you want I can have (someone) Paypal you some money so it will be a paid post and you can just review the product and mention its existence.
You can also run a contest for a free copy.

I am not doubting your integrity as a writer – i would not want it any other way!
All I am saying is for you to understand my situation and realize that marketing and reality are not always on the same page.

He goes on to say a few more things, then ends it with, “God Bless.”

Where my head spins off its shoulders My thoughts

This person is willing to falsely lead frantic parents down a primrose path and then tell us that we are stupid for believing him since ads are never real. Translation: “We are complete and total frauds, but we need cash. PS: Jesus Loves You.”

My response

Hi Devil Spawn –
 
No problem. I totally appreciate you getting back to me.
 
I suppose I’m disappointed because, even if your marketing director said to do it a certain way, it’s kind of false advertising. Either it works 100% or it doesn’t. Your ad is appealing to people like me who, in desperate situations, will do anything to make their children’s lives better.
 
I think it would be more honorable to tell the truth: This works x amount of times and in x amount of cases. But that doesn’t sell as much product.
 
I don’t mean to sound high-handed. But it’s disappointing.
 
For the record, I would NEVER repeat an email from you or discredit you in any way. I’m not into character defamation of any kind. But I will tell my readers to be aware of ads that promote cure-alls.
 
I would ask you to humbly search your heart and consider revising your statements in your ads. It would add sooooo much validity to you.
 
Again, thanks for your honesty in your letter back. I wish you the very best.
(Note to my own readers: I am only repeating some of their email and gave no names, so I stand by my word.)
Their response

I agree !!!!
In an ideal world…..

I’ll tell you what:
Show me ONE ad/website/print that gives percentages and I will pay to have my site revised and rewritten!!!!

God Bless!

My response back

I do understand. I really do. But this isn’t a cleaning product – it’s placing false hope for a real disorder that affects real people. I understand that you need to make money, but there are some things where it’s more important to do the right thing. THAT’s what God blesses. It’s not a catch phrase or an email tag line. 
 
With all due respect, you should be really ashamed of yourself.
His response back
I’ll never know. I will delete it without looking at it. I can’t waste any more time on this. As the Bible says, “Don’t throw pearl to swine.”
God Bless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
* This site is syndicated at The New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome’s blog. Come on over and meet other writers who share similar joys and struggles. Do you write and want to contribute posts? Email me at LifeHappins@Gmail.com and I’ll personally introduce you to the editor. Let’s get Happily Ticked Off and do something to support each other!