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Game Over. I Surrender. Enter Peace.

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I’m keeping this short because I really smell like a truck stop fueled by Trump’s lies went hiking this morning and was too busy writing, watching Call the Midwife and getting my house ready for camping to do so earlier. But I had to check in.

As of two weeks ago, I have made a big decision.

No more asking my son if he wants to try CBD oil or change his diet.

No more asking him to be tested for MTFHR in case he’s not properly digesting his food – thus the cause of his gulping, shoulder shrugging, head nodding and eye rolling.

No more going round and round with my husband about “Why don’t you care more about Stink’s noises?” and calling specialists on the sly for naturopath treatments I know I can’t afford anyway (both emotionally when my spouse isn’t on the same page as me and figuratively based on my current employment.)

I wish I could say I came to this conclusion because I’m an angel of serenity.

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But the truth is, I had a final conversation with Stink about it a few weeks back.

We had just come home from a trip where, over the course of five days, proceeded to vocally tic approximately 4000 times. (I counted. I’m an donkey hole. I know.) I was really losing it.

Me: “Stink, I know I haven’t brought this up in a while, but do you think maybe, just maybe, you would consider taking a little something for your sounds?”

Stink: “Oh, Mom, I know how hard they are on you. I’m sorry.”

Me: (Sensing hope. I’ll take the CBD oil behind door #3… finally!)

Stink: “Yeah, well, as much as the sounds bug you… and I get it… I won’t take anything – ever – just to make you feel better.”

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Ouch… right in the gut.

I was so upset. At myself for asking, but at him for not even be willing to try. How dare he not be co-dependent!

At my weekly call with my sponsors, with Rex by my side, I started sobbing. “Why can’t he at least try?” I cried. “We live as a family. It’s noise pollution! It’s unfair!”

My sponsor, very kindly but directly, said, “Andrea, it’s not your son’s job to make you comfortable.”

Ouch again.

But you know what, for whatever reason, hearing it from him (and not my spouse) I got it.

And I felt the feelings.

And I cried for a week.

I mourned the decade long quest for picking up the problem that my kid never wanted me to pick up.

I mourned the years of frustration when, in the end, the tics haven’t changed all that much.

But, if I’m being honest, I also mourned the end of an obsession. Because when I can’t spend my time trying to figure out my kid, I am going to have to shine that laser like focus on me. What are my dreams? What are my fears? How can I live out my best life?

I don’t have all the answers, but I know the answer can’t only be that I get what I want. Sometimes the answer is to lay down and surrender that we lost. But when we get up, we might just find a whole new beautiful life awaits.

And so that’s where I am today. A little less mournful, a little more joyful, and – as always – grateful that my strong boy is showing me that being oneself trumps tics and fear every single time.

Until next time…

May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you cannot change, the courage to change the tics you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

My book is available on Amazon. Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on Facebook. (Yes, I’m back on Facebook for work mainly!)

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And…They’re Back!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have had two weeks of non-stop excitement from birthday parties to sleepovers to Wii time to pool dates and, lo and behold, the tics are back!

Introducing, the squeaky gulp. It is happiest when interrupting Stink’s sentences at a rate of 20 times/minute, but it will make its appearance during quiet times, reading, chewing and teeth brushing.

While it is doing its best to unnerve me – and trust me – it’s doing a great job of it – I am hanging in there. I make no apologies for having my husband read bedtime stories to my little dude, wear ear plugs when needed, or just go for a walk (or 10) when I find myself losing it.

I refer to episodes like these as “Silver Bullet Denied”, for while I had hoped that the Intuniv would just blast these suckers away all together, alas, such is not the case. It is what is.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the tics I cannot change, change the tics I can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

And really, although I’m entitled to my pity party, I have so much to be grateful for. Just three hours earlier, my friend of 40 years asked me to visit her in the hospital.

“What can I bring you?” I asked, happy to finally have a chance to visit since her diagnosis two weeks ago.

“Bring your sharpest scissors,” she asked.

“Um… why?” I asked, not thinking she was planning on doing anything drastic, but it sounded odd.

“You’re giving me a haircut,” she said. “My hair will be gone by the weekend anyway, so at least get it off my shoulders. It’s so dry. I hate the clumps.”

“No problem!” I said.

One hour later, and a few snips that lasted five minutes due to her increasing chemo-induced headaches, she proudly sported a very short flapper hair cut.

“You’re like the Betty Paige of Leukemia,” I quipped.

She smiled and said she was tired, but asked me to come back Thursday.

I said I would and started to hug her goodbye.

She braced herself against the bed, and then I realized, “Oh, yeah. I can’t hug her. Her immune system is still too compromised. You’d think the surgical mask on my face would remind me. But no. Like thinking I can cure T.S., I’m a slow learner.”

Moms and dads, a cancer ward is not fun, but if my friend can name her chemo pumps Penelope and Kujo and dance on good days, we can get through T.S.. She will survive this – I know she will – and so will we! And so will our kids!

Andrea

Photo above my daughter’s favorite ballerina from her tea party. Bella is pure joy, and if you think she’s bugged one ounce by the squeaky tic, you would be wrong! She just dances on her little fat paws and encourages tu tu girls everywhere to squeak with joy.

 

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Stink Turns 9, Mario Turns 0

So most of you know how much I love Mario I hope that little fat fxx gets offed by Japanese Gaming Executives and is replaced by a First Person Shooter Game called “Crunchy Mama Vs. DS Satan Zombies.”

The object of the game is that the virtual hero you create, preferably a flabby ass forty year old like myself who wears thrift store Ugg boots and wreaks of Yuban, gets to huck gluten free cardboard type spelt bread at the heads of Video Game Creators. For every head that rolls, it’s one less tic you’ll have to deal with.

Lead players will also wipe out:

* Aspergers

* ADHD

* IEPs

* Un-inspired educators

* Uneducated buffoons who spell Tourettes “Turrets”

* Dill

That last one on the list? I just added it because I hate dill.

Without getting too personal about my son’s life – which is a joke because this whole blog is dedicated to analyzing every aspect of his confusing syndrome – I’ll say that I’ve been most frustrated about his obessions lately. The tics? Very very minimal. God bless acupuncture! But the constant never ending talk about Mario. DRIVING ME INSANE OH MY GOD SHOOT ME I’M GOING TO GO CRAZIER THAN I ALREADY AM.

Let’s assume he has a pending diagnosis that would make his inability to focus on anything other than his favorite topic impossible. Let’s say that with this diagnosis is hope for a brilliant academic future but a decent chance that he’s wired the way he is for better or for worse? Even if that is the case, I can’t take the talk about Mario 24/7. He has to curb it.

So I’ve installed the new Mario Behavior Chart which I’m making his teacher implement. It goes like this:

* He gets a star if he doesn’t talk about it before recess

* Same thing before lunch

* Same thing before dismissal.

* His teacher gives him a few extra stars if he doesn’t interrupt, say inappropriate things, etc.

I don’t care how much he talks about it on the playground.

This new system, let me say, is working! It’s not intended to be about censorship. It’s about letting the side of his brain that is super intelligent work on learning other stuff. It will allow new people into his world and enrich his relationships. It will tie in his weekend game time to good behavior.

This has all taken an incredible amount of patience. If I could, I’d drink three glasses of wine/day – I’m that tired by 8PM. But drinking is a slippery slope, so I’m not.

Not until Friday.

And then, all bets go out the window. Stink can play his beloved Wii and I can down some good red wine with the girls.

And on Saturday, during his Star Wars themed birthday party Fat Fxx Mario Debacle, I will be the first to take a baseball bat and whack the living lights out of that Fuzzy Plumber Pinata.

I’m obsessing a bit tonight. Do you think I have Aspergers or am I just jonesing for Friday?