Monday, December 3, 2012

I make funny noises and I can't help it. Although sometimes, I can. Not my TS, mind you, but odd noises of a different sort. In the last  meeting of church, we are trying to get to know the girls in the ward better, so they started doing spotlights. This particular Sunday I was in the spotlight. One of the questions asked about hidden talents. I have the silly and useless ability to chirp like a cricket. I have been compared to many animals since developing TS, but a cricket is not one of them. I was then asked for a demonstration. I was amused by the reactions. This group of people at church didn't react a lot to my Tourette's, but they reacted a lot to my chirp, and it was funny how similar the reactions were to other people encountering my TS for the first time! I was thoroughly amused. It's interesting to see what affects different people in different ways. I don't know what the difference is between the two noises in their minds, but it was big in some. One member of the bishopric actually asked me to do it multiple times after church for others who didn't get to hear it. I am on occasion asked to do this with my TS noises, and I am unable to comply in those instances, but Bro. Garrett seemed to enjoy this noise quite a bit. And it's funny to me that I still can't help it!

Temple Flashback

Sunday, November 11, 2012

So I have had Tourette Syndrome (well, been making noises and it was noticeable) since I was 17. So I had TS for a while before I started writing this blog. There are so many good stories that I need to sit down and write about before the memory completely disappears. Hence today's post! In my original post (the very first one) I mentioned a few stories that I would come back to. Today is the lucky day!! The first one is about my first trip to the temple.

It was May 2007. My TS had been evolving and changing, as well as becoming more frequent. This particular day in May was no exception to that. Maybe it was the nerves/excitement of going through the temple for the first time, but I was certainly on a roll! I was going off possibly about every 5 minutes or so as my mom and I drove around the city of Las Vegas running errands before we actually went to the temple.  I can't think of anytime since then that they have been that active! However, once I stepped inside the temple, something changed. I don't know what it was, but suddenly, I went quiet. Trips to the temple usually take about 2 hrs or less, but the first time through, I think it takes about 4 or 5 with everything that is going on. And NOT ONCE in those 4 or 5 hours did I make a noise.

That is not the end of the story though. It is one thing for the TS to come and to go, maybe I was just done for the day and that would explain my silence. What stands out most to me about that day is the dinner I had with my family afterwords. Those that had come to be with me in the temple that day came to dinner with us at Olive Garden. I love Italian food. Almost as soon as we had gotten our seats, I squeaked. We all had a good chuckle at the confused waiter. And they kept coming. And coming. As before, they were coming every 5 minutes.

That was the point where I quit worrying about them. I had been getting more and more curious as to what was going on, and my parents were very concerned, which did affect me as well. Not after that day, though. All worry and concern on my part stopped. My line of thinking went something along the lines of how Heavenly Father loves and respects these sacred places. If He cared enough to silence these noises for so long so I could focus on what was going on around me, He would surely do it again if there was ever a need for it. He knows me. He knows what these noises are, and He has it under control. I have never worried about them since. I have been free to laugh and enjoy them without any reservation. So while He may have control over them, I still am kept on my toes and I can't help it.

Beginning Again

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wow, more than 2 blog posts in the same month! Hopefully I can be more consistent like this. I think it helps that, once again, I am beginning fresh in a new place with new faces. There are new stories happening as I work my way into the social scene, and better yet (if you could say it's better...) there is no job or classes getting in the way of my blog time. Hopefully that will change soon, I do need a job.

Anywho, so on to the stories! Being in a new place, I had to find out where to go to church. I accomplished this last week and today was my second Sunday in the ward. Last week, sadly, nothing happened at church. No squeaks ---> No reactions. I did squeak at an activity that night, but for some reason, no one responded. It was quite unfortunate. I'm pretty sure it was heard, but no one even glanced my way. I was even in front of the treats that had been brought out!! Double weird.

This week, it happened. The girls in the ward (or the few that stuck around for the last meeting) were introduced to my Tourette Syndrome. I was sitting near the front, so I only saw the reactions of the Relief Society Presidency. The girl sitting next to me laughed as the girl standing in front conducting the meeting literally jumped back and then took a step away. The wide eyes of all 3 in front were amazing. After a quick giggle, I explained simply that I had Tourette Syndrome. I don't even know if anyone else knew what it was, but the girl in front obviously did, since she came to apologize after the meeting. I wonder how many don't know about it and how many new friends I will make because of my Tourette Syndrome. I can't help it if I make people curious.

Down Sides

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ok, so the whole new blog post took longer than a week. In all honestly, I can't remember exactly what I was going to mention. I know it had something to do with negative aspects or TS that I am starting to see. A couple even coming from my beloved squeaks that I love so much. I am beginning to see how children that have TS at a younger age may view them differently than I do. I have been living at home all summer, and I haven't been around my parents so much since I graduated high school, as my tics were beginning to emerge, much less the state they have reached. My dad cannot stand them. He has a really rough time with them, I don't think he really understands the concept of me not being in control of what I do. I can see him getting really frustrated when they get particularly loud and high pitched. It's understandable, it hurts his ears. Once I even caught him attempting to cover my mouth. That was hard for me. It kind of hurts that my dad doesn't understand and I don't like seeing him so frustrated about it. I'm not sure if I am more hurt or upset about it. That comes from the part I like about Tourette's!

On top of that, I am discovering other things that are suddenly much harder to control than they used to be. For the first time in my life, I have color coded my closet. The more organized I try to become, the more I see the OCD, and I am getting so particular about details being in place. I color coded the shirts I hang, and was going to walk away and work on the next project involved with moving. I didn't want to do that to my whole closet, but I couldn't just leave half of it undone. I had to do the other half. It was weird to have this struggle going on about something as silly as organizing a closet! I had so many other things I would rather have done than color code my closet. Really? I don't see it as a big deal, but I couldn't stop myself, and I couldn't leave until it was done.

Having moved in with my Aunt Sara, who is very organized, I am a little worried about my OCD getting out of control. I wonder if the disorganization in my life helped keep me sane and functional. Is this going to start getting in the way of me living my life? At least the perfectionism would benefit as I search for a career...

The most distressing part I am noticing does come from something I read in my Disconnected Kids book I have been reading (which I have still not finished... whoops). Anywho, the book talks about half of the brain developing faster than the other half, right? Well, that also affects the development of emotions. I hate emotions. I hate crying with a passion, and for the most part, I have detached myself from my emotions, because once I feel one thing, I can't control them, everything hits at once and it is overwhelming. I can't handle emotions, that is why I shut them off. It caused quite a bit of trouble for me at one particular point in my life and I can see it happening again as I try to deal with breaking off my engagement (Oh yeah, by the way... that didn't work out). It hurts, so I cry, but I hate crying so then I get angry, then the logic tries to take over and say, it's ok, I need to cry and this makes sense and thus starts an ugly spiral of negative emotions and arguments inside my head going back and forth trying to figure everything out until I get so exhausted nothing makes sense anymore. Then comes a snapping point. I try to keep that in check, but I can see how it could become violent, because that is the only way to get out and escape from your own mind. I have had urges to smash glass, tear books, kick, scream, hit and so on. Keeping it in doesn't really help matters much. I don't know what to do with it all. Definitely down sides that I just can't help.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

So I have been introduced to a book called Disconnected Kids by a guy named Dr. Melilo. I have been enjoying this book and the insight he gives on neurological disorders. His claim is that many neurological disorders that we see rising today; such as Autism, ADHD, Tourette's and Dyslexia to name a few, are all caused by the same thing. He generalizes all of them into one category he calls Functional Disconnect Syndrome. He claims that as children our brains and bodies grow and develop, but that sometimes the two sides of the brain don't always grow at the same speed. When one side grows faster than the other, a disconnect happens. This disconnect causes the various symptoms of the neurological disorders. He claims that rather than treating the symptoms, there is a way to treat the cause.

In the 20 years he has worked with children in strengthening the weaker side of the brain, he has seen symptoms decrease and even disappear. Children can say, "I used to be autistic." Quite a breakthrough in looking at this kind of stuff! The thing is, the brain affects so much of how we function. The more I read about what this disconnect does, the more I am saying, "Hey, I do that. Hey, I have that. That is SO me!" Things I used to do as a kid are coming back. It is possible that it is the power of suggestion, but at the same time, it's not things that are just happening... I did them as a kid, too. I just thought I was weird, and made myself stop. My TS, or disconnect is after all a lot more mild than many cases.

One example that I found intriguing was food sensitivities. Most kids are picky eaters. Kids with FDS are picky in a different way. We don't necessarily judge by taste, but rather other senses. I don't like cold water. I prefer it to be room temperature. I always figured it was because of sensitive teeth or something. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Sensitivities due to temperature, or texture, etc. can cause pickiness in kids. I totally do this. Another crazy example was that I am knock-kneed with bad posture. Remember, his claim is about the development of the brain in children. The brain controls the growth of the body as well. As a kid, I spent so much time reading that my muscles didn't develop the strength they needed. My motor-sensory skills are terrible, and I will be the first to admit it!

Now I understand there are MANY stories and theories about Tourette Syndrome and other neurological disorders as well, and that this is simply one among many. I have read many of them, too. I did my senior research on the different stories and theories about TS and how that affects the identity of those who have it. This is by far my favorite story and one I am inclined to believe. Not only do so many of the things he talks about in his book describe my life, but I love the way he describes it as well. That is is something we can still function in society with, that there is another option if we so choose. He doesn't even discredit the use of medication to control symptoms, but claims there is another way to decrease symptoms without them. I have not yet finished the book, but as I continue to read about how this can be changed, I do intend to see what I can change in my life and see if anything changes. In all honesty, I hope not my squeaks. I love them. But if I can fix other things in my life that are amiss due to this brain imbalance, it might not be such a bad idea. That is a whole different blog post that I will try to get up this week.

I never expected this blog to take such a serious turn. I intended it for the sole purpose of recording and sharing my funny stories, but hey, I can't complain. I am learning so much about myself in the process, and maybe it can help someone else, too. Life is funny like that, and the best part is, we can't help it. :)

Pip Would Be Proud...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Yep, that's how I felt, too, little buddy!
So I went to the temple today in town, and was riding home with my new sister, Brittany. She was driving and asked me a question. I don't remember what it was, because I had no idea what she was talking about. The answer to the question was, of course, "I don't know." However, being me, I can't just say that. It had to be exciting in some way or another, having TS, right? Sorry to disappoint any of you, but there were no noises or screams, or even a shoulder twitch. However, it was an exciting TS moment. Yet another evolution has occured... THE WORDS THEMSELVES, the "I don't know," were high-pitched and uncontrolled. I sounded like the little chipmunk, Pip, from Enchanted. You know, when he enters the real world and can no longer talk, but squeaks little words that are barely intelligible? Yep, just like that. It was also exciting considering my obsession with speaking in movie quotes. I don't know how often words will be coming out like that, but listen for new messages (and subsequent blog posts) headed my way!! I can't help it, my life rocks.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Oh stars, time flies so quickly!! I can't believe so much time has passed since my last blog post!! Hopefully I will get myself back in line soon! Life has had so much going on, for example, I am now a college graduate. It's official, my degree came in the mail the other day! Huzzah!!! What does this have to do with TS?? Well, graduation always has big fancy ceremonies, duh! Unfortunately, I let down a lot of classmates who were hoping for more, but there were noises during the ceremony. As names were called to cross the stage, it was requested that people held their applause til the end. Hahaha. This is Hawaii, and the Polynesians (or any family of graduates for that matter, mine included) did not abide by that rule. I didn't either, to tell the truth. I don't remember who was walking across the stage as a nice loud yell came out... masked by the yells of the family of this particular graduate. Such a shame, he shall never know the gift I was trying to give. :) There was another outburst during Sister Elaine Dalton's speech, but it was a smaller murmuring one, that only the ICS students around me were able to hear and appreciate. At least someone heard it though. It makes it much more fun. This was only the beginning, with my family visiting Hawaii, we played tourist, which provided the setting for many more fun stories. Yay for more posts to follow!!!


Monday, March 12, 2012

So I am hoping most people know by now, but I am engaged! I have met the most amazing man, Kekoa Michael Bay, and I was lucky enough to convince him to marry me! And yes, he knows about the Tourette Syndrome. It's hard not to, right? :) He is so good about it too. We have so much fun with it. At first he didn't really say much about it, he was afraid I would get offended or something. The more time we spent together, the more he realized I had a good attitude about it and he could open up. Anytime I start going off, he has started to "talk back." He will repeat the noises I make and we pretend we are having conversations. We look around at all the different faces that people make and laugh at them and use all we can to make a good joke about it (which is fairly easy to do, I have AWESOME timing!). Tonight we were at a social activity that involved food (the best kind!) and he had gone to throw the plates away. He then crossed to the other side of the room to talk to someone, when I suddenly let out a loud squeal (slight echo, good tone). A few of the usual giggles from friends, then all of a sudden I hear Kekoa calling back, "Coming!" I laughed so hard, I almost didn't hear the comments of, "You have him trained so well, " and "He knows who is in charge!" And I get to spend an eternity with this guy!!! My life couldn't get much better if I tried, and I can't help it!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

I love the networking that goes on at BYU Hawaii. We have the opportunity to meet a lot of different professionals in order to get us integrated into the work force. Just this week, I met three pretty big names in their chosen field. We had a guest speaker in one of my classes named Erica Chenowith (not to be confused with Kristen, sorry). She has written numerous articles and traveled the world speaking on terrorism and non-violence movements. Very interesting class, and I enjoyed learning from her. One of the best parts of the class, however, was the Tourette yell in the middle of her discourse. It was a fairly laid back atmosphere, and open for questions, so she looked my direction and asked what was said. I replied that I had Tourette's, nothing to say (at least not on her topic with any kind of intelligence) so she continued and that was that. It got a few giggles from my classmates though.

Then on Friday night, "the Piano Guys" came and performed. Composer and pianist Jon Schmidt and cellist Steven Sharp Nelson gave an amazing performance. No, I made no noise during the concert. However, afterwards during the meet and greet, there were a couple of loud (and when I say loud, there was an echo) screams. Now they may not be rock stars, so they were not thronged with screaming teenage girls or anything, but they did have a pretty large crowd, and the sea of heads that turned as they looked in shock at what had just happened was quite entertaining. When I got to meet them, they were very nice guys, neither said anything about the yells. It was a bit sad to get so little reaction, but I guess that is what you get when dealing with professionals. It was fun though, as my life always is. And I can't help it. :)

Christmas Songs

Monday, January 2, 2012

I love to sing. I studied music for three years while at Snow College. One day, I will have to go back and write those stories, once I catch up on current ones. :) While I don't often squeak while I sing, my evolving Tourette's has started to sing along when I wasn't planning on it. I have been known to "sing along" with "Carol of the Bells" and others. I don't try, but as I said, these things have a mind of their own!

Just as entertaining about the Christmas Songs were during church. One week it was announced that the opening song would be "Silent Night." Cue Squeaks. Someone turned around and in a loving, joking manner, responded with, "SILENT Night! Shhh!" However, announcing the closing song to be "Joy to the World" the squeaks seemed a bit more appropriate here, so I just got giggles instead of the reprimand. I can't help it! :)
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