Paula is Like Family

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The more I write about Paula and her personality, the more I realize how much like an individual she really is. I have become ever so much closer to her as I have come to understand her and her personality. Not only do I understand her more, but I start to understand myself a little bit better. When I was in elementary school, once a week we had a music class. The teacher always started class off with a positive affirmation. It was always the same one and was several lines long. The only line that I still remember is, "I'm my own best friend and my own worst enemy."
I may remember this phrase, and I have likely thought about it before, and understood it's meaning. I feel like Paula has helped me take this to a whole new level of understanding though. There are times when I may be absolutely infuriated with Paula. Sometimes it isn't easy not being in control of your own body and actions. Sometimes it can be funniest thing in the world. Paula can be my biggest trial and my biggest blessing all at the same time. She is talented like that I guess. Just like the younger sibling you grew up fighting with, but you know she always has your back.
Just like taking the time to notice the beautiful things around us, it is important to look at ourselves once in a while and remember who we are. What we want. What we are working for. As I write these blog posts about who and what Paula is, I am able to notice things we have in common, and things we may not have in common.

Paula has helped me to see myself a little bit more clearly. I love Paula and what she has done for me. Simply put, Paula just makes me happy. 

Paula is a Diva

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Paula loves to sing. This is nothing new. She has sung along with various tunes over the years. Her first tune was "Carol of the Bells" back in my Hawaii days. Over the years, she has sung along to many songs of various genres. Lately, Paula has been rather impressive. I had no idea she had these kind of capabilities! She has been singing along to songs that I don't even know!! The girl that sits next to me at work will be singing along to her music (we have slightly different tastes...) and Paula will just jump in.

I don't know how she does it, especially considering we share the same brain. It baffles me that she has this talent. Don't get me wrong, I have had my share of moments on stage and performing. I adore music and I love to sing and dance. Paula however, has taken this talent beyond what I have ever been capable of. She just must be meant to be a diva!!

Paula is Adventurous

Saturday, December 12, 2015

I've always been a more reserved person. In high school, I was even quite shy. Paula has helped me break out of that shell a lot. I have kind of had to, sharing company with the likes of her! Paula is always finding new ways to express herself. It's almost unnerving to watch her grow and expand and wondering if I am going to get lost. Paula is very much a part of who I am, but I am not my Tourette Syndrome. I think that may be part of why I like the distinction of giving her a name.

As I look back at how much Paula has changed from the first little hiccup while I was working in a library, to her increase in frequency, her changing noises and now expanding into different situations, I can't help but think of how adventurous she is. No one has shoved her into those new situations. I still on occasion have to be forced into something new.

On the other hand, Paula had another first this week. Paula decided to pop up while I was on the phone at work. She did it a few times actually. It was always on the phone with a co-worker transferring a call to me, but it is still quite entertaining. The best part is... after years of people wanting to someone record Paula, I have access to a recording! All the phone calls at work are recorded, so while I don't yet have my own copy (I need to talk to my leads about that...), Paula has been recorded!

Paula Likes to Make An Entrance!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Paula has always loved attention. She also tends to get a lot of it. She loves making heads turns. In fact, while I was serving as a missionary and was studying in the Missionary Training Center, it became a game among my classmates to see how far I could make heads turn. She has some great distance! During that time, I was in a devotional that was held in a room equivalent in size to a college basketball gym. I was a little late, so was in the back row, up at the top. Some of my classmates had gotten there early and were on the floor, about 10 rows back from the speaking podium, against the far wall. Paula was able to grab their attention!

Today, she continues to turn heads. I was headed back to my desk, but had a door to pass through before I got to the room. A few steps before the door, Paula started a new noise, that continued until a few steps past the door. Today, in order to make her grand entrance, she chose to sounds like a bomb that had been dropped from a plane. It was almost like a whistle, very high pitched, that slid down, and as the door shut behind me, it sounded like the crash. Her timing is impeccable. It was quite the entrance, I will give her that!

Napa Auto Parts

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

You may be wondering what an auto parts store has to do with Paula, or Tourette Syndrome. Well, Paula made an appearance here last week, for one. Secondly, it was a new experience for me. Usually when I run my errands, they happen Paula-free. Seems she doesn't like the whole "responsible adult" thing! I have never seen her pop up while I am at a bank, getting my oil changed or even grocery shopping!

So I was caught a little off guard when she popped up at Napa. Not only was I running errands, but I was leaving and saying good bye. Rather than saying good bye, Paula decided to get her two cents' worth in first. I watched the poor clerk as his jaw hung open and he blinked a few times, not sure what to do. How could I not laugh? I then in my usual fashion, translated, "Paula wanted to say good bye and thank you as well!" Problem is, this guy didn't know who Paula was either, so there was no change in his expression. It took me a second to realize I had to explain what was actually going on before I could let myself walk out the door. Usually I like to leave people guessing until they actually ask me a question about what is going on. Problem was, this poor guy wouldn't have a chance to ask as I was walking out the door. Especially not in his state of shock! So as I walked out the door, I hollered, "It's ok, it's just Tourette Syndrome." Luckily the confusion in his face went away as a relieved look took it's place. At least he knew what it was to understand so quickly so I could move on with my errands, but it was still entertaining!

Paula Is Festive!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

This year, my work had a costume contest. I was dressed as Disgust from Inside Out. Great movie. I had a friend who was dressed as a scarecrow. When Paula saw her, Paula barked. For those of you that know me and my tics, you know I do a lot of animal sounds, but I don't often bark like a dog. Paula leans towards more exotic animals like peacocks. So the barking like a small dog is relatively new. This friend replied that wasn't quite the scarecrow she was going for, but that Paula could be her Toto.

Paula got a little quiet for a while until another co worker asked what Paula was for Halloween. She then barked again. I think Paula liked the idea of being Toto for Halloween, and many of my vocal tics that day were barking. There were a few festive Halloween noises tossed in as well. She threw a few ghost noises out, and an opera singer or two, but they were always creepy and dark and very fitting given the time of year.

Paula officially likes holidays, and I think Halloween may be her favorite! Not only does she make the festive sounds, but I think most people know how much she loves to make people jump. She is very good at being creepy. I would walk behind people and she would shout, making the person I was behind levitate. While Halloween might not be my favorite holiday, I'm pretty convinced it is Paula's!

Paula Apparently Likes to Write

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Or at least take credit for it!

This is probably one of my personal favorite stories of Paula.

The other day at work, my friend Kimber and I were discussing my book that I am writing about TS and how it affects communication. She thought it would be awesome to put Paula in the "dedicated to" paragraph. I laughed and thought it was a great idea. After all, without Paula, there would really be no inspiration for this book to begin with!

Then Kimber decided it would be an even BETTER idea to make Paula a co-author! Paula LOVED that idea! I haven't heard Paula get that loud or excited in a LONG time! She was so loud, every co-worker in the room started to comment at the same time. I started getting IM's from co-workers in other rooms! About 20 minutes after, I had a co-worker walk past and as soon as he looked at me, he chuckled again. He didn't even know the full story!

I can't tell if Paula actually likes to write, or if she is more excited by the idea of getting some spotlight. Either way, I don't know if I would dare not putting Paula in as a co-author. We will have to see if there are any rules about that... Keep posted though. My goal is to have the book finished by the end of the year!


Monday, August 24, 2015

So this past week I ran away. I went to San Diego with a few friends for a conference. It was great. I learned a lot and did a lot of healing. The conference was huge, there were thousands of people there. There was often a lot of excitement and cheering, and of course Paula wanted to be a part of it all. In between cheers and shouting, there was inspirational training. Every once in a while, Paula decided to show up. It was entertaining to hear the cheers and claps that followed. Apparently Paula had inspired a little more noise than there would have been.

What was ironic was the rest of the time that I was there, if we weren't in a large group of people being inspired and celebrating, no one paid any attention to Paula. She got almost NO reaction the entire week! The only other time she got any attention was during the smaller group training. There was a panel of four that were answering questions, and oh it threw them off! They all stopped talking and were looking around. They were even asking if I was ok when they saw me laughing my head off! I let them know it was just Tourette's, "highlight of my life, but I'm good" and for them to keep going. It was cool how many people around me turned to give me high fives and pat me on the shoulder. It was a great group of people and a great week. Paula enjoyed it almost as much as I did!

Paula Goes to the Movies

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The other night, I went to the movies. I went with my friend Traci. Her work had rented out the entire theater, and it was full. Traci and I were on the back row. During the previews, I guess Paula got a little excited for the movie. She got nice and loud and pretty much every head in the theater turned. She has a great range. There was a lot of laughing and a few questions of, "What the hell was that?!?"

What I found entertaining was how long it lasted. The next preview had begun, there was still laughter and swiveling heads in every direction. Paula watched the movie very intently and didn't make another appearance, which was unfortunate.

The people directly surrounding us were all friends of Traci's. Once we had caught our breath from laughing, they were still wide eyed looking at me, so this small few got an explanation. It was short considering the movie was starting, but sufficient to stop the staring. More an more people have heard about Tourette's, so I don't have to explain it as often, but I do still get a lot of questions, which I love.Sadly, the movies don't facilitate a conversation. Good thing there will be more opportunities in the future!

Paula is (not usually) Submissive

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Paula is not often put in her place. She tends to be very sassy, and you know when she has an opinion. Just ask my fiancee, she yells at him all the time, often just because. I'm not even sure what he did wrong, but oh Paula sure thought so! Paula likes to have the last word, too.

I have only ONCE ever seen Paula put in her place and become submissive. It was dark out and I was driving with my friend, Traci down a winding road in the mountains. We were on the lookout for deer. Car accidents tend to not be awesome, and we would rather not hit one. Paula decided to speak up about one thing or another. There wasn't much of a conversation going, so it was hard to tell what she was trying to say. Traci turned and said, "SHHH!! Paula, not now, we are watching for deer!"

Rather quickly, Paula uttered a very submissive noise that sounded an awful lot like, "OK." She was quiet the rest of the drive. Paula may not be very submissive, but I guess she understands when life is on the line! Or would have been, had we seen any deer. As sassy as she is, I guess she has her priorities straight!

Testing, Testing, 1-2-3!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I don't think I ever realized just how lucky I was to have Paula show up later in life, rather than at a young age. I don't think I ever realized just how much of a pain required paperwork can be. It wasn't relevant in elementary school, middle school or even high school for me. College made it a breeze at the testing center. But trying to take a test when I am no longer in college? Pain. In. The. Rear.

I hate paperwork. It is a one big reason I didn't finish my degree in Social Work! Even worse than paperwork is the idea of sitting in a room full or nervous people who would not appreciate any kind of distraction and I am unable to explain away all the dirty looks. Had that once before. Not willing to do that again. It gave me so much anxiety the first time that I up and left the test unfinished. I don't get that kind of anxiety often and that alone is a bad enough experience!

In order to take this test, I have to fill out a form and fax it in. Then I wait 4 days to make a phone call, where they tell me right off the bat I have to leave a voicemail, and someone will call me back within 48 hrs. It took them about a week to even send me that information in the first place! Awesome. It's hard enough to take this test, does it really have to be so difficult? Which is why I am now writing this article, rather than getting the paperwork taken care of and studying my eyes out. I am in serious need of some encouragement. Anyone else have a nightmare trying to accomplish some kind of test or project? Remind me it's worth it!

Noisy Time- Helpful Paula

Sunday, June 7, 2015

I thought this was rather awesome considering I had just shared a post on Facebook about a post from a while back about Quiet Time. Today Paula did a 180. It makes for a great follow up story.

Today in Sunday School, the teacher asked us to do an activity. As there usually is during an activity, the class got rather loud as they discussed ideas and opinions. The teacher then called for 30 more seconds to finish up their ideas and we would come together to discuss and share insights. She started to collect the cards we had been asked to write on, and was getting ready to attempt to quiet the masses. Not an easy task when people tend to get along the way they do in our ward. Don't you worry, Paula decided to step in and help. She is a very helpful, after all. She likes to pitch in when she can. So Paula spoke up loud and clear, and the noise level dropped in confusion as to where the noise came from and what it was. I saw a few confused looks, which have a tendency to make me giggle. I can only imagine the thoughts running through their minds as they hear this loud, unexpected noise then watch this girl start laughing in the silence. I'm not crazy, I promise. At least, not entirely. Paula did make it a lot easier for attention to turn back to the teacher though!

Introducing Paula

Friday, May 29, 2015

In my off stage of writing, I have taken to calling my TS Paula. This name is courtesy of my dear friend Charli. In the past few years, I have seen such a distinct personality, she really deserves her own name. The more time passes, the more personality I see. I have always been a shy and quiet person, but the more Paula progresses, the more I get pushed into being the center of attention. Paula can capture the attention of an entire room in a moment, and I am left with everyone's eyes on me. Paula has brought me out of my shell with her outgoing and vibrant personality. She loves to be acknowledged.

For example, at work the other day. I have recently started a new job. One of my new co-workers happens to be named Paula. That was weird, I don't run into many people with that name, which is part of the reason I liked the name so much. At this new job, in order to keep everyone from going on break at the same time, we write our names on a white board so we know who is on break. Sometimes we forget to erase our names when we come back from break. Co-worker Paula had not erased her name as I was getting ready to go to break. I asked if she was back so I could erase her name. She told me to go ahead and erase it. As I did, my Paula decided to chirp in. Co-worker Paula clarified, "I guess she wasn't ok with you erasing her name." I guess my Paula wanted to go on break as well. I will continue to post more facets of Paula's personality (the TS Paula, not my co-worker, as awesome as she is!) with various stories. I love my TS!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

My tics change periodically. I have spoken about this before. Occasionally I have a tic that sounds like I just got the wind knocked out of me. It sounds, even to me, like something is wrong. I would be worried if I heard that noise coming from someone close to me. I know that nothing is wrong, I can tell it is just a tic. I have not done this particular tic in front of anyone else (that I recall anyways) so I don't know how anyone is going to react when it gets heard. I can imagine it scaring someone, especially if they cared about me.

I have never been very good at this little thing called trust. I once went through a phase trying to improve my ability to trust, because it is something really hard for me to do. Now I kind of feel like I am on the other end of that, and I am learning a lot about trust from a different angle. It's kind of funny considering it hasn't happened in front of other people yet! I am realizing just how much one small noise can affect someone. I don't think I realized how much my noises could affect others, just because they can sound like something scary. It would be scary to hear someone get the wind knocked out of them, especially if you don't see what happened or know what is going on. Especially strangers. They have no idea what is going on, even on the smaller (or bigger) noises that don't sound like anything scary. Sometimes looking at what might happen scares me just as much as the noise might scare the other person. TS levels the playing field in a sense I guess. I am slowly becoming the creepiest person I know, and I can't help it.
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