A trip to the past is in store for today, our time machine? Just a simple memory from around the age of ten.
Nights were always the worst. Being tired made it hard, and I already had a few episodes in school that morning. That morning wasn’t good at all. I had felt the urges coming on and quickly raised my hand. Timidly I asked if I could go to the nurse, and embarrassed with the eyes of the classroom looking at me, I made my way down.
I put a tight smile on my face and said “My Tourettes is acting up”
“Go right in honey, if you need anything let me know” she said sympathetically.
I took my usual cot and closed the curtain. The urges came in a wave and suffocated me. I yanked my legs in the air, my arms moved side to side, I craned my neck, back and forth, and I made noises that other students found annoying. I didn’t care that there was another girl in the room, it didn’t matter that she could see my shadows through the curtain, I cried and cried. I heard the nurse call up to the school pool where my mom worked and heard her say I needed her. My mom came down five minutes later and I cried harder with relief. She sat by my side and just rubbed my back as my tics flung my body around. It was two hours later that I went back to class with my red eyes and sore body to rejoin the lesson. My mom would later that day sit at the dining room table with me and read the lesson in the book. She was no teacher, but it was the only way I was able to learn.
But that night? The worst episode of the day was about to happen. I went to my bed to lay down. As I looked straight up, I could see the pitched ceiling above me. It was close enough for me to put my legs up in the air to touch. I’ve done it thousands of times to feel a pull in my thigh that my Tourettes told me I had to feel. It’s the exact pull you feel if you bend down and touch your toes. The bad thing about the pull is eventually, if you bend down to touch your toes enough, the pull goes away…and I needed that pull!
Releasing that one leg tic brought them all on. Fifteen different tics at once. For three hours, it was the torture of the night. Feeling a pull in both my legs, feeling a pull in both my arms, feeling a pull in my back, feeling a pull in my neck, twisting my wrists to feel pulls, twitching my nose, making noises, hearing my bed creak,crying, and…humming? I open my swollen eyes to see my mom right beside me. She takes her gentle hand and rubs my back. She hums loud enough for me to hear over my sobs and my tics.
“I’m right here sweetie” she cooed gently.
And she was. Both my parents. They have always been right here with me, guiding me, comforting me, and pulling me up when I’m down. Some families fall apart during the hardships, but ours grew closer, and I’m so thankful.
I never imagined that in the future, I’d fight the twenty urges that came at once, or that I’d just have one to three tics that I can easily live with. I never imagined the peace I’d feel with overcoming Tourette Syndrome, and it’s something I should remember here in the present when I can’t imagine the future beyond my OCD. There will be a day when I overcome OCD just like I did in the past. I did it before, I can do it again.
~ Stay Chipper Friends ~
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