Classical Spazz and all that jazz

Last night I was thinking about all sorts of topics I could start the blog with.  Discussing coprolalia (vocal tics, most often associated with cursing), or the simple/complex motor function interruptions, or just the general pain that can be associated with repetitive tics.  All that is good stuff, and we’ll get to it, but I decided that in order for people to be interested in a blog about Tourette’s Syndrome, they should know more about the person writing it.

Hmmmm, where to start, where to start?  There’s so much you know.  I guess it’s not important where I grew up (though Green Bay, Wisconsin is amazing), or that I have 4 brothers and sisters (A, M, S,  and Au), or a little nephew (C, S’s son), or that my entire family is adopted (even my mother).  Definitely not important that I’ve always had pets (the house was a veritable zoo at times, we were never without at least 3 cats), or that my favorite color is purple, or that I’m married to an officer in the United States Marine Corps (J).

Huh….so what IS important?  Well, in regards to the above, none of it really pertains to this blog, but it very much pertains to me, just as all the “unimportant things” in your life pertain to you, because we are all more than our tics.  Forget about society not remembering it (a topic I will breach at a later date), we all too often forget that we’re not just a twitching pile of WTF, but complex, interesting people, like everybody else.

I CAN name some things that are important in regards to the possible study of TS in the future, such as the fact that I am 25 years old, African American, and female.  I have had noticeable tics since I was 3 years old and it all started with a neck roll as well as several vocal tics (which have not changed much through the years).  I was not diagnosed until I was 22 (my tics were “just a bad habit and cry for attention”).

My current physical tics involve tensing of my neck muscles, heavy eye blinking, nose wrinkling, collapsing legs (that one’s FUN! >.<), a “neck crack” motion, and a flailing of my arms when cold.

My vocal tics are an inhalation that causes the sound of wheezing (like an asthma attack), an exhalation that makes a noise I can’t even describe, cursing (very softly, it only happens when I am under extreme stress or extremely embarrassed…”fuck” seems to be my word of choice), a bark (it actually comes out as “wurf” and is paired with the arm flailing…it only happens when I’m cold) and a stutter which will occur when I’m extremely nervous or I’m trying to think faster than I can speak.

As mentioned above, my tics are exacerbated by temperature and feelings of stress.  Cold weather subdues the small repetitive tics (that cause repetitive strain injuries) but will result in more severe “outbursts”, though they are less frequent.  Hot weather results in constant repetitive tics through my face and I am extremely sore in the summer.  I have not had full range of motion in my neck for a year.  I have punched many people, including my husband (who is very understanding), and I’ve punched a lot of inanimate objects (usually tables, which is pretty effing unpleasant).

And for all that, I am still able to do things I truly enjoy, like play the piano (I have been a pianist for 20 years, and my tics stop when I play), train and exhibit dogs (I own German Shepherd Dogs), and write short stories.  Sure, I may spazz out at inopportune times, and accidentally curse out an important member in the military chain of command, or punch a hole through a wall because we kept the house three degrees too cold, but I know that at the end of the day I’m still a pretty interesting person to be with, and it’s not because of the TS (at least not entirely ;-)).

I think that’ll do it for today.

Flail on,
– Classical Spazz

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~ by ClassicalSpazz on January 11, 2011.

3 Responses to “Classical Spazz and all that jazz”

  1. I didn’t know collapsing legs could be a tic. Is it like a weakness in your legs that makes you fall down or stumble? Because I get collapsing legs, too, and was wondering if it was related to my TS. I also play the piano. 🙂 By the way, if you’re wondering why this reply is almost literally a year later, it’s because our mutual friend Amber was kind enough to show me this blog yesterday and now I’m reading everything from start to finish.

    • Becka,
      As you’ll read in other posts on the blog, tics are as individual as the person who has them, and so the possibilities for the types of tics, how they express, and how often they express is not quantifiable. There are endless possibilities for the tics someone could display.

      The tics that involve my legs collapsing doesn’t feel like anything, no. It just happens. I do have frequent pain in my legs and lower back, because my muscles are always trying to compensate. In that way, they feel weak, but the collapsing itself is nothing more than the neurological disorder doing its dirty work.

      Thank you for reading my blog! I hope you’ll continue to follow it!

  2. Thank you for explaining. I’m still learning about Tourettes in general, so this was very helpful. I can sympathize with the muscle pain, as I get frequent sore and stiff necks from head jerking.
    You’re welcome! I’ll definitely continue reading.

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