Some time ago I wrote a post called Takes a Lickin’ and Keeps on Ticcin’. In it I told a story about a visit to a doctor that illustrated a point: People with TS can’t stop their tics, even when it’s obvious they should do so. In the case of that story I had a neck jerking tic that was exacerbating the neck injury I was seeing the doctor for. Sure, the sensible thing would have been to stop ticcing so my neck could heal. But tics don’t listen to sense, I couldn’t stop, and the healing process took a lot longer than it should’ve.
I recently added a new vocal/motor tic to my repertoire: I bare my teeth and growl like a little anklebiter dog. Good news is my cats are all so used to me that they don’t even twitch a whisker when I go off. Bad news? A couple of weeks after it started I came down with a cold. No big deal, right? After all, what does a cold have to do with Tourette’s Syndrome?
Two words: Sore Throat.
My wife and kids still find the tic funny, which is fortunate. Nothing helps reduce the impact of a tic more than being relaxed about it. But after a full day of growling with an already sore throat, it felt like I was being stabbed in the neck. No amount of water, soup, whatever, seemed to help. I usually recover from colds in a few days to a week. I’m on week two and a half. At this point I figure I’m probably over the cold. But with growlydogtic I figure the sore throat may still have a couple of weeks left.
Tics change constantly with Tourette’s Syndrome. New ones will show up, old ones will fade away. Some stay for months, some years, some never leave at all. New ones always bring surprises. When a new tic shows up there are a whole slew of open questions that can only be answered with time: How severe will it eventually get? How will this eventually impact my life? How long is this one going to stick around? And most important: What curveball is it going to throw me that I haven’t even thought of yet?
When the growling first started I found it as humorous as my family. “Well this is new! Hahahaha!” A week into the cold all I could think was, “This blows.”