Have I mentioned Graham's tics on here? I can't even think if I've written about it yet. Anyway, Graham has tics. They've been happening for probably a couple years at least, but I think we didn't recognize what was really happening until about a year ago or a little more.
I suspected then that he had Tourette Syndrome, and that I have it too. I read about it a little bit and found out that it's highly genetic. That convinced me even more. I assumed we both have a mild form.
In the last couple months, Graham's tics have been prevalent, both motor (movement) and vocal (unintentional sounds) tics growing worse and more numerous. When his walking became affected by tics I got more motivated to learn about what's going on and whether there's much we can do about it.
So I got on Amazon and found a few books. I first bought Graham Tic Talk: Living with Tourette Syndrome: A 9-Year-Old Boy's Story in His Own Words
He read it and declared it "awesome!". I was actually surprised how much the boy in the book is like Graham and I think Graham was pretty surprised too.
Now I'm reading Children with Tourette Syndrome: A Parents' Guide. I have to admit that I have been a little overwhelmed with all the information. A couple of things have really struck me so far:
1) I always compared my own symptoms and Graham's to people with Tourette that you see on TV - you know, the huge body movements, shouting cuss words kind of thing, and called us "mild". I assumed we had a mild form of Tourette. Well, in a way I guess we do in that I am so thankful that our symptoms aren't super extreme. However, I have learned that our tics are considered complex and that people who have those big noticeable things going on are very rare. So really, in the spectrum of Tourette symptoms, we're not all that mild.
2) I knew Tourette was genetic but I didn't know any statistics about that. Well, it seems that 50% of children of a parent with Tourette will receive that genetic susceptibility to having Tourette symptoms. Of those who have the gene, 99% of boys and 30% of girls will show symptoms. Kids don't show symptoms until ages 6-8, generally. So out of our two kids that age I guess we are pretty statistically correct.
Now, keep in mind that neither of us has had a medical diagnosis. We both 100% meet the criteria so I am assuming but we haven't been diagnosed by a medical professional. I don't know yet if I will take Graham for an official diagnosis.
Alif and I are not really on the same page with this. He definitely agrees that he has Tourette but he simply doesn't understand it. I think a part of him feels like the tics are for attention. I think he thinks it's controllable. He can't relate to the feeling of having tics at all. He just can't grasp the actual need to tic. He doesn't care about understanding it or anything, he just wants to know what to do to make it better, to make Graham happy in spite of it all. I care about those things too, but I have lived with this all my life and I am 34 years old. Suddenly learning so much about it is really opening up the floodgates for me. Of course I want to share with him all that I'm learning, but it's hard to share with him when I feel like he thinks the whole thing isn't quite "real".
Of course he still feels that my afib incident was a mental incident more than a physical one.
In his mind, when something is wrong, you just decide to make it better. I guess he's a good candidate for Positive Thinking.
Anyway, I hope you don't mind if I share this journey with you, because it makes me feel better to talk about it.