Tic, Tic, Boom: Growing Up With Tourette Syndrome
By Everyday Health Guest Contributor, Sofia Desenberg
Published May 20, 2014
When I was 6 years old, I developed a lasting cough that quickly gained a lot of attention. It wasn’t an explosive hack, but a quiet reminder to everyone in the room that I needed to clear my throat. Apparently I coughed all the time. I didn’t really notice it, but others did. Eventually people began made endearing jokes like “I knew you came in because I heard you cough!”or “I heard someone cough today and thought it was you!”
I knew those comments weren’t meant to be harmful, but they still irritated me. But then again, I was easily irritated. My socks needed to be just right. I would stop my work in kindergarten to fidget with them until they felt right on my toes. If someone bumped my left shoulder, I would need to bump the other one. If I stubbed my left toe, I would hurl my right one into the concrete. Certain sensations and sounds would send me into a silent battle with my obsessive need to counter the sensory input with some other motion or noise. I didn’t understand or even take time to question what was happening because to me my actions were normal.
Coughing, Twitching, Ticking
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