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New (Old) Guy on the Block!

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  • New (Old) Guy on the Block!

    Hi to all,
    I apologize in advance to those that have an attention deficit disorder or get bored easily cause this intro wound up being a long bio

    I spent my life with quirky tics or weird and annoying habits as some would describe it. Being 53 years old (yesterday) growing up there was only one diagnostic: "The kid is just weird and hyper and blah blah blah". A perfectionist, lacking social skills. short fuse with no temper control. A nerd with a high IQ stuck in a bad boy body. Mix that in with being irish/French making me stubborn with a passion. Defiant to authority. Unable to keep my mouth shut if somebody stated and inaccurate fact (especially when it came to people in authority like poor teachers) Defiant and rebellious without any regard to possible consequences... and the list goes on...

    There was the other me. a sweet and emotional person, never afraid to stand up for the little guy (even if I was afraid of the big guy attacking him). Loving and caring and very compassionate. Extremely respectful and charismatic I could have the same depth of conversation with an 8 year old or an 80 year old.

    Now depending on the button you pushed you got one or the other immediately... there was no "delayed reaction" or thought process evaluation. it was like Dr. Banner and the hulk. I didn't get big and green but the personality shift was pretty identical.

    Then there were the tics: earliest extreme tic I recall was constantly spitting somewhere around 8 to 10 yrs old. (sometimes every couple seconds). As the years progressed into adulthood mine got worse not better. The facial squinting, the right shoulder shrugging then constant snorting which subsided only to be replaced with sniffing and breathing heavily through my nose and often trying to control one would make the other get extreme. The hardest part was the "imitating" of my sniffing or snorting by some people or the constant "was the coke good?" snide comments. I assumed it was allergies and nervous tics and responded accordingly but people believe what they want...

    I managed to get my life somewhat stabilized. Had a family started a few businesses and settled down in a small community where I built a good reputation. Until June 27th 2001 When I suffered a massive heart attack and things went downhill in a flash. everyone thought it was just post traumatic stress and the wife started ragging on me and I would explode and lash out verbally. In April 2002 I wound up in intensive care and then had a triple bypass (I was 38 at the time) But the fighting with the wife between the two events had a toll on her and she left with the kids 2 weeks after I got out of intensive care after the surgery. The depression, uncontrollable rage fits and suicide attempts all had the effect of destroying the relationships with all my kids and ex-wife.

    I moved to Winnipeg in 2004 and things were up and down emotionally and mentally for quite a few years. The tics were always there and getting worse. I had another heart attack in 2009 and one in 2010 and other medical issues that trying to stabilize my physical health issues and my chronic depression became the number one priority to all medical staff. In 2005 I was seeing a shrink who suggested it could be mild Tourette's. That was the end of it.

    For the last 3 years I was living with my best friend, his son and his mom in her house. My bud and his son got their own place 2 years ago and me being a disabled hermit and her a retired home body we became very close and looked out for one another. Aug 27 as I walked out of my room when I woke up I saw her lying on the floor in her bedroom. I screamed out to her with no response. She was not breathing and was still warm called 911 did chest compressions till paramedics arrived they hot a pulse back on the way to the hospital but she passed away a few hours later. She had a DNR request and the family did not want to bother with an autopsy since the doctors were pretty sure it was an aneurism. I lost my closest friend, my dearest companion that day. It was an extremeley traumatic experience to find her lying lifeless that morning.

    Doctor tried me on Cymbalta but that had really bad negative effects so he referred me to a new shrink who started working out of his clinic to see if we can find something that might work and due to some cancellations and the sweet staff they got me in to see him 2 weeks ago. He started me on some samples of a very new anti-depressant vortioxetime (Trintellix). It's pretty much a last chance since no other anit-depressant has worked or doesn't cause risks because of my other conditions. I'm only at 5mg at the moment but no negative effects so far. And I have some Clonazepam if I need to take the edge off the rough times.

    Now I always jokingly related to my tics as my Tourette's is getting real bad. It's driving me crazy but the image I had of Tourette's syndrome was that of the guy swearing at people from the movies. For some reason I had never even looked up any info on it. After I left the shrink's office I came home and googled... WHAT a surprise, it was nothing like what I imagined! It was exactly what I had. Then I read the list of TS+ disorders and said WOW! I GOT TS++++++++++++!.

    So as I apologize for such a long intro when I saw the shrink on the Sept 10th I told him I did some reading and that I had a pretty strong feeling I have TS. He says of course... In the papers your doc sent me there is more than one mention of you having TS. So once we know if the anti-depressant works or not we will then start trying to medicate the tics.

    SO, That's me in a "NUT" Shell. What's insane is that all the other "issues" I have that no one could ever explain all find a "home" as commonly co-existing conditions with TS. Only took 52 years and 364 days for me to find out! I guess it's true: "We're never too old to learn something new"

    Warmest regards,
    Gary
    Gary
    "If at first you don't succeed....
    CRY and CRY again!"

  • #2
    Re: New (Old) Guy on the Block!

    Hello Gary and thank you for joining us and for sharing your story. Though your life has certainly had its challenges, it's clear you have an inner strength that has helped you get to this point.

    It's good to hear the new medication appears to be relieving your symptoms of depression and hopefully that will continue as your therapy progresses.

    Ask your doctor if there are any concerns about drug interactions with your antidepressant and any other meds you're taking....prescription and over the counter, if this has not already been discussed.

    Glad you've joined the Forum at this juncture, where , hopefully we can help you gain some insights into your symptoms of Tourette and the symptoms of the associated disorders of Tourette Plus.

    As many of us adults with Tourette have discovered, the tics are not always the biggest concern, but rather the symptoms of the associated disorder(s) can be problematic over the long term.

    Tourette Canada has a Winnipeg Chapter which you may want to contact for some local support and access to local resources.

    once we know if the anti-depressant works or not we will then start trying to medicate the tics.
    While some people find comfort and have a need for managing tic symptoms using medications, as you regain control of your symptoms of mood and anxiety, you may find your tics may begin to moderate as well. Tics are influenced by our environment, both from within ourselves and from people, places and situations we encounter.

    You may find that once some of the associated disorders subside, you may be able to manage some of those environmental issues that adversely affect your tics with some behavior therapy with the aid of your psychiatrist or a therapist your psychiatrist can refer you to.

    If I am not mistaken, there is a therapist in Winnipeg specializing in behavior therapy for people with Tourette who may be of help.

    all the other "issues" I have that no one could ever explain all find a "home" as commonly co-existing conditions with TS
    You may find more insights here: Tourette Plus: Related Conditions and Disorders

    Do you have specific tic(s) that cause especially troublesome impairment or social or workplace problems at this time?
    Steve

    Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

    Tourette Canada Homepage
    If you enjoy the TC Forum, please consider a Tourette Canada membership
    Please visit our sister Forum: Psychlinks Psychology and Mental Health Support Forum

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: New (Old) Guy on the Block!

      Hello Gary and thank you for joining us and for sharing your story. Though your life has certainly had its challenges, it's clear you have an inner strength that has helped you get to this point.
      It's good to hear the new medication appears to be relieving your symptoms of depression and hopefully that will continue as your therapy progresses.
      Ask your doctor if there are any concerns about drug interactions with your antidepressant and any other meds you're taking....prescription and over the counter, if this has not already been discussed.
      Hi Steve and thanks for the warm welcome. From the posts I have read you seem to be a very compassionate and helpful person. The world could use more people like you!

      We don't know yet if the Trintellix will help with the depression or not. As with all anti-depressants positive effects, if any, contrary to negative ones, take a long time to kick in. But there have bot been any adverse side effects yet. So that's a positive start. Regarding possible drug interactions there is the possibility it will interfere with my ASA and the Plavix I take to prevent blood clotting. I have to keep an eye out for any signs of internal or external effects of bleeding or bruising. so far no issues....

      As many of us adults with Tourette have discovered, the tics are not always the biggest concern, but rather the symptoms of the associated disorder(s) can be problematic over the long term.
      Tell me about it! When I saw the list of comorbid afflictions I was blown away. The "Neurological storms" have destroyed pretty much everyone I ever loved.
      I haven't made a list yet of each one and my personal ratting from mild to severe but I don't think there's an affliction I don't have to some degree.

      Do you have specific tic(s) that cause especially troublesome impairment or social or workplace problems at this time?
      The sniffing goes from moderate to severe constantly but never really goes away and combined with heavy breathing through my nose when I get slightly anxious, nervous, excited or just about any time I'm not sleeping has been driving me insane. The motor tics don't attract as much attention being silent so they trouble me a lot less. I don't want to be around people because they don't understand and make their own assumptions and people believe what they believe no matter what the truth is most of the time. For most people to accept something other than their preconceived judgment would mean they were wrong and that's just not a possibility. So many people suffer from that disorder "I think it is, therefore that's what it is" to a higher degree, probably way more than we could ever suffer from our tics! and now if I tell strangers I have Tourette's and not just allergies and nervous tics how will they react.

      I have been on disability since Dec 2010. It also affects me mentally feeling useless. I rarely leave the house or even my room anymore.

      I was thinking about maybe attending the upcoming Winnipeg Chapter meeting I believe it's this week. But I'm not sure yet if they or I am ready for someone like me

      Gary
      Gary
      "If at first you don't succeed....
      CRY and CRY again!"

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: New (Old) Guy on the Block!

        Gary,

        Thank you for the kind words. Hopefully through this dialogue, you might find the information and support you need to help overcome some of the real challenges in your life at the moment.

        I was thinking about maybe attending the upcoming Winnipeg Chapter meeting I believe it's this week. But I'm not sure yet if they or I am ready for someone like me
        I would urge you to do it. The Winnipeg Chapter has a strong and compassionate group of people who live with Tourette and are eager to be available for anyone in the community requiring support. They are people like you and me, who are not judgemental and know the resources in Winnipeg.

        I can only imagine how you might be feeling, Gary, but you have had the courage to reach out here on the Forum, so you have already taken the first step.

        Every journey is made taking one step at a time, so if the next meeting in Winnipeg is this week, use that opportunity to take the next step.

        There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by meeting others like yourself, who are ready and willing to share their experience and knowledge to lend their support to you.
        Steve

        Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

        Tourette Canada Homepage
        If you enjoy the TC Forum, please consider a Tourette Canada membership
        Please visit our sister Forum: Psychlinks Psychology and Mental Health Support Forum

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: New (Old) Guy on the Block!

          Every journey is made taking one step at a time, so if the next meeting in Winnipeg is this week, use that opportunity to take the next step.
          There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by meeting others like yourself, who are ready and willing to share their experience and knowledge to lend their support to you.
          Steve,
          If I find the courage to go, do I just show up or should I contact them first?

          I must admit it might feel strange but comforting to be among people that won't freak out if (well more likely when than if) I start to sniff and tic away. Oh my! Just the thought of not having to explain or excuse it seems so surreal! LOL

          I'll let you all know how it went if I go. (most likely will go)
          Thanks again for all your encouragement,
          Gary
          Gary
          "If at first you don't succeed....
          CRY and CRY again!"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New (Old) Guy on the Block!

            do I just show up or should I contact them first?
            Just show up. Remember this is a support group for people living with Tourette, and we all tic. We are accustomed to seeing and hearing others tic, without being judged. You should feel comfortable and at ease, because you will be among "your own people"...which is the way I feel every time I am with fellow Tourette people.

            You can feel comfortable doing whatever you need to do when you are at the get together. If you feel the urge to tic, go ahead and tic...if you feel the urge to stand up and walk around...stand up and walk around.

            I am sure you will be welcomed when you arrive, and made to feel comfortable.
            Steve

            Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

            Tourette Canada Homepage
            If you enjoy the TC Forum, please consider a Tourette Canada membership
            Please visit our sister Forum: Psychlinks Psychology and Mental Health Support Forum

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New (Old) Guy on the Block!

              Originally posted by Steve View Post
              Just show up. Remember this is a support group for people living with Tourette, and we all tic. We are accustomed to seeing and hearing others tic, without being judged. You should feel comfortable and at ease, because you will be among "your own people"...which is the way I feel every time I am with fellow Tourette people.

              You can feel comfortable doing whatever you need to do when you are at the get together. If you feel the urge to tic, go ahead and tic...if you feel the urge to stand up and walk around...stand up and walk around.

              I am sure you will be welcomed when you arrive, and made to feel comfortable.

              Dang, just spent an hour spilling my guts out and editing to be PG and somehow it just vanished Have to start all over.

              I went to the meeting the people were warm and welcoming. Only one other person there has TS, One other board member has TS but she wasn't there this week. Others are from the medical help side an parents of kids or adults that have TS. Typical board meeting. I did get the info and the number to give my shrink about the movement disorder clinic here in Winnipeg. See if that gets anywhere.

              The family of my friend are getting together this weekend in BC to scatter her ashes. so I will get a weekend with the house to myself. I was advised I need to find a new place to live by november but I asked to be given at least have till December. (Change does not get easier as we get older) There have been a couple more tough episodes. As the saying goes :Sh*t don't just happen, it happens, happens, happens

              Its been a hard week but a couple extra clonazepam seem to have taken the edge off wanting to tie a rope around my neck.


              The trintellix is causing some bruising so if that's the case the risk of internal bleeding is higher I doubt I will be able to continue on that

              Well the clonazepam is hitting in and the typing is getting harder so Ill end it with a famous quote from my GP: "Gary, Sometimes I wonder if your alive because of us or in spite of us!"

              Have a great weekend everyone,
              Gary
              Gary
              "If at first you don't succeed....
              CRY and CRY again!"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: New (Old) Guy on the Block!

                Originally posted by GaryQ
                Dang, just spent an hour spilling my guts out and editing to be PG and somehow it just vanished Have to start all over.
                Please see: Forum Auto Save Feature

                I am very happy to hear you made contact with the group in Winnipeg, and that you have the information for the movement disorder clinic. As sometimes happens with referrals, it may require some advocacy on your own part to emphasize the importance of this to yourself, and to follow up in securing the appointment date once the referral has been made.

                I like to say that as people with Tourette, in many situations, we need to develop skills in self-advocacy and in negotiation!

                Sorry to hear about what will likely be a difficult weekend for you with your friend being put to rest, and the added stress of finding new accommodation.

                Gary, as I am sure you are aware, stress is cumulative, so you need to manage these situations one at a time and not allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the multiplicity of upcoming events. This might be a good time to call your therapist for some added support.

                Its been a hard week but a couple extra clonazepam seem to have taken the edge off wanting to tie a rope around my neck
                .

                Is suicide a real threat to you during these difficult times, Gary?

                Are you still in contact with the psychiatrist (or psychologist...you didn't specify) who suggested a possible Tourette diagnosis?
                Steve

                Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

                Tourette Canada Homepage
                If you enjoy the TC Forum, please consider a Tourette Canada membership
                Please visit our sister Forum: Psychlinks Psychology and Mental Health Support Forum

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: New (Old) Guy on the Block!

                  I am very happy to hear you made contact with the group in Winnipeg, and that you have the information for the movement disorder clinic. As sometimes happens with referrals, it may require some advocacy on your own part to emphasize the importance of this to yourself, and to follow up in securing the appointment date once the referral has been made.

                  I like to say that as people with Tourette, in many situations, we need to develop skills in self-advocacy and in negotiation!
                  I can confidently say that negotiating (some people call it the art of manipulation) is probably one of my strongest skills.

                  Is suicide a real threat to you during these difficult times, Gary?
                  Are you still in contact with the psychiatrist (or psychologist...you didn't specify) who suggested a possible Tourette diagnosis?
                  Suicidal thoughts have plagued me on and off since adolescence and early adulthood was the worse. Several missed attempts were made. The last attempt with a 32 revolver was in 2007. That one, to make it short, was divine intervention for those that believe in God, I have shared my life story a few times in Quebec and Manitoba and an article was written about me in Christian Weekly Magazine and was published on the national site.

                  The psychiatrist that originally said I might have mild Tourette's is retired I stopped seeing him in 2006.
                  I was admitted into the CBT day program at the health science center I think it was in 2006 and was evaluated and assessed as being a good candidate by a Doctor working on ECT treatment (electro choc therapy) for chronic depressions. I underwent 10 weekly sessions with no improvement to my chronic depressed state. At that point I gave up on all medical treatment and slowly became disinterested in life and moving on. I stopped seeing my cardiologist, GP, and all shrinks without warning I walked away. Stopped taking all and any medication for my heart etc...

                  What forced me back to seeing my GP was in 2009 when my driver's license medical form came in in order to renew my driver's license because of my heart condition. I had no choice but to see a doctor I needed my driver's license to work and so I called to see my GP and his only request to take me back was "no more running away - you come to all your appointments including all referrals to specialists especially your cardiologist) and I have been seeing him on a very regular basis since.

                  Manitoba has a great medical services. Getting x-rays, blood work is so easy there's probably 100 little labs in the city and many little clinics also have a blood lab tech and even ekg's. Cardiology is quick, Cancer Care Manitoba has outstanding and compassionate personnel. We have a great pharmacare system my yearly deductible is only $100 with an EDS (Exceptional drug status) option for many drugs not normally covered one of which is my Plavix although it is now available in generic form.

                  BUT when it comes to mental health we are like a third world county. I know this comment is harsh but sadly it is true. Seeing a psychiatrist can takes an extremely long time for any type of assessment and the results are visible in the homeless population here in Winnipeg. Many people with mental disabilities are unable to advocate for themselves and wind up falling into the cracks and into the streets or in homeless shelters. Addictions become an escape from the pain and suffering and that in turn perpetuates the cycle.

                  The new psychiatrist I started seeing happened quickly because of his professional and personal relationship with my GP. he has been in the same clinic for 2 years (and my GP is also the medical director of the clinic) With the staff knowing me well and what I recently went through when a cancellation came up I was called to jump the queue which took only 2 weeks to get in to see him. I have seen twice and see him again this coming Thursday. With more reading on TS+ I will be coming prepared with a personal evaluation of my comorbid afflictions and the severity of each symptom or problem. Hopefully this will hep him make light of the whole mess. Having one issue is difficult enough for a professional to diagnose having multiple issues can be a nightmare for anyone to make light of. "What's causing what"

                  Finding the Tourette Canada website has been the most enlightening experience in a long time. The description and answers are so clear and concise and the list of TS+ possible afflictions has helped to understand and put into perspective so many of my problems. Yes, I am crazy! LOL But there's a common denominator and an explanation as to why these conditions co-exist. Depression has never been stabilized, by focusing on trying to resolve it directly. Maybe resolving the other conditions could potentially eliminate much of the anxiety, tics, depression and so many more symptoms. When we look at the broader picture we see how the pieces of the puzzle fit into place. Instead of trying to fix my chronic depression we can now look at the broader picture and see what's really causing it.

                  Doesn't mean it'll work... but there's a lot more hope with this approach than then with all the failed previous attempts. And I can guarantee one thing.... if my psychiatrist is not very well educated about TS and TS+++++++++ he will be "encouraged" to learn all he can and fast! Same thing goes for my GP!

                  Boy, I do have a tendency to go far beyond answering a simple question



                  In closing I won't lie I still feel like taking the easy way out and giving everything away and punching my time clock to eternal rest. Only problem is the faint hope of maybe things getting a bit better and not wanting to cause grief to the few friends I have...

                  as they say... damned if I do, damned if I don't LOL
                  Gary
                  "If at first you don't succeed....
                  CRY and CRY again!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: New (Old) Guy on the Block!

                    the faint hope of maybe things getting a bit better and not wanting to cause grief to the few friends I have...
                    Gary,

                    This is the thought that should help you when your thoughts wander toward suicide. There is always the potential for things to get better, and it sounds like you already know the people who care for you would suffer from your suicide.

                    I have shared my life story a few times in Quebec and Manitoba and an article was written about me in Christian Weekly Magazine and was published on the national site
                    Would you provide a link to that article?

                    if my psychiatrist is not very well educated about TS and TS+++++++++ he will be "encouraged" to learn all he can and fast! Same thing goes for my GP!
                    You have an excellent resource in Winnipeg in Dr. Gary Shady, who is connected to the Winnipeg Chapter as an advisor whom your psychiatrist might like to consult, if he cares to. Dr. Shady, a psychologist, is also a member of the Tourette Canada Medical Advisory Board.

                    You might also download a copy of the Canadian Guidelines for Evidence Based Tic Disorders for your doctor, or order a print copy from the National Office.

                    I believe you are discovering that with Tourette Syndrome, when comorbid disorders are involved, that the tics are not necessarily the greatest problem, and that the associated comorbidities can be much more disabling than the tics.

                    You may find the following interesting: Tourette Syndrome - Beyond the Tics (Medscape Article)
                    Steve

                    Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

                    Tourette Canada Homepage
                    If you enjoy the TC Forum, please consider a Tourette Canada membership
                    Please visit our sister Forum: Psychlinks Psychology and Mental Health Support Forum

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New (Old) Guy on the Block!

                      Gary,
                      Would you provide a link to that article?
                      The main reason for the article was to talk about the 2 song CD I had written,recorded and released in which all money collected (not just the profits) were donated to Siloam Mission a homeless shelter in Winnipeg. I also told my close friends that they had to dish out a $20 donation to the mission to get a signed CD. It was released at Waverley Fellowship Baptist Church on 10/10/10 and then the following week I was at Riverwood Chruch Comminty. Sadly that part was edited out. t's not a great article and one that can scare people off but it's my story. Unfortunately when the editor gets involved important info gets removed and or slightly distorted but it's on the web so no need in hiding it or not posting the link. Should it raise any other questions do not hesitate to ask even if it may seem intrusive. I have nothing to hide about my past. I think you have noticed that I am an open book with no longer anything to fear. Or anything to gain from hiding or distorting the truth to make me seem like a nicer or better person.
                      http://www.christianweek.org/meth-de...-things-right/

                      As for the final paragraph in the article despite being on a limited disability income I cut every corner I could and lived a hermit's life and I kept my word and on January 9th 2015 I made the final payment to CRA.

                      You have an excellent resource in Winnipeg in Dr. Gary Shady, who is connected to the Winnipeg Chapter as an advisor whom your psychiatrist might like to consult, if he cares to. Dr. Shady, a psychologist, is also a member of the Tourette Canada Medical Advisory Board.
                      I met Gary at the meeting seems like a nice guy


                      You might also download a copy of the Canadian Guidelines for Evidence Based Tic Disorders for your doctor, or order a print copy from the National Office.

                      I believe you are discovering that with Tourette Syndrome, when comorbid disorders are involved, that the tics are not necessarily the greatest problem, and that the associated comorbidities can be much more disabling than the tics.

                      You may find the following interesting: Tourette Syndrome - Beyond the Tics (Medscape Article)
                      I appreciate all the help, and time you have taken to find and forward resources and I will definitely print off as much info I can to pass on to him. I will give him the links but I discovered he likes holding a document. I talk a lot but when I stop talking I observe and learn a lot
                      Gary
                      "If at first you don't succeed....
                      CRY and CRY again!"

                      Comment

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