It was in high school. I went to a private school in a Mainline suburb of Phila.PA. It was a school for the learning disabled. Some of the kids referred to it as learning differently. The classes were officially ungraded. However I wound up in the most brightest f the classes. Our subjects were “Problems of Democracy” That turned out in practice as a debate class. I took analytical geometry. Its the only math I’m good at. Plus biology and chemistry and Language Arts. It was opened all year with a month off between seasons.
During the summer the kids swam at a good sized pool at a local university. I think it was Haverford college if memory serves me right. I do remember it was during swimming I first met Jerry. Decades later he told me the first thing of my face he noticed were my epicanthic folds. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, its those folds in the inner corner of one’s eyes. They are more prominent in me since my nose bridge is flat. Next he took notice that my right eye is blue and my left eye is blue and hazel.
What he initially observed were my toes. I soon found out there was some baggage and part of that was a toe fetish. He called them my ten pretties.
I later, forttunately liked the rest of me too. Yet because of his preference I named a character for him in my blog http://societyfordiantydamsels.com. In it he is a shoe salesman at the “Inter Leather” shoe store. He moonlights too as a fashion photographer of female models in open toed spikes and stilletos. His name in my blog is Seymour Toze. He loves his pedicure duties at the shoe store. He just adores his pedi cures.
Jerry and I went our separate ways when we graduated high school, Vanguard school in Haverford PA. We both had some long term relationships throughout the years. Then in the early 80s I entered a taxi. There I soon discovered the driver was Jerry. A few years later we wound up living together. We lived together for 20 years. It tragically ended when he lost his fight against acute myeloid leukemia. I believe it was caused by the chemicals he came in contact with at the Dry Cleaners he worded for. I refer especially to the Benzene. But that’s water over the damned. It was a good , until the last six months a very satisfying time for both of us.
I never suspected I could be ever diagnosed with Tourettes. I just figured my consistent clothes pulling, tugging was I felt antsy. My grimacing, my picking my lip, my constant brushing my hair away from my eyes were just nervous habits. My father used to call these movements schticks. If your unfamiliar with the word its Yiddish for either an unusual way of performing or something someone does quite well. Its a show business word too. The first definition isn’t that far from what a tic is. But more on that later.
My image of somebody with Tourettes was someone who yelled out profanities and ethnic slurs.I know now only between 10 and 15% do that. Didn’t presumed since I didn’t do this so thought could never be a part of my life. Throughout the years I suffered from various mental disorders that I much later in my life, discovered are comorbids of Tourettes. Co morbid means it coexists. In Tourettes it common to be diagnosed with ADD, OCD, and mood disorders. Those were my diagnosises since I was a teenager. Yet for some unknown reason I never until recently put it together.
I found out about the possibility of TS from several high school reports. Please see my first post.
So what is a tic disorder. A tic disorder involves either vocal or motor but not both. Tourettes includes both. It must be diagnosed before age eighteen. True I was way over that when I received my diagnosis from a neurologist from U. of Penn. hospital Neuro. department. However the conclusions was based on records when I was 14. How long I was this way I can’t tell.
What is a tic? A tic is I think a movement that one feels compelled to do. It is different from a compulsion because there usually is no psychological need, ie no feeling of relieving anxiety. It can be motor or vocal. It can sometimes be controlled if one really, really tries but once it comes back the urge is at least twice as strong. Tics are usually short lasting, quick and repeated in rapid succession for at least several times. My source is webmd.com. In summary tics are rapid, successive movements that are preceded by pre tic regular movements and post tic regular movements.
Here is a list of some vocal and motor tics. http://www.tourette-london.ca/ae0016.htm
I decided to write a blog about me. Yes I know this probably can be considered self centered. On the other hand there are a striking number of personal blogs so I figure why not yours truly. My claim to “fame” is I am a disabled artist and a former rehab worker for over twenty years. I exhibited in several juried shows in Norristown PA, Philadelphia PA and NYC. Plus shows in Baltimore MD, Boston MA, and a permanent painting in the C.A.R.P. Art Gallery in Wash. D.C. I worked with people with disabilities , especially psychiatric in various rehab centers in Phila, PA, Upper Darby and Media PA. The last two places are suburbs of Phila.PA. I am an advocate for disability rights.
My disabilities are , (diagnosed by doctors) are OCD, ADHD, Depression and Tourettes. Tourettes is from my mother’s side. My father was born with a genetic syndrome called Waardenburg. Briefly speaking there are four types. His and mine are type two. Waardenburg is a leading cause of deafness. My dad is hard of hearing but I suspect that is because of his age. He was born hearing. In fact he is a retired musician. In the 70s, 80s and 90s he was a house musician for Atlantic, Warner Bros records. He played guitar. He plays keyboard these days at his home. He lives with my sister and her fiance Bob. One of his favorite sayings is “When you got it you got it.” as he looks at the mirror of himself.
In high school the guidance counselor noted that as was written on their report in these exact words “Lynda constantly displays constant twitchy bizarre movements.” I know that’s vague but I wonder if those words sound like a tic disorder. The words tics, Tourettes was never used for any student. The words just wern’t used. Other reports mentioned constant head jerking, nose twitching, facial grimacing. I personally remember consistently picking my lip until it bled, tugging at my clothes, brushing hair from eyes, shrugging shoulders , My vocal tics are echolalia ( repeating what others say), pailolalia (repeating what you yourself say) I constantly clear my throat and cough. I snort too and I don’t mean any drugs. Really!!!
My Waardenburg Two manifests itself mostly in the colors of my eyes. If you get really close you’ll notice my left eye is blue and hazel and my right blue. BTW speaking of getting really close any available sexy, handsome men out there? Other manifestions of WS with me are my brows grow together unless I trim them. The truth is I was born with grey hair. That fact is on my hospital birth record. I am not deaf. Eighty person of people with WS are born with some level of hearing loss , either unilateral and bilateral.
nbsp A woman friend and I wrote a humor blog at http://societyfordaintydamsels.com.
Society for Dainty Damsels.
My late mother( 2003) was a loving wife , mother and housewife. However during my growing up years , when she was in her twenties she took diet pills to lose weight. My memory of this is fuzzy but I think they were prescription. Decades later I discovered they were amphetimines. In other words my mother was on speed. She yelled and scereamed at me and called me terrible names and said some really terrible things to me. I suspect it was a combination of the drugs and being frustrated not knowing how to deal with a kid like yours truly. At any rate when she finally got off the drugs she recognized how she treated me and apologized. I accepted her apology and became a loving mother to me. She more than made up for her past mistreatment. I forgave her.
My slightly older sister is Roslyn. She is engaged to Robert Don’t want to put in surnames for privacy. She worked mostly in marketing and public relations. One firm was “Scholastic” She is not Waardenburg and not Tourettes. I still love her anyway.
Well that’s it for my introductory post.