Monday, September 11, 2006

Tourette's Syndrome and Other Minor Problems

I met and fell and love with a man with tics, lots and lots of tics.
He comes from a long, proud line of men with tics.  I guess I should not
be surprised that my son seems to have developed a tic at the ripe old age of
(almost) 4.

A few weeks ago my son started coughing in a very deliberate way.  He
stops what he's doing, puts his hand over his mouth and coughs twice in quick
succession.  He does this at least twice a minute.  I have watched
him closely to see if there is any pattern to his coughing.  There
is.  It definitely increases when he is nervous or frustrated and it
completely disappears when he is watching TV, sleeping, or concentrating very
hard on something. 

My current dilemma is, what do I do about it?  Do I ignore the
problem?  I've tried jokingly asking him to stop coughing and he tells me
he can't.  Do I take him to the doctor?  I heard once that nicotine
helps curb the symptoms of Tourette's Syndrome.  Should I buy my son a
pack of camels or some nicotine gum?   I'm at a loss.

I think it is time to call in reinforcements in the form of my
husband.  He did, after all, diagnose himself with Tourette's years ago
and stands by that diagnosis to this day.  Surely he has some
insight.  It is probably in my best interest to stop focusing on the
coughing and focus on the wonderful qualities that I love about my son.
He does, after all, have the good manners to cover his mouth when he coughs.


  1. I'm right there with ya, honey!!!

  2. Ooooh... I must find out more about this. Maybe we can start a support group: MOT: Mothers Of Tickers

  3. I got home today and KNEW that you would have blogged about this after our discussion today!

  4. Girl, I wrote this before you even came over. I guess that's why it was at the forefront of my mind.

  5. Great stuff - what can I do dad

  6. Thanks, Dad. I'm afraid there's nothing you can do about the coughing. I think it is one of those things that he will have to get over. We played outside for a long time today and I noticed that he didn't cough once. As soon as we got inside, however, he started up again. Interesting...

  7. Love reading your stories! It is amazing to me how they just flow out of you. Not that way for me. You definitely have a gift! Keep them coming!
    Love, Mom

  8. Actually I am not a MOT. I am a WOFT (wife of a f****ing ticker)!!!!

  9. Great job Julianne....keep them coming! :)

  10. Alyson-
    Lucky me! I get to be a member of BOTH clubs!

  11. Angie-
    Thanks for the props! I appreciate it.

  12. perhaps Truman is taking a page from Uncle Chris's throat clearing tic?

  13. Aunt Becky-
    LOL! I already thought of that. As I was writing this, I was thinking about all of the tics that exist within that crazy family (that I dearly love). It's nuts! I guess it is a good thing that I have the only boy. It seems to afflict males exclusively. Crossing my fingers for my daughter...

  14. Mom-
    Thanks for the kind words. I'm really enjoying doing this.

  15. I so know where you are coming from with the spouse thing. When Paul and I met he did this noise with his throat and if you watch he blinks his eyes constantly!!!!! He does not do the noise anymore ( thank God!! I HATE repetitive noise!) If you bring it to their attention that they are doing it it makes them more aware of it which in turn makes them more self consience (sp) which makes them do it more which makes them aware. It is a vicious cycle. Ignore it and he will out grow it or you will come to a point you will say coughing?

  16. Melinda-
    LOL! I have a friend whose husband is a blinker and my brother-in-law is a hard-core throat clearer. I guess men who have tics are a dime a dozen. I just need to get used to it.
    Great advice. Thanks. I think ignoring it is the way to go.