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Old 07-23-2013, 04:05 PM
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Using my program: off topic

Having been in Al Anon for 18 months now, I'm finally seeing how I put the program into use even when it doesn't apply to my AH. I am a fixer. Always seeing the problem and stepping in to make everything better.

My ds(age 14) has a moderate tic disorder. Basically, it's Tourette's without the vocal tics. His tics can be extremely troublesome and started back when he was nine. Right now he has about 10 tics happening off and on throughout the day: some in succession with each other, some independent of the others. Head turning, eye blinking, a tic where he sticks his chest out while walking every few steps, and a shoulder tic where he lifts his shoulder up to meet his chin as he turns his head.

There are days when I struggle just watching him. My heart breaks for him and I see people watching him and I feel just awful for him. He is going through puberty and I wonder how he'll feel about his tics as he gets older and is looking to date, etc. For now, he actually isn't too bothered by them, except the shoulder one because that creates muscle tension and knots in his back. I take him to a chiropractor every so often and he gets massages, as well, when needed. Also, epsom salts baths help as does some massage from me.

I used to cry at night for him. I used to take on all his learning disabilities and then get so bogged down by his issues that I would be paralyzed because I was overwhelmed. Like: do I get him with someone to do CBT with him for his tics or do I find a psychologist to help him with the OCD or do I invest all our extra money into the tutoring and educational therapies he needs? It truly has been overwhelming but I've finally been able to take a step back and say, "He's almost 15. He's not dead yet. He has friends, he is amiable and loves people. He loves photography and real estate and is VERY intuitive when it comes to how he deals with people. He is filled with empathy and caring and gentleness of spirit and I can't negate any of that with worry about these dang tics. He is who he is and that's OK."

The program has allowed me to accept him for who he is, tics (or warts) and all. I've learned that I don't need to pigeonhole my kid and that the bigger picture is, that he is a wonderful boy who has a lot to give to society. I don't worry about his tics anymore. I help him when he asks, make the chiro appointments, massage him when needed, draw the bath if he wants it, etc but I don't sit around and fret over it. It is what it is, and that is how Al Anon has helped me work on acceptance of a situation that I truly have no control over.

Thanks for letting me share!
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:06 PM
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My daughter also has a tic disorder so I understand completely. She is 8 and has had them since age 2. They come and go. She also has that same shoulder head turning one along with a bunch more. I know exactly how you feel. I worry about kids making fun of her. None seem to yet but I'm sure it's coming. It sounds like your son has handled it pretty well all these years. You are doing all the right things with your alanon tools. We have no control over the tics and no matter how hard we try, we can't fix it for them. The neurologist told me most kids will outgrow it by adulthood and those that don't learn how to manage and suppress them to some degree. Your son is perfect the way he is meant to be. Turn it over to your HP. I just wanted you to know you are not alone. I have all of the same worries you do.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
Having been in Al Anon for 18 months now, I'm finally seeing how I put the program into use even when it doesn't apply to my AH.
Yeah, funny how it just leaks out all over the place, huh?

Step 12- Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of this step, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The program has allowed me to accept him for who he is, tics (or warts) and all. I've learned that I don't need to pigeonhole my kid and that the bigger picture is, that he is a wonderful boy who has a lot to give to society. I don't worry about his tics anymore. I help him when he asks, make the chiro appointments, massage him when needed, draw the bath if he wants it, etc but I don't sit around and fret over it. It is what it is, and that is how Al Anon has helped me work on acceptance of a situation that I truly have no control over.

Thanks for letting me share!
Thank YOU.

Like you say -- It is what it is.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by unsureoffuture View Post
My daughter also has a tic disorder so I understand completely. She is 8 and has had them since age 2. They come and go. She also has that same shoulder head turning one along with a bunch more. I know exactly how you feel. I worry about kids making fun of her. None seem to yet but I'm sure it's coming. It sounds like your son has handled it pretty well all these years. You are doing all the right things with your alanon tools. We have no control over the tics and no matter how hard we try, we can't fix it for them. The neurologist told me most kids will outgrow it by adulthood and those that don't learn how to manage and suppress them to some degree. Your son is perfect the way he is meant to be. Turn it over to your HP. I just wanted you to know you are not alone. I have all of the same worries you do.
Big hugs to you! My son hasn't had a tic free day since he turned 9, it was like a biological switch was turned on. If kids ask him, he just tells them it's Tourette's because they seem more familiar with it than saying 'tic disorder'. Some kinds immediately think of 'ticks' and wonder what the heck a blood sucking bug has to do with strange body movements.

One thing we did realize, and something for you to think about in the future, is that certain things trigger his tics. For instance, when he gets his braces tightened it triggers jaw tics or mouth tics for him. He was the first to recognize that as a trigger, and once the teeth settle down the tic settles down for him, as well. Also, stress is the biggest trigger! Both good and bad stress, too. He also tics more when his allergies are bugging him and also when there is a full moon. No joke, full moons make him tic more, LOL!

So, we've learned some of the triggers and he loves taking epsom salts baths when things are bad: doesn't decrease the tics but gives relief through transdermal magnesium and just the bath itself relaxes him. We also tried supplements like magnesium and B vitamins, among other things but never really saw much change.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:33 AM
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You can also rub magnesium oil or a lotion on the bottoms of his feet before bed. It works some for me. I inherited a tic disorder from my father. Mostly facial, which gives me raging headaches, but occasional neck/shoulder tics and hand twitches. If someone says something, I just tell them straight that I have some tics and I got them from my dad. Nobody has really cared yet. Mostly they just say, "Oh, ok " and that's that. But try the magnesium on his feet. It certainly can't hurt!
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by NWGRITS View Post
You can also rub magnesium oil or a lotion on the bottoms of his feet before bed. It works some for me. I inherited a tic disorder from my father. Mostly facial, which gives me raging headaches, but occasional neck/shoulder tics and hand twitches. If someone says something, I just tell them straight that I have some tics and I got them from my dad. Nobody has really cared yet. Mostly they just say, "Oh, ok " and that's that. But try the magnesium on his feet. It certainly can't hurt!
I have magnesium oil and a magnesium cream that we use at times, too. The mag oil is in a spray and I didn't realize it would burn the first time I used it. I sprayed it right on his back and he was nearly in tears. OOPS! I rub essential oils on his feet so I guess I should have thought about the mag oil, too. Will give that a try, thanks!

My son notices people with tics all the time and it helps him realize that he's not alone. He has another friend who plays tennis whom has tics, too, and the boys sometimes talk about their tics to each other.
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