Before I blindly launch into another tic post, I'd love to hear about some topics that interest you the most. Is it research? How to suppress tics? How to accept them? Medicine vs. natural herbs? Worse case scenarios vs. light cases? Fear vs. how to develop a kick-butt attitude toward everything? Tell me, please!

And happy Monday!

 
 

Here I am geeking out with Brad Cohen and Jimmy Wolk at the Hallmark Hall of Fame premiere of Front of the Class. It's the story of Brad Cohen (middle picture) and his battle with TS - how he worked through adversity and not only became a teacher (after 23 interviews) but won Teacher of the Year.

My friend, M (top left) laughed at me. As I entered the lounge before the movie, there were all these stars around us, including Patricia Heaton from Everyone Loves Raymond (who plays Brad's mom) and Maria Shriver, first lady of California. Who do I make a beeline for? Brad!

"I saw you on Oprah!" I shrieked, shaking his hands. You are such an inspiration to me! "Thank you so much," he grinned, totally soaking up the limelight. As he said it best in his speech before the movie, "This is a very surreal experience." I can only imagine.

Throughout the film you could hear Brad coughing and ticking pretty loud (apparently Jimmy's tics on screen set him off... wow, was Wolk amazing) and yet, after a while, Brad's noises became background noise.

I realized how lucky Stink is in so many ways - his TS will probably never be that noticeable. And for those of you with kids who are new to TS, your children will probably not have it as extreme either.

This leads me to the one thing I did not like about the movie. While it was wonderful in showing how one can rise above their setbacks, it did not tell the audience in any way, even through a voiceover at the end, that not all TS is so loud or extreme, nor does it have to alienate our children socially. I think we need to see more variations on TS in the media so that we as moms don't freak out if our kids tic and think, "Oh, no, they'll be shunned just like Brad Cohen was!"

Other than that small issue, the movie was awesome. And Jimmy Wolk? Holy hell, man, he is gorgeous. (The photo does not do him justice. You must watch the movie just to check him out.) Such an amazing actor, too. I see Emmy written all over his face. Look out, George Clooney, there's a new superstar in town.

Front of the Class is airing this Sunday at 7PM on CBS. Don't miss it!


More of my writing can be found daily at BabyCenter and Good Housekeeping.




 
 

This is my darling husband with my boy.

Do you know why my husband looks so happy? Because during the initial tic phase/Tourettes diagnosis he refused to look at Stink as the boy who tics.

This is fabulous - don't get me wrong - he loved and still does love Stink for who he is on the inside, not what he is on the outside. But sadly for me, when I was going through my own emotions, I was ticked off. It felt like Rex didn't care.

"Can't we talk about something else?" he'd ask. Or, "For Godsake, Andrea, you're obsessed! Do some writing! Something besides researching tics!"

It's true. I couldn't stop Googling tic and Tourettes. I'd come up with all sorts of freakish possibilities for my son's life, including an existence of seperation anxiety, OCD or social stigmas. I felt abandoned and isolated - so alone in my fight. Where was my husband - my rock - when I wanted to talk about it?!


The truth is, Rex didn't want to talk about it. It's not that he didn't want to help me, but since he couldn't fix the problem, he didn't see why we were still discussing them. He didn't realize that just listening to me was helping. (And I didn't think enough to remind him of that fact.)

"But I think we can suppress the tics," I'd argue, desperate for a sidekick to my Find-A-Solution rodeo. "Maybe," he'd retort back, more than a little frustrated, "But you're grasping at straws! You're going from one diet to the next. There's no consistency! It's like finding a needle in a haystack."

He was right about that - I was like a fish on a hook, shaking back and forth to find something - anything - that would calm Stink's tics down.

It wasn't until I made up my mind that it wasn't that Rex didn't care but that he didn't know how to help (or was just too plain scared) that I finally let go of wanting Rex to handle things the way I did. The truth is, if both of us were nuts, we'd have got nothing done.

My solution was instead to stop talking about it to my husband. I found people who weren't emotionally connected to Stink to cry to. I also told Rex that I would be using a homeopath and, only after I had a concrete plan to go after, would I start the family on a new regime.

This worked out beautifully. Within days, Rex asked why I was so much calmer. I told him. His response, "Honey, you know I'd give a million dollars if I knew how to fix it. But since we don't, I just don't want us going broke financially and emotionally."


I saw where he was coming from. I did. I thanked him for being an amazing father to Stink and helping me to remember the beautiful boy beneath the eye rolls.

Then I fought like hell when he was at work to find some remedies for Stink.

And they worked.

And then Rex was skeptical.

But I told him to suck it up.

And he did.

And the results were phenomenal.

And Rex then told me I was the best mother ever and how happy he was to be married to me.


To which I responded, "No shit."

More of my writing can be found daily at BabyCenter and Good Housekeeping.