Monday, January 3, 2011

Who's to blame?

There are times that my husband and I question where Monster Man got his Tourettes, and if either of us is to blame. Not necessarily that we could control it, just we wonder if we are the one that passed down the gene that gave him the problems he is dealing with. Sometimes, I even wonder if it came from both of us.

My husband has epilepsy. From our research, it appears that there is a link between epilepsy and TS. In many cases, children with TS have a parent with either epilepsy or TS, and somewhere along the lines a relative has one or the other even if it isn't a parent. Of course, as would be expected, this link bothers my husband. We've always prayed that our children wouldn't have epilepsy, that they wouldn't have to live in fear of the possibility of a seizure. When we first discovered that Monster Man could have TS, we were actually relieved to know that it wasn't epilepsy, since some of the tics were twitching of the entire left side of his face.

Of course, there are issues on my side of the family that are often found to go along with TS. I have a sensory integration disorder, though mine has never been fully diagnosed (I've had a doctor tell me that is what it is, but it wasn't my own doctor). I can stand certain textures or certain sounds. I get physically ill sometimes just thinking about the sound of fingernails scratching jean-clad legs, and the thought of touching rough fabric sends a chill down my spine. There are times when I have a hard time getting dressed right after a shower just because I don't want to touch the fabric. My family used to think that I was just being picky and strange, though I've since discovered that I get this from my grandmother. Anxiety, as I've mentioned previously, also tends to go hand-in-hand with TS, and my family has had its share of problems with anxiety.

Like I said, we've spent a lot of time contemplating which one of us is to blame, or if we are both to blame, for the challenges that Monster Man is facing. The truth is, though, no one is to blame. As I explained to Monster Man tonight why children with different disabilities are considered 'special', it's not that they were given a burden. Instead, they were chosen by God to have this gift - this one thing that sets them apart from others and makes them who they are. They can look at the challenges they face as something to be upset about, or they can come to understand that maybe, just maybe, they wouldn't be the wonderful people they are inside if they didn't have TS.

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