Thursday, August 9, 2012

A New Widget

I have added a new widget to the side of my blog.  It will be here for about the next month, when it will change to something a little different.   We're trying to save up for this year's family camp at Camp Twitch and Shout.  I don't usually like asking for help, but we've run across a slight (temporary) situation that is kind of freezing the money that we'd planned to use for family camp.  My husband is going to have to go out of town soon for work, and he's having to pay for his expenses and then be reimbursed.  This means that the money we'd planned for family camp is now going to have to be used to pay his expenses.  It was a hard decision for me, but I decided to give a try.

The current widget is being used as a way to accept donations to help us with the cost of family camp.  Any help we can get with the cost of camp is very much appreciated.  Monster Man's birthday is next month, and I would love to be able to tell him for his birthday that family camp is paid for (whether by partial donations or not).  Even a small donation of around $5 will help make camp more affordable for this session.

I plan to pay the favor forward, giving money directly to the camp to help keep the costs down for next summer's campers, which brings me to the widget that I plan to replace the current widget with.  Once family camp is over, I am planning to replace the widget with another widget, this time being one that will go to Camp Twitch and Shout to help other campers.

Please check out the new widget (and the one that will replace it) and, if you feel led to, please make a donation to help the camp.  Camp Twitch and Shout means so much to our family, and I am looking forward to doing my best to help the camp soon!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dermatophagia and Trichophagia

 One of the things that Monster Man has been dealing with for a very long time (since well before his diagnosis) is biting his own fingers.  It started out with nail-biting and progressed into chewing on the skin around his nails. I cannot remember the last time that I actually had to clip Monster Man's fingernails because he's bit them down so short for so long.  

At first, we didn't realize that this was in any way, shape, or form related to Tourette Syndrome.  A few months after his diagnosis, I started noticing that other parents were talking about how they fight the chewing by using things such as chewelry (jewelry that can be chewed on).  With all the posts I was seeing online in the Tourettes groups that I am on, I came to realize that chewing of skin (whether it be on the fingers, the toes, or wherever), as well as the chewing of hair, is very common in the TS world.

I finally discovered today that there are actually names for the chewing of skin and hair.  Those that chew on their skin most likely suffer from dermatophagia, while those that chew on their hair most likely suffer from trichophagia.  Both conditions are not part of Tourette Syndrome itself, but are actually part of a TS comorbid... Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  

In my reading on dermatophagia, I came to realize that it is something I've always struggled with myself.  I have always chewed the inside of my mouth, often leaving sores on the inside of my cheek and on the inside of my lip.  As a kid, I tried to control it either by chewing on pencils or chewing gum.  I ended up with TMJ in middle school, and I had to cut back on the gum chewing.  I've been chewing the inside of my mouth off and on ever since.

I still haven't found something to help Monster Man compensate for the need to chew his fingers.  We've tried multiple times, unsuccessfully, to at least limit how much he chews on his fingers. He often chews on them until they bleed or scab, and we're concerned about the possibility of infection if he doesn't start controlling how much he chews.  We're hoping something will come to us soon, but at least we know now what we're really dealing with.