Friday, August 8, 2014

Explosive Tic Episodes

I mentioned recently that Tourette Syndrome isn't for wimps.  I didn't know when I wrote that article that Monster Man's TS would only get worse from the punching tic he'd developed that was hurting him so badly.  It's amazing how fast things can change.

Seventy-two hours ago, Monster Man was on his way home from his third day of his freshman year of high school.  He'd suppressed his tics throughout the day at school.  When he got home, he let loose his punching tic.  It would come in spurts, lasting several minutes every hour or so.  Nothing new.  We'd seen this pattern in him several times in recent weeks.

Forty-eight hours ago, Monster Man was on his way home from his fourth school day.  When he got home from school, I learned that he had been unable to suppress his punching tic the entire day, that he'd finally let a couple of punches loose as his class was leaving the room at one point during the day.  A little concerning, but still not too out-of-the-ordinary for him.  He'd had to let loose his other tics in the past from time to time.

After all the kids were home and we'd had dinner, Georgia Boy and I left the kids home alone to go return a Redbox movie, pick up a snack for Little Man for school the next day, and get Georgia Boy's hair cut. While his hair was being cut, I called home to ask Monster Man about a homework assignment  (thank you, Remind 101 app for sending me a message while we were out).  During our conversation, I noticed Monster Man was making an unusual sound, but didn't think a lot about it at first because he tends to make unusual sounds as a result of his Tourette Syndrome.  It wasn't until he said the words "I can't stop ticcing" that I began to worry.

As soon as Georgia Boy's hair was finished, we rushed home.  We found Monster Man doing his punching tic in combination with another tic - one that looked very much like a seizure.  He would shake violently, stop to do his punching tic, and then start shaking again.  It was both scary and heartbreaking to watch, and we were left feeling completely alone and helpless because we didn't know how to make things better for our son.  We desperately wanted to help him stop, but nothing seemed to work.  After two medications, time spent talking with his girlfriend (who also has TS) online, and almost three full hours, he finally calmed down enough to go to sleep.

Yesterday, I tried waking all the kids up for school.  Angel Baby and Little Man both got around for school (rather grudgingly, I might add, due to the lack of sleep they'd received while their brother was having his explosive tic episode), but Monster Man struggled to wake up.  Every time he opened his eyes, he'd start shaking violently again, then fall asleep immediately.

He ended up missing school. Instead, he had a visit to his neurologist for a change in his medications.  He started improving a little throughout the day, but never really stopped (it's a rare occasion to be tic-free for any length of time).  He took his new medicine combination at bedtime, and he slept really well last night.  He woke up this morning ready to return to school.

Sadly, he didn't make it through the school day.  I received a call just after 1:00 this afternoon that he was in the clinic with another bad tic episode.  His teacher had tried walking him to the clinic and had to get help to get him into a wheelchair to be wheeled to the clinic after he fell to the ground in his explosive tic episode.  I made the thirty minute trek to his high school to pick him up, where I found that his sister had been called from her class to help calm him down until I could arrive.

He's doing a little better now that he's home, but he still keeps going into the tic that looks so very much like a seizure.  It's amazing how just seventy-two hours ago, we were praying for relief from his punching tic, and now we're at the point that we just want him to be able to have a good night's sleep so he can get a rest from the pain these tic explosions are causing him.

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