With fingernails that shine like justice...

and a voice that is dark like tinted glass, she is fast, thorough and sharp as a tack. She is touring the facility and picking up slack...

Saturday, July 15, 2006


I'm not really sure why I've never blogged about this before...

We have, lovingly, called Blaine "Squeaky" for about 6 or 7 years.

Some parents might argue that giving your child a nickname based on her neurological disorder is cruel and wrong, but I say...

Fuck them...they don't know us.

Last month, we had Blaine "officially" diagnosed with what we knew she had all along. Her Grandfather has it and was diagnosed about ten years ago. Her dad has it, was never diagnosed, and seems to have outgrown it.

Tourette's Syndrome.

Blaine's case is very mild. She has mostly vocal tics...squeaking, throat clearing, a repeated exhalation of breath with "eh", and something we describe as a throat snort. Until recently, she had no noticable physical tics...but has since added to her repertoire a quick, repeated jerk of her head to her shoulder.

We never had it "officially" diagnosed before because we knew what it was, it did not disrupt or interfere with school, and it is not severe enough to require medication. She does not, like many kids with TS do, suffer from such things as ADD or OCD.

She is accepted by her friends how she is. She has only had one occurrence of teasing/bullying as a result of her tics, in sixth grade. Joanie, her best friend, told the boy she'd kick his ass if he didn't stop it. It was after that, Blaine chose to tell her class about her brain. It, coincidently, happened around the same time a documentary by HBO was released called I Have Tourette's, But Tourette's Doesn't Have Me. The kids were allowed to ask questions, then the matter was dropped. Previous to that, only her teachers were told about it. She hasn't had any problems since then.

Tics are like having an irresistable itch. You have to scratch it eventually. At home, she tics freely. They say that tics sometimes come on as a result of stress. I, however, don't see it that way. I think stress is caused by the tic suppression(at least,seemingly, in Blaine's case). Being able to finally scatch an itch is what brings relief.

I knew the trip to the pediatric neurologist was an eventuality after I got a few separate comments in a months time. My best friend and my Mom both said they were noticing more frequent and more pronounced bouts. I however, didn't really see it until they said something.

After so many years of living next to the tracks, I had ceased to hear the train.

The official diagnosis is basically a preemptive measure because her tics seem to be getting worse. TS usually becomes most pronounced during pubery. With Blaine on her way to junior high(my gawd, I feel old.), I want her teachers to be aware that any problem they have with her TS are just that...their problem.

Blaine has been very fortunate and chosen friends well. They do not judge or tease her about her TS. And they don't let anyone else, either.

Blaine is a normal kid. Tourette's is just a thing she has...like freckles.

Maybe thats why I've never blogged about it before.