I have always been a good student and have always pushed myself to do the best I can and get good grades. In sixth grade, school stressed me out. I was worried to receive anything less than an A on my tests or assignments. I would spend most of my time in my room studying and barely did anything other than that on the weekends. At the end of sixth grade, my lowest grade on my report card was a 98.

During my seventh grade year, I was enrolled in AG math class. That created more stress. This is when I started making uncontrollable noises and movements. They would get worse the more stress I experienced. The motions got so bad we went to the doctor who recommended I see a neurologist. The neurologist diagnosed me with Tourette’s syndrome. When I heard the diagnosis, I felt worried because I did not think I would ever be able to stop the uncontrollable movements and noises. I started taking medication and had to take a month off from school to get regulated and get the ticks under control. The first medication they gave me had a bad side affect, which caused me not to sweat. In the summer, I could not walk from my car to inside a store without being in severe pain and wanting to cry from the burning pain. I lost so much weight from being on the medication; I weighed 79 pounds in the seventh grade. They finally took me off of this medication.

The medication I am on now is better for my weight control and sweating. Sadly, the side affects now include dizziness and drowsiness. My dizziness is usually caused by heat. When I get too hot everything becomes blurry and I feel like I am about to faint. One time over the summer, we were waiting in line for a ride at the waterpark and I got so hot to where I could not see anything, started shaking, and I dropped to the ground. Lifeguards saw what was happening and came to see what was wrong. My dad took care of it though. He picked me up and carried me to the nearest table where I could get some water and sit down for a little bit.

Having Tourettes is tough. I try to hide it as best as I can. I do not want people to know about it because I find it embarrassing. I should not be embarrassed from it because I cannot help it, but I still do not want people to treat me differently if they know I have Tourette’s syndrome. I wish I could just be normal and not have to take medication everyday, worrying about getting dizzy when going outside, having to always see a neurologist, having to get my blood drawn every six months, having to get EEGs and EKGs, and having ticks that are out of my control.