Alex indiv crop

Alexander D. Cagle

I was diagnosed with Tourette’s at about the age of five. My journey dealing with Tourette’s has changed over time.  When I was younger, it was just a part of who I was and I didn’t know anything different. The high school I attend (New Tech Academy) requires a lot of oral presentations.  I tried to hide my tics at first, but that was exhausting and eventually it became too difficult to hide.  I often present in front of engineers, business executives, community members, peers etc.  It is inevitable, I will tic during those presentations, making them very stressful. Despite this, I push through my struggles, determined to reach my academic goals. Because of this perseverance, not only have I been able to successfully present in front of these panels,  I am currently ranked sixth in my class with a 4.31 GPA.

Before 6th grade, I was by no means shy, unlike I am now. I said hello to everyone when I saw them in the hallway, or if I saw a classmate outside of class. I was talkative and able to hold extended conversations without feeling awkward. That all changed in 6th grade. In a sense, I had a meltdown. I was seeing a few doctors at the time. Not for anything serious, just my Tourette’s, ADHD, and another doctor for anxiety. Each had prescribed a different medication.  These three medications alongwith the natural changes occurring in my body created a chemical cocktail that
was just bottling up and waiting to erupt.  I eventually did erupt and I ended up in Parkview Behavioral Health Hospital.

These events led to our discovery of two of the most amazing doctors I have ever had, Dr. Rustagi and Dr. Donovan Martin. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am currently if it was not for them. Not only did these doctors work with me independently, they would collaborate weekly to make sure they were on the same page on how to help me. I felt I could tell them everything and they would know exactly what to do! It certainly took some time, but I improved in strides and I am elated to say that it has been two years since I have had to see Dr. Martin and about 5 months since I have had to see Dr. Rustagi. If it had not been for the work of these coordinated and understanding doctors, I shudder to think of where I would be currently.  My Tourette’s and ADHD certainly are not gone, not by any means, but it is because of these two incredible doctors that I now have strategies on how to handle these obstacles.  I am able to cope with my disabilities and persevere. I am eternally thankful for both of them! God blessed my family and me with these two doctors! Without them, I don’t know what would have happened
after that 6th grade year or if I would be where I am today.