My name is Reeya , 24, and I’m proud to say ‘I have Tourette Syndrome’. I'm Thai and in Thailand we have less and less knowledge about this syndrome.
Like many patient suffer from TS, I was misjudged by everyone around me, especially family. My parents regard my symptom as ‘defect and misbehave’ and I used to suffer beating and scold from mother for blinking too frequent. It wasn’t easy for pre-teen girl to get control over my ‘must-do-it’ conscious. My mother took me to eyes doctors and they don’t know what’s it. She took me to see neurologist and, voila, something to do with concentration and more drugs.
I stop taking them within 2 months. Whatever they were they slow down my nerve and every thing include my classroom reaction. Luckily, my homeroom teacher was so understandable and saved me from trouble with other teachers when I snoozed in classroom after my pills take action.
We never return to neurologist, as my mother decide it’s best to scold me to remind me of not twitch. I found my solace in playing piano and found once I concentrate to the keys my condition simply suspense.
I kept asking parents to send me to piano class, as I want to take it seriously, but they said it wasn’t necessary. I remember the neurologist suggested meditation or taking musical class especially piano and drums, but my parents decide that meditation was better. No. I can’t stay still for more than 5 minutes.
Until my second semester in university, I’ve never heard of TS. My first learning about it…well, pretty much like how we learn from textbook, an example from research paper writing textbook. My friend paid attention to the form and correct citation, I paid attention to its report about the condition – same to me!
So, I googled TS and, VOILA, that’s what I’m. The neurologist had never referred to TS (at least what I remember and mom who conscious about every medical issue didn’t recognize it).
I slipped this to my mom once or twice a year, and she asked ‘Is it curable?’. I said, ‘It’s an uncurable. It’s genetic and I can contain myself better when I’m older.’ Mom wasn’t much convince but she stopped scolding me. I said 'I'm trying my best to control myself. I'm trying. Please don't treat it like a curse. Please encourage me to stop twitching.'
I’ve observed my uncle and aunt from maternal side and found the similarity in our condition. My aunt has a habit of twitching her knee. My uncle has a severe blinking problem since he was a kid. He never learnt to stop it. He also have speech disorder and it took time for him to finish sentence. However, I’ve also learnt that TS doesn't cause problem to both of them socially, psychologically, or professionally. Both hold Ph.D. My aunt was Dean to Faculty of Education at one of Thailand prominent Teacher College and she’s an expert in psychology, especially, teaching psychology. My uncle is Professor in Engineering and President to prominent technological university. Former Board President to TOT and many more. TS is not a stigma.
I can learn language quickly and enjoy my life. I hope parents of TS children will understand their kids. They are trying. They will get better. And please bless and encourage them cheerfully. It's not a stigma. It's a bless.
I have read with interest you story. Myself I am a 55 year old male from Norway. At the age of 33 I finally found out that I suffered from TS. Some years later I found the right medication for me, after having tried other medicine first, which had terrible effect on me.
Next year I am to visit Thailand to see my girl-friend. I want her to know about TS, but I don't know how to tell her. Is there a Thai web site for TS? I would be very pleased to know.
You can write to me on e-mail: ***@****
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