Monday, August 14, 2006

Knitting with Tourette's

Imagine not being able to control your body. That every time you feel slightly nervous, stressed, tired, or just trying to relax, your brain keeps telling your muscles they need to be doing something else. So you flap your arms uncontrollably b/c your sleeves aren't exactly perfect or you tense the muscles in them until they hurt so much you can't use your hands anymore. Every time you meet a new person you're wondering if they're noticing how many times your body jerks out of control or wondering why your nose twitches.
This is what it's like to have Tourette's Syndrome. My body is in a constant state of motion; my muscles are always working. I can't remember ever sitting still for longer than a few seconds. That is the suck. Now this is the awesome. The only time I feel any relief from this curse is when I have knitting needles in my hands. When I'm knitting, I'm concentrating so hard on the feel of the yarn flowing through my fingers that the rest of my body gets a little break from its perpetual motion. The muscles that I tighten for no reason during the rest of my day suddenly have a purpose.Knitting is much more than a hobby for me. It's a saving grace in an otherwise exhausting attempt to reclaim control of something I can never have...a body that fully belongs to me.

1 comment:

Fancy Dirt said...

I do know what you mean! My shoulder jerking has my whole arm and neck so sore! I like to believe that I can hide my twitches, but my husband says no way. Stress really makes it worse.

I'm glad knitting gives you some relief.

My tourettes will switch sides after being on one side for years. The last few years my right side is so weak it hurts to hold a cup of water.

Some years my eyes would blink rapid fire even when I was trying to go to sleep. That was the one that was the worst when I was a little kid and no one had a name for it, or compassion for the pain I was in. Kids at school would ask if I wore contact lenses, they were made of glass back then, I didn't wear them.

No one really knows how physically painful and draining this condition is but us. The medicines they try out on us are pathetic. Sorry about all the griping, but I just want it to STOP.