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My Challenges with TS

Posted Fri 17th Dec 2021 at 14:00
by Rin White

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17 year old Rin White shares her story.

I was diagnosed with Tourettes at age 8 and I also have social anxiety and I am being assessed for ASD and ADHD.

Some things were challenging, but my Tourettes didn’t prevent me from doing what I wanted to do even though it made life harder. This all changed when I hit 16 in 2020. My tics became much worse, I started swearing, making obscene gestures, repeating phrases, and uttering offensive sentences out of my control. I began having tic attacks that would last for hours.

I’m a resilient person and got on with my A-Levels, did my grade 8 flute in the summer and was applying to university to study engineering. I was determined that Tourettes wasn’t going to limit what I could achieve. I felt that it was hard, but I was able to do what I wanted to do and could get on with my life.

That was until this Autumn. On the 15th of October after attending a county orchestra rehearsal I lost the ability to walk or sit up. It is like having two or three extreme tics that prevent me from walking, sitting and being independent in any way. I had two A&E admissions which thankfully ruled out anything degenerative or physical for which I was very relieved. I have had to drop out of year 13, withdraw my university applications, stop playing flute and piano which I love as I can barely leave my room. I have not been able to access specialist support so do not really understand what is happening to me.

I am still determined that my condition will not limit me. I got crutches last week and can walk on my own again. I walked to our local co-op yesterday and bought some sweets after being stuck in my room for 8 weeks.

Those sweets were the best I have ever eaten!

School have said I can redo year 13 and are making adjustments to help me go back to school when my condition improves. My short-term goals are to walk unaided, play flute and piano again, go back to school and get my A-Level’s then go to university to study aeronautical engineering. I know that it won’t be easy, but I will get there. When I get better, I am sure that there will be more blips and challenges along the way, but I won’t give up!


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