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Living with late onset Tourette’s

Posted Mon 5th Dec 2022 at 11:20
by India April


My journey so far

Where do I start? I guess with some background, oh, and an introduction.

Hi, I am India Ngoma and I am 23 years old. I currently work as an underwriting assistant at Tokio Marine Kiln Limited and two years ago I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome.

A lot of the professionals I went to see raised their eyebrows at me, half some asking if I have had this since the last time I came in…I wasn’t a very ill child growing up, so I didn’t need to visit the doctors. The other half merely raise their eyebrows to question if maybe I was a little anxious and stressed at work, (I was in a different role at the time). I took this on board, but they say after a year then the likelihood of Tourette’s is high, so my mum wouldn’t agree with the doctor’s suggestion of running twice a day for exercise as a diagnosis. To me that sounded like “you may be a little unfit, so the tics will go” but as I explained I had been exercising and “walking” before the incident which caused all this…I was trying to get beach body ready!

After the diagnosis came a life change. My confidence fell to the ground, I went from this outgoing, out to party, social butterfly to someone who was more isolated than covid had already isolated. I was confined to my bedroom and was monitored everyday by family and friends to make sure I was doing as well as I could. My job was stripped back due to my inability to do much without ticcing and then having to call it a day and sleep.

Nobody tells you that your social skills vanish with the confidence and it’s not because I was ticcing that made me less confident, it’s what people would think of me that made my confidence shatter. Before my diagnosis I had only heard of the swearing tics, the funny side of it all, but now I live with TS, I smile and laugh about it, or I’ll just ended up crying.

I have been riddled with social/general anxiety since I was little, but I knew about it and I know how to deal with it, but Tourette’s has taught me that I shouldn’t hide who I am and what I am going through because everyone learns something new every day and every day is an opportunity to learn.

Tourette’s has taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to. It may take me on a different path to others, but I’ll get there eventually. It’s also taught me that I don’t have to be amazing at everything to prove to people I am capable because I am not made to do everything. I know when to quit because quitting isn’t always a bad thing. I am allowed that bad day to just sit and re-collect myself and focus on me for a bit.

There is still so much that others need to learn about Tourette’s and what people living with Tourette’s go through. Tourette’s doesn’t affect just the person living with it, it effects family, teachers, friends, and colleagues. People need to be educated and have an understanding on what Tourette’s is. With all things considered, I wouldn’t want to be any other way.

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