Owwwww

One thing that many people don’t know about Tourettes is that it doesn’t just “stop” when the tics start to become painful. Surprisingly, that’s a common misconception.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. A lot of times you have to keep ticcing until it hurts enough, or feels “just right.” None of this is a conscious thought, but the tic won’t stop until that happens. Most of the time, I can’t tell you what “just right” is. My brain calls the shots on that one!

Anyways, the other day I was having a really bad “tic fit” and ended up with a concussion. Owwww. I was out for the count for about a week but am on the mend.

But here’s the thing I’m ashamed about. Whenever someone asked how I got a concussion, I lied.

“I walked into a wall.”

“You know, just doing that sports thing.” HAHA

“I got into a fight with an elephant.”

I couldn’t tell people. I couldn’t say “I hit myself in the head 47 times.” I was ashamed. I was embarrassed. And I was afraid that I’d hear “but doesn’t it just stop before you hurt yourself?”

So for future reference, it never stops. Literally never.

ALSO: I went to the dr on campus and when I told him I had Tourettes, he said “you’re born with that, right?”

….no. I got bitten by a radioactive spider and BAM- TOURETTES! 😛

I think he got his medical degree at Walmart…

Well. That was insensitive…

So recently I was browsing one of my favorite websites and came across a post titled “BEST PUNS OF ALL TIME!!!” Or something similar. Now those of you who know me know that I love love LOVE PUNS! They’re like my favorite things ever.

The puns on the post were really good, and I hadn’t seen most of them before. I was enjoying myself until I got to this one:

“Don’t let an extra chromosome get you down!”

My heart sank. I don’t know how to express my feelings about this in words. I wasn’t angry, although I probably should have been. I just felt a deep disappointment that people would so casually joke about human beings.

But then I looked again, and considered something. Hadn’t I just laughed at the pun involving “a rabbi, a priest, and an astronaut?” Hadn’t I just laughed hysterically at a demeaning celebrity joke my friend told me? And I’m sure I laughed harder than I ever have at the “suburban white girl” joke I heard.

The pun about Down syndrome was wrong. It was insensitive and demeaning. But I think it was more demeaning to me because I am familiar with the stigma surrounding disability.

And it made me think: have the jokes I’ve made and laughed at hurt other people?

I’m glad I read that pun, because it served an important purpose. It Wasn’t the intended purpose,but it made me think about how words really can hurt.

I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on this!