I'm still continuing my novena to our Lady of Good Success, and on Day 5, things start to happen. Today, it was finding comfort in a stranger.
It was the receptionist at Luke's therapy for OT, of all places. Through a therapist, I found out that the receptionist's son also suffered from tics. She introduced us and left with Luke. The receptionist and I ended up talking for 40 minutes. (Thankfully, she wasn't too busy.)
She told me her story, and it mirrors Luke's story to the "t". Her son, now fifteen, also began to tic "out of the blue" from a bad cough and cold. He also was the same age as Luke when it started.
His mother, like me, began hunting for answers right away. Like me, she was led from one diagnosis to another. Finally, a neurologist was able to tell her that it was a tic.
Again, like me and Luke, they then had to find a way to help her son. She didn't want him on meds, so instead she looked to Integral Medicine and they changed his diet and found supplements to help. They also started seeing a Behavior Therapist, who specializes in RBT (Reverse Behavior Therapy.) Her son still suffers from tics (Tourette's), but has learned to control them. He also has learned to find out what his triggers are. That is the key to success.
Throughout our conversation, she was giving me handouts that was given to her through her appointments, book recommendations on tics and Tourette's, advice on what triggers tics through food (sugars, aspartame, dyes, artificial sweeteners, MSG's and preservatives), and business cards of doctors that had helped them. But most of all, she gave me her ears, her understanding. A shoulder to cry on, though I didn't use it.
Maybe it was because it was a mom that was talking to me about tics; not a doctor, teacher or therapist. And I think she sensed in me mutual understanding of her pain because she completely opened up to me about all the pain she had gone through all these years; the lack of understanding from others, the arguments with her husband and school, and the sacrifices that had to be made with diet change. (They chose to go through the diet change as a family.) "I still cry about it from time to time", she admitted, even after all these years. "My son is 15 now and happy with who he is. He has learned to accept that his tics are a part of him. But I still want to fix it for him."
Forty minutes of mutual understanding, of feeling validated for my own grief that I have felt. Forty minutes of good advice on life change, trigger causes (she even had a handout on that too), diet changes and "What to expect" for the future (tics morphing into different tics; illness bringing tics back full force.)
Last of all, she handed me her own business card "For if you ever want to talk," she said. "It's been so good talking to someone who knows what this is like. Thank you."
I wasn't supposed to go to therapy today. Dennis has been taking Luke lately since I have done so many of the other appointments. But for some reason, I felt like I should go today.
Anyway, Day five. Our Lady is on this.
Antiphon: Holy Mary, save the miserable, help the weak, intercede for the afflicted, plead for the people, intercede for the clergy, petition for the faithful. Permit all those who celebrate thy holy memory to experience thy favor and assistance.
V. Pray for us, O Virgin of Good Success!
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.