As we read more and more about Tourette’s treatment alternatives (in other words, anything that doesn’t involve drugs) I am astonished at how blasè I’ve been about health warnings in the past. So many times I’ve been sent an email, read an article or heard a talk on the dangers of some very common aspects of our modern lives, and instead of taking action I’ve just fobbed it off as more fear-mongering. Like I need to be more paranoid. Thanks a lot.
However, I’m becoming more and more convinced that this has been nothing short of head-in-the-sand denial at best, dangerous-with-death at the far end. A bit melodramatic? Fair enough, but I really have underestimated the effects of our environment and diet on our health. (Diet less so, what with us being gluten- and dairy-free ‘n all).
Let me give you an example. Goldilocks has frightfully unruly hair. It’s essentially a combination between a weaver’s nest and an owl pellet. A very beautiful, golden combination, sure. But no less daunting to tame, and never, ever neat. Since Aunty Em and I share very similar characteristics in our own hair, I’d pretty much given up any illusions of any of us ever having the long, tame, tumbling tawny tresses Red Riding Hood twirls around in every day. No worries, we’re quirky. In fact, to quote Goldilocks, “Weird is just a side effect of being awesome!”
However, my research has led me to conclude that chemicals in the home can trigger and/or aggravate Tourette’s symptoms. Time to be brutal. So we turfed all our smelly stuff – perfumes, after shaves, deodorants, shampoo, conditioner – all gone! (Not laundry detergents and household cleaners since those were already safe, eco-friendly and organic). Of course, being me I had first researched the available alternatives and I found a wealth of information at The Simple Dollar and DIYNatural. Check it out! On the last night of “toxic cleaning” as I’ve started thinking about it, I washed the girls’ hair myself. I watched in amazement as Goldilocks’ face contorted with a range of facial tics and she made her entire repertoire of vocal tics while the shampoo was near her face. Similar (although milder) reaction to the conditioner. Fascinating!
Two days later it was time to try the experimental concoctions I’d been using on myself for a few days. Here are the results:
- No increase in tics whatsoever;
- Hair smells clean;
- At least 40% fewer tangles;
- Hair is shiny and beautiful when dry.
Her hair stayed pretty controlled until the next wash, and then the cycle repeated. Her tics in general have been decreasing since we’ve de-chemical-ised the house, and this is another step on the ladder to a Permanent Solution.
You are what you eat
We’re on day 52 of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and we continue to see the benefits. Concentration improves steadily; my skin is a lot better; digestion is much better, with the girls having a bowel movement roughly once every three days (which is better than once every 8-10 days!). Our tics seem to be improving, and Papa Bear now sees a clear link between his tics and SCD-illegal foods.
We’ve also re-introduced Omega 3s to our SCD programme, and the effect of those on both Goldilocks’ tics and mine was noticeable. We both had a tangible sense of our faces having a little peace.
The WAR is on: Operation Desert Storm(ish)
So, in recent weeks I’ve posted about the importance of starting small when sorting out the house, and doing just fifteen focused minutes a day. Yeah. So that didn’t work. I’m not great at just doing a little bit of housework at time. I’m more of an all-or-nothing kinda gal. As a result, when Aunty Em came over to help on Sunday, we didn’t just do fifteen minutes. We did the entire office – rearranged from top-to-bottom, and cleaned! Three hours later we were ready to head out for evening Church, feeling rather righteous indeed!
The next day the “Zeigarnik Effect” described this week by Jordan and Steve kicked in, and I was compelled to keep going. It is now four days since starting, and I’m nearly done. Almost every surface has been swept, washed and dusted. I have treated for mould everywhere and we are dust-free. Our tics are definitely improving, although I will say that the mould and dust we’ve raised has caused me a serious allergic reaction which bears a strong resemblance to a common cold. Grr. But obviously there’s an issue here and we need to be vigilant and disciplined about maintaining a mould-free, dust-free zone.
Wish me luck!