Between ADHD, Tourette’s and Autism my day is an unpredictable rollercoaster of tics, obsessions, hyperactivity and constant changes in my focus.
You would think this would wear me out, but instead it wears out my wife and by the end of the day she looks forward to going to bed and reading a book or even getting some sleep.
I usually wait until she is relaxed and settled then if I feel ready for bed I head on upstairs.
I head on upstairs feeling pretty tired and ready for bed. I enter the bedroom its dimly lit by the glow of a kindle shining around a large body of hair, then bam! my energy hits the roof, I tic ‘Hey! Hey! Hey!’ at the top of my voice, my foot hits the squeaky floorboard at the foot of the bed, my vocal tic stops, and the floorboard takes my attention.
Now it might sound good that my vocal tics have stopped, but now I am vigorously bouncing up and down on this bloody floorboard, it sounds like a gang of mice having a rave at the end of the bed.
“Are you done yet!” comes a voice from the bed.
“almost” I reply, this interaction prompts a thought process, right get into bed quickly and you’ll settle down a bit.
A few squeaks later and I quickly undress, run and jump into the bed shouting ‘hey!’ as my naked body disappears beneath a fox patterned quilt.
I lay back and my head hits the pillow ‘hey’ is no more and now the uncontrollable urge to sniff is here.
Much sniffing passes before I glance at my reading wife to look for signs of anger.
I don’t want her annoyed but something in my head does and the more I think about it the more I sniff with the odd grunt thrown in for good measure.
Sniffing is joined by obsessive quilt straightening and leg shuffling.
“5” whispers a voice from behind a pillow wall that has been built to block the movement of my wife in my peripheral vision, I don’t build this anymore she builds it in advance to stop me faffing about.
“5?” I ask
“yes 5 seconds in between sniffs”
“oh, thanks now I’m going to sniff even more” I turn on my side and throw my leg over hers.
“get your heavy leg off me” she demands
Great I have a really strong urge to put my leg on her an urge I fail to control. I touch her with my leg, no reaction, I do it again and receive a threat of violence, I turn over and decide to hang my legs out of the bed away from the danger zone.
Sniffing is now resumed as I try to think of things to distract myself to sleep.
“12” she says with half a laugh “16”
The gap gets longer as I supress my tics and this goes on until I begin to break the 20 second barrier.
I’m beginning to relax, and the sniffing is easing off.
“Squeak! Squeak!” here it is, the squeak tic that comes in the night.
This tic doesn’t seem to bother my wife, maybe its because she has heard this long before she knew I had Tourette’s and she knows that as I begin to drift into sleep the squeaking gets quieter and quieter.
Suddenly I jump, it feels like I have been electrocuted, “squeak” “hey” “f*ck off!” a trio of tics and my head goes back down onto the soft pillow and I squeak myself to sleep.