Co-morbidities can be confusing

This weekend, I finally had some time to work on my speeches for Athens. Because of Easter, I have a four-day weekend (in the Netherlands, we celebrate Good Friday and the second day of Easter as well), so plenty of time to start writing things down.

For my first speech, which is about co-morbidities, I started with writing down all the symptoms I have. It turned out that that wasn’t as easy as I thought! A lot of symptoms are so normal to me, that I tend to forget that I have them. It took a lot of time and thinking before I finally had it all on paper.

When I was done, I put it all in a diagram, which I will use as a PowerPoint presentation. It’s based on the logo of the Dutch Tourette Syndrome Association. The logo has five open circles and you can fill them with the symptoms you have, accordingly to how strong the symptoms are. I’ve added a couple more circles and wrote down some smaller symptoms on the side to make it all fit.

The symptoms on the right are the things that bother me, the ones on the left are positive things, which I’ll explain more during my second speech.

To be clear: This is how MY Tourette is for ME, for every person the diagram would be different! So, yes, it’s Tourette in a diagram, but it’s not necessarily how it works for you, it’s probably a bit different.

During the speech I’ll add the words one by one to make it more understandable. After the picture you see here, four circles will get red (ADD, OCD, Autism and tics), because for those four I have a diagnosis.

I’ll end with something that’s been frustrating me lately: Why not just give the diagnosis Tourette Syndrome and a list of symptoms that can come with it? I don’t have mild versions of other disorders, I just have Tourette! I want to ask the people listening if they can change that. There’s been talk about this for a long time and now it’s time for action!

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