Thursday, August 19, 2010

The More the Merrier. Maybe Not.

We're going to learn a new word today boys and girls.  Our word for the day is "co-morbid".  

co·mor·bid: existing simultaneously with and usually independently of another medical condition
    Pronunciation: \(ˌ)kō-ˈmȯr-bəd\
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: co- + morbid
    Date: 1981
    Source: Again, shamelessly plagiarized from

Co-morbid disorders are the 'friends' that TS brings along for the ride.  Tourette's with co-morbid disorders is referred to as TS+.  I like that term.  It too will be on the test.  I have a co-morbid, as does my son.

My primary co-morbid disorder is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).  If you've been following along, you'll recall my mention that Tourette's isn't particularly bothersome to most of us who have it.  Not so with the co-morbid disorders.  Co-morbid disorders SUCK!!  OCD runs me up the wall.  It's also really hard to hide.  If the TS doesn't convince "the natives" that I'm deranged, OCD will send them running after their torches and pitchforks.  Through the years, this little gift has caused me to touch, smell, step over, look at repetitively, and generally pay way too much attention to common, everyday objects that most people notice.  I stare at things.  I touch them with each hand.  Must keep things in balance.  For those of you wondering what this feels like, remember when we were kids and there was no cable.  Your favorite show came on.  You were excited.  It was the high point of your week.  Right in the middle of the good part, "We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you the President's State of the Nation Address."  NOOOOOOOO  NOT THE PRESIDENT!!!!   .......AND HE'S ON EVERY CHANNEL!!!!!!  In our case, 3.  Welcome to OCD.

I hate OCD.  I hate it so much that I put it to work!!  Like binary stars, OCD and I have each other in a perpetual dance.  Neither can tell who is actually holding the other.  OCD extract what it will, but I get mine.  Having OCD has given me heightened perceptual and observational abilities.  This part I like.  If a woman in my world changes her hair, or even changes shoes mid day, I see it.  No effort, no thought, my brain registers it.  She may as well have dyed her hair screaming fuchsia.  It's that obvious.  This makes me great at giving "non creepy" compliments.  The gals think I'm "such a sweet, sensitive guy".  Nope.  Sorry, just damaged. 

This particular aspect of OCD makes me a mixed blessing as a friend.  I can accurately determine your mental/emotional state by the two syllables in "hello".  I've mentioned before that few can lie to me.  People talk to me.  They tell me stuff.  The more they talk, the more I know the unsaid things behind their words.  It's all in the details, and my mind feeds on the details.  I can't turn it off.  I can't even turn it off if I can't stand the object of the observation.  I know way more about some really rotten folk than anyone should.

My son also as a co-morbid.  He has Asperger's Syndrome.  He's extraordinarily intelligent, but has some pretty sizable learning disabilities.  His social impairments are even larger.  Asperger's has given him an unbelievable memory for detail.  I'm still working on finding a way to help him put his co-morbid to work.  I'm still searching. 

Tourette's isn't so bad most of the time.  His friends, however, are jerks.

1 comment:

  1. Co-morbid, TS+, however it's termed you, Brian, are a great guy! Most women would KILL for their husbands to have a SMIDGE of the OCD you have so that all those overpriced hair cuts stop going unnoticed