I'm reading a book right now that I learned about from this post. I got it from the library and I've only read the first chapter but it was all about aspartame and the effects it had on some children when it first came out. (I'm looking forward to the chapter on breakfast foods as that affects our homeschool day greatly.)
So the fact that I'm reading that book is just background information. OK?
Little Bit's tics have been bad lately. Last Sunday evening at suppertime she started complaining. She always says the same thing, "I'm frus-ter-ated. My tics are bad." Then I tell her I haven't noticed her doing any tics. Then she explains that she has a lot of tics, but she's not doing them. Then I tell her to go ahead and do them and maybe she won't be so frust-er-ated. Then she says she doesn't like doing them.
We have that conversation a lot.
But this time she really complained. And she came and got me in the middle of Sunday evening Bible study to tell me they were bad. So I went into the room where she and Sweetheart were and talked with her and tickled her arm softly and let her play Smash Room on my phone and tried to do anything to make it better. But nothing was working.
Then she looked at me and said, "Mommy? Isn't there medicine I can take to make them go away?"
Oh my heart. Because there is. But we aren't even considering that a possibility. And I don't want to get to the point where it becomes one. That medicine is big and bad. It's not like administering Tylenol or Benadryl. It's the big guns. And she was very nearly crying.
So I slipped back into Bible study and wrote a note to S for them to pray for Little Bit. And they did. And everyone was concerned for her. My dad's answer was to sweep in when Bible study was over and take the girls to his house and feed them pancakes. He likes to DO something. And she was fine the rest of the night.
I liked it better when she was 4 and she did 372 tics a day but they didn't frustrate her at all. Can we go back to that please?
Little Bit loves watermelon flavored gum. Sweetheart never chewed gum but Little Bit loves it. We got some today at Wal-Mart. It's sugar-free so everyone in the family can chew it. Later she said, "Mom? When I chew watermelon gum my tics are worse." I probed that a bit and she said she had noticed it before when she was chewing it. So of course I said, "Spit it out!"
Several hours later she tried another piece and immediately said, "Yep. They're worse." I told her to spit it out again. She was upset because she LIKES watermelon gum. I told her we could try another kind. It must be something in this kind of gum. So I look at the ingredients.
Aspartame. I'm not saying that's it, but there it is right on the label and I JUST read that chapter.
But don't let me get all scientific on you because at supper tonight she was eating chicken spaghetti which is easily her favorite meal on earth and she said, "Mom...chicken spaghetti makes my tics better."
Sure it does. I bet ice cream does too dear.
Earlier in the week she was jumping on a mini-trampoline at my parent's house. It seemed to help her frustration so we borrowed it. She jumped so much her back has hurt ever since. Sometimes a change of scenery helps. Sometimes I get her busy helping me with something. Anything to get her mind off the stupid tics. The only other thing I know to try is humor. So when she complained about her new "oy uh" tic (she has to repeatedly say "oy uh"), we made it into a song. It worked really well with Old MacDonald. And Jingle Bells. She giggled so that's good.
I've never read where food causes tics to be worse, but you better believe I'll be reading up on it.
'Cause I'm running out of strategies really fast.