I've officially been working as a volunteer at Wood Green animal shelters for three weeks. Yaay! Usually week two is the one I give up on so to have gone this week means that I am obviously comfortable working there. I'm even able to talk quite calmly with the other workers there which is great because I struggle with communication.
My jobs over the past three weeks have involved cleaning out the rabbit cages, cleaning a glass tank for some mice, preparing a home for some new rats, feeding the small animals, chasing Degus around the rodent room and socialising the rabbits! The final one, socialising is quite difficult because obviously as it is an animal shelter, not all the rabbits have come from good backgrounds and a lot of them are very skittish or unwilling to come near to anyone. Others are really lovely and want loads of attention. I felt like I had a breakthrough with one of them today though. Her name is Chloe, she's been a bit unwell with gut problems and the past two weeks has hidden and thumped every time I go near her, but this week she sat within a foot of me and ate her food! That doesn't sound like much, after all most people would say that unless you can pet her and pick her up then it's not a good pet, but to me, that small step has made me feel so proud of her!
Interestingly enough, although my tics interfere with the majority of my life these days, when I am around the small furries, I don't tic as violently or as much. It's like they are all sending out this 'chill out' vibe from their cages! I still have problems occasionally like pulling my hands back every time I try to open a cage and needing to hit my head occasionally. Luckily, my co-workers don't seem too bothered about my tics so I haven't actually told them I have TS yet. If it gets worse or I feel more comfortable, I might disclose it.
At home though the tics are getting worse. I am constantly restless and that's WITHOUT my daily dose of coffee or coke which actually calms me down! I have a brilliant new tic which makes me jump out of my chair, usually knocking it over (note to self... buy a heavier chair...) and my head shakes around so much that I swear it might fall off! I have severe pain in my upper back from the constant convulsive tics in that area and I'm getting a lot of aching in my neck. The aching in my thighs is unrelated and probably more to do with the 10 minute rising trot I had to do on my friendly horse Ted (I don't own him, but he's the horse I always ride!).
My rabbit Jenifer gave me a fright this week as she developed GI stasis once again (she's had it so often now it sucks ) but thankfully with lots of love, care, attention and nummy greens, she has regained her strength so will hopefully still be here on her 8th birthday (15th Feb).
Anyway, I am seeing the specialist at Addenbrookes next Friday so I'll keep my three fans posted on that!