Amy S. Wilensky

by Rachel from Bayport

Amy S. Wilensky (  ())
Amy S. Wilensky ( ())

Amy S. Wilensky has a rare neurological disorder called Tourette's Syndrome. Tourette's Syndrome is almost always followed by OCD, like a package deal, though scientists do not know why yet. So not only did she have Tourette's she also had OCD.Yet, she never let that stop her. She may have had a rough start, but she made it through, and stayed strong. This is why she is a hero to me.

Amy's family was never very accepting about her tics. At the time, they did not know exactly what the tics were from. Her mother was almost constantly worried. Amy soon got used to making up stories to cover what her tics were. Like, saying that she had hurt her neck in ballet and asking for an Advil. She also said that her mother would ask her questions like, "How was school?" or "Is any one being mean to you?" She would always answer, thinking that her mother was looking for something, and that if she could she would give it to her. Her Dad was basically the exact opposite. She always tried to hide her tics from her Dad. The first time he saw one of her tics- her neck tic- was when he came to pick her up from ballet. When she came up to him at the end of the class he asked her, "What in the world were you doing with your head?" Amy said that her Dad was always disappointed with her tics. He would call her crazy and say that her head would fall off. He always tried to tell her and point out when she ticked  Soon her siblings started to do the same. They thought themselves clever when the called her a name or pointed out that "It's pretty bad today."   

She never liked physical contact, envisioning a protective layer around herself. She also liked to start any relationship conversations so that she could control them. So, it was not until college when she had a real relationship with a guy named Ben. Ben was the first person that did not comment on her tics, as it says on page 128,  ""Did you see that?" I finally asked... "What, your tic?" He sounded surprised by the question. "Yes, my tic," I blurted... "Do you hate it when I twitch?" I asked, changing tactics. "Does it embarrass you?"  "To tell you the truth, he answered, "I barely even notice it any more."   Ben was also the first relationship she did not start. She also had a few close friends. One friend was named Bryant, and he also has Tourette's. She met Bryant from a paper he wrote in college about living with Tourette's and how his family took it. She read his paper and then called him, and set a date to meet. He referred her to a psychologist named Dr Iager "... a Columbia psychologist... found her unexpectedly sympathetic and warm." page 149 in her biography. She has since then been friends with Bryant. They both took their first dose of medication; Prozac, together, and went to their first meeting at the Tourette Syndrome Association group. She also had a friend named Caroline though her biography does not say much about her. She had a couple more friends, one named Nicole.

At school, Amy tried not to tic, so that she would not be made fun of at school. In her biography she said that "The very idea of looking weird in front of the other kids was enough to send me to the girl's room up to ten times a day..." When she was eleven she went to an all girls private school called Nashoba. There, she was complimented on her script by a classmate named Abby.  Soon after she became gratifyingly popular, having a lot of students come to her and ask her to write their names on their notebooks. Soon she said that "... writing out the alphabet, in different sizes, styles, and colors, consumed hours of my life each week and often hindered my ability to finish, or even start, my homework." She also never thought about ever doing drugs or drinking, as the thought of not being her composed self made her upset. So it was not until college when she had a drink. But after having it she thought that nothing had happened, because she was not acting like her friends. Later she realized that it had affected her, it had suppressed her tics and made her feel calm and at ease, not having to do all of her rituals as she called them.

Most of her struggles were her tics, and her rituals courtesy of OCD and Tourette's. Her most common tics were her hands, neck and feet. In her biography she says that her legs were her most reliable limbs- the most likely not to tic. She also said that she would do anything to suppress her most noticeable tics, like trying to break her neck so that she could have a reason to get a neck brace to stop her neck tic, one of the most noticeable tics. She also had to deal with her seemingly useless rituals, like once on a family vacation she had to be touching wood, to ensure that their return flight home did not crash. Even thought the sane part of her brain knew that touching wood could not make sure their flight did not crash, because of her OCD, she had to do it. After she met with Dr Iager, she prescribed a medication called Prozac to help control the OCD. Soon though she got annoyed that the Prozac was taking so long to take affect, as it does. Dr Iager told her to be patient. Later she was also prescribed to take Haldol. Her friends knew that if she was sleepy she had been taking her Haldol. These medications helped Amy to become the person she is, under all the tics and rituals. They help her to live a good life where she can be on time to things - something that I can rarely accomplish.

   Amy S. Wilensky is an inspiration to me. She shows me that if she can make it through then so can I. I can face anything life throws at me. She has a rare neurological disorder AND OCD. I do not have any of that - I am just an average person. So if she can make it through then so can I. That is why Amy S. Wilensky is a hero to me.

Page created on 3/30/2017 10:24:54 AM

Last edited 3/30/2017 10:24:54 AM

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