The Build Up (Part 1)

I wrote this post a little while back, ready to be published when, well now.

Two days ago, Top Ender and I went to our local hospital to meet with the CAMHS service. In case you don't know CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and to be honest, I was half expecting them to tell me that I was wrong. That my instincts as a mother were wrong. That my teenage daughter was just a bit of a drama queen and testing her boundaries. I thought this, because, well Top Ender is Top Ender. She's perfect. She's funny and caring and loving and all her little quirks, are just that. Quirks.

Turns out that I was right and those little quirks? Yeah, they aren't just quirks.

Really though, to tell this story I need to go back to the start. Well, the start of recognising that those quirks that made my daughter unique, might actually be a condition.

Top Ender, possibly part cat

So let me take you back to 2016 when Top Ender would not stop clearing her throat. I mean to the point where I was being driven crazy and getting her to do one large clearing hoping that it would stop it.

It didn't.

In fact, over the next few months, it just got worse.

As I was thinking about this, I realised that there were several other little quirks that mirrored something I'd seen on TV. In a TV programme about people with Tourettes.

So, hoping to be dismissed, I called the Dr's for advice. The Doctor that called me back was lovely. We spoke about the different things I'd noticed and when Tops would do them (there was a long list) and eventually he said that these things did indeed sound like Tic's and could be Tourettes, but really we should see if they clear up and if not, then come in and see him and we'd push for it to be taken further.

A couple of months later and Tops had got worse, so we trotted off to the Doctors.

We spoke, he spoke, we spoke some more and he decided the best course of action was to refer Tops to the hospital. Around a month later we got a note telling us that the hospital department he had referred us to didn't believe that Tops met the "criteria" needed for an appointment with them.

This was a good thing, although at the time seemed like a crushing blow.

The department referred us to CAMHS, and just over a month later we had an appointment with them. The very same one that we had just two days ago.

And that's when things got serious.