The profile of a patient of TD
Far from introducing myself as an example of anything but, as I said before, someone aiming to share his own experiences with people who may find them helpful or beneficial, I thought it would be interesting to briefly outline my own profile, as an open invitation for other people to share their experience. I mean to stress there is a whole lot of things which can be done and must be tried though, of course thankfully acknowledging the help and understanding of the environment we are bound to rely on in such a special way.
Nonetheless, what I do consider really important is the chance of convincing people going through well known periods of gloom so often caused by dystonia, that people under similar or even worse circumstances have tried and pursued things in social, labour, emotional, academic fields, and they haven’t been put off and have actually enjoyed, in an almost 'normal' way, this chance of facing these challenges.
Married since 1996, and father of a son of 11, I cannot say my sentimental life has been different to any other person from my generation. Besides, I am the engine which drives a family in which, despite my so evident limitations, I am not the only one with motion difficulty. On the other hand, being myself a mutated DYT1 gene carrier, my little son (symptomless for the time being) is my major concern, although there is no reason to be alarmed.
As a schoolboy I got very positive marks. Some years later I got my degree in Biological sciences (Biochemistry sp.). Some years later at the University I had to ask for a lot of favours to do my examinations (such as more time to writing them down, oral tests, etc.) or laboratory practices. It is true I did not obtain an extraordinary record but finally I succeeded and got my degree.
My CV includes a Master in Information and Knowledge Management, an official English language degree, and lots of additional courses and seminars. To sum up, I admit I had to make a special effort at every single training that I decided to take up, but it is really important to conclude TD and other dystonia disorders do not necessarily mean an insurmountable obstacle in no one’s way to achieve a career.
Currently I am working for a multinational company and I feel the same respect from my workmates than anybody else around me. I must admit I really need some extra understanding from other people to do every single thing 'my way'. However, this has nothing to do with professional attitude. I am really conscious there are jobs in my organization I won’t ever be able to do. Despite this, nowadays I need to vindicate myself (I guess it must be positive) showing even some ambition.
Let me add I’ve had a driving licence since I was 19. In fact, TD hasn't prevented me from driving my car pretty well although maybe much more carefully than others. Of course this is my particular case and probably I cannot be compared with other patients who suffer this disorder in a more severe way. Anyway, I admit there are some days that I feel more confident than others.
Finally I would like to say I have a very close circle of friends, as close as sincere, and really important for me though. Nevertheless, I must say I feel such a social recognition from people around me. Maybe the key we must make use of consists of showing ourselves the way we are and also taking care of those ones who are really fond of us.
I sincerely consider that my personal profile is not, as least in appearance, as different from another 'normal' person, despite my mind tries and tries to show me exactly the opposite. In fact, if we are able to stay away from every imaginary trouble (we call them ‘ghosts’ in Spanish) our minds add up to the already existing ones, patients of TD and other dystonia disorders would be ten times happier.
Unfortunately the power of the mind is so immense that can make us feel absolutely vulnerable even in those very situations we should bet for ourselves. Obviously it doesn’t make us worse than others.
(Note: Some people who have known my profile have also asked for my picture to know the face behind those words. Just for these kind and curious people...)