Josh Hanagarne (JH) and Max Hanagarne (MH)
JH: How would you describe my tics?
MH: You hitting yourself and making a lot of noise.
JH: You’ve seen me hit myself hard enough to almost knock myself out. I also do all of the blinking and the face things and the little ’ahem’ noises. To me, it feels like when you have that urge to sneeze so bad that you just feel like you’ll just go insane if you don’t let the sneeze out.
And the hardest thing I do every day is decide to go outside or not, because I know when I walk into a group of strangers, I will yell or I will do something weird and they will all look at me.
Do you remember when we were in the grocery store? You were only like four or five years old. We were buying milk, and I had a tic, and this guy looked at me and in his face, you could just see he was annoyed. He did it once and twice, and then he did it again, and I was finally at the point where I was going to tell him to stop looking at me but you stepped in front of me and you said, ’Turn around right now or my dad will smash you harder than a rhinoceros.’
JH: I know. And then when he turned around, you said, ’That’s right.’
JH: And so he didn’t turn around again. [Laughs]
MH: I mean, I don’t really care if people are being mean. Like, if they’re gonna be mean, they’re gonna be mean.
JH: That’s the right attitude.
When I learned that I was going to have you, there was no guarantee that, because I have Tourette’s, you would have it. But I did have a better chance of passing it on to you, and that really did worry me.
When do you remember you and me first talking about your Tourette’s?
MH: I was about seven.
JH: And what are some of the tics you have?
MH: I’m starting to make noises and sometimes, like, my eyes roll back into my head, and I have to, like, get on the ground until it goes away. It hurts; it doesn’t feel good. I feel like everybody knows it and, like, they’re all watching me. I don’t like that.
JH: There’s not much to like about it.
MH: I mean, it’s been happening a lot lately and I have a fear that it might get worse.
JH: And those are some of my fears for you, that it will get worse; and maybe it will, but we’ll deal with it when it comes. The solace, I hope, is that, even if I can’t make you feel better, you will know that I know what it’s like. You’ll know I understand, and hopefully we’ll just be able to lean on each other.