Coventry - City of Silence

Coventry, normally associated with silence, got a taste of the noisy treatment today as the city hosted a Tourettes Action conference.

Leftwing Idiot, Ruth and I travelled there by train. The air-conditioning was on full blast and Ruth kept ticcing, “HELP! I’m cold.” We reached Coventry in good time and made our way to the massive Methodist church where the conference was being held. We joined many other people with Tourettes, and their families, who’d come from all over the UK to hear about the latest research and to socialise and share experiences.

A conference with lots of people with Tourettes is pretty strange and there were lots of funny moments. One person’s tics would often start another person’s off, forming chains of tics around the room. At my table we had an explosion of counting, and at one point at least five people were meowing. The mother of a boy with Tourettes said, “You have to get a sense of humour when you get a diagnosis of Tourettes.”

The event was attended by people of all ages and this gave it a really warm atmosphere. I liked the mixture of adults, parents, children, teenagers, partners and friends. I felt relaxed being somewhere my behaviour was understood and didn’t stand out.
On the train home I was pulled back to reality when the ticket inspector, pointing at me, said to Leftwing Idiot, “Does the woman have a problem?” He said, “You should ask her.” Ruth was impressed by how Leftwing Idiot handled this. When she’d had a similar experience previously, the friend she’d been with had been embarrassed and not known how to react.

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