Unusually, I’d not previously met the minicab driver who came to take me home from work this evening. When he saw me he said to Bunny, who was helping me walk at the time, “No, no, no. Is she intoxicated?” I said I wasn’t but he asked again, “Are you drunk?” I said, “No, I have Tourettes.”
He apologised instantly and profusely and continued to do so all the way home. He was still saying sorry when I had a ‘ticcing fit’ in the back of the cab, but between apologies he was very thoughtful, asking Bunny if there was anything he could do to help.
He also told us about his own experience of fits. Like me he’d once had to wear a special helmet. For him, it was because of a motorbike accident he’d had in the 1980s that caused a serious brain injury. It meant he’d had multiple seizures every day for a very long time. But then, after ten years, they’d suddenly stopped and investigations revealed that the damage had healed by itself.
Although he’d judged me to begin with, after realising his mistake he showed me incredible warmth and empathy.
“I’ve got a present for Christmas, it’s a chainsaw.”