Update on Olivia

I am standing in the shower with Olivia, watching her as she studies the water trickling down the glass.

Olivia - January 2010She enters a series of tics — she always does in the shower, just like she consistently has fits of tics on the change table.

My heart wrenches as I watch her move her weight back and forth from her left foot to her right, her hands clenched, head tilted and face contorted. She makes a humming vocalization while she is in the tic. The vocalization is new and I wince when I hear it.

Each tic lasts about 5-8 seconds, but they usually come in groups and so almost as soon as she finishes one, another one starts.

After a series of tics, her body unclenches and she makes a small gasp for air, as if the tics that just took over her body have exhausted her.

When she starts the tics, I usually pick her up and relax her to try to stop them. But today, I just observe so I can report to the doctor.

We have our appointment at the Pediatric Neurologist at Children’s Hospital on Thursday afternoon. When the doctor’s office finally called with the appointment, I had a rush of relief, followed by the awareness of how odd it was to be relieved that my child had an appointment at a neurologist! How did this happen — that my precious daughter has to see a neurologist!

As the tics worsen, my relief about getting the appointment lessens and my hopelessness grows.
What can they possibly do? What hope can they offer? My daughter is getting worse.

I have had so much comfort from you though since posting about Olivia in December. Your support, love and prayers bring me more peace and hope than any doctor’s appointment could.

THANK YOU so much!!! I appreciate you more than I can ever express.

Written by Janice, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom.

Don’t miss posts, with our our feed and please tweet with us — @5minutesformom. :)


  1. says

    Oh Janice, I was in tears as I read… I can feel your love for Olivia in this post, sense your pain, and feel your relief.

    Praying with all my heart that the appointment goes well on Thursday!


  2. says

    Oh Janice, I’m sitting here in tears because as a mother, I know just how hard it is to go through this. I’m so glad though that you have an appointment with a neurologist. I know it’s hard and scary because I went through it with my oldest. We had to wait 6 months to be seen by one. But, remember that knowing what’s causing it means you can help her. Think of the appointment as something to empower you as her mom. If you ever need a shoulder, mine is always available.

    Tons of hugs and love for you and your family.

  3. says

    She will be in our prayers Janice. I hope you all can get some answers. I know it is so hard on you! Big ((HUGS)) and much love!!!

  4. says

    My goodness Janice. I am so sorry that Olivia is going through that. I hope and pray they figure it out and heal her and that God makes it as painless as possible until then. ((hugs))

  5. says

    My heart is wrenched for yours, Janice. I can imagine nothing more painful than watching our children suffer.

    I will continue to pray that God will uphold you as you wait for Thursday’s appointment, and that He will blanket you with peace.

  6. says

    I am so sorry for what you are going through! I hope Thursday brings positive answers and results. I cannot imagine the level of concern and fear youvmust be going through. You and your family are in my thoughts!

  7. says

    Hang in there…..it’s so hard when it’s your child.

    Ask lots of questions at the neurologist appt….and I hope and pray for some answers.


  8. says

    oh Janice- my heart is just aching for you. I’ll be praying that the doctors CAN do something and that Olivia will be free from the tics.

    big huge hugs from me to you,

  9. says

    It is so hard to watch our children suffer physically or emotionally! I’ll be praying for you and Olivia! That the doctors make an accurate diagnosis and for God’s healing to come!!

  10. says

    I feel for you. We went through something similar with our son when he was two. I would love to share with you and let you know what we discovered that made his tics/seizures go away forever. He is now 23. If you are open to hearing our story I would love to share. I always say if I can help someone with what we went through, it makes my day.

  11. says

    Janice, I see the comments and can’t add much except that I’ve been there with my son who is now 16. He’s a wonderful boy and so loving and kind to all. God makes special children for a reason, because they are so special. Be encouraged and hold tight to the Maker’s hand. He’ll get you through this as he did our family. You’ll see the reason as time progresses. Visit me sometime. I’ll catch you on twitter.

  12. says

    Oh mama! It must be such a struggle to watch her go through this…
    You are doing the right thing. You’re looking into it, you’re on top of it, and you are going to get the help she needs. Most of all, she has all of your love, which will get ALL of you through this.

    Praying for you. Love you!
    Quad Mama

  13. says

    Janice, I am praying for you and for your sweet little girl. May the God of Peace reign in your hearts from now until Thursday and may the doctors be filled with wisdom and grace as they work to diagnose what’s causing these tics. Praying hard for your family!

  14. says

    My heart is aching for you and Olivia right now! I CANNOT imagine the helplessness and hopelessness you are feeling right now! Praying for you that you find answers when meeting with the doctors and that you find some sort of peace during all of this!

  15. says

    Thank you for sharing this, my heart goes out to your whole family. I hope that the doctors will help and your precious little girl will find something that works.

  16. says

    Janice, I am so sorry you are going through this with your sweet daughter and I hope the doctors are able to give you some answers and some comfort.
    Saying prayers here in PA…

  17. says

    I actually have no real words of wisdom. I do know that there are lots of people out there that have been through things like this and between the doctors, the specialists and other moms I am sure there is help to be found. And since I can do nothing else I will pray for you, Olivia and your whole family.

  18. says


    You are such a good mama, and your daughter is precious. She will be in my prayers! I will pray that you will get ALL the answers you need and that you will feel peace and reassurance as you face this hard time.


  19. says

    Janice, I wish there were some words of hope or advice that I can offer you. Instead I will send you a giant hug and pray that you get the answers you need.

  20. says

    Sometimes I feel like I really know you as I read about you and see pictures of your children. Somehow I missed your post in December and I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you as a mother. Please know that you and your whole family are in my prayers.

  21. says

    Janice :(,

    I missed your December post; I wasn’t aware of Olivia’s concerns.

    Of COURSE, I’ll pray for her, you and your family. For wisdom for her doctors; for peace for y’all in the midst of uncertainty. That God will use this (ultimately) for your good (how?), His glory…and the advance of the Gospel.

    My mother’s heart aches for you. I’ll pray because in that, we’re united. In your weakness may He give you His strentgh.


  22. Shelley says

    Janice, Olivia has a wonderful mom to support her through this! Will be praying for you as you seek answers for your uncertainties. May God give you peace in this process.

  23. says

    My mothers heart aches alongside of you. I will be praying for you and your little girl this day. May you find comfort in our Heavenly Father who created Oliva. HE doesn’t make mistakes, and He has a grand purpose for her life. May the doctors have heavenly wisdom and you to have peace beyond all understanding.
    Praying for your family!!

  24. says

    I really hope your appointment with the neurologist goes well and that together you can discover what is going on with sweet little Olivia. You’ve been in my thoughts & prayers. Good luck!

  25. says

    I’m a new follower of yours. I clicked on the original link and learned about facial ticks, something I’ve never even heard of.

    Powerful blog entries like these spread the knowledge we all need very much.

    Olivia is in my prayers…

  26. Shannon Morris says

    I hope you find the answers you need so that you can focus on the positive and moving forward part vs. the worried and why part. I went through something similar with my daughter – our unexpected trip to the neurologist resulted in answers and a diagnosis that we are managing through and flourishing from. You words about actually needing to go to the neurologist ring so familiar to me!! I will be looking forward to reading about the outcome. I hope you find solace from your readers — from moms and women who know what you are going through. May you find strength in our experience and support from our good wishes.

  27. Amy says

    I am not sure if I am in tears because I am pregnant or just because I feel for you as a Mom. I feel so blessed to have a daughter who has been extremely healthy and “normal” since she was born. I feel like I have taken that for granted knowing that you are going through so much with your precious Olivia. You are very strong and I hope that God watches over you both at her appointment and brings some answers to you. It must crush your heart to watch her go through those ticks and I pray that your heart grows stronger for her each time! God’s Will will never take you where God’s Grace can not protect you! It’s easy for me to say “everything happens for a reason” from this side of the fence, but I know it is probably harder for you to hear it and believe it all the time. We will be praying for you and your family!

  28. says

    Praying for you and your family.

    On the plus side, pediatric neurologists are usually pretty nice people. When I was in my early teens I had one neurologist that I just adored despite the painful tests he put me through; he looked like Santa Claus and had a clock that ticked counter-clockwise. Here’s hoping that your neurologist is exactly the right person for Olivia and can quickly find out what is going on.

  29. says

    My daughter had infantile spasms at the age of 9 months old and they sure sound familiar. They were a form of seizures. I have lots of information and stories I could share with you, I’d be happy to. I wish you the best of luck at the appointment tomorrow and that you are relieved with good news. I can’t wait to hear the update and hope things go smoothly for both of you! You are in our thoughts.

  30. says

    Honey, no matter what they “find” out about her, she is still your beautiful Olivia and will have a wonderful life. She is incredibly lucky to have parents that will support and care for her through whatever trials life may put in front of her. From another mother whose child’s tics have confused and scared her, you have my love.

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