Morning Sickness Isn’t the Worst Pregnancy Symptom

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 | Blog Posts, Pregnancy Symptoms Category | | Print This Article

Hee Haw
Creative Commons License photo credit: JC Essentials 😉

While women who struggle with constant nausea or even vomiting from morning sickness might think otherwise, there are worse pregnancy symptoms out there. Take, for example, the case of Jody Hagel in North Dakota.

Jody, 18, has been braying like a donkey since just a few days after she got pregnant.

Tourette’s Syndrome

Of course, this isn’t something that happens all the time.  Jody was diagnosed at the age of 14 with Tourette’s Syndrome. Tourette’s is an often-misunderstood neurological disorder. Media and movies would have you think that someone with Tourette’s constantly uses foul language.

Instead, people who suffer from Tourette’s often have repetitive, involuntary vocal tics. These tics are brief movements that include specific groups of muscles. Most often, vocal tics will include things like clearing the throat, sniffling, grunting, and occasionally barking.

Some patients with Tourette’s do have more complex vocal tics, using specific words or phrases.

Tourette’s and Pregnancy

For many women, pregnancy changes how Tourette’s affects her behavior. For some, it will actually eradicate the syndrome. Expert’s aren’t certain why this happens, but they suggest that it’s somehow related to specific hormones.

Other women will experience changes in their Tourette’s, which is what happened in the case of Ms. Hagel.

In Jody’s case, her tics were rarely verbal. She would have leg twitches or head jerks about 10 to 20 times each day, but since she became pregnant she’s exhibited other symptoms.

Since then, she’s been making donkey noises over 30 times each day. In addition, she will occasionally shout out the words “yes” or “haha,” in addition to having some of the same tics that she had before she became pregnant.

Mimicking her surroundings

Hagel and her family live on a farm. Among other livestock, the farm does have some donkeys. Hagel’s theory is that her brain somehow picked up and latched onto the sound of the donkey braying, and has turned that into a tic.

So, the next time you feel a bit queasy from your morning sickness, think of Jody. It could be worse; you could be braying like a donkey.

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