That Shaking? Oh, It’s Just My Essential Tremor…Yet Another Diagnosis

brain-3439067_1280
Yesterday I had my regular neurologist visit to follow up about my migraines and while there I was also diagnosed with Essential Tremor, a genetic condition that is often confused with Parkinson’s from the symptoms. It most commonly affects the hands, head, and voice, but can affect any body part. It can also affect balance, mood, and possibly memory.

My balance, hands and voice are already affected pretty bad at times which scares me since it can be a degenerative condition and it can eventually become hard to speak, eat, write, or in my case, make art, since I am an artist.

My tremors started out in both hands a few years ago and have definitely worsened. At first, I only noticed that I could never take a good picture because I couldn’t keep the camera steady enough to take one. It has worsened since then and affects more daily activities, such as writing, typing, pouring/drinking liquids, dropping almost everything, etc. I noticed the voice tremors starting probably a year or two after the hands.

My balance has noticeably worsened to the point that I often start to fall over while just walking around the house or even standing still. It isn’t unusual for my husband to push me back up as I start to fall over like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

For a long time I tried to dismiss it because I didn’t want to think something might really be wrong. I tried to blame it on anxiety or weird medicine side effects. I am glad that I don’t have MS or Parkinson’s which I feared sometimes. What finally made me bring it up with the neurologist is that the geneticist I saw for my Ehlers Danlos testing a few months ago seemed concerned by how much my hands shook.

The last thing I want to do is take yet more prescription medicines, but I am considering it in hopes that it might slow down the progression and alleviate the symptoms a bit. The only bad thing is that all the meds they use to treat this condition can worsen my depression, so the neurologist wants me to get the ok from my psychiatrist before we decide on a med to try.

Advertisements

25 thoughts on “That Shaking? Oh, It’s Just My Essential Tremor…Yet Another Diagnosis

  1. Oh Maranda, I’m so sorry. Another diagnosis, more uncertainty and the thought of more meds are all incredibly bitter pills to swallow. I do think it’s good it’s been diagnosed though, and not confused with something else to complicate the matter further. I’m not sure of the meds for this neurological condition, but I’m glad the doc is aware of the potential to affect depression so as to take the precaution of running it all past your psych first. Even though medications aren’t curative, I really, truly hope they can be helpful in lessening the symptoms and allowing you to get on with day to day things and your art a little more easily, hopefully without horrible side effects to contend with. My fingers are very much crossed, anyway. Sending lots of hugs xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’m hoping the meds will work and it will be ok. I know the doctor said that anxiety and adrenaline make the condition much worse, so since I have severe anxiety (both generalized and social anxiety) as well as OCD and PTSD, that may be why mine seems to be so bad. I do worry about the depression though, I do not want to worsen that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve had shaky hands as long as I can remember, which has been a nuisance but doesn’t seem to get worse. Not good for an artist, but I have bought a mahlstick which helps to steady the hand when painting. i still rattle the teacups but otherwise it’s not too bad. Must be hereditary, as my father has had it for years, and he’s 103 now. His handwriting always looked like a lie-detector for many years, but otherwise he has been able to live his life
    Certainly a good idea to check the new medication thoroughly as you are doing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Never heard of a mahlstick, will have to look into that. My neurologist said the condition is hereditary although I don’t remember it being an issue for anyone in my family that I can think of, but then again, I never really knew anyone on my biological father’s side of the family.

      Like

      1. A mahlstick you could get from any supplier of art materials. It is just a rod of metal or wood with a padded end. The padded end will rest against your dry art work whilst your brush hand rests on the rod and keeps it steady

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s