• 13Dec

    So, apparently I have Essential Tremor. There’s no test for it. But I shake. And it’s ‘familial’, meaning inherited. Dad had it. It’s not just visible shaking. I shake inside. So I feel like I’m vibrating. Although I’m still trying to figure out right now, I can’t help but wonder what the future will be like. The shaking’s enough, but Dad had dementia issues. I remember him periodically doing things like going to pick up food with a fork he hadn’t put in his hand yet. He was in his 70s then, so we just quietly handed him a fork.

    Apparently, it’s not unusual for ET to start in your 40s. The progression is different for everyone. The cerebellum is believed to be the source, since that’s the center for movement. The usual test for ET is a writing test, to see if your handwriting is shaky. I’m not that bad yet. But will it eventually affect my writing? Typing? Driving? Even steps?

    The cerebellum “is also involved in some cognitive functions such as attention and language, and probably in some emotional functions such as regulating fear and pleasure responses.” (Wikipedia) These things are the center of my being. What happens when I have problems with them? Is worrying about it making it worse? I’m finally finding my life, and it’s becoming intellectual. I don’t want that taken away. Ever.

    Of course everything I know about ET is from reading online, or in journal articles. The neurologist I saw didn’t even say “ET.” He said “I’d deal with it” (the shaking). It was my primary doctor who said ET. He’s pretty sure because he knew Dad. I think he was trying not to make it a big deal, but said there is medication that I can take in the future. Apparently the main ones are propranolol which is a beta-blocker, and primidone which is an anti-epileptic. Speaking of which…

    I had a seizure about, oh, 25 years ago. Just one. Throat spasms led up to it. While investigating my recent shaking, a neurologist gave me an EEG. Yes, the seizure activity is still there.

    To make things more interesting, I went through a period of panic attacks. (Wow, I sound like a basket case…I’m really not) Bad time in my life. I’m currently going through a stressful time buying a house. And it’s all rearing its ugly head.

    More than a little unnerving.