I do most of my computer work first thing in a morning, as that’s the only time my brain is clear enough to fully concentrate. I’m a trained touch typist and hold my thumbs in the air over the space bar when I type. Earlier on this year, I noticed that my right thumb was trembling and when my hand was hovering over the keyboard my whole hand was kind’ve vibrating (that’s Bertie in the background woofing on the video, he loves the sound of his own voice!).
My heart sank to my boots. My maternal Grandmother and my Mum both have a Benign Essential Tremor, often an inherited condition due to a faulty gene. If you have a parent with an Essential Tremor you have a 50% chance of developing one yourself. Of course it would be me – it couldn’t be my bloody Brother could it, who has escaped every genetic disease in the family while I’ve inherited the sodding lot.
I asked my Mum when her tremor started and she said about mid fifties. I told her mine seems to be worse first thing in the morning and she confirmed that’s how hers started too. Fuck-a-doodle-do. Mum’s tremor is so bad now that she can’t write at all and struggles to eat. On the plus side, it does just affect her hands – it could be worse, as Essential Tremors can affect any part of the body including the head and voice.
I’m starting to think that God has it in for me. My passion, and what gets me through the days apart from my Dog, is my photography. Due to my severe eye floaters, I already struggle with my vision especially editing my shots on the computer. Having a tremor will be the last straw – how can I take sharp photos if my hands are trembling?
I’ve made an appointment to see a GP in October. I’d love to see my own GP, who knows my Mum and my 22 year health history, but there is nothing available with her for the next 2 months. As it is, I’m seeing a doctor I don’t know from Adam and still having to wait 4 weeks!
There is no cure or effective treatment for an Essential Tremor. There are a couple of drugs to try, both of which made my Mum faint (they lower blood pressure and mine is already low). In any event, I’ve tried the first one Propanolol for my tachycardia (before I knew it was down to MCAD) and couldn’t tolerate it. You can also have deep brain stimulation but I’m not sure I fancy the risk of stroke, weakness and loss of speech which goes along with it. Alcohol can improve tremor, which was my Mum’s original excuse for starting to drink. Having an alcoholic parent I’m not sure it’s something I’d try, even if I could tolerate booze (which I can’t).
So it looks like I’m going to have yet another condition to deal with. I wonder if I can get into the Guiness Book of World Records for the person to have the most medical conditions at any one time? So far it’s 9 and counting: ME, EDS, MCAD, Scoliosis, Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, Migraine disorder, Peripheral neuropathy and now Essential Tremor. I only need another 3 and I’ve have an entire football team of health problems – my very own Manchester United of the medical world. I wish I had Man Utd’s finances!