Living with a Disease That Makes You Shake: My Story
Living with a disease is challenging, but when it affects your daily life and how you interact with others, it becomes even more difficult. Tremors have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and it wasn’t until my adult years that I was diagnosed with Essential Tremor. In this article, I will share my journey with this disease, how it has impacted my life, and some tips on how to manage it.
What is Essential Tremor?
Essential Tremor is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary shaking of the body’s parts, most commonly the hands and arms, which can lead to difficulty performing everyday tasks. While the disease affects people of all ages, it is most common in those over the age of 40. Although it does not cause any serious health problems, it can make activities such as eating, writing, and even speaking challenging. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Essential Tremor, but its symptoms can be managed through different treatment options.
How It Began
As a child, I never thought twice about the tremors in my hands and arms. I went about my life as if it was a normal part of everyone’s life. However, as I grew older, I started to notice its impact on my daily life. Writing and typing became a challenge, and I would feel embarrassed when my hands would shake uncontrollably in public. After several doctor’s appointments and tests, I was finally diagnosed with Essential Tremor.
Impact on My Life
Being diagnosed with Essential Tremor was a tough pill to swallow. It felt like my life had been turned upside down, and I was no longer in control of my own body. Simple tasks such as pouring a cup of coffee or tying my shoelaces became a challenge. However, I refused to let this stop me from living my life.
Tips on Managing Essential Tremor
After living with Essential Tremor for several years, I have learned several tips and tricks to manage it. Here are some of the things that have worked for me:
1. Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake
Both caffeine and alcohol can aggravate Essential Tremor symptoms, so it’s best to limit or avoid them altogether.
2. Use of weighted utensils and writing aids
Weighted utensils and writing aids can help stabilize your hands and make it easier to perform day-to-day activities.
3. Practicing stress management techniques
Stress can exacerbate Essential Tremor symptoms, so it’s essential to practice stress-redemption techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing.
4. Exercise and Physical Therapy
Physical exercise and occupational therapy can help improve motor control and coordination and reduce Essential Tremors’ severity.
While Essential Tremor can be challenging to live with, it is not life-threatening, and its symptoms can be managed with different treatment options. As someone living with the disease, I have learned to live life to the fullest, despite its challenges, by following the tips mentioned above and seeking support from family, doctors, and support groups.