Monday, 5 December 2011

Way Forward

During the early years of my illness, my condition was less active. It only reared its ugly head at such times when visiting the dentist, socializing with friends for dinner and drinks or trying to put on my jewellery. At that time I was working as a counter assistant at a travel agency. Customers would describe me not as a lady in a blue jumper but the lady who shakes all the time. Needless to say, I would swallow loads of tablets before leaving the house in the hope that all would be well. Unfortunately, I found the hurtful comments very upsetting and I gave up my job eventually and took work where I wouldn’t be in the lime light but I continued to work.

Because of the tremor and the side effects of the medication I decided to look into alternative therapies. To begin with I heard of a homeopathic doctor, who had originally been in the medical profession but felt he wanted to be more involved with homeopathy. He was extremely good at resolving difficult ailments and although he was a private doctor, I was informed  he was very gifted. He originally lived in Edinburgh, Scotland but after his wife died he took up residence with his family in Australia. Despite living at the other side of the world, he spent a lot of his spare time attending Homeopathic Conferences throughout the world. He returned to Edinburgh once each year during the summer months when he would treat his patients. On return to Australia he would send the medications back to United Kingdom in the form of treated sugar paper which you placed under your tongue. These you received by post each month.

I felt I had nothing to lose, so I made an appointment to visit him. On first impression, I felt he was a very nice, quiet man, I explained my symptoms. He shook his head and said "he didn’t know if he could help me, then he hesitated and took out a pendulum and starting at my head he worked his way around my body." then he replied “Perhaps there might just be a chance, but it would include acupuncture". He lead me into a large drawing room where I was told to sit down. He placed the needles down my spine, in specific places according to his pendulum. Doctor X suggested that I sit down and try not to move. Then he left the room returning at intervals with his pendulum. I sat for what seemed like hours and then he returned, checked me over, removed the needles and told me he would treat me by sending medication by post.

I left his house that day and over the following months I had no tremor. I could do anything. Can you imagine how wonderful it felt? (I was over the moon) Three months later I went to make myself a cup of coffee, I lifted the boiling kettle and as I poured the hot water into the mug my hand started shaking and I ended up badly scalding myself. I wrote a letter to him explaining my disappointment. When he returned the following year, I visited him once more... Once again I went through the treatment with the pendulum but this time I ended up with nine needles as opposed to twenty four the year previously.

I wanted so much for it to work; I just wanted to be normal like everyone else - was that too much to ask? This time the treatment was successful for three weeks only - then the tremor returned...
I was informed that the old doctor died the following year. If all else fails - I'll take the natural way!

Have you ever tried alternative medicine  and if so, did you seek out someone professional? If you would like to talk over any of the issues above, please leave a comment below or send me an email? 

Thanks once again for reading my blog!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Not alone

Statistics show  4% of the population suffer from a condition which causes problems when trying to make a cup of coffee, drinking a glass of wine, putting lipstick on, picking up a spoonful of soup, or using a knife and fork. This condition is known as Essential Tremor.

Since my childhood I had been unfortunate as I became ill with Viral Meningitis.  There was little known about the illness at that time.  In the years to follow I noticed a slight tremor in my hands.  I was told it was an after effect of the meningitis and that I should not talk about it to anyone or I might be put away.
I experienced my first real encounter with the disease when I was invited out to dinner with friends whom I had not known long. In the middle of the meal my hands started shaking and the food on my fork disappeared. At first the scenario was dismissed until I tried to take a sip from my glass.  My hands started shaking again and to control it, I tried to grip the glass between my teeth in the hope I would be able to stop it spilling.  There was complete silence across the table.  I have never forgotten that night so long ago, yet as if it happened yesterday. 

My doctor informed me that it was called a Benign Essential Tremor. I was also told it was an aging illness common in the elderly, I was unfortunate that I had acquired it at my age. I asked if I could have a second opinion and he arranged  an appointment with a neuro-surgeon in  Edinburgh.  After various tests, they confirmed that I had a Benign Essential Tremor.  At that point there was only one treatment available and that was Beta Blockers. I explained that I had tried the Beta Blocker and the side effect cut off my circulation. They advised me to try a 'nip of whisky'  Every cloud has a silver lining - I suppose!
Over the years I acquired access to a website which described the disease symptoms.  For those of you who have not heard of it. It is a neurological movement disorder, it is slow and progressive. The condition can affect you as a child or as an adult. It causes havoc with simple everyday routine. It may be mild with some people but is noticeable in the hands and upper limbs but can also cause problems to other parts of the body too.  I found it comforting to find out that I was not mad and I’m also not alone. 

I am glad to see that they have finally removed the word 'Benign' from the name of the condition is now known simply as 'Essential Tremor'. They felt that the word 'benign' took away the significance of the condition which can be very debilitating and can disrupt people's lives in a major way. Finally this condition is getting some recognition.

Have you suffered from Meningitis? Or do you know someone with similar symptoms as Essential Tremors? Feel free to send me you thoughts on the above. If you would like to comment about the above blog "Not Alone" please leave a comment in the box below or email me. I will try to reply to all your queries. Thank you for reading my blog.