I was diagnosed about 4 – 5 years ago with a neurological condition called Benign Essential Tremor. You can read more about Benign Essential Tremor on Fighting Fatigue at these links: Benign Essential Tremor – Part 1, Benign Essential Tremor – Part 2, Treatment & Side Effects for BET. When my symptoms first began, I just had a slight tremor in my one finger, and then it spread to my hand, and then to the other hand. My neurologist put me on Primidone, after ruling out Parkinson’s Disease, and the tremors increased dramatically. Primidone is an anti-convulsant medication.
I was on medication for a long time when I decided to try and see if the condition was in remission. I also don’t like to take several medications at once and at that time I was on a heck of a lot of meds so I stopped the Primidone to see what would happen. I went for a really long time with no symptoms at all and then only occasionally I would have slight shaking in my left hand. Over the past few months the shaking has returned full force and is worse than ever. My arms are becoming affected by the tremors now. I’m trying to get an appointment with the neurologist so I can get a new prescription.
I notice that the shaking will be at its worst when I have been active (cleaning, at the gym, etc.) or when I’m upset or nervous. I had an incident occur the other day where I was upset and my hands shook terribly for a couple of hours afterward, long after I had stopped crying.
I have an aunt who has been diagnosed with BET but her head shakes really bad. I’m thankful it doesn’t affect my head and I hope it never does. The hands is bad enough, especially when trying to do tedious tasks – applying makeup, holding silverware – things like that. BET is believed to be caused by a dysfunction of the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that is involved in controlling and regulating muscle movements.
My neurologist told me that if there is a history of Parkinson’s Disease in the family, there is a liklihood of future generations developing BET. I had a great-grandmother on my father’s side who had Parkinson’s Disease; however, my aunt who has BET is my mom’s sister. I am not aware of anyone else in the family having BET or any type of tremor/shaking condition.
I will even have the tremors when I am lying still. I was having my monthly massage over the weekend and my left hand and arm were shaking really badly. The therapist asked me what was wrong that I was shaking and I explained to her the condition. She said she could tell that it wasn’t a shivering reaction because the tremors have a rhythm to them. From what I have researched on BET, the tremors usually occur while the muscles are being used. For me it can happen while muscles are in use or at rest.
Like other chronic conditions, BET symptoms can be mild or can be extremely severe to where the person can’t even button their own clothes or do things for themselves. I hope to get an appointment soon so I can get back on my meds. Please read more about BET at the links I’ve provided above.