The shaky bout…

Could this be as a result of my years of anxiety, is it as a result of my medication or is it both? Whatever happens you have to attempt to remain upbeat and realise that it will gradually wear off. Beneath is a quote that I think is quite ironic but is so true.

“The more I think of it the more I realise that there are no answers. Life is to be lived regardless of what you have”- Marilyn Monroe.

Today I have drawn the conclusion that whatever will be will be.

Sometimes you have no control of what your body is doing. As long as you attempt to remain calm and focus on your wellbeing the best way you can then you cannot ask for anything more. In my case although the seizures were back I didn’t feel alone this time. I had the love of my family and friends and that’s all that mattered.

Eight years ago I came to face to face with something out of the ordinary, another element of my condition that I’ve labelled “The shaky bout”.

Whilst trialing my medication seizures were more frequent and my medication had increased drastically in such a short space of time. The dosage had risen from 250mg to 3000mg within 18 months and my body didn’t know what hit it. Combine shakes with anxiety and you have quite a concoction.

The first shaky bout arrived while I was at home watching TV.

The glass I was drinking from dropped out of my hand and shattered all over the floor. I was resting and wasn’t in any discomfort. Out of nowhere my arms started trembling, my face went a ghastly ash colour, my hands were bright red and I had a pounding headache. At first I thought it was possibly an anxiety attack however knew I was having a good day. I wasn’t nervous or worried about anything so how could it have been that? Before I knew it thirty minutes had passed and I was still in the same situation. Fortunately my dad arrived mid shake who then drove me to hospital only to be told from the doctor that it could be a side effect of my medication and to monitor it should a pattern occur.

I tried to remain relaxed at all times, drink water and to focus on anything ranging from the noise outside to my dad talking about a bag of chips he was gonna buy me from the local chippy. It took three hours for the shake to eventually go and I’d be damned if that was gonna stop me eating my chip shop chips. So like a child here was dad sprinking my chips in salt, vinegar and tomato ketchup and holding the fork while I was wolfing them down.

What on earth had just happened? Apart from my chocolate intake I ate well, exercised regularly and slept like a log.

Was this my body’s way of saying my shakes were taking a different turn or was it the fact my doctors were that shit scared of my seizures returning at a speedier rate that they decided the best thing to do was to increase my medication intake to resolve the problem? I trawled through internet sites, spoke with people closest to me and tried to fatham what was going on. Till recently my shakes have always worried me.

My shaky bouts have remained in my life since that first one mid 2004. Like my fits they come and go when they please and you get no warning signs. I can only presume the severe stages may resemble a seizure, who knows. There are four stages of “the shaky bout” the symptoms are as follows:

Very mild- Shaking inside, feeling sick with the odd flutter in the hands. Rest for 15 minutes and resume as normal.

Mild- Shaking inside and outside along with feeling sick, Arms are tense. The bout can range from 5 to 45 minutes. I’m tense but it’s bearable

Bad- Shaking for over 45 mins. If you are sitting getting what I would call “jelly legs” where you are wobbly on your feet losing balance easily. Feeling hot and cold, losing the feeling down the left hand side of my face, crying on occasion, upper body completely tense, migraines lasting the entire duration, making no sense whilst talking and falling asleep on the spot

Severe- Shakes usually lasting all day ranging from 20 mins each on regular occurances, Being sick, migraines, shaking and crying uncontrollably both inside and outside of my body, shuddering whilst trying to rest, not being able to talk at all, loss of sensation down the left hand side of my face and that’s just the start.

Words can’t describe the feeling, to this day it is an experience that still makes me feel on edge slightly. To others the milder bouts would possibly resemble the skaking feeling you experience when you have the common cold. The latter is when you are in severe stages of the cold, you feel
upset, lack lustre and very needy. It feels like the walls around you are caving in. You feel run down and your body trembles until it gains some sort of strength to stop it. Having the shakes is normal to me now. It isn’t something I am afraid of as much. Although some questions have failed to be answered by the medical profession that I have managed to accept that they are here to stay.

Throughout this quest I approached my neurologist for help only to find the approachable man who I thought so highly of had received his promotion and had taken another position elsewhere. I was left to face yet another neurologist. What sort of person would he be? Would he understand what I was going through?

So yet again the worry set in. The appointment arrived and to my disappointment this neurologist was nothing that I expected. He was a nasty character and someone I have had an uphill struggle with ever since..


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