Tremor and confusion

tremor and confusion


My right hand has been shaking a lot lately. I took some of my student employees out for lunch recently – at a very nice restaurant! – and halfway through the appetizer, the fork flew right out of my right hand. “It’s fine,” I told them. “”See? If we get thrown out of here, it’ll be my fault, not yours.”

I made light of it for their sake, but it keeps happening. It happened twice last week: things just flew out of my right hand.

Naturally, my thoughts take the gloomiest possible courses. Now that I actually have something serious, I think of the most horrible things. . Multiple sclerosis? It usually happens to younger people. Parkinson’s disease? Oh yes: I’m in the age group, and I drool, and I tremble. (One of the other symptoms of Parkinson’s is “confusion,” which sounds very funny, but which is very sobering to me, because I’m far more confused now than I used to be.) Essential tremor? Maybe. It does happen when I’m stressed or tired. But sometimes it happens whenever it wants to happen.

I have a regular non-cancer-related doctor’s appointment in December. I’m sure he’s tired of hearing me whine about all of the things I think I might have, but this he’s gonna hear about.

When I was in the Peace Corps, I had a friend who had MS. She went into tremors occasionally, but she was funny about it. “I’m demyelinating!” she’d yell, and sit and tremble for a while.

Long story short: she got better. Her MS (thank god) got better, as sometimes happens.

What do I have? Possibly nothing.

But probably I need to be tested.

At my advanced age, you never know.


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About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

9 Responses to Tremor and confusion

  1. Keep us posted. I am a terrible hypochondriac and I would be convinced I had the worst thing possible. It could maybe be a side effect of radiation. My advice: Since you are going to see your doctor soon, do NOT consult Dr Google. Dr Google almost always has bad news. I have found it I insert the word “hypochondria” into any medical search, it takes me to a less scary site. I am certainly not saying you are a hypochondriac, especially with what you are going through these days!

  2. At my age it’s normal–Bullshit. Then explain it because it’s not normal for you. And you’ve only been this age for a short while. It’s like during my first, FIRST, pregnancy, if the doc didn’t explain something; yeah, I get that you understand it, Doctor Out of Touch and Jaded, but I don’t; and I’m the patient.
    Get some answers, my friend; you deserve answers.

    • Actually, I know he’s not right. I’m sure it’s a combo of nerves, chemo, and radiation, and also I haven’t been very active lately – and I never did have much fine motor coordination in any case. But why yell at the funny old doctor?

  3. starproms says:

    I would imagine it is the effect of your treatment. You don’t have to have everything going, you know. Stop putting your hand up in class! (smile)

    • I know. Funny: another friend thinks I should stand up to the doctors and demand an answer. I’m sure it’s just the combination of chemo and radiation; it’s better, in any case. I’m also much less active than only a week or two ago.

      • starproms says:

        Well with everything else that is going on in your body, it would be hard to diagnose something new. Perhaps now is not the time to worry about the tremors. If it was me, I’d put it down to all the other demands on the body at this time. The time to worry about that shakiness is when the other treatment is over? If I was your body, I’d shake too. Incidentally, I get the shakes as well, usually when my blood sugar is low. I’ve mentioned it to doctors in the past, but they just smile! Annoying as hell…

      • I think you’re right. Compared to the other stuff I have going on at the moment, the tremor is very slight.

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