Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Timor Tremoris Conturbat Me

I am not bothered by the prospect of death at all; the fear of it doesn't happen to me, let alone disturb me as it did the medieval Catholic poets. I've seen death close up, my own and others, and I know that I'm doing what I can to defer my demise as long as possible. What does bother me, is the tremor and fear of it.

My right hand and arm is the most obvious place that the tremor occurs. I have what is called an intention tremor, which, if you look at the linked Wikipedia page, is "very difficult" to treat. So there's the fear that it will never go away, and I will always write terribly with a pen, always spill drinks with my right hand, and so on. I'm afraid that the brain damage's effects will be permanently with me.

The fear is more extensive though because the tremor--or at least something like it--is more extensive. To start with, my right leg shakes. This is similar to the sort of shaking that happens with muscle fatigue, and usually goes away when I press down on my right heel. My concern, though, is that the tremor extends to my leg as well, but that genuine muscle fatigue is masking it.

This isn't as crazy as it sounds, when you consider what is perhaps the scariest trembling that I have, which is in my diaphragm. My breath shudders as I inhale, as though I am taking a series of gasping breaths, instead of one smooth inhalation. I notice it when I'm meditating (it's a distraction!) but it's obvious to observers when I inhale involuntarily after sighing.

The fear that my breath will always be juddering is horrible, and I have to try to ignore it. It was terrifying to realize in November 2011 how damaged my voice was, and it's scary now to contemplate the possibility that I will never attain the vocal facility that I once had.

The most effective treatment seems to be acupuncture, so far. Nothing else has worked. So thanks to the donors who've made more needles possible! I'll talk about the needles soon, I promise.