In October of 2007, I experienced a period of extreme stress and anxiety. I was 4 months post-partum after having twins and I was just in the process of going back to work. I was starting my kids at a new daycare (also had a 1 year old) and they weren't taking to it well, and so neither was mommy. After several very rough mornings trying to get them ready alone, I woke up the next morning with my arms shaking out of control and with extreme anxiety. I had never had any type of tremor/shakiness until that morning. I would shake more and more as I tried getting them ready and it would finally subside after I got to the office and could calm down mentally and physically. My dr. put me on a benzo that seemed to help for a while, but then had no effect. I quit taking it and my mental health slowly went down hill and soon I was also experiencing extreme depression. The shaking never went away. It was always worst in the morning and with any physical activity. My family dr. put me on an antidepressant and said the shaking was from extreme stress/anxiety. However, at this point I had myself convinced I had MS, Parkinsons or SOMETHING. He sent me to an neurologist to ease my mind and he (after a mere 2 minutes) diagnosed me with essential tremor. However, since then my tremors have gotten about 75% better, however they are still there. They are also in my legs at times when very physically active, sick or if I have gone without eating for a long period. Some days I hardly notice it and some days they are very noticeable (only to me). They are not bad enough that anyone has ever noticed it, but I see them and probalby feel them more than I see them. At that time I also experienced a great deal of muscle twitches that has subsided to almost none unless I am stressed. I only took the antidepressant for 2 months until my anxiety went away. I guess my question is, with no family history of ET at all and the very, very sudden onset ( i know the exact day it started) is this something else. Can stress cause this? Could I have a thyroid/adrenal issue?? I am able to write very clearly, tie my shoe, etc. with no problems. I'm just confused because it doesn't souond like ET to me and my family dr. said it wasn't but what is it?? It has improved dramatically over the last year, but never went away completely.
I might also add that with the sudden onset of shakiness, I also had horrible cramping in my hands and at times stiffness. That subsided completely after a few months, I occassionally get stiffness, but not very bad at all. My shakiness/tremor is always at it's worst early in the day and almost seems completeley gone after about 6 in the evening...which is also when I seem to have the most energy and feel my best. At one point it seemed to be all over my body and withm ost movements but is not just my arms (particularly left) and legs at times.
Your symptoms seem to correlate to periods of anxiety and stress, with relief after work, when you know that there is nothing to worry about for the day. If you are dissatisfied with the neurologist you visited, you might think of visiting a psychiatrist, who will be better equipped to deal with your issues.
I am also experiencing shakiness and muscle twitches. I was diagnosed with post viral syndrome this February after having pneumonia and bronchitis. The post viral syndrome gave me a bunch of neurological symptoms such as numbness and tingling, weakness, all kinds of odd things. I was very stressed out that I had some horrible neurological disease but was told by a rheumatologist that it was fibromyalgia and a neurologist that it is post viral syndrome. While I was having all of these symptoms, the shakiness developed. It was worse in the morning and whenever I exert myself. For example, I was on a kiddie ride with my daughter at Disney and I had to push the gas pedal for her and when I got off of the ride, my left leg shook ALOT for at least an hour. If I got at all excited or stressed it is intensified. I was at my son's basketball game and I had to take an Ativan to calm down after it, because my body was shaking out of control. The neurologist was not worried about it. It is very unsettling to be shaky like that. I figured that after my diagnosis of post viral, my anxiety would be much less because I know that I have something that will go away and I will be ok. However, it has not gone away. Some days are better than others, but the shakiness is there. I also have the hand stiffness (especially my pinky and thumbs). The neurologist didn't put me on any meds, she just told me to take time for myself and to try to be less stressed. I am trying, but still shaking and twitching.
Your story of the foot shaking after being on the pedal for a long time is exactly what I have sometimes. The other day we took the boys to a birthday party and I aws holding one of my toddlers constantly for almost 2 hours in my left arm. For about an hour or so later, my left arm was very shaky and weak feeling. Somedays it's barely there, but others it seems to be set off so easy. It's always at it's worse in the morning or if I have went along period of time without eating. I dont feel that I have anxiety that bad anymore, but I do have my days as I have 3 very young children and work full time. I've never been so bad that I had to take anything, but there are days where I wish I just had somethign to calm it down...I don't want to be on a medicine permanetely. I guess I'm just afraid of whatever this is maybe getting worse later. I thought ET progressively got worse, but I seem to be progressively getting better, but never fully recovered.
I know, it's awful when your body doesn't act the way it used to or the way it should. My neuro basically dismissed my shaking, saying she didn't really notice it that much. But boy, I sure do. My rheumatologist said they didn't know what it was but that they didn't think it was anything pathological and that the neuro would probably have a name for it. You're right about the eating thing too, if I am hungry I do tend to shake more. I also have good days and bad days with it. It's hard too when you have kids and you don't feel right. I have 3 kids too and it's hard to be sick or not right and take care of a family. I hope that you will have more good days than bad with it.
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