Tremor or Trembling
There are three types of trembling that I will speak on here. The first is due to muscle weakness. The second is due to electrical dysregulation. The third is due to a mixture of pain and anxiety, and is the direct result of hypersensitivity to adrenaline, norepinephrine, and eventually dopamine where tremors/trembling can lead to panic attacks, paralysis, and even convulsions.
Tremors or trembling can occur when I am experiencing profound muscle weakness, but still have the ability to stand and move about. Sound familiar? The trembling is due to your muscles being tired, but smart. Because all of your muscles are tired, instead of just giving out on you they decided to delegating the workload between various fibers (some rest while others work). This switching from one fiber or fiber group to the next can be slow or rapid. When slow, you’ll experience more of a twitching effect. However, when accelerated, you’ll experience what looks more like fast twitching (think Parkinson-s), or shaking/trembling.
The trembling is in whatever muscles you are using at the time. So, this could be a shaky glass of water in your shaky hand, or it can be your whole body shaking because you are standing and you’re legs are giving out. This can be a nearly invisible shaking where only you notice it, or this can been a severity of shaking where people clear across the grocery store can she you shaking and twitching while standing in the checkout aisle. Word for advice here. If you’re out of the house and you’re shaking and twitching, you probably shouldn’t be out of the house.
These symptoms preceded muscle failure, which is when you’re muscles have simply had too much and they completely give out. Being shaky also means you might be pretty useless at doing anything that require fine motor control. So, if you feel shaky, keep these things in mind to avoid getting stuck at the store (get in a mobile cart instead from the start), falling, or dropping things. If you haven’t already, you need to learn to recognize when you’re muscles are about to give out, or when they are to unreliable to help you navigate safely – if you’re anything like me you could be a stunt double by now. Knowing the signs will save you a lot of emergencies, embarrassment, bumps and bruises, and a lot of energy and money.
Tremors or trembling can occur when your electrical system loses its flow. This can often be the result of inactivity, or underlying movement disorders like Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). In the case of loss of electrical flow, basically, energy is building up in areas where it should travel through. This can range in symptoms and severity from your limbs getting the jitters to very noticeable, and even painful, whole body jumps.
Some people avoid the twitches and jumps by shaking their knee or feet when sitting. However, this is more common with my family members who have fibromyalgia, but do not have chronic fatigue syndrome. This is probably because I just don’t have enough energy to keep my knee or feet actually moving. While what family members do (which is really funny to watch at Christmas with them all in the same room), but it’s not really solving the problem. They avoid the twitching by twitching. I avoid twitching by exercising, movement.
The best ways to do this is cardio once per day, or even low-impact methods such as Tai Chi or Qigong which involve slow and gentle movements. Whichever you choose, if these types of tremors are something impacting your day, set time aside to give your body what it really needs, MOVEMENT. As far as restless leg, I haven’t had a reoccurrence since I started daily cardio. If I really need it at night, a quick little session before bed is thrown in. However, that’s more of a once a year thing at this point.
Tremors or trembling can occur when you are anxious. This anxiety can be caused by an array of threats, but for me it was always the onset of severe pain and fatigue outside of the home, far from home, in a situation I could not escape, with people who did not understand and often did only things to make it worse, and I would begin to go into a panic because I know there was so much more pain coming before it was over mixed with sheer sense of vulnerability and helplessness. Now, with even the mildest anxiety my body is highly sensitive to chemical fluctuations. That means a tiny bit of anxiety makes me shake, feel flush, nauseous and makes me feel like I’m standing 5 inches off the ground. These are characteristic of someone terrified, not a little anxious. So if the adrenaline does this, imagine what the norepinephrine is doing at the same time. It’s forcefully constricting my already sore muscle slowly and excruciatingly.
You can see how this can become a perpetual cycle of adrenaline and norepinephrine production. All the while, a flood of dopamine is trying to keep up with the pain, which results in severe cognitive impairment and an emotional control deficit (I have the cognitive capabilities, emotional control, and physical coordination of a stumbling drunk or 3 year-old). The emotional control deficit can lead to sobbing tears (if the fatigue is greater than the pain), or violent outburst (if the pain is greater than the fatigue).
Due to all the fatigue and increased blood pressure cause by all of these effects, my body starts to give out. While my hands shaking are the first sign, full loss of use of my lower body shorty proceeds. Now, If I can take control of the anxiety at this point, I slowly become completely incapable of movement, I cannot open my eyes or speak. I feel all the pain, and feel comply helpless….because I am. Because of this, these episodes can be mentally and emotionally traumatizing, leading to a fear to leave the home at all for a period of time, and rightly so.
However, if I cannot get control of the anxiety at this point….full body convulsions, flowed by full body muscle contraction, contortion, my back arches, my eyes roll in the back of my head, and the only thing that can bring me out of it is a morphine drip in the Emergency Room. So, how does one a void all of this? If I’m shaky, I STAY HOME. Unfortunately, for years with such a delayed diagnosis, these episodes where quite common, and over time formed layers of post-traumatic stress.
However, knowing my limitations, and being able to live within my means has prevented these episodes from occurring for over a decade. There are times I get shaky outside of the home, granted, but that’s my sign that I have 15 minutes to get home. Why 15 minutes? It’s just my number, that’s how long it takes from “shaky” to “all hell breaks loose.” This is why my traveling limit is always within 15-20 minutes from my home, unless I am with a family member who know what to do, or rather, everything NOT to do and can get me home quickly and safely, but where still only talking about 30 minutes from home. That’s right folks, I couldn’t even get to the beach (45 mins) if I wanted to. Though the beach is a volatile environment for me, so no issues there (blindingly bright, salt water vapors burn my eyes, let alone salt water, and the sand is highly abrasive and painful to walk on).
As some have put it, this is my Safe Zone. However, since I have a car riding limit of about the same amount of time due to pain, this absolutely is my limit to how far I can travel by myself or with others that do not understand my condition, which is why I always drive my own car – no one to wait for, or look for, or convince I need to leave NOW. If I can’t drive there, I don’t go there. My home is the only totally controlled environment in which I can recover. There is no chair, couch, bed, or ER I can fully recuperate in. It’s home or hell.