My name is Colleen and I have a disease called Essential Tremor.
Essential Temor is not contagious, does not mean I am less intelligent or that I did something wrong; I just shake. It can affect your voice, arms, legs, hands, head; basically any part of your body. I am blessed to only have it in my head.
When I was about 30, I began to notice my head was shaking; I went to a doctor and she said I was just suffering from anxiety. She gave me a pill and it just made me tired. I eventually went to a neurologist and they diagnosed me with ET. They can give me beta blockers, anti-seizures drugs, or some other medication but it doesn't totally take the shaking away. I can drink alcohol and it helps some but I don't want that to be an option for me.
I have still accomplished a lot in my life; I have raised six children, almost got my Masters degree and am a very social person. Essential Temor does affect my self-esteem and I do try to hide my temor at times.
It is hard to get a job because everyone thinks I am nervous or when I talk to people they look at me strange because they are wondering why I am so nervous or something is wrong with me. It makes it hard socially because others do not understand ET. If you notice someone is shaking; please do not judge them please accept them as they are. I am ask often if I have Parkinson's disease; no I just shake.
I am writing this because I want Essential Temor research to find a cure or something that helps the shaking. I am trying to help the public be more aware of this disease. There are millions of us that have ET.
Thanks for listening,