Tremor Update

I thought I should just give an update on where I stand with ending my Essential Tremor medication. It has been two or three weeks since I stopped my medication. I have noticed my tremors getting worse in my hands, and I’ve noticed the tremor in my head, although it is not noticeable all of the time. So far, my ET has not been as severe as I was imagining it would be, although I should knock on wood because it could still get worse. If this is as bad as it will get, that would be great. I’ve had to adjust the way I do some things though.

At home, I will eat just about anything, but, when I pack my lunch for work, I am more particular about what I will eat in public. I usually pack a sandwich (something I can pick up) or chicken and vegetables or salad (something I can stab with a fork). I am not as comfortable with foods that require scooping something that will roll off of a fork or spoon like soup, rice, and peas. This is just in public though. At home, when I make my morning tea, I use a bigger mug and only fill it half or three-quarters full. I decided this after spilling my tea on my living room rug trying to carry it across the room. I also do the same with other beverages and sometimes I even use a straw. I have a water bottle that I bring to work with me that has a straw so I don’t have to worry about spilling it. My husband, Travis, has been kind enough to cut my meat for me without me even asking him to. I did cut my finger today when I was cutting apples to make apple pie, but a pie that delicious requires a sacrifice.

I was actually expecting to have a lot more trouble with my ET. I was in high school when I started the medication so my memories of my tremors at their worst come from a normally stressful time. Stress is a very big trigger for tremors, and when I was in high school I had a lot of anxiety. I was nervous and shy, and it was hard being a teenage girl with glasses and braces. So when I think of what my tremors are really like, I am picturing high school, eating my sandwich in a bathroom stall where no one can see me shake. I’ve come to realize though that I am not the same person that I was back then, and it consequently benefits my tremors. It seems as if my personality has changed since I was in high school. I am not as shy as I was, and there is very little that stresses me out any more. In fact, I am a really calm person now. This seems to be working in my favor. Someone used the word ‘confident’ to describe me the other day, and she has no idea how happy that made me. Just a couple of years ago, that would have been the absolutely LAST word I would have ever used to describe myself.

Sometimes I think to myself, “I can’t fill this bowl with soup without spilling it,” or “I’m going to shake a lot trying to eat this.” Then I tell myself, “Take a deep breathe and just do it. No one will care if you shake.” And I take that breathe, and just do it. It always works just fine.

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Fall Decorating

This being our first fall in our new house, I was really excited to decorate the front porch. I still want to add some pumpkins to the front steps. For now, I made a garland. I went to Joann Fabrics to buy some supplies. Their fall decorations were 50% off, so I bought three packages of loose leaves for $0.99 each and a roll of fall ribbon for $2.50. I already had a ball of jute twine that I dug through the boxes in the basement to find. I also purchased some sunflowers to decorate the posts. To make the garland, I cut slits in the leaves and strung them on the jute twine. I added a piece of ribbon folded over the middle. To buy an already made garland at 50% off would be $4.99 for one that is only long enough for one section of the railing, so I would need eight of them. Forty dollars is more than I want to spend at the moment. Maybe in the future, I might be willing to invest in some good decorations. For the present though, here are some pictures of what I came up with:

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It was difficult to see from afar, so here are some close ups:

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Ignore the overgrown lawn.

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Also, I had a yummy dinner. I like these chicken sausages from Al Fresco on the grill with some salad.

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It was also a great day to brush Dusty our dog. Stay tuned for a trench I’m digging to bury the sump pump pipe and a scarf I am knitting for someone for Christmas.

Linguine with Chickpeas and Zucchini

Linguine with Chickpeas and Zucchini

This is what I made for dinner tonight to follow the Mediterranean diet. I added tomatoes to the recipe, and omitted the cheese because I cannot have dairy products. Here is the recipe:
http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/linguini-zucchini-chickpeas-recipe-00000000017326/index.html
It was very good! I also have enough left over for tomorrow because my husband did not want any. He doesn’t like chickpeas. More for me!

Mediterranean Food Pyramid

Mediterranean Food Pyramid

It was brought to my attention by a friend that following a Mediterranean diet may help to control ET. I have not found any studies on it yet, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try following this diet. I’ve been trying it out for a little over a week now. Overall, it is a very heart healthy diet, whether it helps or not. It suggests basing your meals on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts. It also advises using leaner sources of protein, such as seafood and poultry. Red meat should be eaten less frequently along with sweets.
Although I have not been following this rigorously, I have been replacing my desserts with fruit, and packing healthier lunches. I’m attempting to reduce my red meat intake to once a week, which is probably the hardest part. I don’t usually eat seafood, in fact, before starting this diet, I had only tried cooking fish once. It was salmon, and I burned it (my husband ate it anyway and insisted it was really good). I’m trying to make fish once a week, which isn’t as often as I should for this diet, but it is more often than I usually make it and as much as my wallet can handle.
I have just recently finished decreasing my medication that I take for ET. I took the last pill the other day, but it will be some time before the medication is completely out of my system. There is no way for me to tell if this diet is helping my tremors, because they are getting worse as a result of the lack of medication. However, I will continue to follow this diet, although not too strictly, because I have found that I feel better on it. After meals, I feel full but not sluggish. Also, I really like fruits and vegetables anyway. I’m going to post pictures of some of the meals I have been eating with this Mediterranean diet in mind.

Trip to the Laconia Antique Center

Trip to the Laconia Antique Center

My husband Travis and I went on a little drive today to visit the Laconia Antique Center, the largest antique store in NH. I bought this clock to add to my collection. It was only $35. I’m pretty particular about the clocks I pick for my collection because I want them to look good together, and I prefer ones that wind up. They look nice without cords. I also don’t like spending more than forty dollars, seeing it is just a hobby.
We stopped at a lot of yard sales along the way, but we didn’t find anything good to help furnish the house we bought earlier this year. We also went to Funspot to play some arcade games. I had some beginners’ luck at pinball. It was a great day for a drive!