2011 16/07

The elephant

If you spend any amount of time with me, one of the sure things you’ll notice, especially if we are dining together, is my hands. No, they are not fabulous or the hands of a model.  They shake. Almost constantly.

It’s something that I’m guessing I’ve always had but it gets worse with every passing year. What causes it? The easy answer, I’ve been told, is that I have tremors. When you want your body to move, your brain sends little signals to your muscles. When you don’t want to move, your brain stops sending those signals. My brain doesn’t stop. It sends the signals, although slight, all the time.  The more complicated answer…well, that one’s harder.

Some days the shaking is worse than others. Often times escalated by sugar, caffeine, or nerves. But even at my calmest, it’s there. Most people don’t notice (I try to hide it) and those who do notice it are gracious enough not to say anything. Aside from the curious child or jackass adult. “Whatcha so nervous about? Hehe!”

But my husband sees it all. He sees me when my hand is shaking so much that I can’t hold a glass of water. I set the glass down and we move on. We don’t talk about it. We both know it’s there. We just don’t need to talk about it. I often wonder though, does he see the other things that I’m beginning to notice. We don’t talk about it, so I’m not sure. I don’t want to talk about it. I can write about it, sort of. But talking is different. Talking is more definitive. Talking seems real.

They are often subtle but they are there. The random times I slightly loose my balance. I catch myself and giggle, “Hehe, time to cut me off I guess.” But it’s really not funny. And then there’s the speech. I am catching myself jumbling my sentences. They sound right in my head but, when I put the words from my head to my mouth, somewhere a word gets jumbled or I get tongue-tied or I forget a word. This one happens. A lot.

I don’t know if others notice these things. If they connect them. If they know how they string together to something. Else. But I do. I notice. I know.

But it’s a word I won’t say. If I don’t say it, it’s not real. After all, there is no way of really knowing. There are no definitive tests. No blood tests or medical exams. Only best guesses. Only “we’ll keep an eye on it and see if it progresses and go from there.” So I avoid the word.

But every passing year, this elephant gets bigger and bigger. Harder to ignore. Harder to slide around. One day I fear we’ll actually have to name that elephant and that we’ll have to deal with it. That Tim will have to deal with it. That the kids will have to deal with it. That I will have to deal with it. But not today.

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  • I never would have known.

  • Thanks Jen. I’ve gotten very good at masking it around others.

  • Wow, Stacey. This must have been difficult to write & put yourself out there so openly. I’ve never noticed any of the above, so you must conceal it well. I do have the confusion where my words come out so differently then what I know I want to say. Most people pass me joke it’s because I’m blonde but I’ve often wondered at what point I should be a little concerned.

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