Saturday, August 31, 2013

Another gift from Lupus....At least, I think it is.,,,,,,

In my most recent blog, I whined about having been very, very tired after going to a writers conference 50 miles from home and being too exhausted the next day to return for the rest of the conference. My fatigue and shaking continued, so I went to my Primary Care Physician and told her about it. She frowned, did some preliminary tests of my reflexes and then said she was sending me to a neurologist.
And so I went on the appointed day. He also listened to me about my experience with fatigue and shaking, and also performed some preliminary tests of my reflexes.
Then he leaned back and said, "I know what it is. I heard it."
Huh? I asked. "What do you mean?"
He said "Your voice is stressed. Has anybody remarked about it?"
No, I thought. Shrugged. Then he said, "You have a treatable condition that we have a medication for.  You have benign essential tremors. That means it's not progressive, it's mostly hereditary and the medicine is an older one, very inexpensive, and it works."
He went on to explain that "older" people have it (sigh) and since I couldn't think of any family member who had this condition,  probably mine is caused by -- get ready for this -- STRESS. (YA THINK?)
 At this point I should say that I'm not "stressed" about anything in particular. I don't have anxiety, to my knowledge, unless you count the part of my life recently when I had to leave my publisher and take down all eight of my books from all the sales websites and start all over again as a self-publisher, having been assured by the 12 other authors who jumped ship with me and who are all incensed by her embezzlement of our rightfully earned royalties.
So back to the explanation of why I shake all the time, and am so fatigued.
 Simple: Nerves in the part of the brain that control stress over-react, causing the trembling. He wrote me a prescription and told me to come back in two weeks.
The two weeks is fast approaching, and I'd like to report that I no longer shake nor have the fatigue. Heh. Just a little dinner out with two friends last night has laid me flat. Oh, sure, I'm not shaking too much, but the energy I needed to last through the day is gone.
He did say I might have to increase to two tablets per day, so maybe I'll have better luck with that increase.
He didn't say he thought lupus was the culprit, but I think it is just another component of what nasty things this condition can cause. There is such a thing as CNS lupus, and that, left to its own devices, can cause seizures and other CNS disorders. So I'm lucky, I suppose, that it's something relatively minor. I certainly don't want this to progress to seizure activity, like some persons with lupus have to live with and take stronger medications, if it is treatable in the first phase.
I was thinking I was doing pretty good for a "lupie" but this latest manifestation of "brain damage" (my words for it, not the doctor's) is another example of how things can pop up just when you think you've beaten SLE into submission. If it is related to lupus, I should say.
I think it is. My fatigue level is back at the first few years of my illness, when nobody had diagnosed me with anything more than rheumatoid arthritis. When I finally was diagnosed with SLE, I thought, "At last we know what we're dealing with and can treat it."
That's been 25 years ago. While I've had some serious issues, being hospitalized a couple of times, carried a cane, walked with a walker for a while, I had thought I was in the clear. What more could happen?
Not in the clear, more can happen. Deal with it as it comes. We learn.