Body Tremors: That was a 10 on the richter scale

Have you ever lived through an earthquake? It’s such a strange feeling and can be quite scary. I woke up to one once in the middle of the night. I remember my bed shaking as if someone had grabbed ahold of the headboard and was tossing me about. Thankfully it was a minor quake and no damage occurred, but even something small like that was noticeable, scary and remembered.

This morning my bed was shaking yet again. My first thought, “Oh no, another earthquake.” It took me a minute, but then I realized it wasn’t my bed that was shaking, it was me. My body goes through some really crazy tremors. Some last a short time, others can last all day. My legs, hands and head involuntarily twitch and shake.

The tremor in my right hand is the most annoying of them all. It’s not easy trying to put on my socks when my hands keep missing my feet, or trying to type on the computer as I miss every letter I reach for so I end up doing the hunt and peck instead. Even trying to eat with a spoon or fork can be quite entertaining. Food will bounce around, fall to the floor, and the utensil will even miss my mouth entirely. And don’t even get me started on my experiences of trying to drink from a full open cup. Let’s just say I have plenty of coffee stained shirts as evidence of the mishaps that occur.

Sometimes the tremors are internal. What I mean by that is my body feel as if it’s shaking, but you can’t physically see it. It’s as if every nerve in my body is on high alert and quivering. It is exhausting and can be quite uncomfortable. It’s kind of like that feeling you get after holding onto a lawn mower handle for an hour, then you stop mowing the grass but you hands still feel the vibrations. Take that feeling and imagine your entire body feeling like that. It’s an internal buzz that doesn’t stop in 10 minutes. It keeps going, and going, and going. I think it outlasts the Energizer Bunny.

Then there are the visible tremors. The ones you can’t hide. It seems like the more I try to fight them, the more pronounced they become. I even get weird twitches in the muscles in my face, thighs, hands and toes. I’ve been known to scare myself as my leg kicks out in front of me for no reason or my fingers start twitching.

Multiple Sclerosis is so unpredictable. Most of the time I’m okay when the bizarre things happen. But to be honest, I have moments when it really gets to me. It seems like those times have been happening more and more lately. I try hard to not focus on the symptoms or the unknown craziness of this disease, but when things get to the point where I’m feeling the weight and sadness pulling me down, I do what we all do…I let it all out and cry, scream and sigh feeling defeated.

When storms come and bring about a lot of damage, it’s only natural to experience sadness and grief; to feel overwhelmed, misplaced, uncertain of tomorrow and simply hoping to get through today. But once the shock is over, that’s when the rebuilding begins.

So after I allow myself a good cry and have vented every emotion imaginable, I remind myself that I’m not defeated and that it’s time for the rebuilding to begin. That’s not always easy to do, but it’s doable. Give yourself a break. Pause and have a Snickers. Don’t be so hard on yourself for being human and feeling. Take a deep breath, wipe the tears, blow your nose and keep going.

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About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

32 replies
  1. Roger Ashton-Smith
    Roger Ashton-Smith says:

    I menI(ILMt to have been through over 14,000 after shocks (over 2.5R) When it hit I was taking some recycling out and I thoghtinitanley that I was having an attack. b\Bjt it was a 6’6R at a few k’s own and a real shakeup. I can now say I have seen a roa ripple and move mei n a locked car sideways about six feet. Quite scary but e could do nothing about it.We still have some problems with the ‘repair job’ that as been has done. That was in 2011 and we are still waiting.

  2. Roger Ashton-Smith
    Roger Ashton-Smith says:

    That is what I have been beak\ling with from day 1. My right leg goes out on leave without telling me like tonight. As I write this I am recovering from an attack that has left me a dazed. But I’m still alive and not going win aven if it has a small victory.
    We can bet it with perseveration and not give up. don’t let it take or stay in control
    I’ve been listening to Meatloaf and it mostly tells my tale very closely

  3. Fran
    Fran says:

    Thank you for explaining what was going on with the internal tremors. I didn’t know how to describe it. I get so much from your writing. Hope it helps you to know how much you are helping others.

  4. Nicola Watson says:

    Every morning when I waken I feel like I am shaking inside, the bizarre thing is I am just back from Crete where I soaked up lots of vit D and for a whole 10 days Nada no tremors or spasms, on plane home and 2 and a bit hrs in spasms return and when I get up in morning tremor back. Crazy x

  5. Nicola Day says:

    I know my tremors are more disturbing for my husband at night. At present I sleep through most thanks to the fatigue…every cloud is said to have a silver lining

  6. Dara Jasumani says:

    I consider myself extremely lucky. I only really get spasms when I first get up – I have found the more exercise I get the less I spasm.
    I should also say – sometimes the spasm is so strong the thought has gone through my mind – could a spasm break a bone. I mentioned this to my GP and he said – yes – yes your muscles are strong enough to break your own bones!!!!

  7. Pam Oien-Emminger says:

    The tremors are the worst! I too have them in my head,right hand and legs. When their visible people can see and understand, but when they are internal people think I’m having a good day. Ugh!

  8. Stacey
    Stacey says:

    Once again, thank you Penelope! You are amazing, have some great articles and are a motivation to us all! 💝
    I’ve been having the visible tremors in my right hand, and my leg will all of a sudden shoot out. (Yes, it scares me sometimes too!) But lately I’m having the ‘shakes’ inside, the invisible ones, that can drive me crazy and kick the fatigue up as notch or two. I didn’t even think about it being from this MonSter!!!! It makes sense though. Is there any way to calm those ‘quakes ‘ down? I’m sure that you and others agree… it is impossible to completely relax when this happens!
    Never Give Up!

  9. Leah
    Leah says:

    I’ve had these tremors too…still not sure if it’s due to MS or menopause. Any way you look at it it’s discomforting. On another note, I ask myself ‘who helps you Penelope get through your days’? You help so many others with your blog, which is why I ask. I hope our replies to your blogs are helpful to you too. Thank you so much for sharing…and stay strong!

  10. Monica Schamberger says:

    Praying the shaking etc. stops for you. I have found that doing my physical therapy exercises help reduce those tremors. It’s worth a shot. I know everyone is different, but having ms I feel connected, like we’re all the same, in this together. Blessings.

  11. Kevin McPherson says:

    Extremely annoying, especially the internal shaking. I though I’d finally lost my mind completely the first time I felt myself shaking while being completely motionless! Now it seems to be a nightly occurrence. Hmm, just like a recurring nightmare! MS, please leave my sanity alone!

    • Val Hanna says:

      At first the tremor in my abdominal region was scary I now just call it my jubbles and grimace in frustration at this continuous need for this condition to add another symptom every time I’m not looking.

  12. Tina
    Tina says:

    Let it hurt. Let it heal. Let it go.

    I’m a newbie to MS. Diagnosed on July 27th of this year. I enjoy reading your articles and others like it because it helps me understand what it going on. Every word read is another break through for me and it feels so good to understand. I think that above all else has helped me the most 🙂

    • Meeya
      Meeya says:

      Dear Tina,
      welcome to this wonderful group of warriors ☺
      Never give up, fellow traveller!
      Penelope’s blog indeed helps a lot… and she’s a great mind reader 😆

  13. Tina
    Tina says:

    Let it hurt. Let it. Let it go.

    I’m a newbie to MS. Diagnosed on July 27th of this year. I enjoy reading your articles and others like it because it helps me understand what it going on. Every word read is another break through for me and it feels so good to understand. I think that above all else has helped me the most 🙂

  14. Kathy Hamilton says:

    Ugh. A lady from church contacted me yesterday to ask if I could take in a pair of pants for her, and I had to tell her that I can no longer sew. Stop, thief! Stop stealing stuff I used to be able to do!

  15. Meeya
    Meeya says:

    So you have been reading my mind AGAIN?!!?!
    Also just had a short breakdown, done my bit of crying for today – and now let’s soldier on!!
    HUGS! 😘

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