Tremor Me Frustrated

I remember mother’s shaking hand,
coffee sloshing from cup,
cup knocking against teeth.
Fork spilled food in restaurants,
wine stained damask cloth.
I did not understand.
I do now.
Essential Tremor is its name,
inherited trait.
Tremor me frustrated.

Essential tremor disorder is a neurological condition that causes your hands to shake rhythmically. The head, trunk and voice might also be involved, but hand shaking is most prominent. The cause is not known, but it is often passed down from a parent to a child.
Essential Tremor Disorder | Johns Hopkins Medicine › conditions-and-diseases

Photo is me with my mother, in 1969 when I was about to go off to graduate school.

Yes, my hands have begun to shake in the past six months. It has affected my handwriting, which is most upsetting to me. I will admit, it’s why I’ve not been posting lately to my blog. My normal process is to rise early, write by pen in my journal, creating first drafts of poems. I then go to the computer to type in the first drafts and edit from there. Lately, I cannot read all the words I’ve written. So — to keep up my blog and to keep writing, I must change my process. I must skip the journal with pen-in-hand and go straight to the computer. Essential tremor is a minor problem in the scheme of things. However, now I realize how it can affect self-esteem and bring on frustration. I must keep my sense of humor and, for example, never order soup in a restaurant again!

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. It was Open Link Night on Thursday and I’m a bit late to posting.

19 thoughts on “Tremor Me Frustrated

  1. Karen January 7, 2022 / 11:22 am

    Look how young you look! Sigh. Yes, life is a series of adjustments, not our choice.


  2. The Cheesesellers Wife January 7, 2022 / 11:37 am

    A great poem, with a killer last line. I agree about the adjustments we all have to make — I have intermittent vertigo leftover from a prolonged concussion.


  3. sanaarizvi January 7, 2022 / 1:09 pm

    I am so sorry to hear that, Lillian. Sometimes life throws us into certain situations that we are not comfortable with- essential tremor as you mention is a minor problem in the scheme of things and hopefully we will figure out a way to navigate around it. I will be thinking of you, my dear friend. Sending lots of love your way ❤️❤️


  4. Rob Kistner January 7, 2022 / 1:27 pm

    Not easy to watch a loved one struggle Lillian… 😐 So sad, so sorry!


  5. Nancy Jahnke January 7, 2022 / 1:42 pm

    Your post is one to which I can personally relate. My tremors come and go, but have had my share of food mishaps . We belong to another group of “special” people!😂

    Sent from my iPhone



  6. Ken / rivrvlogr January 7, 2022 / 2:28 pm

    I understand. I find myself more aware of my limitations as I age, and can’t help thinking back to those my father faced.


  7. scotthastiepoet January 7, 2022 / 2:44 pm

    Yes Lillian, its certainly true as you grow older your appreciation and understanding of what your parents went through deepens, which makes this a valuable share…


  8. Carol Congalton January 7, 2022 / 4:43 pm

    Keep on writing Lillian! When the tremors are particularly difficult maybe your computer has voice activation[?] where one can dictate instead. My mother had essential tremors which made drinking a simple cup of tea a nightmare for her. The tremors would differ in intensity from day to day with her learning to just get on with things. I know she got really frustrated though at times.


  9. adda January 7, 2022 / 4:48 pm

    So sorry to hear and I want to thank you for sharing. Life provides changes and challenges no matter your age. ❤


  10. Misky January 7, 2022 / 6:08 pm

    I have faith in your ability to find a work-around. ❤️


  11. rothpoetry January 7, 2022 / 7:41 pm

    Sorry to hear that this is creeping up on you Lillian. My father-in-law had essential tremors. We got him a weighted spoon and fork to help. Not sure how much it made a difference. I hope yours is mild rather than severe!


  12. Ain January 7, 2022 / 8:42 pm

    Keep writing, that poem was so real and true, as in the bearing, keep writing, use the computer, but it is therapy at its best…


  13. SelmaMartin January 8, 2022 / 7:15 am

    Keeping you in my prayers and wishing you miracles.


  14. paeansunplugged January 8, 2022 / 1:32 pm

    That is such a lovely photo!
    I am so sorry you are facing this problem. Ageing brings along a host of problems and st the same time giving us insights into problems faced by our parents. I can understand it must be do frustrating, I do hope you will find ways to work around it. Sending love.


  15. Ingrid January 8, 2022 / 1:45 pm

    Sorry to hear about this, Lillian! It must be so frustrating. So long as you can continue writing, one way or other 🙂


  16. Mish January 8, 2022 / 4:28 pm

    Aww, Lillian, I’m sure this is so annoying for you. What I think I know about you though is that you are creative, resourceful and determined. (bet I got that right!) so nothing will stop your poetry. I enjoyed your honest sharing and the photo!


  17. Ali Grimshaw January 8, 2022 / 5:47 pm

    This does sound very frustrating. Changes in our bodies can feel so daunting at times. “Tremor me frustrated,” is such a powerful line. Please don’t give up on your writing practice. Writing is part of who you are. You could try voice to text on computer or phone.
    Thanks for sharing your journey.


  18. merrildsmith January 9, 2022 / 3:59 pm

    I’m sorry that you watched your mom go through this and that now you are, too. It sounds like you have a good attitude, and perhaps there will be treatments that were not available to your mother.

    I see myself now inheriting a lot from my mom, too.


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