Three Peaks, Five Trains
Anthony Murphy is tackling the national three peaks just using two feet and trains to raise much needed funds for the National Tremor Foundation, Mind and The Stroke Association.
I am Anthony, a 28-year-old Paraplanner, who enjoys getting out into the rolling hills of Greater Manchester and Lancashire either on two legs or two wheels when free time permits, who has generally grown up in the various suburbs and townships of Greater Manchester before settling down where it all started back in Bury after stepping onto the property ladder.
I was diagnosed with essential tremor by a neurologist, having been referred by my GP, about 7 years ago (21-ish). I was first put on Propranolol 80mg daily which served its purpose for about 3 years until the beta blocker side effect put my resting heart rate into the high 30s/low 40s and I began getting dizzy spells. I then moved onto Gabapentin 100mg once a day and this has recently been increased to a twice a day dosage.
Compared to what I have seen of other sufferers, I would say I am very much at the beginning of the journey. My tremor is currently contained in my hands and is noticeable if I haven’t medicated, or I am in an anxious, stressful, physical environment – and whilst those around me do not comment as they have grown used to it being part of me, I do get self-conscious if I am in public or with others who do not know me as well.
In terms of impact, I would say it is more mental, than physical. I ponder and worry about what the future holds as I know there is no getting better, it is just a slow deprecating decline until the medication can do no more.
Most haven’t heard of essential tremor, so the key is not hiding it and engaging with anyone who asks a question. I’ve designed a website for my Three Peaks, Five Trains (threepeaksfivetrains.blog) adventure which explains what I am doing, why I am doing it and who I am doing it for and this is being shared online and hopefully with some publicity as well.
As I have alluded to earlier, there is no cure to ET, only mitigation. So somewhat selfishly, I want to help fund the research that I will hope lead to improvements or a cure by the time I am getting to the point where my ET is having a significant impact on my daily life.
The tremor is not just physical, it is emotional, it is mental – it is an all-compassing condition that deserves some of the spotlight in terms of awareness and action. Hence, why I chose to dedicate one of the peaks to the National Tremor Foundation.