dianeSupport Diane running the Liverpool half-marathon for the NTF

Diane is running the Liverpool half-marathon on the 20 May, for the NTF and to raise awareness of essential tremor.

Four and a half years ago I was in a shop in town on a Saturday afternoon and my right arm started twitching. By the time I had arrived at my sister's house (closer than home) I had no control of my arm which by now was shaking uncontrollably. Within an hour the nerve pain from the constant vibration was unbearable and I was sat at A&E in tears.

I endured this pain and shaking for around three months until a medication was suggested that finally controlled the symptoms without knocking me out completely. This three months was the worst time of my life and without the support of my incredible family, friends and colleagues i can't begin to imagine how hard it would have been, there were some very dark times in the midst of all the pain. Fortunately I was able to begin a very slow return to work a month later and life began to return to some kind of normal.

For 8 months I was told that I probably had early onset Parkinson's disease because a specialist brain scan early into my journey had shown indicative changes. When I saw a Parkinson's specialist after 8 months I was told it was highly unlikely to be that so was back to square one in not knowing what was wrong although Parkinson's was only officially taken off the table last year when I was discharged from their clinic.

For 2 more years I had appointments, scans, tests and more before finally being diagnosed in 2017 with essential tremor. I had a name for it but didn't know much about it other than that it's 'just one of those things' and may or may not go away and may or may not get worse over time.

Having plonked on a load of weight while i was struggling with everything, once the doctors said I could start to do a little exercise I started walking and then running.

Several half marathons and an incredible life changing journey later my symptoms are still controlled by a pill taken every day which simply masks the symptoms and is not a cure. My health is in a much better place because I'm fitter than ever before - I even lift weights now and this year I'm running faster than ever! I've been back to working full time for three years and am blessed to still do a job that I absolutely adore in an industry that is ever changing and absolutely fascinating.

On a day to day basis my tremor mainly means that I can't hold a pen comfortably, if I'm over-tired, allow myself to get too hungry or am physically tired the shake returns. If I don't manage to control the tremor quick enough then the pain returns too but I'm learning different ways to deal with it every day and sometimes I can go days or even weeks without worrying about it which makes me luckier than a lot of people with ET.

I've recently discovered the NTF and have decided to raise funds for these guys in the knowledge that I am no longer alone in my battles and will benefit from their services, and may in the future benefit from research that I have helped to fund myself.

To donate please go to her Virgin Money page.

If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this story or want to share your story, please get in touch on enquiries@tremor.org.uk.

The NTF is sharing this article for information purposes only; it does not represent the NTF's views and is not an endorsement by the NTF of any particular treatments, therapies or products.