Thank you everyone for a wonderful 2014. Had so much fun meeting and making new friends at book signings and fundraisers for Diann Shaddox Foundation and I can’t wait until 2015.
~May the New Year fill your home with family and friends, your heart with love, and your life with laughter~
Folly Beach Wine & Sign 2015 Saturday, April 25, 2015 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. to benefit the Diann Shaddox Foundation. Mark your calendars and come out and join us on the pier at Folly Beach, SC.
DSF is giving hope to millions, including children, living with Essential Tremor, the largest movement disorder. DSF is an accredited Non-Profit 501c(3) organization committed to find a cause and cure for Essential Tremor.
Locklear’s Beach City Grill, Folly Beach Parks & Recreation, Diann Shaddox Foundation, & Diann Shaddox/author Presents:
Folly Beach Wine & Sign 2015
Have fun in the sun on the stunning Folly Beach Pier, Folly Beach, South Carolina. Sip a glass of wine, talk and meet some wonderful authors and artists. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of sandy beaches, cool ocean breezes, and views of the great Atlantic Ocean.
This was a few pictures from Folly Beach Wine & Sign 2014. A great day, blue skies, cool temps and a soft breeze blowing from the Atlantic ocean.
An article featuring “A Faded Cottage” was in a local magazine.
Book Reviews 5 ★★★★★ review for ‘A Faded Cottage’
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A Faded Cottage (Kindle Edition)
When a love letter written by a teenage boy becomes lost after a summer filled with passion, it brings about an incredible love story of two people being reunited, after thirty years.
A Faded Cottage music composed by John Vaughn Aiken, SC
A FADED COTTAGE, a South Carolina love story, music composed by John Vaughn. When a love letter written by a teenage boy becomes lost after a summer filled with passion, it brings about an incredible love story of two people being reunited after thirty years. What if you were able to relive your life, if only for two weeks, and rediscover you teenage love?
The Mom’s Choice Awards Names “A Faded Cottage”Among the Best in Family-Friendly Products (or service)
The Mom's Choice Awards Names 'A Faded Cottage' Among the Best in Family-Friendly Products (or service)
For Immediate Release: April 23, 2014
For More Information Contact: Diann Shaddox
The Mom’s Choice Awards Names “A Faded Cottage”
Among the Best in Family-Friendly Products (or service)
Summary: Eagle Quill Publishing is honored to announce that “A Faded Cottage” has earned the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award®. Having been rigorously evaluated by an MCA judging panel, “A Faded Cottage” is deemed to be among the best products / services for families.
The Mom’s Choice Awards® has named “A Faded Cottage” as among the best in family-friendly media, products and services. The MCA evaluation process uses a propriety methodology in which entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal, and cost.
“We are thrilled to earn the Mom’s Choice Awards Honoring Excellence Seal of Approval,” says Eagle Quill Publishing. “We know all the great things the MCA does to connect consumers, educators, and caregivers with the best products and services available for families. What is especially important to us as a company, is that the Mom’s Choice Awards Team views us as part of the MCA family—not just “yesterday’s award cycle.” Thanks to the MCA Support Team, “A Faded Cottage” will have lifelong marketing and promotional support—helping us get the “A Faded Cottage” to the people who value it the most.
To be considered for an award, each entrant submits five (5) identical samples for testing. Entries are matched to evaluators in the MCA database. Evaluators are bound by a strict code of ethics not only to ensure objectivity, but also to ensure that the evaluation is free from manufacturer influence. The five evaluations are submitted to the MCA Executive Committee for final review and approval.
“Our aim to introduce families and educators to best-in-class products and services,” explains Dawn Matheson, Executive Director of the Mom’s Choice Awards. “We have a passion to help families grow emotionally, physically and spiritually. Parents and educators know that products and services bearing our seal of approval are high-quality and also a great value. The MCA evaluation program is designed incorporate the expertise of scientists, physicians and other specialists; but we also engage parents, children, educators, and caregivers because they are experts in knowing what is best for their families.”
With the evaluation now complete, the testing samples of “A Faded Cottage” will be donated to schools, libraries, hospitals and nonprofit organizations.
Get your copy of WHISPERING FOG a Time Travel adventure, don't miss out.
One fall night a mystifying fog captures a young girl from the 20th century and a captain of an old sailing ship from the 18th century bringing them together. Diann Shaddox Author
WHISPERING FOG is a Time Travel, One fall night a mystifying fog captures a young girl from the 20th century and a captain of an old sailing ship from the 18th century bringing them together.
On an unusual foggy night in 1959, Belinda sees an image out in the sea, a ship of years ago, begins her descent into the misty vapor climbing down the steep, rocky cliff to help the ship’s crew, and falls literally into the whispering fog.
Did the story end that night for Belinda when she fell down the cliff, or was it a dream of a young girl? On foggy nights, fishermen have heard an old ship’s bell tolling and voices from the fog whispering Belinda’s name. http://www.diannshaddox.com/whispering-fog Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Whispering-Fog-Diann-Shaddox/dp/0991280539/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419937695&sr=1-1&keywords=whispering+fog
Merry Christmas Eve
I have a little Santa Claus and every Christmas Eve
he watches over my house.
And during the night, he doesn’t make a sound; he’s quiet as a mouse.
Little Santa as he is called isn’t very tall and actually, he is very small.
Little Santa began his watch so long ago, sitting in a window with his round body all aglow.
My little Santa Claus is very special to me,
And he is a memory I will always treasure from all my Christmas Eves.
I wish for you a wonderful memory from your Christmases of the past,
And I hope your memories of Christmas will grow and forever last.
So from Little Santa and me, I wish for you a very Merry Christmas Eve.
Do you know what “About.me” is?
Well if you are like me, the answer was no until a few days ago, even though About.me has been around since 2010. About.me is a simple concept and easy to use.
(About.me is a personal web hosting service co-founded by Ryan Freitas, Tony Conrad and Tim Young in October 2009. The site offers registered users a simple platform from which to link multiple online identities, relevant external sites, and popular social networking websites such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube. It is characterized by its one-page user profiles, each with a large, often-artistic background image and abbreviated biography.)
It does have a one-page profile and is a busy site. I've met many people from around the world in a short period of time and I was pleasantly surprised how many people are using About.me.
It is very simple to join and start your page. The only thing you have to do is add your bio, profile picture, cover picture and other sites like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. It’s a lot like LinkedIn, since it is business oriented, but a little flashier. The main thing that About.me adds is an easy way to share your information with people on other networking websites. I've had fun adding new followers onto my twitter account from About.me.
Take a look at my About.me page and see what you think. If you join About.me please connect with me. http://about.me/diannshaddox
Happy journey’s on About.me
On December 18, 2010 I sat in my office and wrote “A Faded Cottage” a SC Christmas love story about an artist who develops Essential Tremor. My life has change dramatically because of this one small book. So today, I have to say "Happy Birthday Quaid Witherspoon."
“A Faded Cottage” is a journal of only two weeks of Quaid Witherspoon’s life and takes place from December 18 to the first of the New Year. I’ve sat back pondered what my life would be like if I’d not published “A Faded Cottage” and continued with my plan of publishing my other books.
I have to believe my journey was for a reason. Life can be a mystery and I wouldn't have taken on the challenge to start a new foundation, Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor if I’d stayed the path that I’d planned.
I became adamant to make a change when I talked to people around the country and no one had heard of Essential Tremor, even though I had been diagnosed with Essential Tremor for over thirty years and over 42 million people in the world have ET. I kept asking myself; how could that be? Something needed to be done. I soon learned that one cold December night changed my life. For the better only time will tell that answer.
It was the night of December 18, 2010, my birthday, a very calm and uneventful night. I couldn't sleep, which isn't unusual for me, so I made my way downstairs to my cubby office. I decided that I’d work on one of my novels.
I sat in front of the computer and began to type, but it seemed my fingers and hands had another idea as they shook uncontrollably hovering over the keyboard. If you've tried to text as you are riding in a car or train when it’s bumpy, then you might understand how difficult it is to type when you have trouble with tremoring fingers hitting the correct keys. I’d learn to deal with my tremors for many years, but this night it became overpowering.
I leaned back in my chair. I sat there and stared at the computer screen. My anger grew watching my hands quiver over the keyboard, and for once in my life I felt sorry for myself. The question of why me, a question without an answer, played repeatedly in my mind.
I took in a deep breath and closed my eyes. I let my tremoring hands type and the words, “Happy birthday dumb-ass” were written across the screen. I laughed and let the words flow and Quaid Witherspoon, a famous artist, was born.
A man who had everything or so he thought, but now his hands had abandoned him and his life of painting had ceased, becoming a bitter man. I didn't plan the story of Quaid that night, but his character emerged from my mind and the story grew, while I told Quaid’s story. The story of Quaid Witherspoon, the novel 'A Faded Cottage', became an incredible love story, one about strength of mind to fight fate and never accept what life throws at you. ‘A Faded Cottage’ is journal of a famous artist not of his life, but of only two weeks, a love story about aging and two people being reunited after thirty years finding love can conquer all.
Through this process of bringing ‘A Faded Cottage’ to life, I have learned so much and talking, listening to everyone’s stories that are so similar to mine has increased my desire to make a difference.
Essential tremor (ET) Essential Tremor, ET is a progressive neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs, or body. Over 42 million people worldwide (including children) have ET, the largest movement disorder in the world. ET can begin at any age, from birth to 100. ET doesn't discriminate with age, race, sex, or national origin.
Most people believe only older people have ET and that it is just a social problem.
However, ET is DEMORALIZING, DEVASTATING, & DEBILITATING for all ages.
ET is Demoralizing. It is embarrassing when you are not able to hold a pencil or crayon in your hand to write or color and people stare and laugh.
ET is Devastating. Living with uncontrollable tremor makes it difficult to dress and feed yourself. Many people will never live their dream of being an artist, musician, singer, actor, doctor, or nurse.
ET is Debilitating. It isn’t just a social problem when you cut and burn yourself as you try to cook, can’t drive a car, and you are fired from a job because your hands tremor. Many people lose the ability to talk from voice tremors and aren’t able to write or sign to communicate. Suicide & bullying (all ages) is another problem.
The list continues. The answers to help everyone living with ET are to bring awareness around the world and find a cure for ET.
I have become an activist to bring awareness to Essential Tremor. I am now the Founder of the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor a national Non-Profit public organization 501 c(3). DSF, Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor mission is to educate and increase awareness about people afflicted with Essential Tremor. DSF works with people worldwide to show that ET is an international progressive disorder. We are unwavering to assist families with our Anti-Bullying Program, Suicide Prevention Program, Family Assistance Program, and to donate medical research grants to doctors to find a cause and cure. DSF will make a difference in millions of people’s lives and directly change the future for everyone who will inherit or develop Essential Tremor. www.diannshaddoxfoundation.org
Please go to www.diannshaddoxfoundation.org and donate, every penny counts and will bring us closer to finding a cause and cure.
Now, 'A Faded Cottage' has become a vehicle to explain about Essential Tremor and how so many live each day with tremoring hands, head, voice, and entire body.
Diann Shaddox Foundation for ET and I will make a difference please join me.
Diann Shaddox is an author, speaker, and Founder of the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor.
Diann Shaddox is best known for her released books: A Faded Cottage, a SC love story about an artist with Essential Tremors; Whispering Fog, a time travel romance; Miranda, The Pink Rose, a historical fiction, a journal of a young girl living in the late 1800's; Spirits of Sacred Mountain, about a young Native American Indian boy's life spinning out of control and a magical mountain with deep hidden secrets; and The Gatekeeper of Crystal Pond, Not What Lies Above, but Below" www.diannshaddox.com
She was diagnosed with Essential Tremor and has since become an advocate for awareness and research toward finding a cure for ET. She created the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor March 2014.
Diann is a Native American and a member of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma.
Cheers to a wonderful and Merry Christmas.
Each Christmas season I look forward to having a cup, okay many cups, of fresh eggnog.
I began a few years ago making my own eggnog. It's not quite the same as store bought, but it's a fun tradition and with the added bourbon it's wonderful. This is a tradition my son and I always enjoyed. Yes, you use fresh eggs in eggnog, but you cook them just as you would when you make a homemade pie, like chocolate cream pie. (another post, I love chocolate cream pie) I do like to use clear cups to serve my eggnog in, very festive.
Whichever way you decide to drink your eggnog, homemade or from the store, with or without bourbon, I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season. CHEERS to everyone.
6 large eggs, separated
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1½ cups bourbon,
1½ tablespoons vanilla
Fresh grated nutmeg
In a large bowl add egg yolks and ½-cup sugar and whisk together. In a medium pot add milk and warm over medium heat, be sure not to scald. Slowly pour one ladle full of the warm milk into the egg mixture’s bowl. (To temper the eggs)
Whisk together the egg yolk and milk mixture and then transfer the mixture back to the pot of warmed milk and stir until thick about 3 to 4 minutes. Strain into another large bowl or container and cool in the refrigerator.
Next add egg whites and ¼ cup sugar into electric mixer bowl and beat into soft peaks
In another mixing bowl add heavy cream and ¼-cup sugar and beat into soft peaks, then add vanilla.
Fold the whipped cream into the cooled yolk and milk mixture and whipped egg whites.
Add bourbon to glass and ladle or pour in the eggnog and garnish with fresh nutmeg.
Help make a difference for the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor this Christmas and shake up the Today Show. No money, just a few minutes to fill out a short form. The more people to sign up will create a stir. Get your family to join and mak
HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE THIS CHRISTMAS AND SHAKE UP THE TODAY SHOW, NO MONEY, ONLY TAKES A FEW MINUTES TO FILL OUT A SHORT FORM. The more people to sign up will create a stir. Get your family to join in and make this viral.
TODAY Show wants to bring extra holiday cheer to some very special organizations.
We're working with Walmart for the sixth year for Getting to the Heart of Christmas, and this year we want your input.
If you know an organization who is deserving of a little extra help this holiday season, tell us! Summit your photo and essay telling TODAY show why the organization needs help.
How to do this is very easy first read instructions then go to Today Giving.
Over 10 million Americans, children and adults live each day with uncontrollable shakes from essential tremor, the largest movement disorder in the world. Awareness and education will stop the bullying, people losing their jobs, college students having their dreams disappear and end depression for people worldwide who are living with hand, voice, head, and body tremors. Every dollar will educate & change how the world sees ET! Essential Tremor is devastating, debilitating, demoralizing for millions including children around the world. What is Essential Tremor? ET is the largest movement disorder in the world and is a progressive neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs, or trunk. The Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor will make a difference in millions of people’s lives and directly change the future for everyone who will inherit or develop ET, but they need your help. Make a difference.
One Twit you may use:
@TODAYshow #TODAYGiving #OrangeRoom Gift hope #Christmas to millions including #children who #shake with #essentialtremor www.diannshaddoxfoundation.org
Today, Thanksgiving is a day of memories.
Every Thanksgiving I would travel home to a small green (that’s another story) concrete stucco home in Nashville, AR and visit with my grandmother, who I called Mamow, (another story). My Mamow died in 1994.
This warm and inviting home was filled with memories of a young girl growing up in a small town where all the neighbors knew your name and welcomed you into their homes.
Each Thanksgiving we would arrive and my Mamow would have that little green home flowing with delicious smells of ham, chicken & dressing (she loved to cook with a hen, not a turkey) pumpkin & pecan pies, her special Patty's cake and fresh baked cornbread.
First my Mamow and I would take a tour around the home and yard just to talk, no matter what the weather was outside. The tour included her flower and vegetable gardens and she would tell me what was new in her life. I would immediately feel like I was a young girl, safe, loved, and no worries. Those visits home were more wonderful than any expensive vacation that I could have dreamed about.
I now have even more memories to add. They are memories of my son Rick who died May 20, 2014. He loved to go to Mamow’s. When he was sixteen and broke his leg, wearing a full leg cast, he was determined we were still going to Nashville, AR. He spent time sitting on the front porch with Mamow listening to her tell her stories about her life. Her life was a simple life full of many tragedies, but also full of love. She lost her right hand in a factory accident, but that never stopped her. She cooked, learned to write with her left hand, worked a garden, made quilts, and even made my clothes.
Family, friends, and neighbors would stop by for a visit and more stories would flow. I wished I’d listened a little more carefully to those stories. You see, time moves on faster than you might think and our lives seem to swish by like watching out the window of a train that is zooming down the track.
This Thanksgiving please take time to give your family and friends the gift of listening. You never know what tomorrow will bring and memories are worth more than any gift you can buy.
I wish for everyone a safe, happy, and peaceful Thanksgiving.
I've had many people ask me questions of why I started the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor. I hope this answers many questions.
My passion is writing and I had put off writing my stories for years. It seemed excuses kept flowing of being busy and everyone will think that I’ve gone crazy. After many years of excuses I began my journey of writing.
However, my real journey began one night when I wrote “A Faded Cottage” a love story about an artist living with Essential Tremor.
Why I wrote 'A Faded Cottage'
It was my birthday, the night of December 18, 2010, a very calm and uneventful night. I couldn’t sleep, which isn’t unusual for me, so I made my way downstairs to my cubby office. I decided since I was wide-awake that I’d work on one of my novels.
I sat down in front of the computer and began to type, but it seemed my fingers and hands had another idea as they shook uncontrollably over the keyboard. If you’ve tried to text as you are riding in a car or train when it’s bumpy, then you might understand how difficult it is to type with tremoring fingers when you have trouble hitting the correct keys. You see, I have had Essential Tremor from my early twenties and I’d learn to deal with my tremors for many years. But this night it became overpowering.
I leaned back in my chair and stared at the computer screen. My anger grew watching my hands quiver over the keyboard, and for once in my life I felt sorry for myself. The question of why me, a question without an answer, played repeatedly in my mind.
I took in a deep breath, closed my eyes and I let my tremoring hands type and the words, “Happy birthday dumb-ass” were written across the screen. I laughed and let the words flow and Quaid Witherspoon, a famous artist, was born.
A man who had everything or so he thought, but now his hands had abandoned him and his life of painting had ceased, becoming a bitter man. I didn’t have the story of Quaid planned that night. His character emerged from my mind and as the story grew I calmed while I released the stress of the evening telling Quaid’s story, a journal of only two weeks of his life. The story of Quaid Witherspoon, the novel 'A Faded Cottage', became an incredible love story, one about strength of mind to fight fate and never accept what life throws at you.
‘A Faded Cottage’ is journal of a famous artist not of his life, but of only two weeks, a love story about aging and two people being reunited after thirty years finding love can conquer all.
I put “A Faded Cottage” aside and kept editing my other stories to send to publishers, but “A Faded Cottage” kept pulling me in. I let friends read the manuscript and they believed I should go ahead and publish the novel to let others understand what I was living through with my tremoring hands. So began my journey. I gave in and sent the manuscript to publishers. To my surprise, I had a publisher come back to me right away and A Faded Cottage became my first novel. Then, I learned no one knew what ET was, so at my book signings I started to tell my story about ET. Well, the fire of spreading the word about Essential Tremor that I’d leaped into continued and I decided to start my own foundation.
However, the first of May, my life was jerked to a stop. My healthy young son, who was backing me on my journey, went to the hospital with a headache. We learned he had an aggressive stage 4 cancerous tumor the size of a lemon in his brain. He elected to have surgery, never woke, and died on May 20, 2014.
My life now had changed or maybe seemed to have ended. In June I sat back and reflected about my journey that had all started with one little book “A Faded Cottage.” How that one night on my birthday writing that book had sent me on a wild journey and I didn’t know if I wanted to continue. I had set out just to write my stories, but my life had turned into a whirlwind and now I had to make a decision.
I decided to take some time to think and I began the edits on “Whispering Fog” a time travel romance. My editor and I finished “Whispering Fog,” and the novel was published.
I don’t give up easy and knew my son would be disappointed if I didn’t continue with the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor. On August 29, 2014 the IRS approved Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor.
What will my journey be in the future? I have become adamant to make a change, bring awareness, and find a cure for ET.
My light is growing dim, and my energy has grown low, however I will see what the future holds, and whether the flame will be distinguished or grow stronger to tell the world about Essential Tremor. I'm asking for support. There are many ways to support a foundation. Donate time to help with whatever you can, write articles, start a newsletter, help with IT services, so many ways to volunteer. Yes, it does take a lot of people and funds to advertise, bring awareness, and grant medical research money to doctors, to make a difference.
I hope you will join me on my journey and if you have any questions that you’d like answered, I’d be glad to help. firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is another great recipe from Family Favorites to make for the holidays and again it is one you can make ahead of time which always helps. I'm always finding recipes to make a day or so ahead of a dinner party.
I love the tangy taste of vinegar and sweetness of the sugar in this recipe.
A great salad to get your kids to try. Maybe let them help you make it so they'll be proud to serve it on Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Sue's Broccoli Salad
2-3 bunches of fresh broccoli chopped into flowerets
1 small purple onion chopped
½ cup raisin
½ cup toasted almond slices
1 lb. fried bacon, drained & crumbled into small bites
2 cups mayo of your choice
4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Fry bacon and drain on paper towel, let cool. Chop onion and Broccoli and add raisins, toasted almond, and crumbled bacon in a bowl with a lid. Mix mayo, apple cider vinegar and sugar in a separate bowl. Then pour the mayo mixture over the salad and toss. Let set in refrigerator overnight. Gently stir the next day and serve.
Shopping on Amazon. Don't forget to use Amazon Smile and Amazon, not you, will donate to the Diann Shaddox Foundation to help find a cause and cure for Essential Tremor. (Yes, not you, Amazon will donate to the Diann Shaddox Foundation!)
Your shopping will support Diann Shaddox Foundation. It is easy to use just go to smile.amazon.com it will automatically populate all your account info to it as well as order history when you download Amazon Smile.
Clink on the link and go to Amazon Smile and join.
Many years ago 500 feet changed my life.
November 20 began as a peaceful Sunday in the small town of Hope, Arkansas.
My father William was a crop duster and loved to fly. This cool fall day a group of men had a meeting out in a field near the Hope, AR airport. One of the men was interested in a new red biplane.
The group of men, my mother, (who was eight months pregnant with me), & my brother stood out in the field watching as my father volunteered to test the plane. All was going well until the plane rose into the sky into an inverted roll that brought the beautiful plane to the ground.
I have been told that if my father had had an extra 500 feet the maneuver would have worked, but because of the low-ceiling that day he misjudged the distance.
That November day change many lives including mine. At the age of twenty-five my father died that Sunday and I was born a month later on December 18th in the small southern town of Nashville, Arkansas. Therefore, I was never able to meet my father.
Stories told to me through the years is the only way I know about my father, a kind and generous man who died way too young.
Life has a way of interrupting our secure and safe lives, but how we adjust is what matters. My father wouldn't have wanted his family and friends to have stopped living just because he was gone. He lived his life with gusto wanting to be a pilot from an early age.
Now many years later on quiet Sunday afternoons when I hear a small plane flying over my house I remember the story my grandmother used to tell. My father would fly over her house and dip his wings to say hello and that everything was all right. I believe my father is still flying in the calm blue skies and dipping his wings to say everything is fine.
My story of why began many years ago.
You see, when I was in my early twenties life changed for me, my left hand began to shake when I would do tedious work. No one, not even doctors, could figure out what was happening and they, the doctors, believed I was nervous, and just needed to calm down and that, I have to say, made me furious.
Yes, I was a young mother and things were busy in my life, but I wasn't nervous, my left hand just shook and I couldn’t make it stop.
One day, standing at a Post Office window in Louisville, Kentucky changed my world. Up until that
point, I had handled the shakes and the stares, but... A simple form containing my name and address, that I was supposed to fill out, changed my life. I stood there, and not only my left hand was shaking but my right hand was waving in the air, with a line of people and the post office clerk staring at me in a confused and not so polite stare making my tremors go wild. Tears grew in my eyes and I tried to wipe them before they rolled down my face with my fluttering hand. I grabbed my package turned and ran out of the Post Office. I had tried to ignore my tremors and hadn't noticed or maybe just hadn't paid attention that my right hand had begun to tremor. I know it's difficult for many people to understand why it is so terrifying not to be able to write. Not only the humiliation, embarrassment, but feeling so inept, clumsy, a bumbling idiot.
I had to find answers. I worked diligently going to doctors and still had the same result, I was nervous. I knew I had to do something so I called and made an appointment with a neurologist. I told the nurse that my family doctor had sent me, which wasn't true because he didn't think anything was wrong with me.
My neurologist Dr. Holmes told me that I had Essential Tremors. This may sound weird, but I do have to say it was a huge relief just to know that I wasn't crazy and there was something wrong with me. He prescribed Inderal, a Beta blocker. I stayed on Inderal for years until my blood pressure kept dropping way too low and I had to stop the medicine. So, now, I'm off of all medicine and I just let my hands shake. In the last year, not only my hands tremor, but my head, voice, and I've noticed my legs and body will tremor when I get overly tired or stressed.
I’m lucky that my ET didn't progress as fast as so many people around the world has done. For years I thought I was all alone, the only person with ET. I hadn't heard of anyone else with my disorder, so I tried to hide my hands and not tell anyone. You see anyone with ET learns quickly to grip their hands together to keep them from tremoring. Of course, that doesn't make it easy to eat, drink, or do things out in public.
In 2010, my hands for some reason began to tremor worse and I'd had some confrontations with people about my hands shaking. If you know me, then you understand that I don’t sit back when someone says smart remarks to me; I have to say something back. Well, the kicker was, my worst confrontation was at my doctor’s office that I’d been going to for years. I assumed all the office staff understood what ET was. I was wrong. That will be another story for another time.
Months went by and for the first time in my life, the frustration grew just as my hands tremoring. I was so tired of trying to do tedious things that took twice as long. Simple things became difficult, like when I was recently at someone’s home and was offered a cappuccino, which I love, I had to decline the offer. I couldn't have held the small cup and would have splashed it everywhere. I began to pay attention to what I ordered in restaurants, since food on my fork or spoon could fly off before making it to my mouth and I never go to a buffet. Little things get to me, things we all take for granted, doing makeup, putting on jewelry, and even writing grocery notes that no one can read have become problematic. The stares make my hands tremor worse.
On December 18, 2010, which was my birthday, I went to my cubby office. I sat down at the computer to work on one of my books I was finishing, but my hands were tremoring uncontrollably. That night, I’d had enough; my frustration of my hands fluttering like bird’s wings over the keyboard was too much. I sat in my dark office and began to type. The first word appeared on the screen, Happy birthday dumb ass, and Quad Witherspoon, an artist that develops ET believing his life is over since he can’t paint his masterpieces anymore, became alive right in front of me. “A Faded Cottage”a novel I hadn't planned to write, was born that December night. “A Faded Cottage” was published in 2013 and it has become a vehicle to share to the world about living with ET.
Time moved on and I found out, by searching the internet, I wasn't alone and over 10 million Americans and millions worldwide have been diagnosed with Essential Tremor. I began to ask people; do you know what Essential Tremor is? My answer 99% of the time has been no. How can this be? I wanted more answers.
Over the last year, I've become an activist and adamant to bring awareness to the world about living with ET. I decided to show my tremoring hands and not try to hide them anymore, even though it is very difficult at times.
I had to get the word out there about ET and to make this happen I started my own foundation, the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor, a Non-Profit public organization 501 c(3) to bring awareness .
We have to get the word out there to make this happen. I can’t do this alone and I do have others joining DSF, but I need your help. Please give and support all you can, any size donation no matter how small whatever you can to make this happen. www.diannshaddoxfoundation.org
This is a short collection of stores from people who are living with Essential Tremor. Most people take for granted these everyday things. For me my tremoring hands make applying makeup very difficult and simple things like, when I'm baking, measuring spices in a spoon most of the time the spices will end up on the counter.
Here are a few stories from real people living with ET.
I have found that since my tremors have gotten sever, cannot open a simple pull-tab so I can get in to the object in the first place.
Using a weed wacker, a hedge trimmer or, for that matter, anything hand held with a motor that vibrates
knocks me out of commission forhours. Not only do I shake out of control but I get a "buzzing" sensation in both of my hands that can last for days.
Inserting a key in a lock.....
Oh how about going target shooting? I was invited to go to a local shooting range and that was totally out
of the question.
Men don't talk about how it affects them emotionally as much ... but there is often a fear that others will think they are weak or incapable or not good enough. That can be extremely difficult to overcome. It affects more than just the physical ... just a thought.
Hair cuts, shaking head. Dental work is difficult too.
Signing for parcels was one for me, I said I was as an alcoholic, I am,! in my 28th year of recovery. Though it`s not much help, once I found out it was ET and got some wrist bands, I could tell people why I was trembling. A woman at an AA meeting kept remarking `why was I shaking?`, I said I’d had a stroke! I`m not pleased with myself saying that, but you with ET will understand, I hope.......
It is a social stigmatism, various societies place on the role women and men should play, often ingrained from so
many social influences.Volumes have been wrote about this. Then throw in medical/mental perceptions from people who don't even know us. Personally I feel if we spent more time notworrying what others thought our stress levels would go down 100 fold.
I tell people i have ET and say it is similar to Parkinson’s. Having lived with ET as long as I can remember, it doesn't bother me what people think.
Threading a needle can be a huge problem.
I have to mail order my prescriptions. When I call in a refill, at the end, the person I'm talking to says, "Here's your
confirmation number." I then tell them to forget it because they would have to repeat it about five times before I could get all the numbers and then wouldn't be able to read them, since I have Essential Tremor that affects my
hands. They now send me an email with the number on it.
Carrying a plate of food at a buffet. Carrying a tray with an open container beverage. Going up stairs with a plate of food because you need one hand for the rail and two for the plate. Everyone assumes I'm nervous because my hands shake;
My husband sometimes complains that he's not in any family photos because I don't take pictures.
Everyone else can snap a photo with their smart phones so easily and I need to brace the camera against something stable, at least.
One hiked up a mountain and found I couldn't look through mybinoculars at anything in the distance because I couldn't hold them still enough.
Another: pouring liquid into a small opening is a challenge. That applies to adding engine fluids. I must use a funnel and even then spill sometimes.
One other thing, before I retired I would have to give a presentation occasionally. If I was in charge I would set up a podium with an attached mic. If some handed me one, I would usually have to hold it with both hands. If any of you youngsters remember Howard Cosell, he was a sportscaster on Monday
I have relatively mild ET, but some things are hard: taking a picture with a cell phone, using a screw driver when it's in an awkward position or over my head, clipping my nails.
I can't play games on the Wii any more with my kids, along with all the above
I can't look through a telescope any more :(
One thing I forgot to mention and that is when I have a Dr. appointment and it's going to require filling out
paperwork, I tell them I have ET and ask for them to mail it to me before the appointment. I've had a couple that told me they couldn't do that. I said. "OK, but you will have to have someone to help me." And they did.....
I have a hard time getting my earrings on.
Putting on a necklace.
These are just a few things people with ET have problems with. If you'd like to add your story, short or long about living with ET, Dystonia or Parkinson's please send them to email@example.com
Please donate to DSF and remember every dollar counts. DSF will use the funds to bring awareness and send grants to doctors for research to find a cause and cure.
Go to my Website Life with ET and read more.