Handwriting going down the drain

Hi all,

Although my arms are only very slightly affected, I’ve noticed over the years that my handwriting is deteriorating. The curious thing is that it’s getting worse one letter at a time! First I had trouble forming an s - the bottom half didn’t come out right. Then I had trouble with m - the middle vertical bit wouldn’t come out right. Now I’m having enormous difficulty forming a nice n - it’s just weirdly mis-shapen - and I can’t get e right: the hollow bit at the top comes out all wrong.

Has anyone else had this sort of creeping problem, letter by letter?


Hi Chris,

You are not alone in this. When I was younger I won prizes for my handwriting now one can barely read it. Blinking pest it is. Just another of ms querks.



Hi Chris,

Afraid I had exactly that issue starting about 18 months ago.

Now I can no longer hold a pen/pencil (no dexterity/grip/fine control in hand any more) so writing is no longer do-able. About the same time, I started to have issues speaking too, so communicating with others is - at best - hesitant and difficult. At worst, I now find it physically impossible. (Best I can do these days is type slowly with one hand.)

Weird thing is, I can do all of this perfectly in my head and in my dreams. Just operating in the waking-world lets me down!!

I’m so sorry not to be able to offer any words of encouragement, but it looks like yet another way MS can f*ck up normal processes!

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Hi all I am exactly the same but I fear I will be arrested for fraud as

my signature on credit card bears no resemblance to the way I write it now


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I have this problem too. I was given a toblerone shaped sponge gripper to put on the bottom of my pen which has improved it very slightly. My signature is awful too. May have to change my surname to something with 3 letters in it! I used to be a damned neat writer too.

I’ve noticed the same. Now I have to one finger type whereas I used to be an easy writer or quick on keyboard

Hi, I find it really tires my hand to write letters now. Typing is much easier.

luv Pollx

I have noticed i have developed a tremor when writting so it all looks very shakey. Also find it dificult to put letters in right place and have this problem when speaking as well it all comes out jumbled up

Yep, I too have this problem. My neurologist called it an intentional hand tremor ! Whatever it’s proper name, it’s yet another pain in the neck ! I find it helps a little to steady your writing hand with your other hand though it is a slow process ! Friend n family now know they’re honoured if I write them their birthday/christmas card !

Hello there Chris,any doctor would be proud of my hand writing,and it is only getting worse.Using a pencil seems to help,'praps 'cos it doesn’t slide around as much.However,it is useful when filling in forms for THEM.It takes numerous attempts which is handy for the neuron and by the time I’ve used a few different black pens the final product looks as if the Epileptic Spiders Society held their annual disco in THEIR nasty little booklet.

I’ve always thought that down loading the form and typing the answers shows a high degree of computer literacy,the kind that employers like.

Be lucky,


i know exactly what you mean. my typing is faster than my handwriting, but being a teacher i have to write in books and you lose face if you’re writing comments about the bad state of THEIR handwriting when YOURS looks like a spider has had a fit on the page. eyes aren’t great for close computer work either.

i also have trouble typing fast or accurately. so far these are the effects of ms which have been the worst for me- i know that everyone experiences MS in their own way but i feel for you. hope things are more positive for you since your posting.

cheers fluffyollie :0)

people used to ask me to write their wedding place cards because my writing was nice,

oh how times have changed!

i took up painting and it helped me to get some fine motor control back.

my painting won’t win any prizes but an unsteady hand can be put down to artistic license!

doctors spend years in university learning how to write like a spider so we have that over them!

carole x


i have not written for 2 1/2 yrs now. however last night i decided i would try and write cards. it took me 3/4 mins to manage to and from! apart from the physical issues i struggled to remember where to start the letters-such as my s was front to back.

why bother you may ask?! for the past 2 years i didnt bother with cards but am imaging their face when they open card this year! (will get son to address envelopes!)


oh-yes i do get totally what u r saying!

Back in my days as an undergraduate (late '80s actually), I could write at an average of 14 words per line on an A4 notepad.
Now? Don’t ask!

There are two tricks that might be of use:

1 - Write a little larger. One characteristic of a loss of fine motor control is a tendency to write smaller (like my 14 words a line). This is most noticeable in people with Parkinsons, actually, but it can come to all of us. So try to make the letters larger.

2 - Use both hands! Rest your writing arm (pen or pencil held normally) on the desk or table, so that it is on the muscle. Grip your forearm with the other hand. Now use the other hand to move the writing arm (sort of wobbling on the muscle) for all the gross movements, so that the writing arm only has to cope with the fine stuff. No good for writing a novel, but quite good for times when a signature is required.


I lost a good deal of fine motor control of most fingers in a bad relapse many years ago and only got a bit of it back, so it was sudden for me rather than gradual. Beyond signing my name and scrawling a line to the milk man or similar, I do not write any more. Fortunately I can still type, although I need a proper old-fashioned key-board to do it, and never recovered my touch-typing speed or accuracy on account of that damage. MS really is a horrid pest.


I only really write longhand now for greeting cards, and for taking notes in college (a grand total of two hours a week!)

I have noticed that not only is my writing messier (it wasn’t good to start with), but I am leaving letters out, and having to go back and insert them. That’s OK for college notes, which are for me and no-one else, but not OK to send out cards with obvious corrections in, so sometimes I have to take the precaution of buying two birthday cards (not the same), in case I mess one up. If I get it right first time, I can keep the other for another occasion, but if it goes wrong, I have a spare. Ridiculous having to think this way!



Tina, I’ve several times had to start again on a second card. It’s not only annoying, it’s expensive!

I find it helps to use an old fashioned fountain pen, I really can write a lot more legibly with that than a ball-point. The only problem is finding the thing.


Yes, totally agree about the expense! Incredibly, a card can be the best part of a fiver now, if it’s a special one for a mum or sister, and not just any old run-of-the-mill greetings card. And then you sit down and mess it up!

I’ve never been able to write with a fountain pen - couldn’t hold it right, even before MS. So probably not the solution in my case. But I agree it does make a difference which pen you use. I have learnt not to just grab the first that comes to hand, as some make the problem worse.


Of course, there is always the option of sending an e-card, especially to those you know are often on-line. They can be fun, and don’t involve any writing, but do lack the personal touch. When I was a child, I would often open a birthday card to find a ten shilling note inside - what a thrill! You don’t get that with an e-card.


I use either ‘funkypigeon.com’ or ‘moonpig.com’ for any greetings cards nowadays.

Cards are a bit more expensive than buying them in shops, but this allows me personalise, electronically sign, and post them either back to me (if I want to enclose/seal/deliver personally) or direct to recipient.

This service is perfect for me as I couldn’t manage this type of activity at all any more and am more than happy to pay a little more for it !!