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Old 01-07-2011, 07:09 AM
norinew norinew is offline
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The Up Sides to Non-Essential Tremors

My entire family (so it seems) are inflicted with non-essential tremors. This means our hands shake, sometimes quite badly, but the tremors aren't associated with anything that's dangerous or anything, hence the 'non-essential' part. I have meds to quell the tremors, but the meds are benzodiazapines, and I'm wary of taking too much of that crap, plus I won't take it and drive. So I just live with it, unless the tremors get so bad I can't really function.

So, a few days ago, I was having a really bad spell, and I popped a little pill, and was laying in bed, drifting off to sleep, thinking of the good things about these tremors:
1. No need for a blender, really; the kid wants a Smoothie? Great. Pop some frozen yogurt and berries in a glass, hand the glass to Mom when she's shaking real bad, BAM, Smoothie! (be sure to put newspapers or other protective coverings on floor!)
2. When I was at my sister's house for Thanksgiving, she handed me a carton of heavy cream and asked me to make the whipped cream for the pies; before I could pour the cream into the bowl, we had fresh butter!
3. It amuses my friends, and gets me free food. My friends love to invite me over for dinner and then serve things that they think will amuse them if my shakes are bad. Soup, bowl filled to the brim? Score. Fill my wine glass all the way to the top and watch me try to figure out how to get a drink of it without staining my shirt? Score. Ask me to help carve the roast? Well, not so much of a score, since they end up having to clean up the blood.
4. My kitties think of my tremors as 'auto-scritching'. They will align their bodies accordingly.
5. If I ever decide to go to medical school, I've already got the illegible handwriting thing down pat.

I may think of more later.

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  #2  
Old 01-07-2011, 07:11 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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On its way out these days - quick Polaroid development?
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:18 AM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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Dad had them. Grandma had them. I see signs that I may be developing them, but they are not yet severe. Depends on the day.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:32 AM
Moonlitherial Moonlitherial is offline
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I have them too. I haven't medicated yet since they're not bad enough to do anything other than destroy my handwriting and make eating rice an exercise in futility. It takes a while when I meet new people for them to realize that I'm not nervous, but otherwise there's no real impact to my life.

I was told that it was likely genetic but neither of my parents has them. Hmmm, this adds credence to my "switched at birth" theory.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:45 AM
norinew norinew is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
On its way out these days - quick Polaroid development?
They would also be useful for those cultured Southern Ladies of yore, sitting on their front porches in scorching heat, with their folding fans. . .

Moonlitherial, my father had them really bad. He did quite a bit of traveling when he was in the military. How old are you? Could you be a long-lost sibling?
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:29 AM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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My father-in-law has essential tremors. I never knew there was such a thing as non-essential tremors until now. It sounds so ..... pointless.

The other night I watched him at dinner, his hand bouncing furiously on the table and his head lulled slightly to the side. I was certain he was drumming out some mad tune in his head that the rest of us will never hear.

My condolences to anyone with tremors, it looks exhausting.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:12 AM
norinew norinew is offline
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Originally Posted by shiftless View Post
My father-in-law has essential tremors. I never knew there was such a thing as non-essential tremors until now. It sounds so ..... pointless.

The other night I watched him at dinner, his hand bouncing furiously on the table and his head lulled slightly to the side. I was certain he was drumming out some mad tune in his head that the rest of us will never hear.

My condolences to anyone with tremors, it looks exhausting.
It feels pretty pointless, honestly. That's why I make jokes about it. It's just what I do. Or, you could say, 'that's just the way I shake, rattle and roll'.
Mostly, my tremors affect my hands and my feet. Some things definitely make them worse. They used to get horrible during my period. My feet are much more likely to move uncontrollably when they're cold, which is why you'll almost always find me with a pair of socks on once the calendar passes September. I even sleep with socks on. My feet have tremored so severely on occasion that I've woken with pain in my ankles!
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:29 AM
Moonlitherial Moonlitherial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norinew View Post
They would also be useful for those cultured Southern Ladies of yore, sitting on their front porches in scorching heat, with their folding fans. . .

Moonlitherial, my father had them really bad. He did quite a bit of traveling when he was in the military. How old are you? Could you be a long-lost sibling?

I'm 43 and Canadian but the real issue with my theory is that I am very like my father and my son, brother and father could be triplets. It's my mother that's the oddity

My favorite use for the tremors is as task assignment facilitator. Could you carry that tray please, I would but...

I'm really glad you posted this - when I originally talked to the doctor I didn't ask any questions about what they could be medicated with since I was completely uninterested in taking anything at that point. My husband has been pointing out recently that they've been getting worse and encouraging me to go and see the doctor again to ask questions. I'm going to use the wiki entry on benzodiazapines to support my justificiation that it's still too soon to worry about the side effects.

For me I really only notice it in my hands, and usually only when I'm holding something. I can give a presentation and gesture without anyone noticing, but if I'm holding a paper in my hand it shakes enough to make me look like I've got stage fright.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:29 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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I sometimes have tremors.

When I play my violin, I've got awesome vibrato.

The tremors add a whole new dimension to masturbation.

I save electricity by not needing an electric toothbrush.

I'm the official Shake 'n' Bake chef.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:44 AM
cjepson cjepson is offline
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Pete Townshend agrees with you. Mary-Anne with the Shaky Hands
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2011, 11:55 AM
norinew norinew is offline
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
I sometimes have tremors.

When I play my violin, I've got awesome vibrato.

The tremors add a whole new dimension to masturbation.

I save electricity by not needing an electric toothbrush.

I'm the official Shake 'n' Bake chef.
Heh. Yep, haven't had to buy batteries for my vibrator in years. It's also a great 'getting sex started with the hubby' line: "Come on, baby, we've got to go to bed right now while my hands can still move this fast!"
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:19 PM
Demo Demo is offline
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FYI: I don't think there is anything called "non-essential" tremors. They're called essential tremors and they generally present under muscle stress unlike a Parkinson-type tremor that presents at rest (though ET and Parkinson's may be related).

A number of people in my family, including myself, have them and they range from pretty mild to severe (my aunt has to wear a bib when she eats). I have them and I start IVs every day, so they're obviously not too bad yet but don't ask me to play a game of Operation after doing some push-ups. :P

My mom's mom had pretty vigorous tremors and we always joked that the neighbors could hear it when Nana got a cup of coffee (because of the clinking of the cup and saucer).

BTW, there's a really great information and support association called the International Essential Tremor Foundation. There are some interesting new treatments available for people who have bad tremors and there's even software for people with hand tremors to help them use a mouse. Don't let tremors keep you from posting to the Dope.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:26 PM
Demo Demo is offline
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Oh, I forgot the BEST part about having ET: Not that I need an excuse, but alcohol is a quite effective treatment for these kind of tremors.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:22 PM
GythaOgg GythaOgg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demo View Post
FYI: I don't think there is anything called "non-essential" tremors. They're called essential tremors and they generally present under muscle stress unlike a Parkinson-type tremor that presents at rest (though ET and Parkinson's may be related).

A number of people in my family, including myself, have them and they range from pretty mild to severe (my aunt has to wear a bib when she eats). I have them and I start IVs every day, so they're obviously not too bad yet but don't ask me to play a game of Operation after doing some push-ups. :P

My mom's mom had pretty vigorous tremors and we always joked that the neighbors could hear it when Nana got a cup of coffee (because of the clinking of the cup and saucer).

BTW, there's a really great information and support association called the International Essential Tremor Foundation. There are some interesting new treatments available for people who have bad tremors and there's even software for people with hand tremors to help them use a mouse. Don't let tremors keep you from posting to the Dope.
This. I see a neurologist who's a specialist in movement disorders for mine (I found him through the ITF after the tremor I've had since age 10 got bad enough to bother me around age 40). Inderal - 80mg twice a day - is keeping them under control enough for me to function, but I've moved out of hospital nursing. I was never very good at IV starts and venipuncture anyhow, and now the only person I have to give injections to is myself and I don't make myself nervous. :-) Interestingly enough, I don't like using an autoinjector for my Simponi - I'm just too much of a control freak about it.

The condition used to be called 'Benign Essential Tremor', but they removed the word 'benign' on realizing that for many people it affects their functioning enough to be a problem.
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