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Old 05-24-2012, 10:40 AM   #1
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I don't have Parkinsons!

Well, I have been sweating balls for five weeks of tests and blood analysis, because my tremor, which I have had all my life went nuclear over the past three years. More recently, it got to the point where it became embarrassing to eat out or be put in the position of having to do something as simple as signing a fucking credit card receipt.

My GP did what he could but could not seem to come up with a definitive diagnosis so he passed me off to a neurologist, who by the way, sits on the board of my gun club. So this guy does around an hours worth of cognitive and physical examinations both himself, and using assistants. After that he sent me for some imaging tests and took around a half gallon of blood to examine in great detail.

The long and short of it is that I have something called Essential Tremor, which is apparently more ubiquitous than I thought. Well, after all the tests and whatnot, they gave me a pretty healthy dose of Inderal and the tremors have stopped. I mean COMPLETELY.

It is amazing what we become "used to" and what we are able to adapt to as regards infirmities, because I have been adjusting to the increasing tremors for a few years now, but became angry when I went to a local joint with some friends called Thai Thai, and ordered miso soup with my meal. As it turned out, I could not eat the soup, no matter how hard I tried to control the tremor I spilled the soup back in the bowl. Well, that was the last straw. I saw my GP who gave me a weak beta blocker, which initially abated the tremor about 35%, which at the time was a major victory, but in retrospect was merely a break from the pain of the embarrassment, which was what I really needed.

In the end, the Inderal was and is the ticket, with a 99% improvement in symptoms.

I figured I would share this because apparently 1% or more of the population has this malady, and with a little persuasion your GP can actually make your symptoms completely disappear.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:45 AM   #2
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Great News!!!
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:56 AM   #3
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When you go through times like these, you realize that health is much more important than money and fancy things
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:01 PM   #4
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Absolutely! It also reinforces my belief that we should all have at least a years worth of any prescription meds we need for when the balloon goes up. We have a supply of emergency antibiotics, several classes actually, so we should have no problems there. We also have a significant supply of anti-fungals because as everyone knows, the humidity and moisture in Florida will rot the skin right off of your body. in addition to these, i have a full pint jar of Silvadene, a silver based antimicrobial/antibiotic cream that is the best in the world as a topocal for cuts, abrasions, surface fungus, et. al.

so, now all I have to do is ask for some back-up for the Inderal, which should be relatively easy since I now have a GP and a neurologist. I just need to get them both writing the same prescription thinking the other is not writing it.
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
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Awesome news, Ancona! The main things I need to live are my brain, senses, and hands, and losing one...not good.

I have had the experience more than once where I will be admitted to a hospital to get tests because some dumb GP doesn't want to think.

They never yet have found anything useful except the ability to produce amazing bills.

Then I just go to another GP, and in 20 seconds they have me figured out and cured.

This has happened maybe 3 times in my life.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:36 PM   #6
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That's awesome-great news!
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:01 PM   #7
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yeah its tempting to assume its something bad but its better to go with the most likely explanation.
Sometimes it takes too fu**ing long though and you end up accomodating the symptoms.

Great to learn that its not life threatening and that the fix is readily available Ancona.

Many moons ago, I lost the ability to grip with my left hand, struggled to change gear ( cars in the uk need this ) and was really worried it was MS or something orrible.
Turned out to be the effect of breaking some ribs, which had tweaked the nerves in the spinal chord.

Took a herbalist and a back specialist to diagnose and fix.

And as has been said, it makes you realise what is important.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:29 PM   #8
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Ancona, you might want to look into whether you are short on the B vitamins. Shortages of them are known to cause muscle spasms. Another thing known to be connected with spasms is insufficient magnesium (chlorophyll) in the diet.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:43 AM   #9
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I had to look it up because I'm not familiar with the condition:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001768/

I didn't see Inderal listed on the NIH page as a treatment, so I looked that up too (note the warning at the top of the page):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000727/

If your tremors are related to high blood pressure, I second mmerlinn's comment about magnesium. You might find this info (halfway down the page) about the difference between total magnesium and ionized magnesium concentrations in the blood of interest:

http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc98/8_29_98/food.htm

Just FYI and worth discussing with your doctor(s).
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:47 AM   #10
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I join the parade, ancona, in letting you know that I am happy that this health problem is easily managed. I too am at the age where "more stuff is going to start going wrong."

It's nice to hear the good stories too!
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:05 AM   #11
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Believe me 'fellas, I have done pretty exhaustive research and testing to figure this annoying mother fucker out! i have had every blood and metabolic test known to mankind, I have had a full body ultrasound, and MRI from the hips up, a PET scan of my brain, cognitive abilities tests, reflexologics, nerve conduction/induction[?] tests, and on and on and on.

Ordinarily, I would not share something as personal as a medical problem on-line, but my experience may be mirrored by others on the board, or by folks with friends on these boards.

That said, i like to think that I am just a skosh smarter than the average bear, and have exhaustively searched for an organic reason for this malady, and I like to think that there are no environmental influences that I may have overlooked, but being near fifty years old, I am quite sure that I have likely missed one or two things that could have influenced this condition.

This is called essential tremor or familial tremor, and many folks who have it will never experience the symptoms at levels as extreme as I have. On the other hand, the very small minority who do have pronounced tremor that affects daily activities and fine motor control, I would say that all of the above commentary is valid, and a deep background investigation in to possible chemical exposures, environmental exposures and occupational exposures to any materials at or above the Personnel Exposure Limit [PEL] should be examined in detail to see if the tremor can in any way be attributed to that exposure.

In my case, it is simply a benign idiopathic tremor, and I will have to deal with it.

As they say, "Life's a bitch and then we die". C'est la vie, mon amie. ; - )
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:36 AM   #12
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Great news to hear that you dodged a big health bullet!

I just went through a skin cancer scare. Not cool, but it makes you appreciate life more when you get a good diagnosis back. (I'm fine, BTW)
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:50 PM   #13
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Interesting.

I had something like this and it was driving me nuts for a long time. It was accompanied by ringing ears. The GPs were clueless, and it was suggested to me on more than one occasion that it 'psychological'. Ok, thanks for the advice. So I shortcut the 'health process' and started editing my diet / lifestyle.

I cut out all alcohol, caffeine and dodged work stress as much as possible for a couple of months - the problem went away. I don't know exactly what was causing it but generally I wasn't looking after myself as I should. It was also a lesson in how good we can be at rationalizing or ignoring our own flaws.

(I still indulge from time to time, but at least now I correlate the cause and effect and look after myself a lot better)
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by h4rdware View Post:
... It was accompanied by ringing ears. ...
Tinnitus. Can be exacerbated by high blood pressure and/or deficiency of magnesium.
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:14 AM   #15
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Thanks PMBug. Now that I have started looking at this, it does all begin to make sense. It's a sad day when you have to log into your favourite PM forum to get medical info.

Ancona - glad to hear you beat the tremor! It's a worrying and infuriating thing even if it's mild, especially for somebody who uses their hands a lot. When it's as bad as that it must be very scary.

DCF - regarding lazy doctors, I've also noticed this willingness to book tests and prescribe drugs 'just in case' - the kitchen sink method. They try a shitload of stuff in what seems like a random order until they think they are getting a result. In my line of work, that gets you identified and fired pretty fast. It's actually a form of antipattern and can cause compounding error and feedback, at which point you're pretty lost in a fog of the original problem and a bunch of potential new problems.

(At my place we try to encourage people to diagnose without debugging tools, to tune the process of elimination, and it works - I diagnose most faults by flicking through code, asking questions and 'thinking').

I have seen doctors work like this, but it must be less than 1% IMO. I guess many get overloaded by the sheer number of people they see, but others are just *bad*.
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:24 AM   #16
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P.S. the doctor knew it was Tinitus, and referred to it as such. However they also claimed that Tinitus is an 'umbrella term' for ringing ears and they don't really know what causes it. So they won't treat it. No mention of magnesium. Sent me for hearing tests (negative). End of conversation. Interesting process huh?
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:50 AM   #17
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From what I hear of the UK medical system, that's pretty typical.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by PMBug View Post:
From what I hear of the UK medical system, that's pretty typical.
Perfect example of a one size fits all system where everyone gets rewarded equally regardless of abilities or results. Socialism at its best.

Reminds me of this:

Free internet (or whatever): Everyone gets unequal amounts of everything.
Socialist internet (or whatever): Everyone gets equal amounts of nothing.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:32 AM   #19
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Wishing you the best Ancona. Good to hear you are doing well.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:52 PM   #20
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Enjoy every day!

Good to hear man.

Had a scare of my own this past week. Went to Bogota to take care of some stuff and also to see the city more. Walked up the Monserrate(big church on top of a mountain) on a Monday. Bad idea. Apparently you are only suppose to go on Sundays if you are not a local. There were still a bunch of people though. Was really a great hike, walked up for 2500 meters in elevation. Almost to the top and get mugged by guys in ski masks with guns. The Colombian guy I was next to starts running so I just reacted and followed him. No way the guys would have caught up because we were running so fast but I see the Colombian guy turn around and he lets out this screech. So I turn around also and one of the guys is aiming his gun right at us. So I kinda trip up and fall on the ground and drop my bag just to give him a reason not to shoot and continue running.

The whole thing was kinda surreal. Anyway enjoy everyday you have. Take it easy.
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