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Posts tagged ‘essential tremor’

Quivering with anticipation

Nope, actually it’s something called essential tremors.

My dad, for a number of corporate political reasons, recently and abruptly retired. My step-mother is still working and enjoying her job, so they haven’t moved. But since they live in the Middle East where a stay-at-home husband is practically unknown, his social opportunities are limited. One thing he’s chosen to do with his excess time and excellent non-US insurance is to have a number of health issues looked into, just in case.

My hands shake. Recently I was carrying a plate into the living room to eat dinner and watch The Voice. My hand was shaking hard enough to make the fork clatter against the plate. I thought I was just hungry. I used to assume that my hands shook because of my asthma medicine. Which, if you’ve ever taken albuterol is a perfectly reasonable assumption. It does make you shake. Of course, I haven’t taken medication of any sort for asthma in years. But there’s always something that would make it perfectly reasonable.

My dad’s hands also shake. It’s one of those things he was getting checked out. And, you know, my grandmother’s hands shook, and later in life her head jerked a bit and her voice quavered.

Essential Tremors is one of those things they diagnose by your symptom not being caused by anything else they have a test for. Parkinson’s is a biggie that it looks like, but apparently the Parkinson’s test is readily available and quite definitive. It’s not that. Essential Tremors is also genetically dominant. Like Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder, which causes me and my father’s other biological children* to naturally get up at the crack of dawn and to fall asleep about an hour before the party ever really gets started. There are no dedicated treatments for this, it doesn’t have a high enough profile. There are some medications that can help, but oh, get this, they are contraindicated for asthmatics. I’m sensing a cosmic joke here.

Me: “So, you’re saying that we have another highly irritating medical condition that can’t be treated except by drugs we can’t take.”

Dad: “Yeah, that’s about the size of it.”

Me: “Gosh, isn’t this fun.”

And then I gently explained that in my next life, I was really going to have to find a new genetics purveyor.

 

*See, I have siblings who are not my father’s biological children, hence the cumbersome description rather than just saying ‘my siblings’.

 

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