Hand tremors

Posted by basketcase @basketcase, Dec 8, 2018

Hi Im not sure if this has been discussed before please point me in the right direction if it has. I ve been having hand tremors for a few years now and I reckon its getting worse. I have been on Chlolipmarine Hydrochloride for about 20 years for anxiety, depression and obsessive thinking. They have always worked for me but i think one of the side effects is hand tremors. Ive had blood tests and all ok there. the Doctor suggested coming off the CH and trying Sertraline, which I did but just felt like sleeping all the time, so back to CH. Its like Ive got too much adrenaline! It is worse in company and at work even though Im not stressed or anxious. As Im typing this my hands are shaking. It doesn’t stop me doing anything but its annoying and I often have to drink holding the cup or glass with both hands and my writing is awful. My Uncle had awful hand tremors but was also on antidepressants, my mother too but less so. Any advice would be most welcome.

Liked by Dee, kleelibby

How old are you all? I am 83, and all my female friends my age seem to have ET. We just thought it came with the territory

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I'm 72. I used to watch an English comedy on TV called "Keeping Up Appearances." One of the actresses used to shake when she visited her neighbor. The teacup and saucer would rattle from her nervous tremors. I used to laugh and laugh. Then one day I visited a friend of my mothers. She rattled the cups and saucers too. I thought she had seen the TV show and was imitating the actress and I burst out laughing. That turned out to be an embarrassing moment. She had tremors for real. Now that I have tremors, it doesn't seem so funny any more. I'm just thankful tremors don't hurt.

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I am 63 and first noticed it in my mid-fifties. Progression has been slow, which I am thankful for.

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Mine was diagnosed when I was 52 and I am now 67. It seems to mostly effect my left hand and I am left handed. Other than my hand writing getting quite poor, it really has not effected me holding a cup of coffee or working with tools. I'm retired now, but worked as a carpenter my whole life. Jim@thankful

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I'm 81 and have had ET since about age 60. I have tried different adaptions, including writing with my left hand (I'm right handed). It worked for a few years, but now both hands have ET. My answer has been the computer, where I do just fine. Often when asked to write or print, I just ask the requester to do that for me and explain that I have ET. My signature is a scribble, but it is accepted by all. I don't have pain and don't take meds. Has anyone heard of a device for ET called Calo Trio? It's a hand device, now approved, that helps with hand tremors. Thanks.

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@jlind– I've not heard of tha device. Do you have issues with ET beyond your hand writing? For me as I mentioned in my earlier post my hand writing seems to be the thing mostly effected by ET. I am no where needing to add anoth script for something like this as yet. When my Neurololgist 1st diagnosed me a bunch of years ago he said it could get worst or remain the same. I would say its barely worst then diagnosed. The other times I notice a difference is when I exert myself such as doing some physical chores around the yard or exercising. I find the best time for hand writing for me is in the morning. I agree with you that most of my communications takes place on my laptop or phone. Still have the dexterity for that. I would say for a young man at 81 you are in pretty good shape! Jim@thankful

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Glad you connected with @thankful, @jlind. I'd also like to invite other members who were involved in this discussion on hand tremors to return and offer any insights about your right hand tremor and handwriting, and also about whether they are familiar with a device called Calo Trio. Please meet @kathystl @amomynous @jl1 @oakbourne and @hopeful33250.

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@amomynous

How old are you all? I am 83, and all my female friends my age seem to have ET. We just thought it came with the territory

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Seems like to some extent you are absolutely correct, @amomynous, according to this Mayo Clinic article on essential tremor that indicates age is a risk factor, with it occuring more commonly in those ages 40 and older https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/essential-tremor/symptoms-causes/syc-20350534.

@sadnancy – do you find yourself employing any strategies to manage the tremor?

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Yes, in addition to hand writing, I have some difficulty in handling dishes when one hand is holding the plate and the other is placing food on the plate. Answer: don't put too much food on the plate. Also, regarding hand writing being better in the early morning. Why is that? Maybe it's because we are more rested and are calmer; haven't yet worried about all the things that we want to do or have to do. I have also discovered another situation that works for me. I work out every day and then take a nap in the early afternoon. After waking, I am much better at writing than even in the morning. So levels of anxiety must play a role……….for me at least. I also use a "therapy dough" to strengthen my hands. It reduces tension and probably some anxiety. Working out, however much or little, has to have benefits. For me, it reduces tension and helps muscle strength as well as general health. And, I sleep better.

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i use the other hand to brace the right hand or the object i am handling. one really nice adjustment is having my sons set the double click speed on my computer so that i don't accidentally double click. also, when using a fork with the right hand, i inconspicuously use the left hand to hold my right arm near the elbow.

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I was in an appointment with a neurologist, and before I left I told him about my handshake. That was the first time I heard of essential tremor. That was a long time ago, and it isn't a whole lot worse now. The challenges I have are with painting (painting a straight line, especially on windows and other trim), carrying a cup of coffee from the kitchen to my recliner and clearing the dishes from the table or setting the table. As I've read from a number of people here, I hold things with both hands, and when I'm painting, I steady my right (dominant) hand with my left hand. I find that if I can rest my wrist on something to stabilize my hand, I don't shake as much. It does make my wife nervous sometimes when the dishes I'm carrying are noisily rattling, and I have wiped up splashes of coffee on the floor.

Jim

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@lisalucier

Seems like to some extent you are absolutely correct, @amomynous, according to this Mayo Clinic article on essential tremor that indicates age is a risk factor, with it occuring more commonly in those ages 40 and older https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/essential-tremor/symptoms-causes/syc-20350534.

@sadnancy – do you find yourself employing any strategies to manage the tremor?

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Nothing productive. When my arms flap in the morning I just watch them. I find it amusing that my arms fly up in the air without me doing anything. I feel like a puppet and someone is pulling the strings. When I am playing cards in a group setting, I feel terribly embarrassed that my hands tremble and don't always do what I want them to do. I think most of the card players know I have PD. To be realistic, as long as I'm pleasant and don't cheat, probably no one cares about the tremors. The other occasions that cause me embarrassment are the meals that I eat in restaurants or even in my own home if someone joins me for a meal. I've been noticing that I take large bites of food and I think it's because I want to get it all in as fast as possible and just maybe I won't spill this time. Once the food is gone, I can relax. And here's my usual comment, "Tremors don't hurt."

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@jlind

Yes, in addition to hand writing, I have some difficulty in handling dishes when one hand is holding the plate and the other is placing food on the plate. Answer: don't put too much food on the plate. Also, regarding hand writing being better in the early morning. Why is that? Maybe it's because we are more rested and are calmer; haven't yet worried about all the things that we want to do or have to do. I have also discovered another situation that works for me. I work out every day and then take a nap in the early afternoon. After waking, I am much better at writing than even in the morning. So levels of anxiety must play a role……….for me at least. I also use a "therapy dough" to strengthen my hands. It reduces tension and probably some anxiety. Working out, however much or little, has to have benefits. For me, it reduces tension and helps muscle strength as well as general health. And, I sleep better.

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@jlind. I agree with you about anxiety. I have found that my first reaction to a symptom is anxiety causing the symptom to get worse and the anxiety increases. My handwriting seems to be different every time I pick up a pen. I never know if it will be normal, tiny, or unreadable. I had such difficulty writing checks last month that I asked my son to take care of that chore from now on. Typing is easier for me although sometimes my fingers jump and land on the wrong key. When it gets unmanageable, I'll use the verbal typing as I do when I text. My fingers usually don't hit the right letters on the cell phone.

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@sadnancy

Nothing productive. When my arms flap in the morning I just watch them. I find it amusing that my arms fly up in the air without me doing anything. I feel like a puppet and someone is pulling the strings. When I am playing cards in a group setting, I feel terribly embarrassed that my hands tremble and don't always do what I want them to do. I think most of the card players know I have PD. To be realistic, as long as I'm pleasant and don't cheat, probably no one cares about the tremors. The other occasions that cause me embarrassment are the meals that I eat in restaurants or even in my own home if someone joins me for a meal. I've been noticing that I take large bites of food and I think it's because I want to get it all in as fast as possible and just maybe I won't spill this time. Once the food is gone, I can relax. And here's my usual comment, "Tremors don't hurt."

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@sadnancy I like your positive attitude.

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@sadnancy

@jlind. I agree with you about anxiety. I have found that my first reaction to a symptom is anxiety causing the symptom to get worse and the anxiety increases. My handwriting seems to be different every time I pick up a pen. I never know if it will be normal, tiny, or unreadable. I had such difficulty writing checks last month that I asked my son to take care of that chore from now on. Typing is easier for me although sometimes my fingers jump and land on the wrong key. When it gets unmanageable, I'll use the verbal typing as I do when I text. My fingers usually don't hit the right letters on the cell phone.

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@sadnancy

I have a hard time hitting the right letters on my phone, as well. I need to figure out how to do the verbal feature.

Jim

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