Essential----Really?!!? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Default Essential----Really?!!?

I'm hoping that with the number of members here, enough are still my senior to have had some experience with my problem, and to help me.
My hand shakes whenever I try to do anything, anything at all. The more I try, the worse the shake. Doc says it is "essential tremors". Really?--Essential?
He had me try some prescription meds to no avail. And, actually told me to try alcoholic beverages! It's gotten to the point where I have trouble just getting a cup of coffee to my mouth.
This condition has kept me out of my shop for way, way too long. I want to work wood, but, I'm also afraid of most of my tools.
Has anyone here had any experience with anything like this? Or know someone who has? Is there a way to get back to my hobby safely?
Please remember that I work only with a left hand, and a right elbow since birth. That was never a problem until now.
Thank you in advance for any advice, and for even reading this post.

Do as you always do,,, Get what you always get
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 04:08 PM
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I've never heard of it before so I looked at a couple of sources on it. Maybe they will be helpful to you. I think the person who named this disease had a serious lapse of judgement on that day. I hope you find a solution. There are some different drug treatments for it. Perhaps check the suggestions against what was prescribed for you.

What Is Essential Tremor Results from Everyday Health
Essential tremor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 06:26 PM
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Definition: Essential tremor (ET) is a hyper-kinetic disorder, meaning that it involves an abnormal amount of muscular movement not controlled by the individual himself. Those with ET experience tremor in the hands, head or feet.
ET is of a neurological nature, and it mimics some of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD). When diagnosing PD, neurologists need to rule out essential tremor, which is far more common than Parkinson's.

Some ways in which they differ:

Unlike PD, essential tremor usually affects both hands instead of just one. PD involves a resting tremor, while the tremor of ET can appear even when the hands are moving.

In PD handwriting becomes cramped and/or small. In ET, handwriting becomes shaky, but not small.

ET responds to drugs such as primidone, inderal (a drug used to treat high blood pressure), and benzodiapines (drugs used to treat anxiety). If you have a tremor in both hands that remains even when you move, ask your doctor about ET -- you probably do not have PD.

Here is some of what I found on the net, maybe you should get a second opinion?

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 02:26 AM
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Not yet, thankfully, Roger.

That would make shop time almost impossible.....

I trust you can find some relief.

James
Sydney, Australia
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 06:19 AM
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I am no expert by any means but I would suggest considering the use of some jigs to get you in the shop a little more. A well thought out jig can prevent you from moving your tool off the intended path or outside the intended area. You may need someone to help in making the jig, but if it helps you get in the shop, it may be worth it.
I wish you the best.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 06:26 AM
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 07:36 AM
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Certain prescription drugs can and will cause tremors. If you take any meds be sure to look up their side effects. Just go on line and do a search.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 10:11 AM
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My grandmother had them. Shakes she called them. They calmed down when she had her nightly high ball. You might try the doc's advice. In moderation of course.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 12:19 PM
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Roger, I am sorry to learn of your disability. I began life as a baby born with both legs broken (I am fine, now). That was 60 years ago. Many people consider me disabled, for a few reasons; but my take on it is that there's a big difference between "disability" and "inability". Sometimes these things cause us to better plan for objectives we need to achieve. I have a business partner who is crippled - he is unable to stand or walk without his crutches. He moves-around in a wheel chair. His shop is "open-air" via numerous garage doors - so he can use four-wheelers he has customized for his needs. I feel embarassed asking him to make or alter things, and he always just says, "Don't worry - it might take me a bit longer, but your finished product will be what you need." Thus far he has never failed to build what I required of him. I have other people give him a hand whenever he will allow it - and he never complains!
He and I are both diabetic and we both get "shakes" when our blood glucose gets "off target".

I collect reptiles (have been continuously since 1961). I've worked with 99% of the snake species known to man, probably 80% or more of the lizard species, blah, blah, blah. On Friday 28 Feb 2014, a dear friend and fellow snake collector spent the day with me. He lives about 6 hours away. We made a snake trade and he offered 4- young snakes (2- boas + 2- pythons) for 1 adult reticulated python. Of the 4- snakes he brought to me, he asked me if I minded getting them out of the [cloth] bags they were transported in. I said, "No problem, but why?" He replied that he was scared of being bitten and two of these were "notorious biters". His hands were shaking terribly as he handed me the bags. All 4- of the snakes were as gentle as lambs and he commented that he was amazed they were not "even acting aggressively". My hands were not shaking. Many people comment that I don't get bitten nearly as often as they do - by the same snakes! Snakes can sense fear - and shakes tell them they are dealing with someone slightly (or greatly) in fear. After putting the four new snakes in their proper enclosures, I got out the reticulated python from one of my display cages that he wanted, and I told him it is dog tame TO ANYONE! I let it crawl around in the room - over other cages and on temporarily hanging limbs - that snake is as tame as a rope! Finally, when he mustered the courage; he held out his hand and the snake gently crawled up his arm and "perched" on his shoulder! I looked at this hands and he was not shaking - I commented on it and he said that I am the only person that he has ever allowed to handle ANY of his snakes - because he figured they would bite people - like they bite him. We had a great visit and he is in frequent contact with me via text messages, email, facebook, you name it - AND HE TOLD ME - that his shakes are gone! He said it was just aprehension due to an expectation of getting bitten, and his working with that SUPER-TAME reticulated python made all of the difference in the world.

There are a bundle of causes, Roger for shakes and I hope and pray that your case will be soon resolved!

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 12:42 PM
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Default Essential Tremor

My name is Dick and I am 83 years of age living near Seattle, WA. I have had essential tremor for about 15 years now and it has progressed from a mild occasional shaking to severe tremors in both hands and my neck. I have tried most remedies including primadone, botox and various relaxation techniques. Finally about five years ago I had Deep Brain Stimulation surgery for my right hand at Swedish neuroscience institute in Seattle. This involves inserting an electrode deep into the brain on the left side and wiring it to a stimulator similar to a pacemaker placed in the left chest area. The results were amazing. My right hand is now mostly steady and I can write, type, use keys and a screwdriver and perform most tasks previously difficult or impossible. I still take primadone for my left hand and I need to check my typing for double strikes with my left hand. I can still use all of the machinery in my shop.
I do not know whether you are a candidate for this surgery but it works great.
Good luck, I hope this helps.
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