Over the last ten years or so, I’ve experienced an increase in the shakiness of my hands… tremors. I just figured it was a part of growing older. The shakes are worse under stress. It’s kind of embarrassing at times. Driving my big rig is stressful for me, and I’ve even had people ask me if I have Parkinson’s disease when I’ve stopped to gas up the rig or sign in at a campground.
Tonight’s photos are from around Jojoba Hills… this is Pond 1 of six in the park.
The tremors have gotten progressively worse over time, and presently it’s a real challenge to even butter a piece of toast. It’s really effecting the quality of my life. At the Christmas Dinner at the park, I had to ask someone to put some gravy on my mashed potatoes. If I had tried to do it, that gravy would have ended up all over everything and everyone.
Croc Creek Mill Pond
About two weeks ago, a couple pulled up to my site in their golf cart and knocked on my door. They introduced themselves and then invited me to attend a Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) information meeting. I had no idea what they were talking about. It seems someone in the park had told them about my tremors, and the wife, Lou, related to me how DBS had helped eliminate her tremors.
I signed up to attend, and then did some investigating on the internet. That meeting happened this morning.
The air gun range in the park. All those yellow things in the distance are what I shoot at.
Dr. Adam Burdick, a neurosurgeon from Scripps Green Hospital, gave the presentation. He explained the difference between Parkinson’s disease and essential tremors. Listening to him, I’d say I have essential tremors.
The flowers are in front of my patio. This one is my favorite.
The clincher was when he said that folks with essential tremors experience a lessening after an alcoholic drink. If I have a glass of sherry in the evening, I’ve found I can actually write legibly. The evening is when I fill out forms or write checks.
So what is Deep Brain Stimulation? Well, in a nutshell, it’s brain surgery. A probe is inserted into the deepest reaches of your brain, and is then attached by thin wires to a battery source that is implanted under the skin just below your collar bone. Kind of like a pace maker.
The patient is actually awake for much of the surgery so the probe/electrode can be placed in the exact right spot. You have to be awake to converse with the surgeon during this placement. Seems kind of spooky to me, but the results are astounding.
Unless you’ve had this problem, it’s hard to imagine the frustration of not being able to do things that seem so natural and easy. It is progressive and can only get worse. The surgery doesn’t cure the condition (there is no cure), but alleviates the symptoms. It takes some time to fine tune the system after the surgery, so that has to be taken into consideration also. I’ve got some thinking to do…
I’ll leave you tonight with a photo of Emma on vigil.
Can’t have any of those little lizards stalking my oranges, don’t ya know!
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy