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February 27, 2017


I can both relate and sympathize. I have what is termed as "Intention Tremors". This type tremor causes your hands to begin to shake uncontrollably when you attempt to make precise movements such as picking up a pill off a counter top. Very difficult to do and often you end up knocking the pill off the counter and onto the floor. They make holding eating utensils very difficult also when trying to guide them to your mouth.

Alan--And empathize! I have no problems with my pills; but, then, here at home I dump my pills into my hand or onto the tablecloth/placemat. Rough cloth keeps them from skittering away when one tries to pick them up. My big problem is writing. PCs came along just in time, for me. So far, no trouble with eating utensils; but, who knows when/what next?

How do you do with finger foods?

I lost an earring down the drain several years ago that wasn't retrieved by plumber. This failure aggravated the loss I felt since one from a different set apparently came off the previous weekend in a friend's car and could never be found either. Both pair were new, of considerable gold content, which I had finally purchased not long before. I still mourn their loss. I don't have tremors, but am not in any way minimizing the aggravation, frustration and challenge those who do have tremors experience.

I've dealt with the complications individuals who had unrelated swallowing problems to their tremors interfering with their self-feeding, so know of what you (and Alan) speak. Finger foods were often high on the list I recommended to dietary and the kitchens. I often referred the individuals to Occupational Therapy, the discipline most proficient at determining how best to assist them for hand agility and knowledgeable about use of any eating utensils, other tools, since sometimes what seems logical by self-helper diaganosers may actually be contraindicated.

Also, my dear friend who died recently had told me, about a year before she finally ceased first emailing (and she was never real proficient with digital in the first place), and then writing letters, that the hand tremors she was experiencing were just becoming too involved. I believe kidney disease precipitated the advent of her tremors, so as it worsened and she chose to not continue with dialysis, her behaviors would have exacerbated considerably, not to mention her cognitive function.

Essential Tremors others have that I have seen do often remain much more under control without escalating to a great degree, so hope with your continued medical care, following recommended instructions -- as best you can -- you (and Alan, too, if he returns to read here) will be minimally affected in the future.

As you both have accurately noted, finger foods are about my only respite. I use to love to go out for dinner but that is off the table now unless perhaps for foods such as fried catfish, fried potatoes or fried shrimp. Anything to stay away from eating utensils. I have also had to recently deal with medications, Albuterol in particular, that will put my tremors off the charts. I actually had to tell my prescribing physician that I could hardly eat so they had to discontinue that prescription. Old age can be challenging can't it? Typing is now very difficult and you can forget about texting. I have recently begun looking into computer voice activated typing.

Joared--I'm on no medication for ET, nor has the possibility been mentioned to me. Staying away from most caffeine is the only oral control I've exercised. I think I got ET from my paternal grandmother. Most days, I CAN write, but it takes too much time - and a writing implement that allows me to bear down harder than normally one would - for me to do more than write notes to myself.

Alan--Oh, yes, eating out can be so frustrating. For about 40 years my husband has teased me about dribbling food down the front of my clothing. Not from my ET, but from lack of eye-hand coordination (I'm right handed and left eyed.) I have to really be careful when we "dine" out.

Ten years ago, serving as an ombudsman in the local skilled nursing center, I occasionally took a meal with the residents. I really felt for some of them who had such difficulty eating; but, they soldiered on. About the only helpful thing I could offer was to take a tray through the buffet line for them on special occasions. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a magic wand?

@Alan G,
I can recommend Dragon Naturally Speaking.
The Professional Version ( about 300 dollars) lets you extend the vocabulary.
However you will need separate ones for each language you use, for me that's German and (British) English.

I had assumed the earrings were from Hunky Husband, which is why you call them Stud Earrings ;-)

Stu--It's good to see you out and about online. Ten to fifteen days' absence makes me fret. Although, with your bad puns, I'm not sure why that should be so.
; )

Hunky Husband doesn't trust his judgement in buying me jewelry. Over the years he has gifted me with five rings, one pendant necklace, one heavy gold necklace, and one pair of earrings that I recall - each of which I picked out. Except for a couple of the rings, I did NOT take it easy on his wallet! Oh, and he gave me three watches, only one of which I picked out. HH is very inventive on presentation, though. One year, he knew I wanted a pair of stabilized binoculars. In the gift box was a pair of "binoculars" that he had assembled from a couple of toilet tissue cores - with a note that he didn't think they would do the job and that he would be proud to take me where I needed to go to get a better pair. We went to Kansas City for the binoculars.

P.S. Hunky Husband got a chuckle out of your comment.

@Stu... Thanks for the recommendation on the software. Very helpful since I have no experience or expertise in that area.

Yes, Stu, thanks from me, too, cause I welcome knowing what users find good to use.

Here's the kicker: While digging out a different pair of earrings, yesterday, I discovered that it wasn't the 7mm 18kt gold earring/backing that had gone down the drain but the 6mm 14kt gold earring/backing. Not sure it was worth what I went through to get it! *laughing*

If only I ever lost the backs of earings down the drain - at least I could retrieve them. I always lose mine on the floor where they evidently find a very small crack to fall into and never be seen again. I thought for sure when I tore up my bathroom floor that I would find at least one.

I haven't had the plumber out yet. I am so used to using the kitchen sink that I rarely think of it. One of these days I may just buy parts and do it myself - or wait for you to come over and put it in ;)

Bogie--Yes, it's much easier to lose just the backing of post earrings than to lose the whole thing as I did. I recall that, several years ago I lost a backing to an earring down the drain in what is now our guest bathroom. Didn't bother trying to get it back - just ordered a replacement. At the same time, I ordered replacements for a bunch of pairs of earrings that had backs that were not of sufficient OD to provide resistance to moment.

I have quite a collection of earrings without their mates.

FWIW Linda @ Two Fixer-Uppers recently noted she has discovered coloring has calmed her tremors, so she can grasp crayon then refine movement -- found Nat'l Park book she likes.

Hattie--I hear you.

Joared--Thanks for the suggestion. While I applaud those who enjoy coloring, it isn't something that appeals to me. I paint (currently, acrylics) - only to give me an excuse to spend time with a good friend. BTW: I just spent 4 days working, intensively, in keeping training records for an annual training institute in Salina KS. Having eschewed caffeine for at least one week, my handwriting was good. Go figure!

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