Friday, March 11, 2011

Headed for Neurology!

I recently obtained a new primary family physician since moving to the east coast and I have to say that I am very pleased with the recommended doctor I chose. The front desk people could be a little less terse, however. There are few things worse than hearing a person say, "Can I help you?" when you completely get the idea from the look upon their face that they truly have no interest in helping you. Is keying a rude person's car illegal? Just wondering.

One of the reasons I needed to get a primary is that my prescription for Propranolol was nearly gone and I needed a refill. For those unaware, I was diagnosed with Essential Tremor (sometimes called familial tremor) nearly 7 years ago and I take the medication for the tremors in my arms. Propranolol is actually a blood pressure medication, but taken at lower doses, has a wonderful suppressing effect on the type of tremors associated with Essential Tremor. Unlike those suffering from Parkinson's Disease, the tremors associated with ET are experienced while undertaking activity rather than at rest. For example, on a bad day, I have trouble holding a bowl of food with one hand and eating with another. The bowl will slosh around and I can hardly get a bite to my mouth. Thank you, Universe. Now, not only can I not say 5 words in a row without feeling like moron, now I have the added pleasure of rattling around like a spastic asshole, as well. Ah, life! ;P

Compared to many chronic ET sufferers, my tremor is very manageable. In fact, unless I'm doing a specific activity, nobody can even tell. And for the times when people could tell (in meetings, for example, when I had to handle and read documents), many assumed I was suffering from some kind of alcohol withdrawal or something similar. How embarrassing, right? "No, they aren't DT's. I don't drink! Really! What do you mean will I agree to a blood test??"

I had stopped taking the medication for about two years because I felt confident that the affliction wasn't affecting my life all that much (plus, I hate taking pills of any kind), but then around 2008, I began to notice pressure and mild pain in both of my shoulder joints. For lack of a better description, at times it felt as if there were air bubbles in my shoulder that would rapidly grow and then pop. At times, it felt as if my shoulders were going to pop out of joint, but it wasn't exactly painful. Just a feeling. Sometimes it felt like I had no control over my arms, if I were to undertake some action, like picking up a piece of paper or passing the crack pipe. Just little, normal things like that. So, I decided to start taking the drug again.

The good thing about Propranolol, aside from how it helps me, is that, at this low dosage, it has virtually no side effects. No liver impact, barely any drowsiness...in fact, aside from the fact that my arms feel perfectly normal, I can't even tell that I am taking anything at all. I like that.

At any rate, my new doc has scheduled me to see a new neurologist to give me a new batter of tests to assess my tremor...but, also to see what he might say about stuttering treatment. I mentioned the new drug Paglocone to him, but he has never heard of it. No big surprise there. I think I read recently that the trials for Paglogocone were ended and aren't scheduled to start up again, so we'll see how that goes. I don't know what other meds they try for stuttering, but I would be interested to try something...just because I've never tried medications for it before. I'll keep you informed of what the neurologist says.

I hope everyone's 2011 is going well. Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead tomorrow night!

4 comments:

stutterrockstar said...

Where in the east coast have you moved to? I am in New York!

Stuttering Stanley said...

I am in Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. I am about 2 hours from NYC.

Nguyen Duc said...

thanks for your blog
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3B said...

Thanx for sharing your experience.keep continue..I am eager to read what your neurologist suggestion for solving your problem.
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