MDJunction - People Helping People
 
Ask a Question
11/13/2011 02:13 PM

new member - could it be Parkinson's?

opus88
opus88  
Posts: 40
Member

Hello! My husband has been experiencing myoclonic jerks for a few years now, and more recent years have brought an acting out of his dreams - not nightmares, just playing football or some such.

Over the past few months he has begun exhibiting a tremor. It's not a whole body tremor like too much caffeine, but a rather pronounced movement of the fingers of just one hand. And it's not the "pill-rolling," but a slightly larger finger movement - and only when the arm is at rest. When he walks, that arm does not exhibit the same range of motion as the other. He says there is no weakness or trouble gripping, etc. And he did injure that arm, just below the shoulder, while lifting weights about a year ago or so. Could that be related?

He just learned Thursday night that his thyroid is "off" and a prescription will be called in Monday morning, but we don't know yet if he's hypo or hyper. He's had trouble keeping his weight up, which might suggest hyper, yet he's somewhat depressed and gets cold very easily, which might suggest hypo. And the doctor indicated that after consulting with a neurologist, there was no need for further testing regarding the tremor. I'm not sure I agree with that.

His dad had essential tremors but it was both hands shaking (not the larger movement we're seeing) and started at a much younger age (30s or 40s) - my husband is just shy of 67.

Has anybody progressed in this manner? I saw a mention of there being a difference between forward/backward motion and side-to-side motion with the hand, but I'm not sure what the significance is, and I can't say at this moment which his is (he's not here as I write this).

Oh - and I just read that orthostatic hypotension is a marker of Parkinson's. He's been having a little trouble with that over the past couple of years, but usually only after lying down on the hot deck while reading.

In my research so far, one thought is to watch very carefully for signs of Parkinson's (which I feel like is a strong possibility), another would lead us to believe it's just ET and not to worry. So we're no better off for the research than before. Would appreciate any feedback. Thank you!

Reply

11/13/2011 02:22 PM
Jupiterjane
Jupiterjane  
Posts: 509
Member

Has he seen a Neurologist yet? If not, schedule an apppointment. The Neurologist can tell you if he thinks your husband has Parkinson's or not.

11/13/2011 03:15 PM
opus88
opus88  
Posts: 40
Member

Thanks for the response! The GP consulted with one, and said there was no need for further testing. Wouldn't a conductivity test seem like a smart thing, to be sure the tremor isn't related to that shoulder-area injury? I was surprised that he felt it wasn't worth pursuing, as he's usually pretty thorough.

11/13/2011 04:05 PM
Craftcordmom
Craftcordmom  
Posts: 72
Member

I would suggest a neurologist visit anyway. Parkinsons is not just a jerking motion disease. My spouse at the age of 49 was diagnoised with Parkinsons after 2 wrist surgeries and pain medications that excelerated the disease process. But he had litte visible jerky motions. He had less fine motor movements and logical thinking issues that drew our attention for a neuro doc visit. Check out the Michael J Fox and Parkinson disease websites for the basic informaiton. Parkinson has no body fluid "test" to determine a diagnois that we know about. Visual test performed by a neurologist for: perforamance of certain tasks, walking, facial expressions(masking). There are also many neuro diseases that have similar characteristics of PD. Be proactive for your spouse. Dont wait to see what happens, there are drugs out there to help slow down PD processes. Start now with educating yourself with terms, neuro disease and their characteristics. And it is very easy to justify actions that are easily explained away as nothing. Having believed so many reasons for odd and bizarre actions/behavior for well over a year. I am now thankful that we caught it as early we did to give him a fighting chance for slowing down the process of his disease. Be strong for what ever the cause may be. Educate yourself. Be an advocate is the best advice I can share. Good luck and blessings to you and your family

Craftcordmom


11/13/2011 05:41 PM
opus88
opus88  
Posts: 40
Member

Thank you, Craftcordmom, for the insight! I would certainly like to get my husband to a neuro, in spite of what the GP said. I just learned a couple of days ago that a friend's mother had PD, and she thought she noticed in my husband a couple of times the "deer in the headlights" look that her mother had - then when she noticed his hand shaking recently she contacted me to share her concern. I thought the masking was a permanent thing with PD, but maybe it starts as an occasional loss of expression. Honestly, I've not seen any expression change, but he does seem more and more to miss the gist of people's comments, and I often re-state their comments for him. (I don't know if it's lack of focus or hearing or what.) Is that typical?

I am quietly doing research, and I'm encouraging him to talk about his symptoms. He's so relieved at the moment about the thyroid situation (and the doctor's declaration of no need for further testing) that I feel he's convinced the thyroid meds will solve everything. I'm afraid that if I mention our friend's comments and concerns about PD that he will become self-conscious and lose his confidence as the leader of his organization. He's always been very strong and healthy, so I don't know that he will even consider such a possibility at this point - he is quick to blow off symptoms of colds, pulled muscles, etc., and within a couple of days he's typically much improved. I will absolutely advocate for him as best I can, but along with that is the tricky situation of reading his frame of mind so he will discuss things rather than shut down.


11/13/2011 07:44 PM
mem2121

Let me add the suggestion that you find a neurologist who specializes in movement disorders.

Welcome to the group!

Steve


11/13/2011 07:52 PM
opus88
opus88  
Posts: 40
Member

Thanks for the welcome and the suggestion, songfellow! I just today read somewhere about general neuro vs. movement specialist. Didn't know there was such a sub-specialty, but it certainly caught my attention. Will be looking to see if there is one in our area.

Is "songfellow" your last name, or are you a singer?


11/13/2011 09:19 PM
mem2121

Songfellow is just a nickname. At one time I used to write songs, sing and play the guitar a bit. PD kinda messed that up some. (smile)

Steve


11/14/2011 04:06 PM
opus88
opus88  
Posts: 40
Member

Sorry. That must be difficult for you, songfellow. I lost my ability to sing a few years back, thanks to a doctor/medication. I'm around singers all the time, and I never stop missing the ability to join in.

11/14/2011 05:04 PM
mem2121

I was fortunate to have been able to enjoy it for as many years as I did. It's the nature of life.

Steve

Reply

Share this discussion with your friends:
<< Start < Prev 1 Next > End >>


Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
In case of EMERGENCY call 911 or 1.800.273.TALK (8255) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read more.
Contact Us | About Us
Copyright (c) 2006-2014 MDJunction.com All Rights Reserved