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DiamondGal

Husband has always had shaking hands - does that mean he has Parkinsons?

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DiamondGal    0

Hello.  I am new to this board and to seeking information about Parkinsons disease.  My question is regarding my husband but there are a couple of side questions.

My husband and I have been together over 30 years.  When we first started going out I noticed that some of the fingers on his hands seemed stiff to the point that they were arched the opposite way.  His hands did not shake at this point, but a finger or two would twitch.  As time  went gone by, I noticed that now his hands started to shake.  The last year or so it has gotten pretty bad.  If he is holding a newspaper it shakes a lot.  If he is holding a fork or food in his hand his hands shake a lot.  Last night he was pouring juice from a bottle into a glass and the bottle was rattling on the glass and it was a miracle that the juice made it in. 

Over the years I have mentioned to him that he might want to go to a doctor and ask about his hands.  He brushes it off and only goes to a doctor if he needs medication, like for a sinus infection or something.  My sisters have asked me about it and I just told them that his hands have always shaken, but I know in my heart it is getting worse.

He can function - like he can hit a nail with a hammer, he has a job with computers and as far as I know (I'm not with him at work) he hasn't had any problems doing his job. 

His sister has Parkinsons and has had it for about 15 years.  She has had surgery to have an implant put on her brain to stimpulate impulses.  In her case, she had a lot of shaking all over her body, really no control.  Difficulty walking, talking, much worse than my husband.

I would also like to know if Parkinsons is hereditary?  We have 5 children and I would like to let them know to watch for signs of the disease (3 are grown) and keep an eye on the two that remain home. 

Should I urge my husband to go to a doctor and is there any point if there is nothing that can be done, or is there?

Thank you so much.

Edited by DiamondGal

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TexasTom    706

Diamond Gal,

 

Deep breath, deep breath......    Since his sister has Parkinson's you are probably more familiar with some symptoms than most.     What is interesting is for 1 in 7  (14% of PWP - Person with Parkinsons) will have a family member who had had it.   So for 6 out of 7 of us..... no one else in our family has Parkinson's.

 

He might very well have Essential Tremors.  That is common, and while typically seen after age 80, but is just a little shaking in the hands.   It also can be something as simple as fatigue, flue, or being dehydrated.

 

For me, I sought out a MDS when I just felt like I was drunk all the time.  No balance, leaning against walls.  As my Sister and Wife like to tell me I was floating down that river for years. De Nile....  denial.   

 

Oddest part about Parkinson's, if symptoms are not extreme.... eat right, get exercise, get a good nights sleep.   OK I started on this journey when I was 20,  so 36 years later I was finally accepting there was something off.  Yes, you read that correctly it moved very slowly and I've only started medication last year after a diagnosis.  Biggest change for me was to accept my wife didn't need a hearing aid,  nor was I mad at her (my face mask, so all you see is a blank expression). 

Edited by TexasTom
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graflexmaster    1,182

Welcome Diamond Gal,

I would say that the first thing for you to do is to sit down and talk about your concerns with your husband. Like Tom mentioned, it could be Essential Tremors(far more common than Parkinson's), or it could very well be Parkinson's. The person that can answer that question, would be a Movement Disorder Specialist, a special type of Neurologist. One who has had extensive training in the subject of Parkinson's and other types of movement disorders. Above and beyond that of a general Neurologist. I'm sure his sister is well aware of the in's and out's of PD, and could be an excellent asset in the discussion with your husband.

 

Like Tom, my symptoms began years ago when I was in my teens, and has had a slow progression. I am 55 years old now and (like your husbands sister) last Dec. I also had DBS surgery to help control my symptoms. 

 

You ask about if Parkinson's was hereditary, yes, in some cases there can be a hereditary component, although this is a very small component.

 

I wish you well in your upcoming family discussion. Please keep us posted on how it goes, and remember, we are here to help you in any way we can.......

 

hugs

Michael

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DiamondGal    0

Thank you for the responses so far.  I have been looking up the symptoms of both Parkinsons and Essential Tremor.  It says that hand tremors are more prominent in Parkinson's when the hands are at rest and more prominent in Essential Tremor cases when the hands are in use.  Well my husbands hands shake both ways - when they are at rest and when they are in use. I know he needs to go see a doctor.  He doesn't even have a family doctor anymore and hates going. 

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graflexmaster    1,182

Does his sister live close? would she be willing to talk to your husband with you? and out of curiosity, how old is your husband? I can relate, I've always hated going to Dr's......lol  

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DiamondGal    0

We live in NY and she's in NC.  She lived near us before diagnosis and it was very scarey.  She was only in her early 30's.  Her symptoms were very severe  - she could not feed or dress herself, had trouble walking and slurred speech.  Took a while for doctors to figure out what it was that was causing all of this.  She's in her early 50's now.  I am sure she would talk to us about it, but I also think she would encourage him to go to a doctor which is the logical thing to do I guess.  I can't say I am much different than him in my distrust of doctors.  Seems like whenever someone goes they want to send the patient for tests or to other doctors and it can become a way of life if you're not careful! 

My husband is 57. 

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wifeofPWPD    114

When my husband, at the age of 54, suspected something was wrong he made an appointment with a neurologist right off the bat and was diagnosed at his first appointment. He was given Sinemet and responded positively which affirmed the diagnosis. Perhaps you should encourage your husband to look at the symptoms of Parkinson's Diseases and put a check mark by the ones that he experiences. There are so many symptoms that people that don't have PD do not know are part of the disease. If there are multiple PD symptoms that he experiences he may be willing to see a doctor. Remind him that whether he sees a doctor or not, the symptoms have not gotten better. If it is PD there is medication to help the tremors.

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Gulfvet    35
DiamondGal,

 

If you do not have a neurologist that you are familiar with enough to know they will work with you, please do yourselves a favor and  Call the NPF Helpline 1.800.4PD.INFO (473-4636).   The nurses there are awesome and will help you find the right doctor which could make a huge difference in the amount of time and/or money wasted on incorrect diagnosis.  All you have to do is read some of the post where people say as many as eight years spent seeing different doctors before getting to a MDS and or diagnosis.

 

Good luck in your journey for answers.

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Beau's Mom    1,053

I had weak hands as a teen and started having a fine tremor in my 20's. Nobody in my family had PD at that time. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 57. Of course, before the Michael J. Fox era, doctors weren't looking much at young onset.  My increasing symptoms were always diagnosed as something else. I had the frozen face, softer voice, changed handwriting, constipation and even falling before my grown daughter toook it upon herself to research my symptoms in 2010. I went through several months of unconfirmed diagnosis, confirmed diagnosis, questionalbe diagnosis by two MDS in Texas. I moved home to WA state in 2011 and diagnosis was confirmed at that time. Nearly three decades of misdiagnosis cost me plenty. The earlier you are diagnosed, the sooner you can begin exercising and eating in ways that protect the dopamine you still have. I also would have wasted less energy on things I couldn't control and worried less. Only being diagnosed with PD forced me to relax so I would live a happier life.

 

My suggestion is to call the NPF Hopeline as soon as they open in the morning  if you haven't already. Let your husband read what we wrote if he isn't convinced by you.

 

Hoping for a quick answer for you.

 

Dianne

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