I read with interest Stephanie Stephens' article on essential tremor (ET) in the February/March issue of Neurology Now. There seems to be little information published about this disorder. In fact, when I was diagnosed with ET, I had never heard of it.
It was my primary care physician who first diagnosed my shaking hands as ET, later confirmed by a neurologist. I had thought that it was the beginning of Parkinson's disease.
At first, it was disconcerting to say the least. I thought, if this stuff is so essential, why doesn't everyone have it? As your article intimated, you can learn to cope. You learn not to fill the glass and avoid having soup at a restaurant, little things like that. You learn that you can have fun with it, withdraw, or fall someplace in between. I chose to have fun.
As faculty moderator at the college where I worked, I was in charge of running the faculty meetings. In order to assure the new faculty that I was not nervous about my responsibilities, I would announce at the first faculty meeting of each semester that I had a neurologic disorder called essential tremor and that is what caused my hands to shake.
Joseph D. Considine