I remember seeing a group of men with musical instruments at a Bluegrass Festival about 20 years ago. This one man's hands were shaking terribly, so badly, I was afraid he wouldn't be able to pick up his squeeze-box (a small accordion type instrument) that sat next to his chair. I was right. The fellow next to him picked it up and placed the strap around his neck. The music started and this man carefully and with much difficulty placed his hands on it and began to play. As soon as he grasped it, the shaking stopped and he played flawlessly. It was incredible to watch and the group got a standing ovation when they were done, but as soon as he quit playing, the horrid shakes were back and the man next to him, helped him put the instrument away.
|Playing squeeze box|
I knew the gentleman had Parkinson's Disease, I'd seen shaking hands before. I went up to him and praised his playing. He told me he was only 86 and had been playing since he was a child. Neither of us mentioned the shaking hands.
This is the most common and easily recognized symptom of Parkinson's. Tremors. Almost all of us Parkies have them at some time or the other. They come in two flavors, resting and action. I've had both. The gentleman above had the more common type, resting.
I started out with the action type, my right hand was fine, until I tried to use it, then it would shake uncontrollably, which made it very difficult to write, drink and eat. I was forever picking up food off the floor and spilling my drink. I started using my left hand and soon became so proficient that people thought I was a true lefty. However, I never mastered writing left handed, so I gave up writing. My Wonderful Husband took over the writing jobs, checks, grocery lists and even Christmas cards.
My writing before:
|You can click on picture to enlarge it, click the X to return|
Quite a difference, right?
However, these tremors are not always a bad thing. If I could time them to music, I bet I'd be a heck of a tambourine player and if James Bond stops by, I can make him a martini, shaken not stirred.
Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!