Web Producer: Brad Maglinger
Healthcare professionals believe only a small percentage of people who have Essential Tremor seek medical care. Many believe getting the shakes is just part of getting old, but it ins't. That's one thing a Henderson woman wants people to learn about the disease she was recently diagnosed with.
In the bathroom, putting on makeup is a whole new experience for 57-year-old Jean Davis.
"This is a real trick to get done because it's a matter of getting that hand to be still and you're so close to your eyes," Davis says.
In the kitchen, accidents are more likely to happen now. "I go and I pick this up and all of a sudden I try to pour this and whatever is in there is going everywhere."
What's changed all this for Jean is a disease called Essential Tremor. She'd had some clues there was something wrong before, but it wasn't until she took a nasty fall last year and had what she calls an episode. Her insides felt like they were shaking and the sensation never went away.
She explains the feeling saying, "I'm shaking on the inside right now and that's just a normal thing for me. It's like your insides are just going 50 miles an hour all the time."
At first, her family doctor thought it was the more debilitating Parkinson's disease. But once a neurologist correctly diagnosed her with tremor and prescribed medication, Jean says her condition has been manageable. She just has to relearn how to do some things. And she wants to learn from other patients.
Davis says, "There wasn't anything around here and I knew I wasn't the only one dealing with this, but I can't travel up on the other side of Indianapolis to go to a support group meeting."
Now that's she's forming her own support group, she won't have to. She just hopes other patients in her situation will appreciate that too.
If you'd like to be a charter member of the Essential Tremor Support Group, come out to Jean's first meeting next Thursday at 6:30. It will be held at Elliott's Marina Pointe in Evansville.
Essential Tremor Kentuckiana Awareness & Support Group Meeting
August 28, 2003
Elliott's at Marina Point
1801 Waterworks Rd.
Evansville, IN 47713
For additional information, please contact:
International Essential Tremor Foundation
P.O. Box 14005
Lenexa, KS 66285-4005
Local contact: Jean Davis (270) 869-0392 or firstname.lastname@example.org