Tremors

In rereading this blog, it seems like it may be painful for readers to hear- and so I want to soften it. I won’t do that, though, because it was only the brave folk who waded with us into the tumultuous waters of Andy’s horrible tremors that made his waiting tolerable.

Tremors make living hard.

For Andy, it began innocuously in only one finger and seemed like an annoyance. After a year, it grew into the life altering condition people with Parkinson’s live with and that makes friends wonder how they can live that way.

Tremors became shakes and the shakes became an earthquake that racked his body day after day. His hands shook constantly, one leg shook and his head bobbed so much that he bit his tongue and cheek painfully and had sores that never had a chance to heal. Drugs didn’t help him and natural medicine was useless for this symptom-he was left without help.

Witnessing Andy’s tremors wasn’t easy. Being with him in those years required a shift of perspective.

The perceived violence it appeared Andy’s body was doing to himself had to instead be seen as an affliction that he experienced without his permission. Seeing it as an affliction allowed family and friends to sometimes recognize the husband, father and friend who was forced to live inside that violently shaking body.

When people were brave enough to stay with Andy for long enough to find the man inside, this recognition became the lifeline that he held on to while he lived through the only treatment that ended up working, and that was waiting.

Waiting-without an end in sight-is like entering enemy territory without protection. It is not an activity for the faint hearted.

Andy waited, in this tortuous state, for 6.75 years until a cutting edge brain surgery called DBS (deep brain stimulation) completely quelled his tremors and he was finally able to be still.

That was 9 years ago and his life is no longer filled with violent shaking

Waiting won the day.

There are other hard symptoms that have come to be part of his life, as he continues to live with Parkinson’s disease, but none so hard as the tremors.

In rereading this blog, it seems like it may be painful for readers to hear- and so I want to soften it. I won’t do that, though, because it was only the brave folk who waded with us into the tumultuous waters of Andy’s horrible tremors that made his waiting tolerable.

Please know it’s okay to cringe at the suffering described, but as you cringe, also stay.
Stay and be with the people in your own life who live inside an intolerable condition. Find them and be part of their lifeline.

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2 thoughts on “Tremors

  1. Hi Michelle and Andy, I love reading your words of truth and encouragement. All the best to both of you and your amazing kids!

    1. Hi Debi! Thank you for letting me know. Andy and I consider you and Bill part of our early tribe discovery! We wish you well on your move to Portugal and in next steps of life. We have kids living in London and Amsterdam so we get over to that neck of the woods a lot! Peace and
      love wherever you are!

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