Resting vs. Intention

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I speak ad nauseam about the fact that I have an intention tremor.  This is the opposite of a resting tremor.  Everyone think of Michael J. Fox.  Parkinson’s Disease causes a resting tremor.  When Michael J. Fox is just sitting -resting- he shakes.  The tremor comes out when he is at rest.  When he performs a movement, the tremor subsides.  At least that’s what I learned in school.  I have no personal experience with Parkinson’s Disease and if I’ve learned anything it’s that book learnin’ certainly ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Especially if you study neurology.

Anyway, what happens to me is the exact opposite.  When I’m just chilling on the couch not doing anything, I can be completely still.  It’s when I do something, like pick up a glass of water, that the tremor comes out.  That’s why it’s called an intention tremor, it comes out with intent.  So when I pick up a glass with my right hand, as the right side of my cerebellum is the damaged part, that glass better have very little liquid in it.  Or else.  My hand starts to shake.  I’m really, really good at spilling things.  Remember – cerebellum = same side of the body and cerebrum = opposite side of the body.

My vocal cords do the exact opposite.  I had this test done where they stuck a camera down my throat in order to look at my vocal folds and they quiver at rest and calm down a bit when I make a sound.  I think that’s really weird and I have no explanation for that.  Anyone wanna take a stab at explaining that?

Categories: Brain stuff, Rehab, Stroke stuff

Tags: , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. It would be loverly if we could see your video. We may as well learn something since our doctors are “ugly bags of mostly water” with no seeming brain cells.

  2. Thanks for the post Amy, as usual I learned a lot from it. I have no explanation though, only wish I had.

  3. Absolutely no idea about your vocal cords.

    My father has Parkinson’s and as you mentioned has tremors while at rest but he also has them to a certain extent while in motion. Also while in motion (walking particularly) he locks up and can’t move.

    Of course the docs have changed his meds a gazillion times to no avail. One suggested neurosurgery and the word alone sent him running (no pun intended, but he can run up and down stairs better than I pre or post stroke!)

    Do you know if PT could help Parkinson’s?

  4. Well I guess I have both types going on at the same time. I can be relaxed in bed and they hit, or be in motion. It’s all depends when my muscles try to send a command into the dark, dead depths where my stroke occurred. It sort of hits, sparks, and short circuits everything. The muscle in my bicep will flex and release like a body builder. My pexs do the same thing. My right boob will gyrate out of control. My leg muscles march to the beat of many different drummers. Luckily I get a tiny warning tremor before all hades busts loose. All without my intending for any of it to happen or maybe the thought of moving something. Sometimes I feel like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. But then again, I’m my own comedy routine too.

  5. Yep. Zack has one in his right leg. It’s not constant and sometimes it is worse than others. Most of the time you can’t see it at all when he is moving but if I touch his hip or his legs when he moves I can feel a slight quiver. Then, other times, I can see it plain as day when he walks. Weird. His right hand will sometimes shake, too. But it’s usually when he gets tired. He woofs down his food because he is always worried he is gonna start shaking. No conversation at the dinner table for us…Though, yesterday was different. He was talkative…and that is a whole different subject and celebration. 🙂 Hooray.

    • Yay!!!!! It used to be that you could feel my muscles quiver even at rest. It would still be considered an intention tremor though because even the slightest motion, even thinking about a motion would make me shake.

  6. I have somethingh between the two. When I sit or am lieing down in bed my left foot spasms wildl, so pronouncedly that my husband has to get up and go to sleep in the next door bedroombecause it keeps him awake. My left hand gets the shakes when I strain my left bicep…the body is indeed a mystery, I don’t know if it will ever stop…I guess I’ll know eventually, or not; consciously trying to relax it doesn’t help, so I just go back to reading or working and ignore it. M

  7. hi
    I’m from Australia I found your blog its been so helpful and inspirational. my boyfriend had the same kinda stroke 7 months ago at only 22 and I came across this while googling possible recovery.
    hes left with a few disabilities but we’re hoping with the on going rehab it will all go back to normal. The worse things though is the ataxia and tremor of his left arm. any tips pointers etc that helped you. Thanks heaps keep writing ! love to keep reading :))

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