George, NC, USA
What a delight to find your website so quickly. Here is the experience we have been through for several years and now have an answer!!
My husband is a 56 year old Philosophy and Religion Professor with a BA, MA, and Ph.D.. The Ph.D. was from Columbia University with the highest honors. A very intelligent man and an "absent minded professor" slow moving in many ways. We would joke about his slowness and my speed, he was never able to keep up and my inability to slow down. He taught for 26 years at the Community College of Southern Nevada (in fact he helped start the college). We decided to take a year and go teach at Africa Nazarene University for a year, what an experience that was. He would walk slow but no real problems.
Upon our return he was having troubles with sinus, took some cold meds and began to notice the shaking and so he went to our local Doctor and he told him that he had just overdosed on cold medication and to stay away from a drug that ended with "ephrin"-which is in most cold meds. We moved to North Carolina in the summer of 1999,that school year he was progressively tired, would take a lot of energy to walk around. We just thought it was the move, no friends, family and going back in time twenty years as well as humidity we were not used to.
It was last fall I became concerned when he couldn't stand for more than five minutes, but he kept insisting it was the cold meds. One day we went to the mall. I thought, he could go to the book store and I would shop. The book store is his earthy heaven so no problem. He was in there for about 10 minutes. A girl friend had stopped me to talk when he came out with a panic look on his face looking for a place to sit down. That corked it for me, I made an appointment with the local office and we began our rollercoaster. He started with regular blood work-OK.Because of his familles history of cancer we had a colonoscopy done then too. Chest x-rays and a trip to the neurologist-DR. Tesfaye then an Mri,Cat scan and Ataxia profile blood work. All were clear.The other neurologists in the practice came to consult, they decided to send us to Bowman Gray-part of Wake Forest teaching hospital-but the first appointment we could get was not until Aug.!! this was December. They then decided to send us to Duke.
We were excited and drove the night before to Raiegh-2 1/2 hours away and spend the night. Our appointment was at 12 noon. We arrived about ten-because we did not know where we were going and it is better to be early than late. The DR finally saw us at 1:30 saw my husband stand for-at the most 2 minutes-and he was told he starts to shake at about 5 minutes. Talked AT us not With us and did an average physical-the entire time acting like we were an imposition on his time. Saw all the reports and pronounced that my husband needs to lose weight and excersise. My husband is 5 ft. 11 and about 210-mostly in the stomach. He does not drink or smoke. Needless to say, we were devastated and my husband started talking about just giving up! When we came home I reported to the neurologist and needless to say he was not happy. Our regular GP then decided to rule EVERY thing out and because of the slowness and no energy to look at the heart and make sure-so we had a stress test, heart cath, and tee-everything fine. DR Tesfaye then called DR Francis Walker from Bowman Gray and asked if he could see us in June-yes was the answer.! We saw him the 13th and our lives have changed!
We arrived at 12:30 for a 2pm appointment. At one (1) pm the nurse called usback and started to asked all the regular questions. We had all the medical information with us and she read it all!She watched my husband stand for about ten minutes-with his feet apart, had him put his legs together with arms outstretched had him close his eyes and bumped him, she caught him. She said the DR would be in a few minutes. It was 1:30 when Dr. Walker came in-1/2 hour BEFORE our apt!!!We talked and then he attached some wires to my husband right legs from what I call the heart monitoring machine. You would have thought this was a two year old with his first sucker-he became so excited and of course we did not understand.He returned to us with a very big smile and said,my nurse told me you had OT and I said no it's to rare. Well you really have it! Normal reaction with the machine is about 13-18 yours are over 30!He attached the ultrasound to him and the beat was so fast it was almost untrackable. He told us he was in the process of writing a journal article about this, he took all kinds of readings and said he would have to readjust some of his comments in thejournal, that he had only seen 5 in his career and this was by far the fastest. with all the excitement and question etc.
We finally had an answer. We will be seeing our Dr. Tesfaye soon and probably start on medications. We are making plans to alter the house, showering standing is difficult. He will at least be able to teach for as long as he wants. He'll just have to get to class in a wheelchair and that is ok. I suspect it won't be even a year before that becomes a reality but he won't have to stop teaching, his life. I went to the web to find more information and tremors brought up DR Walker as a major reacher! What a treat that was. We went shopping last night and I had my husband use one of those electric wheelchairs and he said it was the best shopping trip he had been on.
Thank you for sharing your life and allowing me to make you smile-my"slow-mo-joe husband is actually speedy gonzales inside"