(The following text is generally a copy of a journal I had started writing in January of 1998. The journal fell by the wayside but I have expanded on it here a bit. The bulk of these comments were written two years after my symptoms appeared in 1995 while this page was started in November of 1998.)
William A. Parrette's Movement / Tremor Disorder
I should have started writing this two years ago -- when the symptoms first appeared. However, with a business to run and a family to feed, there was always something "more important" coming up. There were classes to teach, clients to find, invoices to write -- too much to do to pay attention to those silly little symptoms. After all, at 42 years of age, I was in good enough shape; what could go wrong?
I have always been a somewhat nervous person. Ever since I can remember, I have had slight tremors in both hands. As a young boy, this steered me away from trying to do fine detail work -- things such as painting model cars and airplanes or some types of wood-working. Although other people noticed and commented on my shaking and I noticed that most other people didn't shake, I always thought of my tremors as "the way things are," a part of my life, and just accepted it.
In December of 1995, a change occurred. I was discouraged at the lack of full movement that I have in my right leg. This "lack" is, I believe, a direct result of my not getting physical therapy after an automobile accident back in 1975. To try to regain movement in my leg, I knelt on the floor, legs together, and sitting on my feet. Then, I started bending forward, pivoting at the hip. As the pain in my right leg started increasing, I willed myself to bend even further. The pain wasn't unbearable but it hurt a lot. My thought was that if I started moving my leg in a direction and distance that it hadn't moved in years, I might be able to regain more movement -- sort of my own form of personal physical therapy.
Suddenly, there was a "snap" that occurred high inside the back of my neck. Now, my neck has "snapped" before, but those "snaps" have always been close to the surface, associated with turning my head too quickly, and usually caused some muscle ache or pain. This "snap" was different -- it was deeper and higher inside my neck and had no pain associated with it. At the time, I remember thinking how unusual it was -- I almost "heard" it -- but gave it little more thought. It was shortly after this event that I noticed a difference. My "normal" shaking was much more pronounced on my left side. And my right side was shaking much more than normal.