Essential Tremor is medical condition that is, most of the time, misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s. Believe me, there is a difference although the layman can’t perceive it. However, I have Essential Tremor (ET) and it is only on my right side. I am right handed and do everything with my right hand although I can do almost everything with my left hand also. The reason for me being able to do things with my left hand goes back to my childhood and that is a long time ago.
Back in the day everyone was right handed. I don’t remember anyone that was left handed. When my mother noticed I could do almost everything with my left hand she told me about why I could do that. She said when I was a baby she realized I was going to be left handed and started making me use my right hand. By the time I entered school I was fully right handed and was taught to write with my right hand, just like everyone else. All through life I still could use my left hand for almost everything, just like using my right hand, but I never thought about writing with my left hand.
My ET started out very slow and, over the years, it became more pronounced in my writing. In fact it’s only in my writing and if I did not tell you I had ET, you would not know it. I have been to every seminar held in my area and have presented my body for any and all experimental testing. Everyone has said it is Parkinson’s until about two years ago and one doctor is saying I have both. To everyone’s surprise, it is still only on my right side. This, I personally think, can be attributed to a massive stroke I had in 1972 and, at the time, it paralyzed my right side before releasing me back to normalcy.
Slowly but surely my handwriting has gotten so bad that I can’t make out what I have written and, when asked for a signature, I let my wife do it for me. When my wife is not around, I would give a quick explanation and try to scribble something that looks like a signature. I do everything I can to not be anywhere that requires me to write or I would try to get out of it. Most of the time it does not work out the way I wanted it.
I was writing my memoirs and that is when I remembered writing left handed. I decided to give it a try and since I loved crossword puzzles and Sudoku, I could start out using my left hand and slowly work the puzzles. It took almost a month of doing this with my left hand to get really good at it. I realized that by doing the crossword puzzles and Sudoku only had me printing and I needed to write in the cursive form because that was the only acceptable way to put a signature on paper. There wasn’t anything I could think of that is fun and a way for me to practice cursive writing. I was at my wits end and feeling down although I was making headway.
Using a lined pad I wrote my signature over and over until I was good at it. Next I used a lineless pad and did the same thing as before. I found I could do this really well and I will ensure it is only with my left hand. I want to instinctively pick up a pen or pencil with my left hand to start writing. I now don’t realize I am doing it until I consciously think about it. All I have to do now is get better and faster but, at least, I can understand what I write and so can anyone else.
As you can see, all it take is a desire and practice, practice, and more practice. Make it fun, don’t give up and, I can’t say this enough, practice day and night. Every bit of free time you can find can be used to practice. There are puzzles in newspapers and paperback books. Have fun and good luck.