Wednesday, July 29, 2015
I have now had a 2 hour EEG, a brain MRI, and a 5 day ambulatory EEG. The results of the first two exams show nothing that would be causing the tremors, and I am awaiting the results of the 5 day EEG (but I strongly suspect they too will not reveal the cause of the tremors). This leaves two possible causes -- CPT2, or that terrible Kevin Bacon movie. I'm guessing CPT2.
While visiting Utah, I had the opportunity to climb a mountain to visit some caves. There was an approximate 1,200 foot elevation gain over around 1-1/2 miles. I stopped (very) regularly to eat simple carbs (um, Skittles if you must know). We even got to enjoy a thunderstorm cell that passed over us mid-hike (drenched, but was fun, lightning was quite distant).
I did not experience CPT2 breakdown in the way I was used to, but I did ask my daughter to push down on my leg while sitting at various places on the climb. There were slight tremors at the start of the hike, and by the end of the hike they were much more noticeable. I've done similar tests when I haven't eaten enough, etc., and there does seem to be a correlation.
So what I'm seeing is negative results from the neurology side, and positive results from exercise or fasting. I'm nearly positive that the tremors are a "normal" side effect of CPT2, and nothing worse. I can live with this -- literally. Sure, tremors suck. It makes certain things harder. It is another way that CPT2 qualifies for accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But it isn't going to kill me. In fact, I wonder if it has been there all along and I'm just now noticing it, or if it is a side-effect of the big muscle breakdown I had last summer that ended up with a week in the hospital. Either way, assuming that the ambulatory EEG is also negative for tremor-inducing indications, it is exactly as I expected -- caused by CPT2.
On a side note, you really don't want to do an ambulatory EEG. They suck. Electrodes are literally glued/cemented to your head and you are wired to a measurement device for almost a week. No water is allowed to touch the device, so sponge baths and no hair washing. I'd really rather not do this again. Ever.
In case you were wondering what I meant about the Kevin Bacon movie, here it is:
[edit: Looks like blogger.com blocked the image I posted. I'm convinced it fell under fair use, but whatever. Here is the link to the IMDB page.]