Press play below to listen to Bob’s journey to tremor relief.
Bob Walker hails from Alabama. About 15 years ago, he noticed the shaking when he tried to do daily activities like drinking and writing. After visiting a neurologist, he was diagnosed with essential tremor and started taking medications. Unfortunately, they did not work for him, and his hand tremor got progressively worse.
While his shaking often made him feel frustrated, Bob coped. Since the tremor was in his left hand, he used his right hand more often and held the choir music with both hands. He felt he had learned to accept what life had dealt him.
“My wife and I enjoy going out to restaurants to eat. I only ordered food that I could stab with a fork or eat with my hands, like a sandwich.”
Bob is very active on Facebook, and he saw something that piqued his curiosity about a type of treatment that uses sound waves. Later, he saw something on TV and realized that this was the same thing. He completed the online INSIGHTEC questionnaire, sent in his contact information and an INSIGHTEC educator contacted him to educate him about focused ultrasound for essential tremor that does not respond to medications, in particular INSIGHTEC’s Neuravive treatment.
He explained that it did take about 2 months to get all the paperwork necessary for insurance coverage as well as to obtain a CT scan to qualify him for the treatment. In early June, Bob travelled to Nebraska City, Nebraska – about 800 miles from home – to have the focused ultrasound treatment for his essential tremor.
“I was awake during the whole thing. During the treatment, the team had me hold my left hand straight out and it didn’t shake. The real test for me was when I brought my hand to my mouth and it didn’t shake.”
Before the treatment, the neurosurgeon, Dr. Tierney, explained the treatment and potential side effects. In an interview a few weeks after the procedure, Bob elaborated: “I was prepared and knew what to expect. My wife did not fuss when I slept a lot because she knew that I might feel tired after the treatment. I also feel some weakness on one side, which will improve with time and is one of the known side effects. But truthfully, being aware of my balance is something that comes into play at 71 years of age anyway.”
Bob has been actively posting on Facebook groups about his experience with the focused ultrasound treatment. While he wants to pass on his experience to educate others, he is adamant that every person needs to make their own decision about which treatment is right for them.
Just the other day, a lady stopped Bob at church as she didn’t recognize him with his cleanly shaven head. It turned out that she also has essential tremor. Bob was able to easily and clearly write down the word INSIGHTEC on a piece of paper for her using his steady left hand.
“This is what I have been looking for. No cutting and no drilling but with the same result – my tremor is gone.”
This testimonial may not be representative of all treatment outcomes. For additional information about focused ultrasound for essential tremor, including safety information, please click here.