How Essential Tremor is Diagnosed and Treated

Jan. 7, 2020 —Robert Chance has lived with an essential tremor in his left hand since he was 6. He managed to help out on his family’s Minnesota farm, although he did have trouble flying kites. After college, Chance turned his love of flying into a stint as a Navy pilot, even mastering carrier landings. He eventually flew an F-8 Crusader on reconnaissance missions during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His tremor did earn him a nickname, from his Navy flight instructors, though. “They called me shaky,” says Chance, now 84. In 1964, he left the Navy for a 30-year career as a pilot for Northwest Airlines (absorbed by Delta in 2008). A few years ago, Chance’s tremor started to worsen. His wife, Debbie, started to notice problems when he was playing golf. Eventually, his shaky left hand interfered with daily life.

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