Shakes - Parkinsons or alcohol

I work in a large supermarket and give advice to dozens of customers each day. I make no secret of the fact I have Parkinsons. Many people notice my hand shaking and ask. So last week when I noticed a female customer looking at my hand I thought nothing of it. A short while later I was advised she had complained about me being drunk. Had this been true I would probably have lost my job. Fortunately my employer is very supportive. My manager listened to what had happened and has promised to support me if there is a recurrence of this. My manager was totally shocked that anyone would think I was drunk at work.

At the time it was quite upsetting. In a job where one is constantly dealing with customers there are bound to be moments of stress but this felt far worse. The support from managers and colleagues has reassured me.

Last summer I had got lost in a nearby small town, and was wandering about, map in hand trying to work out where I was (long and involved tale, I had got off the bus too soon) I saw a delivery man unloading a van at a small shop watching me, and thought Ah, he will know. I held out the map and said can you tell me where I am please and got the reply     No darlin I can't help the likes of you, my wife would kill me.

A year later it makes a good story, but at the time......................

No fun at the time, you're right. I was half expecting customer to be back following week.

 I myself have been subjected to people 'staring' at me in queues in supermarket , this one particular day i was shopping in a local store i only wanted a few small things so did not bother with a basket i just carried the items in my hand whilst i was in the queue i was acutely aware of a lady stood staring at me as my hands were shaking the more she stared at me the more self conscious i became and the more i was shaking  society is far to quick to judge someone and it is a lack of understanding about Parkinsons  as a general rule people do not associate parkinsons as something that can affect the younger generation and therefore other conclusions are jumped to like being drunk ,  none of us like to be stared at and yes it is very upsetting


i suspect she did not come back because she was to embarrassed  .

I feel awkward too about my tremor and people noticing it, I didnt even realise that shaking could make people think you were drunk or had an alcohol dependency until after I had the tremor, and cos I am young thats the more likely conclusion people will come to, when in reality I havent been able to drink for 6 years cos of medication! Nobody has ever said anything to me about my shaking, I tend to clench my hands into fists when Im shaking badly out in public, but I am quite self conscious of it. I wish I could know what people think when they see me, I look about 21 hehe but walk like Im 80! Sorry to all of you that have had embarrassing/upsetting moments x

I must admit this was perhaps more of a shock and upset because most people who notice my hand shaking are sympathetic and most offer support and advice. This may well be because I'm older and tend to be involved in conversations with older customers who almost always have a friend or relative with Parkinsons. That is easily the most common reason. I do feel a little embarrassed when they say how well I'm doing to still be working. The truth is if I could afford to give up work completely I would. I have far too many interesting things I want to do. Not that I don't enjoy chatting with many of my customers and helping them with their technical enquiries. I try to ignore my hand shaking as much as is possible and don't bother unless someone actually mentions it. I'm quite open about Parkinsons and have just got one of the 'give me time' badges. I'll see what reaction that gets.

Hi Shelly65, still no sign of her.


Suzynola7 I quite like a drink when I get home, especially as I brew my own. Unfortunately I seem to forget to pour it which keeps the intake down. Usually manage to get 2 or 3 glasses of beer or wine a week. Enjoyable but not excessive and all at home. Not keen on crowded places and being uncertain on feet is not an inducement to cisit crowded bars.

Can a bit of alcohol actually help a tremor a bit? Ive read it can for essential tremor but I wonder about Parkinsons. Ive just noticed in my last post I didnt say ive not been diagnosed with parkinsons yet, waiting for scan results at the mo but I definately relate to most people on here! You shouldnt be embarrassed if people say you are doing well for still working, you should be pleased with yourself cos I know it cant be easy. Hehe I would probably fit in better in a bar with drunk people, sometimes I wobble about all over the place! I hope you havent come across anymore rude people x

I have allways enjoyed a drink, I still do. In the past I have indulged far too much , but I did a Camino walk in Spain in August and since Ive returned I find that Ive really lost interest in beer and wine. I still take a drink but Im now not consuming nearly as much. Pity about the Parkinsons, I was diagnosed at 48 March 2013 but my liver is much happier.

Hi Suzynola7,


Sorry for delay in responding. I should check out here more often but always seem to be doing lots. Odd thing about Parkinsons and scans. It seems as I understand it that the scans can't tell if you have PD only if you haven't. It would be nice to have a more clearcut diagnosis.

Know what you mean about wobbling. I just have to be careful not to wobble into people. I find most of our customers are friendly and polite, helps if you smile at them and don't glower. The odd ones that are rude seem to think they're entitled to be rude. Best thing is to ignore the rudeness. Surprising how many times it's really frustration and when they realise that their frustration is making them rude to the person trying to help resolve their problem they you apologise and express understanding you're doing best you can.

Just bottling latest wine so we'll have plenty for Christmas. Soon be time to start baking Christmas cakes. The odd hand shaking can help with sprinkling a drop of Rum onto Christmas cakes.

Not sure if my od drink reduces tremor or not. Good excuse for a little experiment, methinks.



I spent sometime in the Army and at that time I used to drink more than I aught. I also smoked heavily and ate too much. Even after leaving the Army socialising seemed always to involve large quantities of beer and wine. However, like you I have lost interest in quantity of alcohol and fine I enjoy being more selective about the occasional drink. The fact I make most of my own adds to the pleasure.