Hello, Has anyone experienced shakes or some call them jerks. My husband had a heart attack which led to brain injury so he is currently in the rehab (3 weeks now in rehab after 2 months in hospital). He had serious shakes when he woke up from the coma but then it got ok but the shakes seem to come back now and then although not as serious as before. He started walking with help of 2 people holding his hands but now he is on the wheelchair again due to the shakes as not safe trying to get him to stand and walk. Will it ever get better? They call it "Ataxia"? and staff has said that it might be due to reduction of certain medication?

12 Replies

  • Hi Yoda, I had serious shakes when I first came out of the coma, but they receded as time went on and I got stronger. When I'm very tired I feel like I am shaking, and I can shake sometimes if I don't suppress it. I can't say whether this will improve for our husband but it did for me.

    Best wishes Janet xx

  • Hi Yoda. I suspect that as the symptoms subsided and then returned it might easily be a medication issue. Ataxia is a fairly common effect of brain injury and, as your husband's problems were so recent, I'm sure there's plenty of time/scope for resolving this.

    There are various therapies available to address this condition, including drug therapy. Please try not to see this as permanent Yoda, because there are often worrying issues at this early stage which so often resolve with time.

    I hope you'll update us with your man's progress. Sending you a big cyber-hug in the meantime & all best wishes for a good outcome. xx

  • Yes when I came out of my coma and for quite a while after I had a marked tremor of my hand particularly when I tried to do anything. It seemed to be when I had to focus and concentrate to do something that particularly involved finer moter skills such as trying to use a knife, fork or spoon. I also shook when the physiotherapist started to mobilise me with a walking frame but I was extremely weak and could barely support myself on my feet and was terrified I would collapse and fall. Gradually it all improved and now I don't have a problem with tremor or shakes but do have ongoing balance problems.

  • i bealive headway have a booklet on ataxtia,sometimes stress can bring it on.hope youre hubby keeps getting better

  • Hi. Yes it is fairly common after B/I but as your husband is in the early stages off B/I.

    It could be Drug Related or his B/I, once they reduce his meds + when he becomes more mobile you will have a better idea. I had to have my hands tied to the bed as I keep pulling out all off my tubes. That sounds really bad (Kinky!!) When I got home I used to walk like I was drunk.


  • Well that makes two of us Steve. I didn't have my hands tied ; I had them swathed in yards of bandage which looked liked two white footballs.

    I was a handful (but unaware) so when my daughter & son visited after I'd first been bandaged they said the first thing they saw were my 'footballs' and didn't know whether to laugh or cry !

    But they actually said to each other 'Oh no, what's she been up to now. I don't remember any of this.

    Oh and the drunken stagger...................I still have it, as do many others. Cat x

  • Hi, That makes two off us as well - it's nice to have an excuse to being "Wobbly" Yes I was told off many things that I got up to when I was in hospital. But I also had no recollection "May Be A Good Job" I'm sure that they were playing up due to my "Memory"


  • Thank you so much for all your kind advise. Talking to people here is helping me a lot. I know nothing is guaranteed but it has given me some hope. I think I just have to be patient. There don't seem to be anyone else in the rehab who shakes/jerks like him and I have been really frustrated not understanding about it. I also got to accept that there are good days and bad days. Hopefully in time I will cope better and not get too anxious and emotional and not to worry too much and give it time.

  • Hi Yoda ,

    I am a mover and shaker too !

    I did have what I called ' Incredible vibrating neck stem ' ! in early recovery, plus lousy balance and muscle weakness. The neck only judders a little now and balance ( with eyes open ) is greatly improved. Strength has improved to a degree but I am left with some spasticity ( overtight muscles/ tendons ) which makes them me tire quicker and lose power. I also have some co contraction ( send signals to opposing muscles as well as the ones I want to use ) which can cause juddering and a lock up, in the case of sitting to standing movement, in particular. I drop the signals to my legs, push up with arms and reapply leg signals when almost upright, to overcome this.

    Weak muscles tire quickly and will often shake out of fatigue. I did my own physio like crazy, first with a stick but I became ambulant without at 6 months. I had an extremely broad based gait at first but am able to walk with feet a little closer together now. I still have some trunkal swaying ( I 'dance' to my own tune : )) )

    I do still sometimes struggle with fine motor movements but can usually get there after a few attempts !

    As others have said, it is very early days yet for your hubby - plenty of time for improvement and adjusting to new meds.

    I'll plop a website with some info here ;

    It's a bit flowery in language but if you click on the medical terms highlighted in blue you can read their meaning.

    Kind regards, Angela x

  • My partners BI was also the result of a heart attack/cardiac arrests, and he had exactly those symptoms. He was given medication to control it which was reduced over a period of time and which he no longer needs. It did return with a vengeance one time when he was poorly with gastric flu but his brain just wasn't able to cope with the whole thing and I think everything just shut down for that short period of time. Haven't seen it since, and your husband is very early in his recovery, so every hope it will clear.


  • Thanks Jane. Yes I have to remember that it is still early although at times I feel that it's been such a long time. It will be one month on the 7th that he has been in the rehab so maybe I am expecting miracle! It is so hard sometimes to stay strong but I know I have to. I am ok when I am with him because I want to be strong for him but there are times when I am on the bus or just standing in a shop I would break down and cry. It is so silly. The emotions can be so over whelming. HIs memory is still all over the place and he chats non stop for some reason. He used to be a quiet man but now he cannot stop talking. I guess I shouldn't complain as it is better that he is talking than not.

  • My partner was in rehab for a year and went through many different stages in that time, from thinking his parents were visiting (neither of them are alive), thought I was his sister for a long time and so on.....Sadly he hasn't regained his short term memory so still has many issues, but as you have no doubt been told, everyone is different in terms of recovery so try to keep positive.

    Take care


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