Beverly McGowan is a nurse practitioner who has worked with patients both at the V.A. and with Medicare for more than fifteen years. This work continually presents her with opportunities to provide compassionate care and to educate people regarding their health, including evaluating their medications and ensuring the best quality of life for one and all.
She calls Montana home, and the time she spends in nature helps to keep her perspective clear and her ability to help others in the forefront. Ten years ago, Beverly noticed a slight tremor in her dominant hand. Her father had lived with essential tremor for many years which eventually made it impossible for him dress or feed himself without aid. When her tremor symptoms were not improving, Beverly began a quest to find out what she could do to manage the condition.
“It got to the point that I could not write reports, keep the mouse and cursor steady on the computer screen, and could not complete a thorough clinical exam with a steady hand. Completing the tasks required on my job became almost impossible. The condition also took a toll on my photography, which was my favorite thing to do when I was away from work. Holding the camera steady became an impossible task.” She declined attending a weeklong family reunion in Florida due to the severity of her tremor, which was making eating out in public a real challenge.
Beverly eventually had to retire from the V.A. and began to look into treatment options for her condition. She was excited to learn about a non-invasive treatment using ultrasound waves directed at the thalamus in the brain and guided by imaging from an MR machine. The research being done at that time was showing positive results with few long term side effects. “The best part was that it required no incisions whatsoever!”, she said. This was the answer to Bev’s prayers.
One year ago, Bev had the Neuravive treatment at the Stanford Neuroscience Medical Center. Following treatment, she reported some slight right-sided balance issues and some foggy thinking. She managed these issues by having her husband do all the driving and having him with her when she was walking up or down stairs. She was back to driving after about 10 days and reported that the balance issues were of little concern after about two weeks and had virtually disappeared about 3 months after treatment.
“I am a new person!” she exclaimed at the time of her follow-up visit at Stanford five months after treatment. “I have returned to the life I love and am fully engaged once again in my career, photography and my social life.”
Recently, while doing a medical history on a gentleman, she noticed his hand and head tremor and inquired about the symptoms. He told her he has had a tremor for about a year and that he no longer engages in his work as a sculptor nor cooks for family and friends, both of which had provided great joy and fulfillment. She could see he was somewhat embarrassed.
“I have a tremor as well,” she told him. He looked at her in disbelief and said, “No you don’t,” as he had sat with her for almost an hour and saw no evidence of a shaking hand. “Oh, yes I do!” she exclaimed as she reached for her computer tablet and pulled up her video on YouTube which showed her condition before and after the Neuravive treatment. At the end of watching the video, he sobbed and said, “I can’t believe there is something like this out there.”
“We simply don’t know what we don’t know,” has become a favorite line of Bev’s. “Sharing my story and educating people about this incisionless treatment provides a way to spread hope to others who suffer from essential tremor. There is a need to promote awareness within the medical community that there is a treatment option available to patients who suffer from tremors that is effective and does not require invasive surgery or a life-long dependence on medications.”
Nowadays, sharing her experience with the Neuravive focused ultrasound treatment to educate patients and colleagues in the local healthcare community has become a passion for Beverly.
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.