Grateful Patient Stories

Sometimes our patients are kind enough to share their story of success with us for the benefit of other patients.

Cervical Dystonia — A diagnosis at last

In 2004, I began to notice that I had a head tremor. I was in a top position at an entertainment company and the stress was enormous. In my position, I had to present to famous Hollywood actors and powerful producers. My head tremor made my life miserable and caused a lot of embarrassment. I also felt that my dating prospects changed and that men were turned off by my tremor.

Cervical Dystonia diagnosis.
Cervical Dystonia | Source: Allergan

I sought to cure the impediment by seeing several neurologists who used MRI’s and CAT scans to diagnose a benign tremor that “I would just have to live with.” I also saw an opthalmologist, tried massage therapy, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and healers of all kinds. Nothing worked. At the beginning of 2016, I saw a neurologist for headaches I had been experiencing. The neurologist noticed my head tremor and recommended that I see Dr. Melita Petrossian instead of him. I returned that afternoon to see Dr. Petrossian who asked me several questions, performed physical tests, and observed my tremor in order to determine the cause. Within ten minutes she was able to diagnose my tremor as cervical dystonia  – basically an overactive muscle in my neck that was causing the tremor. With Botox® treatments she believed she could stop the tremor, she said. After 12 years of distress, anxiety and embarrassment, I finally had a diagnosis and treatment plan. I burst into tears.

I received the Botox® treatment. I didn’t know what to expect, but within a week my head tremors had subsided. Within two weeks, it was gone. All my friends and family commented that my tremor had disappeared and I realized that indeed it had. My embarrassment was at an end. I could watch movies in a theater without holding my head and feeling ridiculous. I could go to church without feeling that everyone was staring at my tremor. I could be in a stressful situation without experiencing the tremor. I could present to audiences without feeling like an invalid. I could sleep without waking up from the head tremor. I could meditate without my head tremor driving me insane and causing me to throw in the towel. And my fear that I would be ditched by my boyfriend because of the tremor was eliminated.

I can’t begin to thank Dr. Petrossian enough and have great faith that she and the staff at the Pacific Movement Disorders Center located at Providence Saint John’s Health Center will help many others, too!

Ella C.
Los Angeles, CA

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Highly intelligent doctor who listens carefully and gives a lot of thought to the patient’s case. Gives advice and recommendations that are carefully thought out. Spends lots of time with her patients every time. Focused and caring. Really a most impressive doctor. Highly recommended.

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