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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DBS Turned on Today. Hooray!!!

Today is the another milestone; turning on the DBS Stimulator. A lot of people still fein surprise when I mention this, so if unsure, check my post "What Is DBS?"
Basically, I have something like a pacemaker inserted in my chest, to stimulate those probes which were inserted into my brain.
Yon and I rocked up to A/Prof William's rooms at 9 am sharp. (I'm certainly not used to peak hour traffic; it took 3/4 of an hr to do a 15 minute drive)
WE were greeted by A/Prof Williams and Emily and Clinton from The George Negus Show; they wanted to film the big event.

A Prof Williams asked me a few questions, and it was declared that there were already improvements.

*I was not dyskinetic  ie had no involuntary movements
*I had not experienced any 'off' periods
*or 'toe cramping/curling' since surgery.
It was explained that there is a 2 week 'honeymoon' period after the surgery, when the brain swells and may people's troublesome symptoms disappear. After 2 weeks, many people go back to as they were, after experiencing a false sense of euphoria.
A/Prof Williams then brought out a huge programmer, and turned on 1 volt to each side. As he did so, I felt a fuzzy rush up each side. I was asked to do the usual 'party tricks', (right) and A/Prof Williams was satisfied.
However, I felt a bit fuzzy round the head, and it was decided that 1/2 a volt may be enough for now.

Overall, Emma, Yon and A/Prof Williams noticed great improvement from before the surgery.
I looked at my wishlist from last month, and made the following observations;
1. Take less pills.                 I take about 30% less than before.
2. Stop dyskinesia                Seems to be under control for now.
3. Get a good night's sleep  I'm going to bed at about 9, getting about 8 hrs; certainly an improvement.
4. Improve handwriting        Well, we didn't expect changes there.
5. Stop toe curling                Hasn't happened once since surgery
6. Drive better                      Not allowed to drive yet, but I'm sure i could... and would be better.
and a 7th!
7. NOT to hang up on everyone on my cordless phone by leaning my face into it      certainly improved!

So 5, a possible 6 out of 7 is pretty good, and considering we didn't expect the handwriting to improve, it's almost a 100% improvement!

Everyone happy overall.



  2. Am in awe of your story and posts Karyn. Apart from a great sense of humour, you have an amazing spirit. You are an inspiration to us all. Stay strong. Your determination is enviable. Bev N

  3. fantastic news! I'm so excited for you!