Deep Brain Stimulation – My Brain – Reprogrammed

1 Feb

Friday my brain gets a “reprogram”.  Well, to be accurate, my Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) programmer, Maureen, will set my neurotransmitter with three new programs.  Then I can try them out to see which brings me the least Parkinson’s symptoms.  We will leave one additional setting at my current program in case the three new ones don’t work.

As an experiment a few Saturday’s ago I turned my DBS off.  I don’t do that ever.  Well once by mistake.  After about 1/2 hour Carol said my face took on a “mask” type of look, I was having a LOT of problems moving, my hands didn’t seem to obey my brain when I tried to do something.  Bottom line it wasn’t pretty.  I turned it back on!!

My current program has been good for quite a few months now.  However, the disease progresses and the old program becomes a bit weak and some of the old symptoms are starting to come back – stiff left shoulder, speech problems, a bit of shuffling in the morning, some “off” time, more reliance on the PD drugs.

I’m not sure how Maureen will proceed this time around because I am at the highest setting for my current program.  She is contacting Medtronics, the DBS manufacturer because my current program is somewhat experimental.  They are afraid that any more electrical juice and my sensors in my brain might heat up – not a good thing!

There are literally thousands of potential settings and the programming is more art than science.  But I have assurance that God has it all under control.  I am so thankful for having DBS!           (Thanks, Lord). I have my life back now and can function in my world as a fairly normal person.  Well, some of my family would question the term”normal”, but that is because of my occasional bouts of strange humor!  Got to keep on keeping on!!


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