Human Guinnea Pig II

7 Mar

Well, I survived the Parkinson’s balance research project.  I went to a laboratory at the University of Cincinnati to be tested (off my Parkinson’s medicine) with my Deep Brain Stimulation Device on.  They put me through a number of balance tests on a square metal floor plate (like a scale but this one measured tiny movements connected with balance).  Some tests had me standing with my eyes closed, some with my eyes open, some standing on thick foam for 30 seconds at a time trying not to move.  Then, I walked on a pressure sensitive carpet for 2 minutes. After a short rest walked again while counting backwards by 3’s out loud from a number like 697.  That is difficult!

They then turned off my DBS device and fed me lunch.  I gobbled down my Subway sandwich before I started feeling the effects of the DBS being off.  In about 10 minutes I was moving slower and within about 30 minutes the Parkinson’s “mask” came on my face and my speech got quieter and indistinct.  The mask is an expressionless face showing no emotion.  By the end my mouth was drawn down into a permanent frown.  The walking tests were very challenging especially the counting one.  My right arm was “stuck” to my leg (not free and swinging) and I was not walking very well.  It felt like my blood was made of molasses and I had 25 pound weights hung on my body.  My eyes were burning from lack of Parkinson’s medicine. But all in all, it wasn’t as bad as I imagined it might have been.  There were times before I had the DBS surgery when I was literally paralyzed for a while until my meds kicked in. 

A lot of people were praying for me.  God has provided Social Security Disability for me and this fantastic medical device called Deep Brain Stimulation and I am thankful.  I am also thankful for our beautiful daughter for transporting me today.  I learned what it would be like if the medicine and DBS were not available.  I would not be able to function in our world and forget photography, volunteering at Target Dayton or anywhere else!  Social interaction would be nearly impossible and most of the everyday things I’m doing would be unthinkable.  My answer to the question, “who is the real me”…the real me is the me enabled by modern science to live a relatively normal lifestyle (with some major Parkinson’s limitations still involved).

I am determined to wear myself out before I rust out.  I will spend my remaining useful years serving our Lord in whatever capacity He shows me.  Someday this disease or some disease will overcome my capacity to resist it and I will be in heaven with God.  I look forward to thanking Jesus personally and to eventually being there with my whole family.  Until that time, He has work and a purpose for me to be about.  To borrow a famous phrase, “Lets Roll”.

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2 Responses to “Human Guinnea Pig II”

  1. Glenda Womeldorff March 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    Gary,
    We were praying that everything would go well. Bless you for being such a generous servant : ) You are such an inspiration. Thank you for allowing God to use you in so many ways and for giving Him the glory.

    Glenda

    • Creation Source Images March 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

      Don and Glenda, Got VM from Don, thanks for praying. I took two anti-inflammatory pills yesterday morning so I wouldn’t also be limping on my sore hip and there was no pain. This morning for Target Dayton also took 2 pills and it was very sore. So, prayers said yesterday hit the mark!

      See you soon. Gary

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