I’m guardedly optimistic about where things stand wth the DBS system so far. My right arm has been nearly tremor- and dyskinesia-free; my gait and arm swing are nearly normal; left side tremor is doing OK but could be just a little bit better.
One of my tests for tremor level is functionality: Can I hold a steering wheel with both hands? Today the answer is yes, most of the time, although the left can get really uncomfortable when the med levels get low.
Today was also a good day to evaluate the system under heavy emotional stress. I volunteer on the board of the kids’ school, and I had to run a meeting that was extremely contentious, a disagreement between faculty members. You just can’t make everyone happy all the time, right? -sigh-
I found myself sitting on my hands at times, although I didn’t really need to. The tremor on both sides definitely increases with stress, but it recedes almost as quickly. The only consistent action happens in the morning, when I my upper right leg has an intense need to rotate internally. But there is no action elsewhere in the leg.
Non-motor side effects are hard to gauge at this point. Digestive system is just OK with the re-introduction of the benztropine, but that cost is definitely worth it when balanced against the tremor-reducing effect. It’s critical to the tremor reduction. I’m also dealing with more anxiety, and I definitely feel thick-headed. It’s possible that there are non-PD factors at play, such as stress, low blood sugar — these are both adrenaline triggers — and maybe poor sleep are contributors. The lack of exercise today doesn’t help, either, but I think I need the rest.