Surgery #2: Did it work?

Yes, it worked!

Many of you know that I had surgery on Feb. 4 to implant a second stimulator in my brain. The stimulator is designed to relieve some of the symptoms of Parkinsons disease. A similar procedure in November 2009 nearly eliminated the tremor and the stiffness on my right side; this time, I was hoping for a similar victory on my left side.

Did we hit a home run, like we did the first time? No. I’d say it’s more like a triple, because I think I’ll still have to take some medication to control the tremor on the left side. I still have some tremor in the “off” medicine state.

But we are now in the process of reducing the meds, and their undesirable side effects. The tremor is vastly reduced in terms of intensity and duration. We still have some room to tweak the settings on the new device. This is all great news.

Both the doctor and I were shocked at how bad my left side had become in recent months. I had come off my meds for about 18 hours before the programming session, and I was a mess. We both noticed, for the first time, that my left leg was involved.

So let’s put this latest advance in its proper context. Without some sort of dramatic intervention, like the surgery, I would be in seriously bad condition. We’re talking about not being able to perform many of the so-called activities of daily living, such as feeding and dressing and toileting one’s self.

This technology is giving me a new lease on life. I am very fortunate, indeed. I look forward to returning the favor.

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