Deep Brain Stimulation 2008
July 6, 2008 it was the big day, off to hospital, had to be off all medication the night before, talk about slow and stiff, I was taken to hospital by my sister and her husband and then get readyfor the big start at 09h00am on the 7th July 2008.
After a restless night as the nerves had set in and no medication, I was taken away for final tests and preparation, I was assigned a nurse who was just there to look after me and give me reassurance; she was amazing through out the whole operation. Then for the fitting of the metal cadge that fitted over my head ( I must tell you I was shown the helmet as I call it and shown all the details about the operation, but never imagined what it would actually be like, not to put anyone off, but it was worse than what everyone explained) The metal cadge was fitted, one size fits all, so it was a tight fit as I am 2m02, which meant one of the bars was nearly in my mouth, this then got bolted too my head, four screws into the top, later the cadge would be bolted to the table and for five hrs I could not move my head, it felt like a life time.
Two holes drilled through the scull, giving them access for the thin rods to go into the brain (I was later asked which was the worse part of the operation, the drilling which felt like a train going through or the cadge for me it was the cadge, I just wanted it off)
The operation was amazing as you are awake through the whole procedure, DRs have to find the exact point, once they have it and they start the stimulation you suddenly have movement, I was asked to do mathematics at that point I could not even think of 2×2, the whole idea is to place you under stress that you start with tremors, well it did the trick, after a couple of hours of tests and they had found the correct point it was time to complete the process and then have the battery inserted and wired up. As the final clips where placed on top and in a few moments my head would be free, on pushing the clip closed the one rod moved and we had to restart, I thought the world had come to an end, all I wanted was the cadge to be removed, well an half hour later, it was removed and it was amazing, the next stage was to place the battery and I looked forward to it, meant sleep. I a woke to a car battery in my chest (its as big as a pack of cards but when I look at it, it looks huge), and feeling tired, battery was not turned on yet and I was feeling okay.
Spent a week recovering, during the week the switched the battery on, felt like an electrical current passing through, but I could move again and best of all no shakes and tremors. Was not fantastic and walking was still a problem but all in all I was 100 times better than before.
Dr M.C.F Gerritz
Dr C.F.E Hoffman
Dr A Mosch
and all the staff who were involved with the operation and after care
My parents Wicky and Karel need more than special thanks, they stayed with me for a week after the operation which had my mother on edge, I insited on walking down stairs and doing things I was not quite ready for, I think my mother lost 4kg just from stress.
To have such amazing support from them I realise how lucky I am, from doing groceries, walking dogs, doing my garden and driving to hospital at three in the morning, I would need two pages of my diary just to list what they do for me. So Mom and Dad thank you for all the support.
How to adjust to Deep Brain Stimulation and it’s side effects