My shaky body and muscle spasms in my right foot awake me at 2 AM. I toss and turn and can’t get comfortable. My resting tremors aren’t resting, but very much awake. I try various yoga poses to combat the tremors -- the downward dog, child’s pose, the bridge and warrior poses – all provide no relief.
Suddenly I remember that this is how I felt most nights before the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) nearly seven years ago. With DBS, I now have another option, in addition to medication, to deal with these tremors.
With the programming of Medtronic’s Activa PC battery by Dr. Lynsee Hudson, my competent and caring neurologist/programmer, I am able to currently change between three groups of settings that she pre-programmed specifically for me and that are geared to my situation.
Group A: the best settings for verbal communication and in situations where I want to talk but with limited movement or exercise.
Group B: the best settings for movement and exercise, managing motor symptoms with limited talking.
Group C: the best settings for a little talking and a little walking—a compromise between Group A and B.
In the middle of the night, I pick up my patient programmer and switch the settings from Group A to Group B. My tremors magically disappear, and I’m able to rest. Sleep, glorious sleep!!
I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you, Medtronic, for developing DBS. Thank you, Dr. Hudson, for your outstanding programming skills. Thank you, God, for the miracle of DBS.