Deep Brain Stimulation for Tremor

This video that I just watched seemed very much about the type of tremor I currently have. I have learned exactly this one as being the one used in my brain/body when speaking with my Neurologist about it awhile ago. Very interesting. Having a hand device that turns the implanted simulator on/off. This person talks about how he cannot write with the one hand with it off, but can write with it on. Interesting. Hope this works with the leg/foot too…. Maybe.

This new surgery…..

Back in March, I was commenting more about how this right-hand of mine shaking too much was really bothering me. Welll…. It is either…

  • not shaking so bad.
  • not noticing it.
  • eh, just got used to it. Pretty much the same as not noticing. I mean, it shook bad before and now it just shakes “more” again. Maybe I’ve forgotten how much better it was?

Kinda leaning towards the “not so bad”, but I’m sure that I’ve gotten used to it.


Been sort of surfing through YouTube and found other people who have gone through the same new surgery I’m looking forward to. ……

Easiest way to say anything (like the surgery I’ve HAD BEFORE) is the outcome is not exactly the same for every person who has it done.

The New Doctor…

Today, I went to see a NEW Neurology Doctor. It’s down the street from the hospital of my brain surgery in a different building: University of Physicians – Neurology.

I was there to explain to the doctor my “whole story” of all these things I’ve been through with my whole surgery. I explained how my right-arm is much more shaky after getting off this latest medication. Well, they have a plan….

Let’s do MORE Brain Surgery!  🙂

I’ll look into it and think about it. No coma-time (unlike my last surgery) and have it be just in & out in a day. Well, I don’t know about that ONE DAY. After surgery on my brain, I’d rather stay in the hospital at least ONE night. Eh? 

So, how does this surgery work?

Deep Brain Stimulation for Essential Tremor.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is used to treat a number of movement disorders, including essential tremor. DBS is a way to inactivate the thalamus, a structure deep in the brain that coordinates and controls muscle activity. The true cause of essential tremor is still not understood, but it is thought that the abnormal brain activity that causes tremor is processed through the thalamus.

How Effective Is Deep Brain Stimulation?

Deep brain stimulation provides moderate relief for approximately 90% of patients with essential tremor.

There’s allot more to Deep Brain Stimulation for Essential Tremor, but this list is interesting…

Advantages of deep brain stimulation include:

  • It doesn’t destroy brain tissue and won’t limit future treatment.
  • The device can be removed at any time.
  • It is adjustable.
  • It may be more effective in controlling tremors than thalamotomy, or destruction of the thalamus.

Disadvantages of deep brain stimulation include:

  • Increased risk of infection from the presence of a foreign object in the body
  • Repeat surgery every three to five years in order to replace the battery in the device
  • Uncomfortable sensations that may occur during stimulation

MY THOUGHT: “Well, everything has disadvantages…”

Let’s look into it more….

What Happens During Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery?

Using CT or MRI scans, surgeons will target areas for placement of the electrodes. Some doctors may use an electrode-recording technique to map and target the specific areas in the brain they will need to reach.

Once the correct location is identified, the permanent electrodes are implanted in the brain. The loose ends are placed underneath the skin of the head and the incision is closed with sutures. The wires are attached to a small impulse generator, about the size of a pacemaker, that is placed under the skin on the upper chest. Two to four weeks later, the IPG is turned on and adjusted. It may take a few weeks until the stimulators and medications are adjusted before a person gets relief from symptoms.

Will I Be Asleep During Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery?

You will remain awake but in a type of “twilight” zone during most of deep brain stimulation surgery. This allows the surgical team to interact with you when testing the effects of the stimulation. Small amounts of local anesthetic (pain-relieving medication) are given in sensitive areas. The vast majority of people experience minimal discomfort during the procedure.

MY THOUGHT: “Twilight Zone…. I’ve always loved that show! 🙂 Basically awake during the entire surgery. Pretty much….”

What Should I Expect After Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery?

After deep brain stimulation surgery, you may feel tired and sore but will be given medication to keep you comfortable. Also, you may have irritation or soreness around the stitches and pin sites.

As with any surgery, there are some guidelines and limitations that you should follow after DBS. Be sure to discuss these with your doctor and ask questions before surgery. Understanding what you will be experiencing and knowing what to expect afterward can help ease some of the natural anxiety that comes with any medical procedure.

Can I Use Electrical Devices After Deep Brain Stimulation?

While you should be able to use most electronic devices after DBS surgery, you should be aware that:

  • Some devices, such as theft detectors and screening devices, like those found in airports, department stores, and public libraries, may be triggered by your device. It may take extra time to go through airport security. Always carry the identification card given to you. With this, you may request assistance to bypass those devices.
  • You will be able to use home appliances, computers, and cellular phones. They do not usually interfere with your implanted stimulator.
  • You will be provided with a magnet to activate and deactivate your stimulator. This magnet may damage televisions, credit cards, and computer discs. Always keep it at least one foot away from these items.

MY THOUGHT: “Kicks theft detectors? …screening devices? Ugh… Might be a little hard with that. (kinda funny, though…)”

But, still do-able…

My Brain Surgeon Visit

THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR, BOYS AND GIRLS.

Today is Wednesday and I did… wait, wait… YESTERDAY was Wednesday and I did one of those “check-in with the Neurosurgeon” appointments. (you know, that check-in that EVERYONE does for the SAME REASON as me on a regular basis…)

What did the surgeon say today? Well…

  • “Everything looks good that was done by the surgery that I did. I can see this by how well your scar looks on the side of your forehead.” (Hard Work done by Him)
  • “You are doing a good job by how your hair is growing back cover the rest of your scars.” (Hard Work done by Me)

Ok ok ok…. May have been several things talked about there, but those are the MAIN ones to brag about. 🙂

Several other things he talked about and how he was so proud of the work he finished. (Not those exact words, but you know what I mean) 😉

He asked what I’ve been doing lately…

“Oh…. I’ve been riding my bike all over the place to…”

“While wearing a helmet to thoroughly protect that WORK that I FINISHED UP THERE????!!!!”

“Uh… I guess I could, huh? I mean, I have one. When I first got out of the hospital after you doing the BRAIN FIXING SURGERY, I wore one. But.. I kinda just… Hmmm… Forget to?”

“No. No. No. No….. WEAR YOUR HELMET! You are not just going to fall off a bike and screw up all that work I did for you!”

“Ok…. “

“JUST MAKE SURE! DON’T FORGET!”

YES, I have a helmet. Do I enjoy wearing it? Not my favorite thing, but that’s true it needs to be done. :-/

When I came to my meeting, I “found out” that the party going there on was actually the Surgeon’s Birthday. Not really for me being there at all (ha ha). I bought a present to give him just for me to be a “nice guy” since it has been SO LONG since I had seen him. After learning about the Birthday, that’s exactly what my present becomes. A Birthday Present. 😉

This is a pretty nice present….

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“Head” Pictures

I was “digging” through my list of my own hospital pictures of myself from earlier in 2014 and thought…

“Why didn’t I share this one I just came across..??”

1800392_10152221659242360_296316279_n

Huh? Then I was looking some more and just found this…

1610111_10202539248015270_1501052759_nSo, you can see that I didn’t really find too much just by looking around… Type later…