My Father The Cyborg
By lskrocki on Jan 04, 2009
My father is a walking medical technology wonder. His entry into the cyborg world began in 1987 when artificial mitral and aortic heart valves were implanted to repair damage caused by childhood rheumatic fever.
He has had Parkinson's Disease (PD) for about 15 years. His meds are tapped out, not terribly affective and now require meds to counter the growing list of side-affects from the PD meds -- an ugly, snowballing affect. If all goes well, he will have a neurostimulator implanted, via a procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), tomorrow. If successful, the neurostimluator will short circuit the abnormal brain signals that cause his PD tremors and rigidity; which in turn, will hopefully enable him to dramatically simplify his buffet of medications and enjoy a more comfortable, normal life.
Since DBS is a rather new technology (approved by the FDA for treating PD in 2002), it's still considered radical by many. Getting him to this pre-op point has been a long road -- kudos to my Mother for doing so much legwork. Now, we hope for physical stabilization until tomorrow AM so his rock star Neurosurgeon, Dr. Aury Nagy, and the rest of the amazing medical team can do their thing!
A million thanks to those of you who have sent such kind thoughts, words & prayers to a man you may never meet. I am eternally grateful!
More on DBS (it's not gory, but does comprehensively convey the how amazing this technology is):