My Father The Cyborg

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):

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  1. #1 by Maria Fuller on January 4, 2009 - 2:35 pm

    Linda….thanks for keeping us posted on your dad’s situation. I’ll pray for a successful procedure!

  2. #2 by Kevin on January 4, 2009 - 2:44 pm

    Good luck to your dad and your family!

  3. #3 by David Simmons on January 4, 2009 - 3:13 pm

    Brain stuff is so dicey … Just had my own odyssey through it with a family member. You are doing an amazing thing in being so actively involved in your dad’s care. Good luck to him in his journey, and to you too! (And thanks for your kind words and support in my ‘interesting times’ as well.

  4. #4 by Levi on January 4, 2009 - 3:18 pm

    Sounds like amazing technology, and that it really improves the quality of life for the recipient. Best of luck and best wishes to you, your father, and your family!

  5. #5 by melanie gao on January 4, 2009 - 4:08 pm

    Praying for your dad and your family. Please keep us posted!

  6. #6 by Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart on January 4, 2009 - 5:14 pm

    Best wishes to your dad and your family. And keep us posted on how it goes.

  7. #7 by Ramona Souza on January 8, 2009 - 9:31 am

    Linda,
    I know that your Aunt Eileen is praying for him. And so are we.

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