What a difference a year makes!
It’s been almost one year (February 20, 2019) since my deep brain stimulator (DBS) was installed. The device was switched “on” one month later, March 20.
This year has brought wins: cutting my medication in half, almost eliminating all nighttime spasms/uncontrolled leg movement, much improved left hand coordination, and smoother entry and exits into and out of cars.
It’s brought surprises as well – realizing I can accidentally shut the DBS off. (Some days I need a keeper.) And a growing interest in creating abstract mixed media paintings.
The left-handed/wonky abstract paintings started as a curiosity. I knew I would need to do occupational therapy following the DBS surgery…and I was curious to see what a difference the device would make once switched “on”.
After surgery in February 2019, I decided to paint 10 abstracts using my left hand only during the one month span between implanting and activation of the device on March 20. I simply numbered them Wonky 1, Wonky 2, etc.
The painting entitled Wonky 11 was painted within the first hour of being fully “bionic”! It’s this joyous, little fluid painting – lots of reds, golds, pinks and oranges. You can tell, when compared to the earlier pieces, that I my movements were much more relaxed. I painted nine more following being “on” as part of the initial DBS experience. Wonky 12-20.
Since that time, I have painted abstracts almost exclusively left-handed. I like them more, quite frankly.
Last week I was fortunate to have a one-year follow-up with Medtronic relative to my DBS and the channel settings. I was operating on two channels (A and B)– one of which was not optimal. Medtronics erased that setting gave me a new B…and a C and D. So now I have four channels. I’m doing a blind-test of muscle fluidity, lack of foot dragging, falls (hopefully none) etc. for the next three months – three weeks on each channel.
I also plan to do several abstracts per each channel to see if if there is a notable change between three-week cycles. I’ll keep my “wonky” ways decidedly on!