I’ve been looking for a way to begin again: begin blogging again. Begin a daily creative habit – again. For all of the oddity, fear, and pivoting required in 2020…I was surprisingly blessed. I had artwork accepted in local exhibits. I had a successful showing in Urban Art Gallery, Joplin. I found my style, my way of painting. I also made it a year without falling. I learned to be aware of the vulnerability caused by the hemi-dystonia and my deep brain stimulator (DBS). Another highlight I’m just now realizing…I… Read more Begin Again →
Since that time, I have painted abstracts almost exclusively left-handed.
Today marks two months since my deep brain stimulator was turned “on”. When my power setting was initially determined, I could strut a straight line at a 4.0 I was sent home at a 2.0, with a device that would allow me to check my implanted battery strength and adjust my DBS device within a 2.0 – 4.0 range. Always one to think if a little is good a lot is fantastic, I began adjusting up, by 0.1 increments, my device on an every-other-day basis until I reached 2.9. At… Read more Turn it up! →
It’s been a little over two months since the first surgery. Just over one month since the deep brain stimulator was switched “on”. I’ve enjoyed renewed confidence in my ability to improve. We’re witnessing changes in my left leg which we can only contribute to increased circulation from improved mobility. I participated in a physical therapy evaluation last week during which it was determined that I have the “balance” of an 80-year-old…and trust me…I’m much improved! (Deep breath – I now have a goal – achieving the balance of a… Read more Long Overdue Update →
So today was my second day back at work after a little more than a month off for deep brain stimulation surgery. At first I was scared the surgery would never happen. Next, I was scared the surgery would happen. (After all – it’s my brain.) I have hemi dystonia. After working in communication for over 30 years, my brain decides – at times – it won’t “communicate” with the left side of my body. I’m blessed to work in a hospital system with some incredibly talented neurologists and neurosurgeons.… Read more What is…second day back at work? →
It’s working! We just finished two hours with the Medtronic representatives – testing the device, setting my levels. One of my fears was that today would feel like it does for me when I visit the eye doctor: “Is the first lens better than the second? Is this view better than the last?”….and many times I’m thinking, “Well there’s good aspects to both. Which one is best?” Nope. This was, and is, clean cut. As one of the sensors was activated, I would feel tingling and possibly my speech would… Read more Oh. My. Goodness! →
Tomorrow morning, Thursday, March 21, is “Go” time for the deep brain stimulation (DBS) device! We meet with my neurologist and a MedTronic representative at 9am to turn on the device. We may have good luck on a tuning right off the bat. We may have to adjust the settings over a series of visits. I’m becoming increasingly impressed with the skills of the physicians and the technology behind the device. There are some crazy smart people in the world and I’m fortunate to have this opportunity. This time feels… Read more It’s “Go” Time →
Both Stage I and Stage II deep brain stimulation surgeries are complete and behind us. Throughout all the experiences and appointments leading up to and during these procedures, we have met the smartest and kindest medical professionals. It seems as if I haven’t been at work in ages. I’m missing my routines. I’m missing my friends…which may have been part of the impetus behind my pushing the limits ‘just a smidge’ at home Tuesday afternoon. I experienced a seizure, which we discovered isn’t uncommon after this type of surgery –… Read more Surgeries – all done! →