DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION
It’s a new year and it’s time to start writing again. The following article was written sometime ago and will serve my purposes well. I’m scheduled for DBS. If you are interested, you can see a video of the surgery on YouTube. My Parkinson’s is worsening but still tenable.
Losing your motor skills is not so bad as long as you still have your brains. It’s your brain that makes you who you are! I watched too many patients vacate their bodies due to the onslaught of Alzheimer’s. The big “A” leaves behind an empty shell that only serves to torture its loved ones with memories of who once inhabited it.
One of the things Parkinson’s can do to its victims is steal their brains. I’ve been joking a lot about CRS (can’t remember shit). In your 70s, CRS is prevalent. It’s also relatively harmless. So how do you know if you have CRS or another form of dementia? Most of the time, you wait and see.
Neuropsych testing can uncover early dementia. In order to be assessed for DBS (deep brain stimulation), an advanced form of treatment for Parkinson’s, you need to have a complete battery of neuropsych testing. I’m being tested this am. The problem is that I don’t want to know if I’m losing it!
I’ve been planning on eventually developing dementia. I’ve been recording on paper who I am so that, one day, my grandchildren and their kids can get to know me. I need to put it on paper now before it disappears. Hope for the best but plan for the worst is my motto.
Dementia is the worst! Unfortunately, our society thinks keeping an empty shell alive long after its brain is gone is the right thing to do. I don’t! I witnessed what appears to be a never-ending death as patient after patient gets shipped to the memory unit of a local nursing home. The patient is not allowed to finish dying and the family can’t finish mourning for their loved one.
Sometimes I think we are in heaven and there is a hell. I think the memory unit and hell are the same place. I watched my father sit at the kitchen table looking through a phone book for his parents’ phone number. If you asked him what he was doing, he said he was calling his parents, he wanted them to pick him up and take him home! My mother meant well! She kept his shell alive, blocking every attempt he made to go home (die).
I want to die before the only part left of me is a gargantuan shell. So, am I afraid of DBS? You can be damn sure I am.! Do you have to worry that I may take my own life if the results are bad? Absolutely not! I’ve got more to write and things to do. Just promise me that, when its’s time, you’ll let me go home to a place where I can be whole again. By the way, I don’t want 40 virgins to greet me at heaven’s gate. I prefer 40 very experienced versions of Renee!
Now you could use a joke (or is it?).
An elderly couple had dinner at another couple’s house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen.
The two gentlemen were talking, and one said, ‘Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great. I would recommend it very highly.”
The other man said, ‘What is the name of the restaurant?’
The first man thought and thought and finally said, ‘What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love?
You know…. The one that’s red and has thorns.’
‘Do you mean a rose?’
‘Yes, that’s the one,’ replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, ‘Rose, what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last night?’