- Sarah Marcina
What a week it has been.
A little background... in 2006 my neurologist suggested a Vegas Nerve Stimulator as a therapeutic option. You might be thinking, what the heck is that??? If you are, that was my first thought. This is how my doctor explained it to me: "A small device, called a generator, about the size of a pacemaker, is placed under the skin below the collar bone. Leads, which are like wires, are placed on the vegas nerve in the neck. The generator sends pulses to the leads. The pulses interrupt the seizure activity. The pulse setting can be changed. Many people who have drug-resistant epilepsy they have a good outcome through this type of therapy."
WOW... SURGERY????? NO THANK YOU!!! Yet after consideration and much prayer, I had the surgery. It was a huge help, although I continued taking medication. The recovery was short, but it took time getting use to having the device under my skin. Now, it has become such a part of me, I don't even think about it.
All of that to bring you up to now. For the first time ever, I had problems with it. I was having extreme pain with each pulse. It made me cough, not be able to swallow, and I felt short of breath. I was loosing my voice and it was painful to speak. I have never had these issues before, even after the initial implant.
When I called my doctor, I don't think she understood the extent of these problems. After all, each of those are potential effects go away within six months of the initial surgery. Suddenly, with no cause 12 years later I am having problems. She squeezed me in at the end of the day. She could see the pain just by my expressions. The doctor said within her 16 years of practice using the VNS, she has never had a patient experience this after having the device for years. She decided the best thing would be turning it off for two months to allow healing and resting for the nerve.
Since the VNS was part of my seizure control plan, the first 24 hours were critical. The best way to describe it is going cold turkey from a mind-altering drug. It could have caused me to have repetitive seizures. I was blessed and four days later I am still seizure free. Praising the Lord for this!
I stayed with my parents for the last several days as a precaution, since I live alone. I finally came home yesterday. It is amazing that an empty house can be dirty when you get home. Gremlins must have visited. I spent the day dusting, sweeping, and doing laundry. Today I am back to my normal routine, it feels so good. Perhaps later I will show you my sewing progression. Boy, it feels good to be behind my machine again!
*The wall hanging above is called, "A Day of Clouds, A Forecast of Sunshine". It was one of my first wall hangings many years ago when I was emotionally and spiritually struggling with the return of seizures.