I had a very enlightening visit with Dr. Macken yesterday. First, I was getting my blood-pressure checked and the nurse said she didn't get a good reading the first time so she had to take it again. She said my pulse was very high and asked if I was nervous. I said, "Well, I'm getting married on Saturday..." That got a big smile and "congratulations" and she must've left the room with the "pulse and marriage story" because all of the residents, fellows and doctors knew about it when they came in... it was fun.
Dr. Macken was in a great mood. He's always nice, but very professional. He's talking about my brain and usually he has no good news, so I think it has to be like this, but yesterday he was openly happy. He was very interested in our marriage plans, honeymoon, etc. He's from Ireland, so when we told him we were saving up to go to Ireland he got a chuckle. It's kind of like being in Ireland and having someone say they're saving up to go to Chicago, I guess. He just seems like a really cool guy!
When we got down to business, we talked about the VNS procedure. There were some other options that he was considering, but had to get more information from an Epilepsy board of some kind (I didn't catch the official name). One option was steroids, which have only been used in children and have major side effects. The other option was something called a Deep-Brain Stimulator. He said it's not yet approved by the FDA but it could be days before it's approved. Basically they drill a hole in my skull and implant a similar device as the VNS. He said he opted to go with the VNS because it's less invasive and will probably have the same success rate. (I don't think a hole in my head sounds to pretty anyway).
Today I'm calling the nurse for an appointment with the surgeon for implanting the VNS device. I told him I want to have the surgery before the end of the year because I've reached my insurance deducible so the procedure will be free.
It looks like October is going to be a busy month.