Thursday, December 9, 2010

Raspy Voice

On Monday Dr. Macken and his Fellow Dr. Ericson increased my VNS amperage. It's now on for 7 seconds and off for 11. The magnate was also increased. Because of the increase my voice gets very raspy while the device is on. I actually like this because now I can tell that the VNS is on and working. Before Monday, the amperage was set so low that I could barely feel when it was on and when I swiped the magnate during a seizure it took me four attempts before it helped stop the seizure.

I had, what was going to be a small seizure last night before bed. Sara and I woke up very early yesterday so she could be to work for a morning meeting. Usually when I have a long day like this, I'm bound to have a little problem. When I felt it coming on, I swiped the magnate and it stopped the seizure immediately. I had no postictal feeling, nothing... I just went to bed. Nice.

One bad thing is now that my voice is so raspy every 11 seconds, people have been giving me funny looks when I'm placing an order at a restaurant or anything like that. I think it's funny, but I know what they're thinking... "Get me away from this sick bastard!" It kind of does sound like I have a throat cold or something. Sara and the guys at work are still getting used to it, well so am I. To hear me start a sentence with my normal voice and have it switch over to a 70-year-old smoker voice raises eyebrows.

Overall, I've been feeling ok. Let's just keep it at that for now.

Monday, December 6, 2010

↑ x2

Today I'm having the VNS set to 0.5 milliamps, up from 0.25 milliamps. Right now my magnate is set to 0.5 milliamps and I was instructed to use the magnate to manually turn on the device everyday so I could get used to the higher amperage before my next office visit. The magnate will also be increased, this time to 1.0 milliamps.

I've been talking to my Case Manager at Cyberonics (the manufacturer of the VNS) and I asked her about some of the positive side effects of the device as they increase the amperage. She said it'll help with daytime fatigue, memory, and verbal skills. Sara and I were talking, kind of jokingly, about how I really need help in all these areas. Irene at Cyberonics said patients feel an improved sense of "well-being."

Obviously I can't complain about these side effects because they are so positive (I wish they helped me lose weight!). Ok, yes, I've slowly been gaining weight, it's most likely the fluctuating depression and complete lose of energy. When clothes I bought just last spring are barely fitting... well, it's disheartening to say the least. To be honest, most people would immediately get down about this or tell themselves that they're going to do something about it, but when I try on a newly ill-fitting piece of clothing I shrug and look for old clothes that used to fit before I was sick. This is horrible. These are the kind of feelings that I'm banking on the device aiding... I'm really putting all my eggs in one basket. My whole thought process is off and I admittedly need help in the psychological arena, but I still think it's scary that I need some sort of Star Trek, futuristic, alien mechanism hooked up to my brain to help with these feelings... and yes, to stop seizures.