21 May, 1998
Mine was implanted sept 22. 1997 , activated oct 6, 1997 since that timeI have only experienced 4 minor aura's that was controlled via the magnet. Prior to that I had approx. 3-5 seizures per day/week with atleast 2 of them being grand-mal type where I lost consciousness. I wastaking so much medication that the last Dr. stated that he had neverseen anyone so medically intoxicated.
I am now down to just 2 medications and reducing them gradually, ifeverything continues to go as well as it has so far I will be totallymedication free by about feb.1999.
The only problem that I have experienced is an ache in my left petorial(chest) muscle where the unit is located. This could be from use or from bumping the unit occasionally. I have talked to the neuro-surgeon who implanted the device and together we have decided that the device should be placed higher and further in from the arm-pit this may or may not help at least when you raise your arm above your head the device willnot protrude. As I said, finally, I can live a semblance of normal life.
I highly recommend this procedure to anyone whom medication does notseem to be working or the medication is making sick or groggy. Theprocedure takes approx. 2-3 hrs. with a possible stay over-night in the hospital. the simulator is activated when the Dr. feels that thestitches are sufficiently healed. The settings are done in the neurologists office using his office computer and a"wand" that is held over the simulator. DO NOT give up right away the settings must be adjusted until they are comfortable and reduce the seizures. The only side effect that I have experienced is a hoarseness every time the simulator goes off. This is caused by the vagus nerve being located directly behind the vocal cords. This small inconvience is worth it while getting rid of the seizures. The test data stated that 1/3 of all parents will improve approx 95% and1/3 will improve 50% while 1/3 will show no change. Any time I can get 66% odds in my favor I will go for it!!!!
I'm only taking Phenobarbital 150mg & Tegretol 800mg daily. An attempt to reduce these meds failed with the onset of small daily seizures(peti-mals). My "VNS" is set on the lowest setting possible on 5 minuteintervals. My only experience with seizures came last summer (1999) when I was bitten by a large number of Red bugs, after that I have only had about 15 small episodes (no loss of consciousness or awareness) just like a bad case of the chills that would not go away for about 3-4 minutes. My memory and dexterity has improved greatly from prior to the implant of the "VNS". The only problem with my memory is age, so far noone has found a fix for that. Dave can't verify this information but if anyone would like to, you can email my Dr. who is Dr. Robert Woody you can find his email address listed where all of the physicians names and address are located within Cyberonics web site.
I will continue to keep this site updated.
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