• Family

    Man & Cyberman: Part Two

    Almost four hours into his Deep Brain Stimulation app calibration Dad texted us:

    Almost done. Exhausted but elated. Am texting this with steady hands.

    We all got a little emotional, to tell the truth. Dad’s DBS surgery was just over a month ago, and he’s been healing ridiculously well. Every single wound site is essentially invisible, with no obvious scarring or trauma, and we’ve all been kind of trying to imagine just how different life was going to be for him when he returned home from his calibrations.

    When he arrived home, he said, sort of bemused, “All I did was sit there for four hours saying, “Mary had a little lamb,” and bringing a cup or a biscuit to my mouth over and over again, but it was really intense!” But then, four hours of repetitive motion is pretty damn intense even if nobody is running itty bitty electrical currents through your brain to see how they affect your motion, and that, of course, is exactly what the team was doing with him for all those hours.

    Although apparently pretty well the entire surgical team stopped by to admire their handiwork, there was a smaller team on hand for the calibration process: the doctor, the nurse who held Dad’s hand through the surgery, and the software representative for the company that developed this particular DBS app—remember that Dad is only the second person in the world to have had this specific surgery, which makes him an exceptionally interesting test subject.

    It also means there’s no template at all for these calibrations, and while he imagines that everyone goes through an equally intense and careful process for DBS calibration, we expect the work they’re doing with him will become part of their template, which is pretty amazing.

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