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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Parkinson's DBS Surgery, Part 2

Warning: This story has a few graphic photos, so if medical stuff bothers you, consider yourself warned.

My Wonderful Husband has two phobias: Medical things of any kind and loose tangled wires. So, when he walked into my Intensive Observation room after my Parkinson's DBS surgery, it was his worst nightmare. There I was, with strawberry blonde hair and tubes and wires running everywhere, all of them a giant tangled mess.
YumaBev and all her tangled wires

An hour after surgery, I wanted out of the bed. Moving all the medical apparatus connected to me wasn't easy, but nurse Sondra managed and I was able to sit in a chair. I felt pretty good, I was hungry, and I needed my Parkie meds, which I had brought with me. My head hurt, a little, but my lower back hurt worse and my hair was a tangled matted mess.
Sitting up and talking on phone

The nurse brought me some jello and crackers and I took my own Parkie meds. Then my Wonderful Husband decided to see if he could do anything with my hair. He slowly pulled the matted sections apart, then got a wash cloth and wiped as much of the red (a combination of blood and iodine) out as he could. 

Trying to wash the blood out of my hair

I sat for awhile, then asked nurse Sondra if I could walk. She said yes, and found a way to put all the medical stuff on two different poles so I could walk up and down the hall. Now I know how a dog feels on a leash.
YumaBev still smiling

They brought me a very practical dinner for someone with Parkinson's who has just had two holes drilled in her head. Spicy pulled pork, baked beans and mixed veggies. I ate most of it with my fingers and still dropped about half. 

Nurse David came on duty at 7 pm and my Wonderful Husband went back to the hotel about 8 pm. If I could stay up until 11 pm, they would be able to remove one of the things connected to me, so I stayed up. David moved some things from one arm to the other, so I only had two things connected to my left arm and I tried to go to sleep. They had the bed elevated and I couldn't turn on my side, so I didn't get much sleep. I was wide awake a 4 am and talked David into letting me get back in the chair.

Nurse Thuy, my Wonderful Husband and breakfast all showed up around 7 am. The only thing I ate was peach yogurt, the rest was stuff I don't like even when I feel great. Dr. Norton came by around 8 am and said I was doing good and he'd be back later to see if I was well enough to go home. I laid down, got up, walked up and down the halls. I was ready to go home. 

Nurse Thuy said that Dr. Norton wanted to see if I could keep lunch down (Vomiting is not good after brain surgery) and would be back after lunch. Lunch came around 11 am; spinach lasagna. I ate most of it; even though it looked and tasted awful. Stephanie (Dr. Norton's surgical assistant) came by an hour later and said I could go home, so I got dressed and we headed back to Yuma, 220 miles away. 
Close up of top of my head

I kept dozing off on the way home, which is not a good thing, since I get sick if I close my eyes while riding in a car. By the time we got home, I was tired and feeling sick to my stomach. I ended up throwing up all the spinach lasagna. Then I got a shower and washed all the red out of my hair and went to bed around 8 pm. I woke up the next morning with a swollen right eye (to be expected) and no more nausea.  
YumaBev with swollen eye, but still smiling

Sometimes you get what is called a honeymoon effect just from the trauma of the surgery and I did. I had almost no Parkinson's symptoms on Saturday or Sunday, and they are just starting to return today, six days later. Here is a little video clip of me just 48 hours after the surgery.

You can find all my videos on my YouTube channel:


  1. Wow so awesome! I feelhopeful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sounds like all is going well! Thanks for sharing the experience. I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts!

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