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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Cell Phones, iPads, Tablets, Laptops, YumaBev...Things That Must Be Charged

It's been four weeks since I had my Medtronic DBS for Parkinson's disease IPG (battery) replaced with a rechargeable version. The incision is completely healed and all the bruising is gone. Dr. Norton cut right along the previous incision so there's still only one little scar. In my opinion, it looks better than before. 
New rechargeable IPG

It certainly doesn't protrude as much as the previous non-rechargeable unit, and that is a good thing.


Old IPG

What else is different? Not much, except now I have become just like all of my electronic devices: I have to be charged regularly. 

My male friends have warped senses of humor and have suggested hooking me up to a Jump Starter or perhaps adding a super-charged turbo to it. They've also wondered what would happen if I got Tasered (I hope I never find out.) This is what happens when you hang out with car guys who are retired FBI, Military and Police, but they sure do make me laugh. 

The screen on my Patient programmer looks different. Instead of a screen showing the battery life in Voltage, it shows a percentage of how much charge I have left (much like Wonderful Husband's tablet.)
I have 75% charge left
I keep all our chargers in one spot. I keep my DBS Patient programmer there too.


Cell phone & tablet chargers & patient programmer

Now I just added the DBS charging system. It is kind of bulky. 


DBS charging system on the left


Medtronic provided me with a carrying bag. It might work okay, if you take out all the manuals and extra items you won't ever use, but it's bulky.


Medtronic DBS carrying bag

So, I did what I do best! I went thrift store shopping and found a cute little soft-sided bag with a zipper top for less than a dollar. 


YumaBev's cute little 'Charger' bag

Everything fits with room to spare and since it's see-through, you can easily to find whichever charger you need.

Plus the new little bag with everything in it only weighs a little more than the empty Medtronic one.



I'm all charged up and ready to go, just like the Energizer Bunny! 





Sunday, June 23, 2019

A Stitch in Time

It's been eight days since my Parkinson's DBS battery replacement surgery, and I have a follow-up appointment in Tucson. We overslept, so we quickly got ready and left Yuma at 7:15am. We had an easy drive with very little traffic. We had a very short visit with Mr. Brooks in the VA Hospital, then drove to Dr. Norton's office. 

I usually take my half a carbi/levodopa tablet AFTER I have my cereal with milk, but today, because we slept late, I took it on an empty stomach and I was now having noticeable dyskinesias in both feet. 

When I checked in, I was told I had no co-pay. That was a pleasant surprise. 

The Center had an Alzheimer's Awareness Month display with purple balloons, purple ribbons and purple frosted cupcakes. Another surprise.



We hadn't had any breakfast and we were hungry, so Wonderful Hubby and I each grabbed a cupcake. I ended up with purple frosting on my hands and face. No surprise there.

I was in the restroom trying to wash it off, when I heard Dr. Norton call my name. Yes, he comes out to the waiting area to get his own patients!

I hurried out and Wonderful and I walked back to his exam room with Dr. Norton. 

"Did you get your device?" Dr. Norton asked.

Device? I'm thinking to myself, what is he talking about? Then it dawned on me, he was asking about my old IPG. Yes, I said, I got it that same day.

"I see you are having some dyskinesias" Dr. Norton said.

"I told you he'd notice" Wonderful said.

As I sat in the exam room, I asked Dr. Norton if all his DBS surgeries are as humorous as mine. 

"Only yours" Dr. Norton says, chuckling, "only yours." 

Wonderful says,"I was stuck out there in the waiting area worrying, and you guys are having fun, it's not fair."


Before Dr Norton removes suture

Dr. Norton snips the knot off one end of the suture and grabs the other end with tweezers and gives a gentle pull. It comes right out. He holds up the 3-inch long piece of blue suture and says, "looks like fishing line, doesn't it?"

He grabs his Medtronic DBS programmer, checks everything and asks me if I want him to lower the settings to calm my dyskinesias. 


After suture is out

I say, no, I'll be fine after I eat. 

I tell Dr. Norton to check out the blog stories, he says he will, and we are done. 


YumaBev & Dr. Thomas Norton

As we are walking out, he says "I'm here if you need me, if not, I will see you in 15 years." 

That's a deal, I say. 

On our way home, I manage to pull off the highway and snap a picture of a saguaro cactus that looks like it's waiting for a hug. A very nice surprise.


The Hugger Saguaro

We got back home at 6:15pm: a 475 mile, eleven-hour day for a 10-minute appointment. Was it worth it? YES. No surprises there. 

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Morning After: Size Does Matter

Last night, I had taken the gauze bandage off before I put my pajamas on. I was supposed to wait 24-hours but the paper-tape was irritating my skin.  

I wasn't in any pain, and I'm sure the numbing agent had worn off by now but I took another Tylenol tablet before bed, just in case.

I slept well and spent most of the night on my left side, with a pillow between my right arm and my side. I did wake up once and I was sleeping on my right side and the pillow was down by my feet. I have no idea how it got there. I only felt a little discomfort when I got out of bed in the night to go pee. 

In the morning, I decided to take a look and see what the incision looked like. It doesn't look too bad. Most of the redness is from the paper-tape that held the gauze bandage in place. My skin really hates sticky stuff.


YumaBev's incision, morning after surgery

Wonderful Hubby had already got his shower at the hotel and he suggested I wait until we got home because the water pressure was really strong and the tub floor was kind of slippery. Since my incision looked okay and I wasn't in any pain, we decided to head for Yuma. 

Sitting in the passenger side of the car with the seatbelt rubbing across the incision would be painful, so I drove. We got lucky, all the traffic was going in the opposite direction. We stopped once for a bathroom break and a second time to have a snack and we got back to Yuma just in time for lunch.  

So, which did I choose? Regular or Rechargeable??

Yes, size does matter. I went with the smaller, thinner rechargeable IPG from Medtronic. 


Comparing the sample IPGs




It's hard to tell how big the regular one is, so I took pictures of my old IPG with a standard deck of playing cards. 




It's big! Especially if you are thin like me. I can already see the difference, and I won't need it replaced for at least FIFTEEN years! The surgery was a lot less painful than I expected. 

PS I called to check on Dr. Norton. He's fine and doing extra surgeries this week to get caught up. That man is AMAZING!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

It's a Boy, It's a Girl, NO it's ......

We get back to our hotel and I call the hospital and ask for the Pathology department. A woman answers and I ask about getting the IPG they removed from me earlier. She says this is the lab and I don't know what you are talking about. I thought about saying 'Chocolate or Yellow Lab', but I just ask if she can transfer me to Pathology. She says yes.

"Pathology, this in Ingrid." 

Hi, Ingrid. I'm Beverly Ribaudo, I just had surgery and I'd like to have the IPG they removed from me. I have my medical record number, if you need it.

"Okay?? You want what?"

It's a small chunk of metal, similar to a pacemaker. The surgeon, Dr. Norton said it's okay if I take it home with me.

"Okay, let me see if we have it. What's your date of birth? I found it. When are you leaving the hospital?"

It was outpatient surgery, I'm already back at the hotel. We go back to Yuma tomorrow.

"Let me see how quickly we can process it. It might be tomorrow morning before I can get one of our Pathology Doctors to sign off on it. May I have your phone number?"

Thank you Ingrid.

I am hungry. There's a McDonald's across the street from the hotel, so Wonderful Hubby walks over and gets us burgers and fries. After we eat, we decide to take a nap. I have no pain, but take a Tylenol tablet just in case. I am just dozing off when...

The phone rings, it's Ingrid. My 'specimen' is ready to be picked up. She says I'm to go to the Maternity, Labor & Delivery entrance and then call her. She says she's there until 5:30pm. I tell her I will be there in an hour or so (I really NEED that nap.)

After my nap, we drive back to the hospital and find the Maternity entrance. We are the only people who aren't carrying balloons, gifts or flowers. Once inside, I call Ingrid and she comes to meet us. We follow her down hallways and through an unmarked door and she goes and gets a form for me to sign and hands me a brown paper bag.

My IPG baby 

I asked how she managed to get it done so quickly. She said she just asked the Doctor if he could rush it and he said yes. Then she says she was almost born in Yuma. Her Dad was military and he was stationed in Yuma, but her Mom decided to drive to San Diego to have her baby.  

Ingrid asked me what I was going to do with it?

With as serious a face as I could manage, I said 
"Sell it on eBay, of course." Then I started giggling.

I took a peek inside my paper bag and she walked us back out to Maternity. I felt silly carrying a paper bag when everyone else was holding babies. 


YumaBev's specimen in sealed container

It's a boy, it's a girl, no it's.............an IPG! 



Yes, this is the actual IPG that has been inside me since October 25, 2012. That's a LONG gestation period. I think I will refer to "it" as a she. Why? Because a he would have quit working years ago!


Activa PC "Pretty Cute"

Oh my, these Parkinson's Humor blog stories are almost writing themselves.

We stopped at Subway and picked up some sandwiches on the way back to the hotel. 

I'm still in no pain. Tonight we watched Grumpier Old Men on TV and laughed some more. 


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

June 13th, Surgery Day

Warning: Graphic surgical photo included. 

We arrive at the Tucson Medical Center at 8:30am and get in the Valet Parking line. The attendant arrives and we head inside. We go up to the outpatient surgery floor, I get checked in and pay my co-pay. The hospital wants their money before surgery. I no sooner get done and my name is being called, so we head back to pre-op.

Nurse Esther gives me the designer one-size-fits-absolutely-no-one gown and says take off everything and put it in the bag, EVERYTHING. She pulls the privacy curtain and I comply.


YumaBev ready for surgery

A few minutes later, a fellow comes in and says "I'm the lab guy."

Without missing a beat, Wonderful Hubby says "Chocolate or Yellow Lab?" 

The labs guy starts laughing, says he's never heard that one before.


A few minutes later, Joey the Medtronic Rep comes in. He checks my current settings and will make sure the new IPG is set the exact same way. He says he'll see me in the OR (operating room) and leaves.


Dr. Norton pokes his head around the curtain. He's wearing multiple surgical masks and gives Hubby a fist bump and me a thumbs up. I ask how he's feeling. He says the cold came on quickly, but he took some Nyquil last night and is feeling well enough to do my battery change but cancelled the brain drill and generator placement surgeries scheduled prior to me. I thanked him. He said it's okay, I can't see you having to drive all the way over here again. He marked an X on my right shoulder (hospital rules, he mumbled) and listened to my heart and lungs. 

I asked him if I can have the old IPG that they are removing? He said he'd ask, but he didn't see why not, after all, you paid for it. 

He said Dr. Robin Kloth, the anesthesiologist who did my original surgeries will be in to see me soon. I'm glad. I like Dr. Kloth, she's nice and wears colorful shoes. Dr. Norton leaves. 


A few minutes later, a man comes in. "I'm Dr. Offerdahl, anesthesiologist. Dr. Kloth is in another surgery, so I will be filling in. Is that okay?" 

Do you have colorful shoes?

He looks down and says just boring brown.

How about colorful socks?

Looks down again and says no, but at least they match today. I've been known to wear one white and one dark. 

I like this guy's sense of humor but I find it funny that he had to look to see what color shoes he had on. 

I tell Dr. Offerdahl about my adhesive allergies and ask him to get the EKG pads off me as soon as possible. I also tell him that I want to be as wide awake as possible so I can blog about it. He says how about I give you just a bit of Propofol when Norton is doing the painful numbing shots? Then I will wake you right up again. I say okay.


I kiss Wonderful Hubby goodbye and Nurse Esther takes him out to the waiting area. 


YumaBev ready to go

Dr. Offerdahl says "I'll give you a shot of whiskey when we get in the OR." 

I say I prefer tequila. 

"Tequila?" he says.

Jose Cuervo Light Peach Tequila, please.

"Wow, you're exact aren't you!" 

And off we go. As he is wheeling me down hallways and around corners, he keeps bumping the gurney into the walls.

Turkey or Jack? I say.

"What?"

Wild Turkey or Jack Daniels? I say. Which did you have for breakfast, because you're driving like you are drunk! 

He laughs. "This surgery should be interesting."

We get to the OR, they slide me over on the surgical table, tuck my arms in, give me a warm blanket and an oxygen mask.

Dr. Norton says "Dr. Kloth, your voice is much lower and you've gained weight." I pipe in and say "and you have boring shoes." We are all laughing. 

Poor Dr. Offerdahl, he must think we're all nuts.

As Dr. Norton is doing his thing, he tells the OR nurse to figure out how to get me the IPG he removes. He's telling them about my blog and how I kept the drill bit he used on me during my DBS brain surgery six years ago. I say "I wish we could Live Stream this on Facebook. I want to see what you are doing." 


YumaBev's actual surgical site

I ask Dr. Norton if he ever plans to retire? (he's 79) His reply:

"No, I will just keel over during surgery.
Dr. Offerdahl will try to revive me.
He will be unsuccessful.
My estate will then sue him.
And he will end up living in his car."

Dr. Offerdahl says, "I'm not filling in for Dr. Kloth anymore."

I'm laughing so hard that it's difficult to stay still. 

I can feel the sensation of Dr. Norton suturing me. There's no pain at all. He says he's done and going to find my hubby. I ask Joey to take a picture of Dr. Norton and me. Two other male voices chime in and say "We want to be in the picture, too!"


(L-R) OR nurse Chris, YumaBev, Dr Offerdahl, Dr Norton

And we were done. They slid me back on the gurney, wheeled me to recovery, Dr. Offerdahl said this was the silliest surgery he had done and he disappeared. Wonderful Hubby came in. A nurse went over the post-op care sheet with us. Another person said I should call pathology later because they have the IPG in their possession.

Joey came in to make sure my new device was working properly. A nurse sent Hubby down to get the car from Valet and another nurse helped me get dressed. They wheeled me down to the car and Hubby drove us back to the hotel. It wasn't even Noon. 

Looks like the 13th wasn't a bad day for surgery after all.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

I Could Have Waited...

I could have waited to schedule my DBS for Parkinson's Medtronic IPG replacement surgery. My battery was still at 2.57V and it might be months before it dropped to 2.20V and stopped working. Then again, it might drop really fast. It's the unpredictability that bothered me. 

Back in January of 2019, when I realized it would need to be replaced soon, I would have been thrilled if "soon" was in June or July. Why? The days are longer. You see, Wonderful Hubby would have to drive me back to our hotel room after surgery, and he can't see to drive in the dark. If I could just hold out until mid-June, we'd be okay. 

I was getting tired of putting off any kind of travel or vacation plans and tired of checking my voltage level daily. So, I got ahold of Vanessa, Dr. Norton's assistant and asked if anything was available mid-June or later. She said how about Thursday, June 13th? I could have the Noon time slot and should be out of there by late afternoon. June 13th?? Well, at least it wasn't Friday the 13th. I said okay. 

It's now June 12th, we'd driven over from Yuma earlier (240 miles,) visited our friend Mr Brooks in the Tucson VA hospital, filled up the gas tank in our car, had a early dinner and now we were relaxing in our room at the Varsity Club Resort in Tucson. Believe it or not, we got a one-bedroom suite at a better rate than the other not-as-nice hotels near Tucson Medical Center. 



Wonderful Hubby relaxing.

We were watching the movie Grumpy Old Men on TV. I'd forgotten how humorous this movie was. I was laughing so hard, I almost wet my pants. 

We went to bed early, and had the alarm set for 8am, since I had to be at the hospital at 10am for replacement surgery at Noon. I was sleeping really well, until...my cell phone started playing music very early in the morning. 

I have different ringtones for my various groups of contacts: Kodachrome for Camera Club, Friends in Low Places for neighbors, Little Red Corvette for Corvette Club, Lime In The Coconut for Medical and Shake, Shake, Shake Your Booty for Parkies.

My phone on the nightstand next to me was playing Shake, Shake, Shake. I groggily answered hello.

"Hi, this is Stephanie, have you left yet?"

What? I mumbled.

"This is Stephanie, from Tucson Medical Center, have you left Yuma yet?"

What?? Huh?

Slower and more clearly "This is Stephanie, from Tucson Medical Center, Dr. Norton is sick, he's canceling all of todays surgeries. Have you already left Yuma to come to Tucson? He wanted me to catch you before you drove all the way over here. That's why I'm calling you so early. Have you left Yuma yet?"

Dr. Norton sick!? Now, I'm wide awake. Hi Stephanie, we are already in Tucson, at the hotel just down the street from the hospital. We came yesterday. What's wrong with Dr. Norton, is he okay?

"You are already here? Can I call you back in a few minutes?" 

Sure, no problem.

Phone rings five minutes later. "Hi Bev, I just talked to Dr. Norton, since you are already here and it's just a battery change, he's going to go ahead and do your surgery. He cancelled the others. He came down with a bad cold yesterday evening. He said he'd double mask, so you won't get sick. Can you be at the hospital at 9am, he'll do you at 10am?"

Sure, I said, by the way Stephanie, what time is it?

"5:45 she said."

I was beginning to wonder if I made a mistake choosing the 13th? And I was worried about Dr. Norton. But we got up and I got ready. I had planned on putting my hair in a single braid. I figured it would keep it out of the way, but my fingers wouldn't cooperate. I went downstairs to the front desk, hoping maybe there'd be a lady on duty, but there was a man. I checked the fitness room, just men. I went back to the room and asked Wonderful Hubby if he could braid my hair. 

He said he'd give it a try.
Who knew Hubby could braid hair?

The phone rings at 8am, it's a Tucson number. It's the hospital calling, they want me there as soon as possible, so Hubby eats a quick breakfast, and I drive us there. 

Maybe I should have waited......

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: Rechargeable or Not?

When I had my DBS surgery for Parkinson's disease in October 2012, I had a choice of either a regular Activa PC generator (the thing in my chest that controls the leads in my brain) that would last from 3-5 years or I could choose the rechargeable Activa RC with a 9-year lifespan, but it would require me to charge it up on a daily/weekly basis. 
Rechargeable on left, regular on right

I knew lots of people who had the regular one and most were getting it replaced every 2-3 years. I only knew one person with the rechargeable and she said the charging equipment was bulky and didn't even come with a cute carrying case (She has a great sense of humor too.) 

Dr Norton, my neurosurgeon recommended the regular one. He said you will get the newest technology with each replacement. So, I took his advice.  

Well, it's May 2019 (6.5 years later) and I will soon be facing this decision again. If I were to have replacement surgery today, I'd be getting the same technology that was available back then. As of today, there's nothing new for the patient from Medtronic, except the 9-year rechargeable lifespan has been increased to 15-years. I am told, however, that a new charging system, a new patient programmer and even a new regular generator will be coming to market soon. How soon? Your guess is as good as mine.

Can I wait? Maybe. 

While I wait and check my current battery status (2.57v) on a daily basis, I keep weighing the pros and cons of my choices.

The advantage of a regular unit like mine is you just forget about it for about 3 years and then you get a new one. Mine is over 6.5 years old, so mine lasted way longer than the average. There's no guarantee the next one will last that long.

The disadvantage, for someone as thin as I am, is that it really sticks out. 

This is my DBS IPG 

I am not a very vain person and just the fact that it shows doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that one top corner. 

IPG is sticking out 
Do you see how the skin is really tight in that one area? I worry that it may break through my skin one day. 

Close up of that corner

I must be very careful when buying shirts, there can't be any seams in that spot. The same thing goes for bras, the straps can't rub across that area. I have to carry my purse on my left shoulder or across my body from left to right. I have to be careful when I am in the right passenger side of autos because the seat belt goes right across that spot. 

If I want to give someone a hug, I have to watch out for glasses or cell phones in shirt pockets, purses hanging on their shoulders, sometimes even bulky jewelry can cause me pain. I even have to be careful about the position I sleep in. Sometimes I feel some discomfort in that spot when I am stretching my arms. I have to always be aware of it. 

I have held both choices in my hands, I have taken comparison photos. The rechargeable is definitely smaller and more importantly for me, thinner.


It's definitely thinner

And of course, now I know more people who now have the rechargeable unit. Some charge it daily, some twice a week, some less than that. Most agree the charging apparatus is bulky, especially if you travel often by air, which I don't. Most charge theirs when they are laid back in a recliner watching TV. It apparently just sits on top of the unit in their chest. This could be a potential problem for me because I prefer to sit up straight. I can't sit in a recliner, I find them very uncomfortable. 

The other advantage of the rechargeable is the now 15-year lifespan. This means less replacement surgeries and any time a Parkie can avoid surgery, it's always a good thing.

To further complicate things, I could also replace my Medtronic device with one from Boston Scientific or Abbott, but I have ruled this choice out. I have a good relationship with Medtronic and am happy with the way my device works. Switching might cause problems. 

I still have some time to decide, but I am leaning towards the thinner rechargeable. Maybe one of the new devices will be ready soon. 

Help me decide, what do you think?



Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Parkinson's Awareness is Targeting the Wrong People

Today is May 1st and Parkinson's Awareness month is over. Many people around the world have taken time out of their lives to visit their city mayors, county supervisors, state and national government representatives to have April proclaimed officially as Parkinson's Awareness month. 

A few years ago, I was one of those eager people. Then I realized it was a waste of my time. Having politicians create a document does nothing to help those of us who actually have Parkinson's.


Does this help anyone with Parkinsons??

The same applies to writing Letters to the Editor. Who does it actually help?? Oh, if you mention that there is a local Parkinson's support group in your town, one or two people might find out something they didn't know. But if they really wanted to find a support group, all they had to do is Google "Parkinson's support group" and the name of their city. That's how I found my group. If your town doesn't have a group, you can start one yourself or join an online support group. The friendly folks at the Parkinson & Movement Disorder Alliance can help you. 

If you want to really know how to help people with Parkinson's, educate the health care people we have to deal with. Give scholarships to medical school students to choose neurology as a specialty. Then convince the top neurology residents to become Movement Disorder Specialists. Then give these specialists incentives to set up their practice in smaller towns and rural areas.

My blog is called Parkinson's Humor, but there is nothing funny about having to drive 200 miles and deal with big city traffic to see a Doctor who knows about Parkinson's. 

And it's not just the lack of quality neurologists that is a problem. Most primary care providers and non-neurological specialists know zilch about Parkinson's. It is up to you to educate them.   

So instead of visiting politicians and writing letters to the newspaper, I decided to try to get telemedicine for Parkinson's in Yuma, so we don't have to drive 200+ miles.

It took me six years, but I finally managed to get telemedicine in Yuma with a Movement Disorder Specialist based out of Phoenix. I reached out to several MDS' until I finally found one who was willing to give it a try: Maria Ospina MD. Then I did the local leg work, I went and found a local doctor who would allow use of his staff and office space. Now, several local Parkies see her via a computer screen right here in Yuma.    

And that to me is the best Parkinson's Awareness campaign there is. 

Now it's YOUR turn. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

YumaBev is a VIDEO star??

After almost two years of editing, the Lights, Camera, Action video my Wonderful Husband and I did about Medtronic DBS therapy for Parkinson's disease is finally available to be viewed. 

Click to play:


I had watched some of the other Patient Stories online and was expecting mine to be 1 or 2 minutes long. I wondered which parts of the hours and hours of filming they would use. A lot of what they filmed that day was a blur.

I remember talking about my DBS experience and how they kept having to stop because the landscapers were making too much noise outside. 

I remember laughing and being silly and talking about my Parkinson's Humor blog.

I remember circling around and around the hotel trying to get a good shot of me driving my bright yellow Chevy Sonic. 

But most of all, I remember being able to share my story in my own words, just like I do in my blogs.

I was expecting a 90-second video, instead they made an eight minute movie that tells the love story of me and my Wonderful Husband. Enjoy it. 

You can also find the video by searching Beverly's DBS Story on YouTube.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about it. Email me at yumabev@gmail.com

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Monday, January 21, 2019

The Energeezer Parkie Will Need a New Battery...Soon

Several years ago, I wrote a story where I used rechargeable batteries as a way to describe what life is like with Parkinson's disease. Using my warped sense of humor, I changed the famous Energizer Bunny to the Energeezer Parkie. It thought it was a pretty good analogy. Once I had DBS surgery, my 'Parkie' battery was pretty close to 100% every day. 

I knew my Medtronic Activa-PC DBS generator battery would need to be replaced some day. The average lifespan is 3 to 5 years. Mine was six years old in October 2018. 

At the beginning of 2016, my battery level was 2.97v. At the beginning of 2017, my battery level was at 2.91v. At the beginning of 2018 it was 2.85v. It was averaging a drop of .06v a year, so I figured I'd have several more years until it reached the ERI (Elective Replacement Indicated) warning you get when it drops to 2.61v, I was wrong.

I had been in the habit of checking my battery level using my patient programmer about every three months. April was 2.83v and July was 2.81v, right on target. So you can imagine my surprise when I checked it at the end of October 2018 and saw that it was down to 2.76v.  

I started checking it monthly, then weekly and now daily and I wasn't liking what I was seeing. The amount of time between voltage drops was decreasing. 

As of today, January 21, 2019, it's now at 2.69v. That's a drop of .07v in less than three months. If the voltage drop continues to accelerate, I will get the ERI warning in a few months!!!

Jan 2019, battery at 2.69v

My neurosurgeon, Dr. Norton is in the same office as Dr. Bradley, my Movement Disorder Specialist and I have an appointment with her in mid-March. I have already contacted Norton's assistant because I didn't want to wait until March and then find out that he's going to be on vacation or something else that would make him unavailable. Norton's assistant said they could get me on his surgery schedule within two weeks, but I should call if I get the ERI warning before my March appointment. 

Looks like the Energeezer Parkie will soon be getting  a brand new generator. 

The generator won't stop working when the ERI warning appears. There's a built in cushion of time, it doesn't stop working until it gets to 2.20v.

If you have a Medtronic Activa DBS generator and don't know how to check it, click on the link above. You don't want it to suddenly stop working.

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