Tag Archives: Neurology

Making Lemons Into Lemonade!

I’ve been a blond, brunette and redhead. Now I sport a skinhead. At the altar of DBS, the sacrificial lamb is my hair. So how to make the best of my untenable situation when there’s no use crying over spilled milk? My go-to guy is my “secret weapon:” the handy PhD Dystonia forced me to earn in “Making Lemons Into Lemonade!”

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade never disappoints. I laud the virtues to be found in identifying positive outcomes for our negative situations without unduly minimizing our struggles. My friends may reassure me that it’s ONLY my hair – which will certainly grow back – but my solace hardly lies in downplaying the significance of our locks. After all, I’m a female with a telling history of life-defining dos. Rather, I find my comfort recognizing the importance of our hair by making a donation. With a few trips to Google, I’d surveyed the landscape and located a nonprofit, Children With Hair Loss, more than happy to claim my mane, chemical highlights and all.

For those about to part with their hair or seeking to lighten their load, check out the following organizations spreading sunshine with their good works:

Children With Hair Loss
Locks of Love
Pantene Beautiful Lengths

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Surgeries Anyone?

Here’s an attractive offer:  Let’s shave off your hair, immobilize your head in a vise, drill a hole in your skull, insert an electrode into the right side of your brain, and wake you up for some fun in the sun before closing that hole. Then, invite you back to do it all again, left side this time – before implanting two battery-powered neurostimulators into your chest and snaking wires under your skin that enable us to activate those electrodes with electrical currents.

No, it’s not some twisted version of electric shock therapy but Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) – perhaps not shocking your socks off but, hopefully, improving your neurological movement disorder, which is why you place that bet. Why not embark on a wild ride to slay the never-ending, hair-raising roller coaster commandeering life with dystonia?

Of course, your vanity interjects itself. After all, they’re shaving your head twice, replacing your lush – or not so lush – locks with a barren plain. As for the “awake” part, fancy chatting with your surgeon while he’s navigating an intruder into your brain. Then again, you find yourself trudging your way through your 30th college reunion, holding on to your walker for dear life as a once-familiar campus morphs into a forbidding obstacle course. Watch the impossible become plausible when mastering each step presents a triumph of will. Those looming procedures take on a whole new light, vanity and apprehension fading into luxuries you can ill afford.

All roads lead to Rome. Chin up, three surgeries, here I come!

 

The Movement Disorders Examination

My Fabulous Neurologist!

Touch your finger to your nose, then straight out towards the finger puppet. Oops, that was pediatric neurology. Feet on the floor, heel – toe, heel – toe. Now we’re going to draw spirals and write “today is a sunny day” while my arm engages in kinematic calisthenics. Then it’s time to strut my stuff. Occasionally, I even get to star in my own movie without a screen test. Julia Roberts, eat your heart out. Meanwhile, I daydream about shopping with my neurologist at Bloomingdale’s, where she lectures the evil saleslady on how that stunner of a cocktail dress will most definitely not be paired with heels but looks spectacular with my Aerosoles!

Once this mini workout session is concluded, we gab about the state of my movement affairs and the tease of a better tomorrow. Perhaps there’s a fresh-faced research study involving animal models (no, not Miss Piggy prancing down a runway in Versace). While the promise of medical science is encouraging, my tastes run to available and personally impactful therapeutics. Our version of walking on the wild side is to fiddle with my meds by s-l-o-w-l-y changing the dosage in excruciatingly small increments, a regimen that doesn’t sit well with my ever-burgeoning impatience. Really, is one tiny pill developed specifically for Dystonia too much to ask?