Mick’s DBS Story
Mick, aged 65
Had DBS surgery in October 2010
I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in August 2002. My father had it and I went through the symptoms I had developed with him and was able to selfdiagnose. My GP then confirmed it.
I had dyskinesia (which is abnormal or impaired voluntary movement) and rigidity. My steps were involuntary, and I was swaying. I couldn’t write clearly anymore, and I couldn’t sit still.
I looked at getting DBS surgery when these mobility issues began to affect my life.
Assessment took a while in 2010 because there was confusion between the specialist thinking I wasn’t sure and was hesitating, and me thinking they were still assessing me.
I started the process in early 2010 and it took longer than it should have. The surgery was then done in October 2010.
I chose to have a battery inserted – which needs to be replaced every two or three years – rather than the other option which would require me to find the time to recharge it.
I made this decision because my wife and I are quite active and trying to do as much as we can, while we can.
“After the surgery I felt euphoric. There were no infections or anything. It took about ten days to make minor adjustments to the settings and then I was off home in just over a week.”
My balance is slightly off a bit more than it was before, but that was one of the possible side effects.
We are doing all we can now. I’m back to playing golf again, although I do have some balance problems. I can’t play tennis anymore because sometimes my legs don’t coordinate well enough when I’m rushing, and I have falls – so my doctor said no more tennis.
But we can travel, and we’ve done a lot of trekking – including the Milford Track in New Zealand and a fundraising trek of 180 kilometres around the base of Mont Blanc in Europe. We are enjoying life while we can.
I’d advise anyone thinking of DBS surgery to check if they’re suitable and go ahead. There’s no point in worrying about the surgery if you’re not suitable in the first place.