Barbaric torture or miracle?
On Monday at 4:00 p.m. I met with Darlene. Darlene was going to play a little computer game with me to establish a baseline. She was studying how DBS affects the thinking process. Her game was something like this: In the center of a tic-tac-toe grid sat a pulsating circle. At 0, 90, 180, and 270 degrees were blocks or squares. One of the blocks would flash, signaling it was going to be the target. When my pulsating circle changed to a plus sign, I was to move it to the target as fast as I could , via a joy-stick.
Here’s the rub: the plus sign sometimes turned back into the pulsing circle. If that happened, I had to move back and not breach the target’s boundary. If I did, my score was adversely affected. The flip from the plus sign back to the pulsing circle was only about 0.1 seconds, so it was very difficult to not cross the boundary, if your plus sign was already moving. Darlene recorded your reaction times, the course you took across the grid, etc. She had her Ph.d in Neural psychology, so she was no dummy.
The test would be given the night before surgery (i.e., now) and again during the surgery.
Anyway, I took the test (which was purely optional) and Darlene wished me luck, pointing out that I would see her in the morning. I walked over to admitting and checked in. They walked me up to my room, and a nurse came in, welcoming me to the ward. There wasn’t a lot do at this point. I read a little, Alissa and Iris came up to visit, and I fell asleep around midnight.
At about 5:30 a.m. they woke me up. Time to prep for surgery.
I had wondered what they would do with my hair: Just a little off at each drill site, or shave my head? John, lead torturer, er, I mean nurse, offered no choice. He shaved my head.
If you look at the photo, you’ll notice two bolts. There are two in front and two in back. (2+2=4). John gave me 4 shots of lidocaine, each on approximating where the bolt would go into my skull.
He started clamping down the bolts.
To say these mother’s hurt is like saying the earth is smaller than our galaxy.
I’ve always prided myself on my pain tolerance. Novocaine for a cavity? No thank you. Happy juice for a colonoscopy? Sorry, I’ve work to do. Potato in a pot of boiling water? Let me show you how to snatch that sucker out.
But when John started tightening those bolts down, I had to stop him.
“John, please stop! Those bolts feel like they are going into my skull!”