Yep, not too bad thanks. Been to the Dentist this morning for a special procedure known as "wallet lightening".... Just a check up, scrape and polish.
Re DBS as I've been on the redline of levodopa/carbidopa intake for a couple of years now coupled with the fact I'm only 53 DBS is, for me, the next logical step in PD management.
The assessments are to check where you are at, and wether DBS can help or not. Last weeks neuropsychological assessment checks how the brain is functioning today because DBS can impair brain function. Thus if the 'ole grey matter is not up to much today, I guess DBS wouldn't be advised. Plus if DBS goes ahead they have a benchmark to compare when a post DBS assessment is made.
The next assessment, end of April for me, starts with the PWP in a fully "off" state. Tests are carried out, I'm not sure of the exact list but assume it will be things like walking, standing, balance, doing buttons up, writing etc. The PWP then takes their meds and when in the "on" state tests are repeated and a minimum of 40% improvement from "off" to "on" is necessary to stay in the game.
Thus until all the assessments are completed and the hospital hold their multi disciplinary team meeting to discuss the potential candidates for DBS, nothing is definite.
In terms of scary, you're not wrong there! At the first appointment last October they explained the process and the risks. Starting with death carrying a 1 in 600 risk, then in no particular order, brain bleeding, stroke, infection, the need to reposition the electrode soon after being implanted, the wires breaking, speech being affected etc etc.
They point out that DBS only has the potential to match your best med induced "on", not exceed it. Which would be very acceptable as far as I'm concerned.
For me, the diagnostic ball started rolling in autumn 2008 with a confirmed diagnosis of PD in June 2009. I can recall, what I now know are, PD symptoms back in at least 2006. I've been very well looked after by my employer. Yes I did change jobs to a lesser role but not until 2012, and courtesy of an insurance the company holds my pay check did not change.
2016 was the first year since at least 1978 that I didn't work any Saturdays or Sundays.