DBS Archives - Unhinged

Today’s Post-Surgery f/u with Dr. Peter Giacobbe

by Doug 0 Comments

Today I’ll be meeting with Dr. Peter Giacobbe, of the Neuroscience clinic at Toronto Western Hospital, for my post-surgery check-in and possible adjustments​ to the neuromodulator.

I’m hoping with everything I’ve got that the DBS, with the current settings, will resume working as it had done for over 3 months prior to the battery running low. It was by far the best quality remission (out of 3 total) that I’ve had to date.

#Hope is what I’m riding on…

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr 

~Doug

Unhinged Podcast -Talking Mental

Hope for Remission Continued…

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Post-Surgery Update

by Ed 0 Comments

UPDATE: After Doug’s DBS battery-replacement surgery on March 27th, he started feeling better almost immediately. However, as we all know how unpredictable the brain can be, his mood has dropped significantly since then. We’ve seen this before, and as disheartening as it is right now, I truly believe it will turn around again and we can continue with his remission and recovery.

Thank you all for your continued support!

Ed
Co-founder/Co-host
Unhinged Podcast

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Doug’s Surgery Update

by Ed 0 Comments

Hi Unhinged listeners! Just letting you know that Doug goes into surgery this morning to change his DBS neurostimulator battery. The unfortunate timing of his current battery losing its juice has definitely derailed his mood. We’re hoping that once it gets replaced, the DBS can do its thing and Doug can get back on track with his remission and his life!

The podcast is still on hiatus until things settle down after the surgery. For now, let’s all send Doug best wishes for a quick recovery! Maybe even post a joke to get things started on a positive note 🙂

Thank your all for understanding. We hope to be back soon!

Ed
Co-founder/Co-host
Unhinged Podcast

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Unhinged on Hiatus Until After Surgery

by Ed 1 Comment

Hello Unhinged listeners! As you may know, Doug has been on the longest remission of his life and things have been really good until the battery on his DBS started to get low. When this happens, the battery needs to be replaced surgically. Unfortunately, the doctor that does the surgery is out until March 20th, and Doug’s surgery is scheduled for March 27th.

That’s about two weeks away, and a lot can happen in two weeks. Doug’s mood has not been as high as it was when the battery was solid, and as the battery gets weaker, there’s a chance he could relapse (this happened years ago during his first real remission).

Due to this situation, we feel that the quality of any show we do right now would not be up to par, plus talking about all this could bring him down a bit, so we feel it is necessary to take a little break until after he gets the battery replacement surgery.

We have a lot of great things planned for future shows, but we first want to make sure that the surgery goes smoothly and that the remission continues so that we can get back on track in a very positive way.

In the meantime, take this time to catch up on some of our previous episodes if you have not listened to all of them yet. We’re also both still online and will answer emails and posts on our Facebook page. We’re not going away! We’re just making sure Doug stays healthy, and the podcast content quality remains high.

Thanks again for understanding!

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Unhinged Episode #041: Juicy Juice

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #041: Juicy Juice

Originally, this episode was going to be focused on music and how specific songs affect our moods and emotions. Unfortunately, the battery in Doug’s DBS is running down and this has affected his mood. Since we want to give this music topic the attention and justice it deserves, we decided to postpone that topic until after Doug’s battery is replaced and he’s back in a more positive mood.

In this short episode, we talk about the DBS battery, how Doug checks it, how it’s replaced, and ultimately how important that little piece of tech is for any DBS patient. As it stands, Doug is trying to get an appointment for the surgery as soon as he can, but the doctor that does it is out until the 20th of March, so he might have to wait up to of 3 weeks. We’re hoping the trickle charge lasts until then so he doesn’t fully relapse. Fingers crossed!

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Unhinged Episode #035: Tabula Rasa

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #035: Tabula Rasa

In the first Unhinged episode of 2017, we discuss an interesting phenomenon called the Mandela Effect. Think your memory is accurate? Think again. The Mandela Effect is when large groups of people all share the same false memory, typically a memory that can be easily confused or distorted by similar or related memories. In psychology, this is called confabulation. They explain this concept in detail in the 80’s film Shazaam, where Sinbad plays a genie. Remember that movie?

Since it’s a new year, we all tend to make our yearly New Year’s Resolutions. Are these resolutions destined to fail? It depends on how you think of them. We talk about setting life goals and how the new year is a great blank slate, or “tabula rasa”, to begin a conscious change in behavior that can help one achieve his goals.

Finally, we get into Doug’s current and very positive mental state. His DBS continues to work its magic, coupled with weekly social interactions as a peer support worker at the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario. Not only is he getting out and interacting with people, but he’s actually helping other sufferers. His 47 years of life experience living with this disease has essentially created an expert in peer support. Go Doug!

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Unhinged Episode #033: Don’t be SAD

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #033: Don’t be SAD

After a three-week hiatus, we’re back just in time for the holiday season! These past three weeks have been very dark for Doug, but he’s finally emerging from the shadows. With another tweak to his DBS settings, he has seen a shift from severe to moderate, which is definitely the direction he needs to go.

We start this episode with an update on his mood, and also talking about the successful GoFundMe campaign I started for Doug that raised nearly $2,500 (THANK YOU!). The good news continues with Doug’s acceptance into the peer support program for the Mood Disorder Association of Ontario.

Next, we discuss Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is also known as winter depression, winter blues, or seasonal depression. As the holiday season arrives, SAD cases rise due to being exposed to less sunlight as the mornings start later and evening begins earlier during the winter season. And finally, we talk about some of the treatments available for SAD sufferers.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Symptoms, Causes & Treatment Procedures

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Symptoms, Causes & Treatment Procedures

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Unhinged Episode #029: Still Fighting

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #029: Still Fighting

We welcome Doug back in this episode, but he’s still fighting through severe depression and anxiety. Apparently, this time, he actually felt the trigger of his downturn. It occurred after a comment from someone he looks up to totally took the wind out of his sails. With Doug’s delicate amygdala, any negative external stimuli can trigger a downward spiral, and that’s exactly what happened.

Seeking help, he managed to get a quick appointment to have his DBS adjusted. The intensity of the current setting was turned up a notch, and now it’s a waiting game. Unfortunately, relief could take days, months, or even years. Of course, we’re hoping for days, since his last DBS adjustment seemed to work fairly quickly.

He’s still hoping to become a peer support counselor, but he will have to slow things down a bit to avoid any possible negative triggers. In the meantime, he keeps fighting, but will take on fewer challenges at once… it’s all about baby steps.

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Unhinged Episode #028: Eyes are Green

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #028: Eyes are Green

If you listened to our last show, you know Doug has been feeling much better since the DBS adjustment was made maybe 1 month and a half ago or so. He was feeling confident and was looking forward to starting down the path of becoming a peer support counselor as well as working on more music and getting out more.

Unfortunately, it looks like those plans might be on hold for now since Doug has again been struck down by this relentless disease. All this happened very quickly, literally from one day to the next. It’s unclear if the DBS has stopped working or if he’s having another long bout of anxiety that is causing him to shut down and close himself off from any contact.

I have not heard from Doug since a text he sent me on Friday, October 7th, saying that he’s “in f*cking hell” right now. This episode is just me explaining all I know so far, so it’s a short one. I close the show with a short excerpt of a song I am writing about Doug’s battle. Hopefully he’ll be back next week feeling stronger and giving us more insights into what he’s going through.

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Unhinged Episode #027: Electric Avenue

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #027: Electric Avenue

In this episode, we catch up with Doug’s progress with his DBS. Still going strong, even after a stressful few days. The neurological corrections (based on MEG brain imaging) are still in place and seem to still be working their magic a full month after altering the DBS settings.

Deep Brain Stimulation has already helped patients with Parkinson’s disease as well as dystonia. We play a couple of excerpts from Dr. Andres Lozano’s TED talk where he shows in real time how switching the DBS on totally stops a Parkinson’s patient from shaking, and essentially cures a child from severe dystonia. Tapping into the brain and sending an electric charge into very specific regions can kickstart malfunctioning neurons and bring hope to those who suffer from all sorts of mental illnesses.

Show resources:

DBS helps a Parkinson’s patient


DBS helps a patient with dystonia
 
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