For more than two years, 37-year-old Kellie couldn’t get out of bed. Her muscles ached and would spasm so often that she was essentially paralyzed. She also had severe dystonia, episodes when her muscles would contract and cramp, rendering her entire body painfully twisted for hours ar a time.
“My muscles would turn to stone; my whole body was like a rock,” she said. At least twice a month she had to seek help from the hospital emergency room where she would receive intravenous muscle relaxants for up to 24 hours before she could move.
Kellie needed help taking care of her three young children; she couldn’t walk and rarely left the house. She decided to try deep brain stimulation (DBS), a surgical treatment for Parkinson’s disease. DBS surgery involves inserting a thin wire into the brain; the wire is attached to a computerized pulse generator (similar to a heart pacemaker).
“I had no options,” she said. “I knew I wouldn’t be like before I had Parkinson’s, but if I wanted half a life back, I knew I had to have surgery.” (more…)