In July of 1997 I retired after a 33-year career in Public Education, primarily as a school district administrator in upstate New York. Just two months later, in September of 1997, when a slight tremor in my left hand and some stiffness in my neck didn’t evaporate with my separation from my "stress-producing" job, a neurologist in my small upstate NY city told me I had Parkinson’s disease.
Immediately I rushed through the stages of grieving at the prospect of losing the second half of my life to the ravages of this progressive and debilitating neurological disease.
During the next several years I was blessed with some extraordinarily sensitive and skilled neurologists as I moved about the country. I was especially happy being treated by and learning about my disease and how to master it when I moved to Northeast Texas and began my association with Dr. Richard Zweig, Neurologist, at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Louisiana. By the time I landed in Texas, my disease had become more and more difficult to manage with medication alone. Dr. Zweig talked with me about alternative treatments for Parkinson’s, particularly one called Deep Brain Stimulation surgery. He had prepared me so well emotionally that when he said DBS surgery was an option for which I appeared to be very well suited at that particular time in my life, I jumped at the opportunity.
Dr. Zweig is very protective of his patients. He takes great pride in having his patients know all they can know about their disease and in becoming the best self-advocates possible. He told me of the various benefits I might expect and also was careful to inform me of the possible downsides to the surgery and the importance of having only the very best, the most skilled and experienced team available perform the procedure. He referred me to Dr. Michael Desaloms at Dallas Neurosurgical & Spine. I had the surgery on December 13, 2006. Recently I have heard from individuals who have had their DBS performed in several steps on several different occasions. My bilateral DBS, the implantation of the stimulator and all parts necessary for it to operate, were all done as one procedure in one day, and my hospitalization was very brief.
The DBS surgery was truly a miracle for me. My primary symptom, excessive and very troubling dyskinesia, disappeared and my life has been changed for the better because of it. Dr. Desaloms and his team worked together in great harmony and seemingly effortlessly. It was very easy for me to have great confidence in his skill.
Needless to say, Dr. Desaloms and DNS have my unreserved recommendation to anyone who might be considering DBS or any other neurosurgery.