This week, during my fourth programming session, I heard the angels sing. You are done, they chanted. What do you mean, done? You are done with the programming. Already? Doesn’t it usually take six months to get tweaked to perfection? Yes, it might. However, you have responded so well to the treatment that there is no reason to continue tweaking you. I looked at my programmer. Why mess with something that works, she asked. Better is the enemy of good.
I am amazed. Shocked. Excited. Grateful. For the past five months–ever since I decided to go ahead with the operation–my focus has been, predictably, my illness. When things got tough, I gathered strength from believing the operation would have a positive impact on my quality of life. And now what seemed almost unreachable and improbable at times has happened: I am fully tweaked.
My programmer, an exceptional nurse practitioner who has been programming patients for fourteen years, wants to see me in six months. Then yearly until the batteries need changing. I was sad that our sessions were ending and told her so. She said I could always call her if I had questions or concerns. The relationship was not ending, merely the adjustments.
Dear brain, you have been such a good sport throughout this journey. Quite an upheaval for you, considering how much you hate disruptions in your routine. Now that things have calmed down, you should be able to resume your steady, balanced pace. We will continue to work together: you, me, and the neurostimulators. I would say: It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship (with a nod to Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca.)