And Behold, a Jolt!

Remember the post—I think it’s this one—in which I scoffed at how my epileptologist had warned me that I’d feel a “big jolt” when he programmed my VNS and then the sensation ended up being more of a big ’ol nothing, to the point that I was concerned that there was something wrong with my VNS and it wasn’t working at all?

Well, overconfidence can be a thing of great beauty, but it can also lead to great surprise when you stroll into an appointment 99% sure that you’ll breeze your way through your first stimulation increase of 2018, only to experience an unmistakable (though not fly-out-of-your-seat intense) VNS-related jolt.

Here’s a low-key jolt for you. You’re welcome.

This was my experience this morning. I’m now willing to admit that I’m probably a jerk for implying that the idea that I’d ever be jolted by Vanessa was ridiculous.

I was certainly taken aback my just how much I was, and continue to be, affected by the jump from 0.5 to 0.75 milliamps of stimulation. When it was increased from 0.25 to 0.5 milliamps, I noticed precisely nothing in my epileptologist’s office, and the only real side effects later on were a slight tickle in my throat and an occasional cough. At this new level of stimulation, I can’t ignore those thirty seconds every five minutes. I’m not sure how to most accurately describe the sensation. “Gurgly,” perhaps? “Chokey”? These are close, but they aren’t exactly right: in truth, there are no words in my vocabulary that quite capture the feeling, which is highly unpleasant but not unbearable.

I know, however, that whether or not it eases off as I adjust to the 0.75 milliamps, I can live with the gurgling chokiness. I also know that I’m glad that I have two weeks of reprieve before I have to deal with another stimulation increase. I’m looking forward, though, to seeing if there’s a new, bigger, more exciting jolt in store for me the next time around.


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