Classic science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke is famously recorded as saying, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." And there's no other way to describe the gloriously elegant treatment that Dan received last Thursday (Dec 9) to resolve his hand tremours.
See, we describe the tremour as a very very good "bad thing." Because 15 years ago when he had brain cancer he wasn't expected to live long enough for these to develop. So we're delighted to have encountered this.
The conventional approach involves a wire electrode implanted in the brain and a battery under the skin in the chest (think like a pacemaker), but his neurologist emphatically did not want any surgery that could be avoided. Focused Ultrasound is a new technology where hundreds of energy beams converge on a particular spot deep in the brain. Each beam alone is too weak to cause any damage, but where they intersect there is enough power to sear the spot causing the trouble. Non invasive, effective, and quick healing time. The linked article explains it pretty well; and here's a photo tour of Dan's experiences.
|We stayed the night before in a gloriously elegant old hotel in Baltimore, right near the hospital. Here's his last night of having hair (more on that later).|
|The hotel is the repurposed headquarters offices of the B and O Railroad. Obviously built to impress!|
|Detail of a column at the hotel.|
|One measure of tremour is the ability (or lack thereof!) to trace a pen along a spiral maze without hitting the walls. Here's the "before."|
|The "after" is much improved; and he continued to improve after this!|
|With nurse Pamela's explicit permission, he was allowed a small glass of wine the next evening. Triumphantly, he was able to hold out his glass at arm's length for a toast. This is something he hadn't been able to do for years for fear of spilling.|
|Sweet friend Penny knitted this gorgeous hat for him when she learned they had had to shave his head in December. He said it warmed him twice - once from the thick soft wool, and again for the kind thoughts.|
|And the ultimate proof -- able to hold a full coffee mug at arm's length without sloshing.|