A Winnipeg man battling Parkinson’s disease says a new surgery has given him back his life.
“Carol and I want to travel,” said Doug Martens. “We've got trips planned in early December and over Christmas time with our sons.”
Ten years ago, Martens was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease – a neurological disorder without a cure.
“A lot of patients describe it as their muscles are somehow glued up,” said Dr. Jerry Krcek a doctor at the Health Sciences Centre.
Martens tried a host of medications to control pain and increase mobility; each, he said, came with their own side effects.
“Items like paranoia, items like sweating with one of the drugs,” said Martens.
So when the 57 year old heard there was a new surgery that could control his symptoms with a touch of a button, he decided to do it.
Martens underwent deep brain stimulation surgery, which involves inserting wires into his head and sending electrical currents to the brain.
There are about 100 patients in Manitoba who have had DBS, but Krcek cautions the procedure doesn’t work for everyone and it isn’t a cure.
Still, he said, he expects there to be more done in Manitoba in the future.
“There’s more experience long-term with this technology, and it’s durability is proving itself,” said Krcek.
For Martens, the surgery has made a big difference, and now, he’s looking forward to “being able to blast into life.”
The Parkinson’s SuperWalk fundraiser is being held Sept. 6 in Winnipeg and Brandon.