“Drive for show, putt for dough,” explained Mike enthusiastically when asked about how his life has changed since receiving MRI-guided focused ultrasound to treat his essential tremor (ET). But he shared that it took a long time from diagnosis to dropping putts with ease. There were many challenging days living with ET.
One of the challenges Mike faced was managing his job as a regional sales manager for a company that raised and processed ducks for the restaurant industry. Throughout the Midwest and Mexico, Mike performed product demonstrations for chefs which required careful knife skills. However, when his ET became more severe, he was no longer able to function in this capacity.
Beyond his job, Mike would find it embarrassing to live with ET. ”Even holding a coffee cup was difficult.” After his diagnosis by a neurologist around six years ago, together they started researching treatment options.
Mike learned about Insightec on Facebook. He discovered that focused ultrasound is an incisionless procedure to treat ET that has not responded to medications. He quickly jumped at the chance to learn more. He read about the success stories, as well as the potential side effects. Upon weighing his options, Mike felt the benefits outweighed the risks.
On February 14, 2019, Mike travelled to Nebraska for focused ultrasound surgery, accompanied by his wife.
Mike explained how the medical team shaved his head and put on a halo (or frame) before he lay down in the MRI machine. He said the ultrasound was transmitted by high energy bursts to the target in his brain. In his case, there was no pain. He described his positioning in the machine and how during the application of the ultrasound, he felt like his legs rose up over his head, almost weightless.
As the surgery progressed, Mike was asked to write on a piece of paper. This task helps the treating team verify that the treatment is working. And, to Mike’s delight, he could write more clearly after the surgery! An incredible feat for someone who had found this task so difficult just a few hours earlier.
The next phase was to get through the initial side effects after the treatment. He had drop foot on the right side for a couple weeks. He also lost his sense of taste for about 3 weeks. Lastly, his concentration wasn’t as sharp as normal. Fortunately, these symptoms soon passed, and he was back to his original putting form–minus the tremor!
Mike said the surgery was life changing. He has gotten his life back and is back on the golf course with greater confidence to compete where it matters most. On the green!
This testimonial may not be representative of all treatment outcomes. For additional information about focused ultrasound for essential tremor, including safety information, please click here.