Monday, January 22, 2007

Survivors Guide to VNS: Part 4 – Can my cat hear it?

I was surfing through the VNS Message Board when I found this controversial question:

Will my cat be able to hear when my VNS activates?
One lady claimed that her cat appeared to notice when her VNS activated. My response was that there was no way that could happen and that she and her cat were just imagining things. However, on further reflection, although the human ear does not pick up on any sound from the device, it might be possible that when the Vagus nerve stimulates the voice box, that the vocal cords emit sound that is inaudible to the human ear, but is able to be heard by a cat. So I suppose it is plausible that her cat could indeed hear when the VNS activated. In my personal experience, neither my dog or cat have seemed to notice anything when the VNS activates.

Can I still use a post hole digger?
Yes… after a while. Here is the deal, the implant isn’t stapled to your chest or clamped onto any bones, so it can move under the skin. Although it is mostly round, it does have a flat side with wires coming out of it. So when you make movements that cause your muscles or skin to rub against the device, it can be uncomfortable. For about 6 months, it was very irritating to my chest if I did anything that required repetitive movements that caused the VNS to move. But just last weekend, I dug a few holes with a post hole digger and did not have any problems. My recommendation: wait a few months before using your post hole digger.

Where can I go to get more answers about the VNS that aren’t contained in the Patients Manual or Physicians Manual?
First, make sure you read both of those manuals before you decide to have surgery. They are the official instructions from Cyberonics.

Second, ask your neurologist or surgeon. Odds are that neither of these has a VNS themselves, and won’t be able to answer very personal questions, but they are usually familiar with what their patients report.

Third, if you want information from people who actually have the VNS, post a message at the VNS Message Board.


Donna said...

I love how you are compiling and formatting the information you are accessing. This is one of the best blogs I've seen. You ought to be very proud.


Emeriol said...

Glad you enjoy it! I try to put in pertinent information while making it somewhat entertaining. I'll be pluggin the VNS Message Board more as this Survivors Guide continues. Hopefully people will be able to get more answers there.