Friday, July 20, 2007

VNS Side Effects

I had my VNS current setting moved from .75 mAmps to 1.0 mAmps about 6 weeks ago. As always, when you have your settings adjusted "upward" there is a period of discomfort as your body adjusts to the increase in energy being sent to the bundle of nerves in your neck. One of the typical side effects that I experience is a tightening of the throat and increased hoarseness during stimulation. I have finally adjusted so that I no longer feel that, however a second side effect has not gone away.

When I have my neck turned in certain directions or when I am laying down in particular positions, the pulses cause a muscle in my neck to constrict or flex. It is just one muscle bundle about 4 inches long and it will activate during the 30 second pulse. My thought is that it only occurs if the muscle is pressed against the area where the leads are located. So if my pillow is pressing the muscle against my neck, it activates more often. It is quite aggravating and can make it hard to get to sleep unless I can get my pillow situated just right.

I am going to get my pulse width turned down to see if this will help. I'll keep you updated. If anyone else out there has this side effect, please let me know.

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