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"Fascinating" Stephen S. Hall. writer, N.Y.Times magazine. "Hard to put down." A.C.P.A., American Chronic Pain Association.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Mathematics and my implant and hope

I have a brain stimulator implant.

The main chip is attached to the covering of my brain, Wires are connected from a battery in my chest up to the chip. The battery was dying and I knew I had to get a new one. I put it off feeling that I was getting very little, if any, benefit. The change is simple. The battery sits directly under the skin. It is mainly a matter of pulling out the old and putting a new one in the pocket that remains.

The implant works by giving off a stimulation that hopefully interferes or impedes the pain signals that the brain and nerves give off. (This is not the best explanation but it is ok for now.)

The stimulation can be changed in a number of ways: for instance how often it is on, how strong the level of stimulation, among many other options. I just tried to figure out the possible number of combinations and permutations but I did not have a clue how to do it (even after googling and clicking a whole bunch of math sites.) I have no doubt the ultimate number of possibilities are easily in the thousands.

The problem with that is the ultimate question. When do you give up hope? Or, do you ever give up hope?

I have trouble accepting the pain, accepting tomorrow will be the same as today. I know it is healthier to accept what is than to not. Accept the pain, the level of disability, the effect on my life. But, but what if just when I say "Uncle.", when I give up and accept, maybe the next combination will be the one.

Are hope and acceptance mutually exclusive? I do not know. I do know I just changed some of the options again last night and am breathlessly waiting for it to hit and stop the pain.

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