Today I had my third treatment of rTMS, or repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. I am hopeful that this treatment will be effective for me. The doctors at MUSC tell me they have had a lot of success with it. To put it in simple terms, they put a giant magnet on my head that stimulates the neurons in the brain. The strength of the pulse and length of treatment is dependent on motor threshold. The higher the threshold, the stronger the pulse and the longer the treatment is. I have the second highest motor threshold they have seen, with a 1.55. As of now, my treatments are running around 50 minutes long.
To tell you what it’s like, it feels like a giant woodpecker on my head, tapping away at my skull for 4-5 seconds straight with 25 second intervals in between. It makes my left eyebrow quiver, as well as the left side of my jaw (pretty much the entire left side of my face). It’s not as painful as it actually sounds. After a while, you kind of get used to it. I get to use ear buds and listen to my music or an audiobook (I’m currently working on Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre).
I have to go Monday through Friday for four to six weeks, depending on how well I respond to the treatment.
I hope to track my progress regularly. On a scale from 1 – 10, with ten feeling like total misery, I have been about an 8 today. Yesterday and Monday were a 5.
My sister’s imagery of TMS is great: she pictures me with kitchen magnets all over my head.