For decades, Jim Hudson, 69, of Moundsville, has suffered with tremors, a movement disorder that slowly took control of his life.
“I was diagnosed with an essential tremor and it first became noticeable around 30 years of age. Then, when I turned 60, it really started to get bad,” said Jim.
Despite his limitations, Jim taught welding for many years at John Marshall High School.
But as the disease progressed, he stopped responding to medication and became dependent on others.
“Normal activities that you do such as tying your shoes or writing your name, I couldn’t do any that and it progressively got worse,” said Jim.
Jim said he was frustrated and felt helpless with his disease.
That’s when his family doctor at WVU Reynolds Memorial Hospital stepped in. Jim was then referred to WVU Medicine and underwent a surgery that would change his life.
“I have this IPG which is an internal pulse generator. The wires are run up my neck, behind my ear and up into my brain. What it does is send a low voltage impulse which block the impulses that are in my brain telling me to shake,” said Hudson.
Deep brain stimulation is a form of neuromodulation.
It uses the latest technology to alter and improve functions of the human nervous system.
“He’s so much happier and can do things independently. Just writing his name has made a big impact on him. Drinking a cup of coffee without a straw is really amazing,” said Jim’s wife, Cindy.
“It’s life changing. I’m able to write and do things that I couldn’t before. It’s been a blessing just to do those things again,” said Jim.
Jim underwent two outpatient surgeries with two-week breaks in between and one surgery with an overnight stay.
When he returned to WVU Medicine to have the device activated, he held his arms out in the air, and for the first time in 25 years, there was no shaking in either hand.