The Vagus Nerve Stimulator

The first Monday of every month, I go to a support group. This support group has only happened twice, but last night we had two speakers, one was the sales person/nurse for the VNS manufacturer, and the other was a local epileptologist. I had NO idea we had one in the area, last I looked there weren’t any. We talked a bit about what was going on in our lives, and then the VNS speaker stood before us and presented. She handed us VNS implants to hold, to look at. I, personally, am unlikely to get one of these devices. I’m a bit of a VNS-a-phobe if there is such a thing. But to hold a device that could change someone’s life in your hands? It’s a bit like holding the red button to start a nuclear war.

This little device is a little over the size of a quarter with one big wire coming out of it. As I rolled it around in my hands and looked at the electrodes that wrap around the Vagus nerve, I thought to myself If I knew this could change everything tomorrow, I’d be in the operating room now. The problem is, I’ve heard some horror stories about the VNS, and even after hearing the success stories it’s hard to get those tear jerking memories out of my head.

The VNS is now being used to treat depression (although no insurance company will pay for it, despite the limited side affects and how well it works). It’s come a long way since it was the size of what felt like a dinner plate.

I guess my point is, treatment is evolving, changing. I want to be someone who helps people get better. I want to be someone who changes at least one person’s world.

Please remember to donate. The race is on Sunday and we need to get closer to our goal! Even if it’s $1, please donate!


  • Meg
  • Reid B. Kimball


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