Why I Decided To Become A Cyborg

It's a funny photo, but it's no joke. ;-)


Some of you may know that for almost a decade, on and off, I've been fighting severe chronic migraine headaches. I've tried many treatments to deal with them with varying degrees of success. However, they persist. The headaches negatively impact my quality of life, my work, and most importantly my family. So I've come to an important decision.


On Thursday, March 18 I'm having equipment surgically placed in my body that will greatly lessen my headaches. The device is a spinal cord stimulator (SCS), and it is designed to transmit electrical "white noise" to "mask" my pain. If you're not familiar with SCS it may sound fantastic, but many people today have them and have found them beneficial, including a good friend of mine.


In fact, I have already "test driven" an SCS. A couple of weeks ago I had one temporarily placed on the outside as an out-patient procedure. The device worked. I was able to control my pain level without medication of any kind. So I have reasonable hope in the success of a permanent solution.


Once the SCS is in place, I will have an artificial device inside my body and will therefore be a "cyborg" using the definition "part human, part machine." However, I will not look like the photo above. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing I leave to you to decide. ;-)


The doctors tell me recovery time varies but that I should expect to rest for a couple of weeks. I intend to stay active on Flickr during that time if possible. In the meantime I'm creating a backlog of photos that my wife Leslie has agreed to post on my behalf so that I can continue contributing on a daily basis to 7DOS and to my own Duel 365 series. Hopefully, it won't take long for me to resume normal activities.


While this is a serious procedure with a certain set of risks, I have this positive perspective: my condition is not life-threatening, and I feel very fortunate that I have reasonable treatment options available. I also have supportive co-workers, friends, and family, which makes all the difference.


If you have questions about the procedure, feel free to send me a Flickr Mail or contact me through your favorite social network; I'm not hard to find. ;-)


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March 19, 2010: See the update on my procedure.


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April 5, 2010: See the update on my procedure.


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April 19, 2010: See the update on my procedure.




  • Christine Spinks 5y

    Go on admit it. You just want to be one of your own superheros!

    But seriously I hope you'll continue to find this procedure a real help, and that you'll soon be fully recovered from the op too.
    I also had migraines for years, but wearing a soft mouthguard at night has made a big difference to me.
  • JD Hancock 5y

    the guy with the hat: The recovery is slow, but I am getting better. I could also say, "I'm not the droid you're looking for." ;-)

    Pikaglace: Thank you very much.

    Christine Spinks: Ah, there's no fooling you, is there? ;-) Over the past ten years I've tried many preventives, including a mouthguard, and for my situation nothing ever came close to the effectiveness of the implant, which simply eliminates them.
  • Reckless Times 5y

    Al the best JD - get well soon.
  • JD Hancock 5y

    nick_reck: Thank you!
  • JD Hancock 5y

    UPDATE: It's a month after my procedure, and I'm doing much, much better now. I returned to the office this morning and put in a partial day. I expect to be back to full days shortly.

    Again, I'm just overwhelmed by the well wishes I've received from my Flickr friends both here and elsewhere in my photostream. Thank you so much.
  • ShellyS 5y

    Yay! Glad to hear things are improving at a good pace.
  • JD Hancock 5y

    ShellyS: Me too! And I'm very fortunate to work with a group of people who have been very supportive as well, so my transition back to the office has been a very understanding one.
  • Sean 5y

    That's great news, JD. I know it's been a long road back for you but, I'm glad you are feeling well enough to start back half days. Continued wishes for a full recovery. Have the migraines completely subsided?
  • JD Hancock 5y

    Limmerick8: I've managed to "turn off" headaches great and small using the device, including the dreaded migraines that started me on this journey. It works as advertised.
  • David Brewster 5y

  • riffsyphon1024 5y

    JD Hancock: Awesome. Nothing is as powerful as the ability to silence migraines dead in their tracks.
  • Jo Ban 5y

    You've taken away "recovering"!
    Must mean you're feeling better = great news!
    Take it easy!
  • Ron 5y

    JD, I'm very pleased to know how well this has worked for you. I can only imagine how exhilerating it must be to finally be free from the pain and its associated burdens. To no longer need to "push thru it" and to just relax into life is one heck of a swell gift. Good for you JD.
  • JD Hancock 5y

    Jo Ban: I am feeling better. Thank you!

    Ron,Ron,Ron: It is nice to have the burden lifted. I'm very grateful to be able to take advantage of this medical technology.
  • m4calliope 5y

    I've just came to know about this...I'm really glad to hear that this has worked out for you... We must really appreciate the wonders of modern day medical technology.
  • JD Hancock 5y

    m4calliope: Indeed we do! Thank you.
  • Ecrans .fr 3y

    Hi, We used your picture to illustrate a story on our news website Ecrans.fr. Thank you for sharing this under CC license!
  • Vipertruck99 3y

    Shades of westworld here...
  • Nick Hancock 9mo

    love the way you've blended the head of the 1970's toy bad guy android from The Six Million Dollar Man. I had that toy.
  • Thorte Berlin 4mo

    Great work!
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Taken on March 7, 2010
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