I’m lying in an operating room at the Stanford University hospital, head shaved, waiting for my brain surgery to begin…[The surgical team] is installing a deep brain stimulator, essentially a neurological pacemaker, in my head. This involves threading two sets of stiff wires in through my scalp, through my cerebrum — most of my brain — and into my subthalamic nucleus, a target the size of a lima bean, located near the brain stem. Each wire is a little thinner than a small, unfolded paper clip, with four electrodes at one end. The electrodes will eventually deliver small shocks to my STN. How did I get into this mess? Well, I have Parkinson’s disease. If the surgery works, these wires will continually stimulate my brain in an attempt to relieve my symptoms.