Board Borgs—Or; Any Doper Cyborgs?

This being, as I remember, the right place for polls, I was wondering…are any Dopers out there cyborgs?

No, I’m not insanely trying to root out Terminators, I’m just curious as to how many people here have implanted mechanical or electronic devices. Like cochlear implants, pacemakers, artificial joints, etc.

I mean, there’s no shame in it. It’s 2005 A.D., and even he Vice-President of the U.S. is a cyborg.

But things like tooth fillings do not make you a cyborg, however. Not in my book.

So…anyone? Or is this thread futile?

Well…my mom is going to have a cataract corrected by means of an implant which had to be designed by means of lots of data. She’s already calling it her bionic eye.
Doperborg by association?

I had plates in my arm for a while. Had them taken out, though, and now they’re on my keychain.

Do contact lenses count? :slight_smile:

If not, I have a grid of wire in my abdomen; for the past fifteen years it has prevented a relapse of a hernia.

(Incidentally, it’s a weird feeling being in your late twenties and saying you have to go in for a hernia operation. But it beats having a loop of intestine in your scrotum.)

Does a rod and three screws in my left leg count?

If so, I hereby name myself Two of Five, primary adjunct of Unimatrix 03.

I have circuitry implanted in my midbrain. This was done in late 1982 because of brain damage when I was five years old (I was was twenty-five when the surgery was done). I must “charge up” twice daily. If I don’t, I lose cognitive function, I develop a tremor in my right hand, I eventually begin to mimic symptoms of manic-depression, then suicidal tendencies, and, if I don’t successfully commit suicide first, I’ll eventually “slow down and stop” – that is, die.

Prior to the surgery, I had to drop out of college due to poor performance. Since the surgery, I went on to earn a Ph.D. in computer science, and now teach at the university level. I think my implant helped a bit…

Hence, my login.


My auntie had experimental heart surgery performed at Johns Hopkins about 15 years ago, now, that was a sort of external pacemaker (not sure of all the details; I can ask my mum later). At the time of the surgery, because of her heart condition, she had only a few weeks to live; she’ll be 85 in May if she keeps puttering along – up until about a year ago she was extremely active and has slowed down only cos well, she’ll be 85 in May (and also her mind is going a wee bit).

Since the surgery and electronics were completely new, they offered to install everything free of charge, and to maintain the implant for free for as long as she lived, considering that she was a guinea pig.

My mum has a similar implant to Sunspace because of a hernia, but also she’s got a wire mesh in her abdomen to keep blood clots from breaking free and going to her heart.

My dad is being scheduled for his fourth hip replacement; he had the first on in 1979, and he’s remained so active (he’ll be 82 this year) he just keeps wearing them out! (He also has degenerative arthritis in his legs and spine, so that is where much of the ‘wearing out’ has come from, the bones crumbling, but the first hip joint itself was worn to pieces because once he could be out and about he went back to work on the docks at a refinery, and continued all the activities he’d done prior to surgery – the only change he had to make was in the kitchen where he had to move the sweetie drawer in the cupboards up one as he was a bit more limited in bending over to rummage for biskies.)

Myself am still 100% natural unless you count when I eat Spaghettios.

Or a plate and four screws? In the same leg?

How do you ‘charge up,’ if you don’t mind me asking. (I have an image of an extension cord, the back of your head, and a wall socket, but I’m pretty sure that can’t be right!)

Do 2 stents in cardiac arteries count?

No, it’s not quite right, but it’s not that far off, either. I have an EM receiver implanted in my upper left chest, just below my collarbone. A power line runs from that (all under my skin) over my collarbone, up the left side of my neck, behind my left ear, and around to the top of my skull just behind my hairline (at age almost 48 I still have most of my hair). From there it dives through my skull and down through my brain to my left anterior thalamus, where the implant is. What I do is put a directional antenna over the receiver in my chest and connect that to a small box about the size of an iPod. The box runs off a nine volt battery – I really don’t need all that much current up there: it gets stepped down to 1.2 volts DC at 50 Hz, with a 200 microsecond pulse.

I hope this makes it all as clear as a still mountain lake…


If you don’t mind my asking, why didn’t you get the surgery until you were 25? Were the symptoms always as you describe, or did they get worse as you aged, i.e. how did you make it age 25 without “slowing down and stopping”?

(If you do in fact mind me asking, feel free to tell me to shut the hell up and/or make my head explode with your super-brain.)

Wow! And welcome to SDMB!

Oh wait, you’ve been here a year and a half. See, I thought the ‘Jun’ by your registration date said ‘Jan’ and I’m still not used to it being 2005.

Well in case no one’s welcomed you yet, my offer still stands.


Nope, I don’t mind you asking – I left myself open for questions when I responded to this thread in the first place, and it would be, I think, rather rude of me to back out, now.

Basically, it took a long time for the first symptoms to appear, when I was about fifteen (actually, looking back, there were hints of problems from the start). To begin with, everyone thought the symptoms were psychiatric, not brain damage; bluntly, everyone thought I was nuts. I kept having more and more psychiatric symptoms over the next decade, and it wasn’t until I developed a tremor in my right hand that my psychiatrists began to suspect my problem might be brain damage, and I got referred to a neurosurgeon, who diagnosed my problem in about two seconds. It helped that this was the same neurosurgeon who had previously diagnosed my father with a very similar condition (before you ask, there is no genetic component to this, as I was adopted as an infant; my father, sister and I all had a serious case of viral encephalitis when I was age five, and this is the cause of the brain damage). My father had this same implant before I did (he died in 1991 of cancer).

As to making your brain explode, well, if I could do that, I have a long list of other people I’d begin with…


Actually, Happy Lendervedder, I don’t think anyone has welcomed me before now. Thanks!


Wow, that’s so cool. You have a ready excuse to get out of anything you don’t feel like doing.

“Uh, sorry I can’t go to your experimental poetry reading. I have to go and recharge my brain.”

Well, it has gotten me out of this and that, from time to time… :wink:

On the other hand, on those rare occasions when I must recharge in public, odd looks are the least of what I get. People have done everything from get up from where they’re sitting near me and move to the other side of the room, to notifying police officers that I’m engaging in questionable activities. These days, whenever I must fly, I take a physician’s note with me, as I’ve almost had my equipment confiscated by semi-literate airport screeners. No thanks – it would cost me about ten grand to replace just the transmitter.


You should think about opening an “Ask the Cyborg” thread someday. This is pretty fascinating.

This thread seems to be heading in that direction already. I don’t mind if that’s what everyone would like. I may not be able to answer immediately (I must get to bed right after I post this), but I’ll answer all questions as best I can as soon as I can. And I would hope that any other cyborgs out there would lend an electrode…