Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Brian's February Update

My 50lb special delivery via my USPS mail carrier.
I FINALLY received my stim unit in the mail!!!!!!!!! 
It has been a LONG, LONG, LONG process, that began all the way back in May 2011. The device came into the country via Miami from the Netherlands.  For some reason, it got stuck there for about two weeks, which was a little nerve-racking. I was very hesitant to push on it since no one was 100% clear on what may be done on a medical device that is not truly US FDA certified and did not want to draw any unneeded attention to it. The research doctors from Shepherd assured me that if it was seized or questioned that they would intervene to make sure it got in but thankfully it did not come to that because I doubt that would be a quick process.
It was actually a little weird how it all went down and since I work at a shipping company that handles domestic and international shipping I tried to be as proactive as possible about it to lessen the chances of delays or other issues. However this one was a little unique since it was going to be handled by the Dutch Post Office and transferred and delivered thru the US Post Office. Most international shipments are via UPS or FED Ex etc so this was new to people that even work in the industry. I did get a tracking number but all it really told me was when it left Netherlands and when it was in the USA. A few days later I got a letter from US Customs/Border Protection that it was being held in Miami for processing. This threw me off since I assumed that it would go thru customs in Atlanta since it is an international airport. I found out that it is held at the first point of entry in the US, so whatever shipment it came on entered in Miami.
I found out that you have to have a licensed customs broker to have your freight even released to be delivered or to go pick it up. I had a broker we had a relationship with thru work lined up to do me a favor and take care of the release for little to no cost and once we found out it was in Miami they got a friend of theirs in Miami to be so kind to do the same. It took a couple of weeks to be released and why it was held I am not sure. So, I was very surprised to have a regular postman bring this to me this weekend. I was expecting to have to go pick it up since it weighs about 50-60lbs and I also was expecting to have to pay duty or taxes on the item but apparently not
Since I began this quest I have emailed with a user of the stim in the UK to get updated on how it is working out for him. In a recent email he told me he has used the device for about 4-5 months and has gained 4 inches of muscle mass in his quads and has begun to have voluntary contractions in his quads. He admits he has not done as much as he should and only on his quads since he works and has kids and it does take a large time commitment. So I know that I will make gains--it will be more a matter of how quick and how much. 

A week or two ago I sat back and came to the realization that I will be the first and only person in the US to use this device and likely the first and only person in the world to combine the therapy I have been doing at Shepherd with this type of stim. I am going to be stimming 5 days a week and stimming my quads, hams, gluts and calves. With adding stim to my routine that was already pretty busy with work and therapy I am going to have to do an even better job of time management. I am excited about this opportunity but have to be patient since results do not start showing up until a few months. I did come across this device and worked hard to bring it to the attention of doctors here in the US but again this would not be possible without the support I have thankfully received from friends and family.  Thank you!  Thank you!

The stim unit inside--thanks to your financial support!

1 comment:

  1. Great news! Glad you finally got it and can start using it! Keep us updated!