I’ve been stimning with the new unit for about two weeks now. Two weeks ago I went to the University of Georgia to have some testing done to see what my muscles looked like and to get a baseline to compare to the changes to come. We looked inside my leg muscles and could see a layer of fat, muscle and bone. They had one of the staff demonstrate on their leg to show me what the non-injured muscle should look like to compare. His muscle was bigger and the muscle fibers showed more and different texture than mine did. They do think that my muscles were not as bad as they could be since they have been very inactive for the last few years. I will be going back down in another few months to test again and see the changes after using the stim.
Unfortunately, a couple of things have not gone very well concerning the stim therapy over the last week or two. Recently, one of my research doctors had a conversation with one of the inventors about my use of the stim unit. They talked about the initial testing we did at UGA and how ideally they wanted me to have an MRI done to get a better visual of my muscle tissue but we could not due to the hardware in my left leg from the fracture I had last year. The inventor went on to say that the type of current in the unit could actually melt or dissolve titanium--like the titanium in my leg used by my ortho surgeon. How crazy is that? I am not exactly sure if it would just break the hardware or maybe even dissolve into the blood stream…either way, none of that is good. I have been instructed to cease stimming my left quad and hamstring for now. I am going to consult with my ortho surgeon and talk about the possibility of taking it out at some point but I am not even sure if that is a possibility.
Towards the middle or end of May is when we are planning on going up to the next protocol, which I am excited about. We started on protocol 3 and are moving to 4 and have been told that 5 and 6 are when the muscles really start to gain strength and size. I responded really well to protocol 3, other than the recent skin burns, and I am praying my muscles start to see more visible changes in protocol 4. I should be well into it next month.
I just met with the head of research at Shepherd, Dr. Keith Tansey, to discuss how the stim therapy was going and make sure I understood the damage I could do by not following the warning about the titanium in my leg. He remarked to me that if I did not have any bad luck I would have no luck at all. I thought to myself how he has only known me for a year and a half and isn't even aware of all the mess that I have had to deal with following the accident.
I did not give this another thought until Sunday when I left my apartment to get groceries and was pulled over by an Atlanta Police Officer! She informed that my tag expired a few weeks ago and was just going to give me a verbal warning. She goes to her car to check my ID like they always do but she came back and asked me if I knew my license was canceled. This was news to me and she showed me what her system said--canceled for medical reason--and that was all. There was not a date or anything else.
According to her, for this infraction, I should be arrested and my car towed! I asked her if she could just follow me the one mile back to my apartment but that was a no. I asked her if I could just go to my church which was ½ a mile away and was in first service and again I got a no. Apparently she would have some sort of liability if she let me drive and I hit anyone. Finally she agreed to allow a licensed driver come and they would release the car. I do not know that many people here, especially that live near my place. My aunt and uncle just happened to be in town watching their grandkids about 20 miles away, so I had to get my poor uncle to come rescue me in midtown Atlanta.
After my 8am therapy the next day, I called the NC DMV and was informed that I was RANDOMLY chosen to have my medical condition checked to make sure my condition had not worsened. They sent a letter out in January to my old apartment in Charlotte, despite the fact I changed all my important addresses to my parent's Cary address and even had my license done to reflect that as well. They faxed me the forms to have the GA doctor fill out and after a couple days of unlicensed driving I am finally good to go--except I have a court date in June that I hope to get out of.
I couldn't help but sit back and think about what Dr. Tansey said and I do sometimes think I cannot catch a break. There have been so many things I just cannot believe have happened to me and can even make you question your beliefs. I try my best to think how things about how things could be worse. I could have an injury that would prevent me from using my hands and there are more serious medical problems and issues in general people have to deal with. I cannot say it makes me feel better but I do try to use it to make me not think about it as much as I could. I also do my best to remember the good things I do have in my favor and this could not be more evident here in a couple of weeks with all of your support and The Hope to Walk events. I cannot believe it is in its third year! I know in a lot of ways I do not deserve this kind of support, but it has become something I very much look forward to and do not know where I would be without it!