Getting to know you

11/18/20 – Truly electrifying!

Today was the first day of turning on the stimulator. I did not know what to expect and was a little anxious.

It began with the supine section of Mapping. During the preparation for the experiment, they placed about 24 different muscle sensors over my trunk and legs, put two blood pressure cuffs on me, and EKGs to monitor my heart. With five people running and monitoring the experiment, they began firing two of the electrodes at one time. Don’t quote me, but I think they ended up firing approximately 12 different combinations of two electrodes.

They would then try to do things like change the polarity, pulse width, amplitude, etc., and other things related to electricity which I do not understand, in order to see what they get with their own eyes and what the muscle sensors detect. Essentially, with each combination, I would feel a strong pulsation throughout my body and a sense of working muscles. When turned off, the buzz (which doesn’t hurt) continues. I sort of related this to how your legs feel after you have gone on a long, exhilarating run and you begin your cool down. That feeling you get in your legs when you are sitting there in that chair after that run. It’s a pretty good feeling.

The next section got very intense where they fired the top three electrodes at the same time with the bottom three electrodes. They did different combinations of that, and then would reverse the polarity, meaning, they began with the positive at the top and the negative at the bottom, and then reversed it so the negative was on top and the positive was at the bottom. This allowed the current to flow from the top of the electrodes to the very bottom. They referred to it as wide-area stimulation. When this occurred, I could just feel an intense buildup of energy in my body, which eventually would explode out and my legs would begin to simulate a walking pattern. It did play havoc with my blood-pressure, which was a bit challenging, but it would immediately begin to come down after they stopped the activity. It was very intense and exhausting. I did not feel any negative impact from the blood pressure changes, and I think it was because it wasn’t from a sympathetic response but rather it was coming from a muscular activity response. They had me working!

Needless to say, it was a tiring experience that took me an hour or so to recover from. They really liked what they saw, so let’s chalk it up to a good first day. With that said, please keep in mind all the muscle activity that they triggered was as a result of them actively using the stimulator. At this point, the stimulator is not allowing me to do this voluntarily, and that was not the objective.

Here are two videos. This one just shows my legs pulsating and turning inward towards each other. This was the response or pattern of motion my body would do when they were stimulating two of the 16 electrodes at one time.

This one shows my legs eventually going into a rhythmic walking pattern. This is what occurred after I felt that buildup of energy just explode out of the body. Kind of looks like dancing frog legs.

We have a couple more more five-hour sessions of trying different combinations at different intensities to complete the supine phase, and then it is on to the cardiovascular phase. Will chime back in after we finish this phase, and I get one session of cardiovascular under my belt.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

5 thoughts on “Getting to know you

  1. can really see the exiting of energy…its almost poetic
    Glad to see the bottom of your feet look very clean too👍❤


  2. can really see the exiting of energy…its almost poetic
    Glad to see the bottom of your feet look very clean too👍❤


  3. Henry – Blessings abound compadre – congrats on your early progress and sharing the journey with your extensive international fan club.


  4. It is ground breaking and another small step forward for people living with spinal cord injury. We are so fortunate to have such an incredible support system. Thank you all!


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