A Cardiovascular Christmas


Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and hoping you have some time to rest and enjoy some time off. Looking forward to welcoming 2021!

Thought I would provide an update to my journey.

On Friday, December 18, I went to the lab to do a 9 AM to 10:30 AM session where they tried to apply some of what they learned from the cardiovascular mapping to the voluntary movement exercises. We did not have a tremendous amount of success as I continue to struggle with keeping my blood pressure in a safe range while I attempted to voluntarily move my legs. Disappointing, but they are not kicking me out here yet!

What was supposed to be an 1.5 hour session quickly turned into a new course of action which kept me in the lab to 7 PM that night. The principal investigators basically had completed all of their necessary assessments of me and thought we should move forward with randomizing me into the study. Shortly after my session I learned I would be randomized into “group B” which is one of two cardiovascular tracks. What this entails is for me to turn on the simulator every day for six hours and increase or decrease the amplitude depending on where my blood pressure is. Only way I know is by wearing a blood pressure cuff for six hours and taking it every 10 to 15 minutes. If I make changes to the stimulator, I need to make notes in my digital cardiovascular diary and send the data to those working with me. I also will log things in such as “beginning to eat a meal,” “tilting my chair back to do a weight shift,” or any other activity that I would be doing throughout the day that might impact my blood pressure. In addition to the six hours, after the lab reopens from the winter break and everything is back up and running, I will also be going over there daily to stand for two hours while the team adjusts my stimulator to, again, keep my blood pressure in range. For me, they would like for my systolic (the upper number) be in the range of 100 to 130. As mentioned before, my systolic is normally in the low 80s.

I thought the two week break was going to be very sedentary, but because I was randomized, I am able to begin my six-hour-a-day regime. In fact, I am writing this as I sit at my desk stimulating away!

After some time, the team is hoping my body will begin to adapt to the stimulation and the normal arterial pressures and allow me to successfully work through voluntary movement with healthy blood pressure. Remember, it’s not something my body has done in over 39 years.

Anyway, despite missing our families, Mary and I enjoyed our Louisville Christmas with each other. Once again, she outdid herself and took on the Italian-American tradition of “seven fishes” for Christmas Eve followed by a relaxing Christmas day.

All for now. Enjoy the time off and know I am on top of my blood pressure!

Cheers to you all and welcoming 2021.

7 thoughts on “A Cardiovascular Christmas

  1. Henry, Happy New Year to you and Mary. This is a fascinating journey you are on and, I guess, like any journey, there are occasional setbacks, but it sounds like the progress you are making is astounding. Keep at it and thanks for sharing this. It is very moving.
    Matt and Paula


  2. Hi Henry and Mary Sounds like this is keeping you busy As hell! Sounds like progress Albeit never fast enough Rhonda and i think of you guys every day and hope and pray for continued Progress. Things good here, love being close to our Grandson Jackson Next scan for in March So far so good 🙏🤞🏻 All our love Perry and Rhonda

    Sent from my iPhone Perry@whitebirchcapital.com 908-380-2048


  3. You have retained your sense of humor and wonder through all of this. We are so proud of you. You and Mary have the determination it takes to master this process. Love you,
    Trudy and JPL


  4. Hi Henry Your posts are very interesting and I’m fascinated with the process you’re under going. It all sounds complicated, exciting but mostly tiring for you! Thank you for the updates. I will remember to include you in my prayers . Looking forward to your next report. In His love, Jenny




  5. Dear Mr. Stifel….

    My names is Sara Neal, Brewton, Alabama…….I am the grandmother of Ben Shepard Of Westfield, New Jersey….now in Boston, Massachusetts .

    I have known of you for years because of Ben’s love and admiration of you. I have Also joined the tribe of your admirers. More since daughter Lauren (Ben’s Mom } Told me it was o k if I signed up for your communication. It is inspiring to me And encouraging to pray for you and your wife as you progress in this great effort. While it might be slower than desired….I believe you will be completely successful In accomplishing your goal !

    May I wish you both a wonderful, successful year in 2020 ! HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

    Sara Neal

    Sent from my iPad



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