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.