As people seem to regularly ask me ( if they know at all ) why I’m going to America, I thought I’d try to clarify.
What I’m definitely NOT going for is a cure ( as there isn’t one, not currently anyway ).
I’ve enrolled on a clinical trial, which investigates the effect of electrical current stimulation on paralysed parts of the body.
It won’t restore the ability to have ANY sensation or control of anything below the break in my spine.
So.. No feeling from tummy button down, no control of ANYTHING below tummy button at the front, or behind either ( my injury is worse to my back, having no feeling at all in large areas of my back, and little function at all on the right side of my mid and lower back – which means I couldn’t say sit on a stool without immediately toppling off )
There will almost certainly be little improvement in any of the above, definitely no regain of sensation, but possibly some gain in function/ strength of the paralysed muscle above and close to the broken spinal area.
I could possibly come back in 5 months time with a bit more stability than I currently have and perhaps a little more muscle symmetry between right side and left, but there are no promises.
So why am I going?
Ok, the scientists in Louisville have had some breakthroughs and successes with electrical implants inside the bodies of injured people, whereby those patients have regained some sensation and use of paralysed areas.
The reason I am going is that I want to be selected for an implant, if I am deemed suitable. They have not promised that I will be, or even suggested that at all, but by putting myself in the arena, it has to increase my chances, and certainly compared to staying at home and doing nothing.
It will be a real test to go to a foreign country, as a paralysed person with only the use of half my body ( ‘really, I thought you just couldn’t move your legs’ as one of my staff said yesterday ) but going I am nonetheless. I’m doing my bit for spinal break research, and volunteering my broken body to science.
They have my permission to do to it what they will.
At least I’ll be useful for something then…
But God, I’m going to miss home, my wife, my daughters, and my lovely and loving friends.
It’s being in regular contact with all of the above that will keep me from sinking back into the pit that I spent many months in, not so long ago.
So… All visits/ letters/ texts/ emails/ FaceTime calls welcome.
Thanks in advance.