Thursday, July 22 2010 @ 04:51 PM PDT
Contributed by: Matt Potratz
Hi all! Quick update. Last week at physical therapy we got my bicep muscle, or I guess in this case my transplanted gracilis muscle, to fire for the first time! It's called a stage 1 firing as it doesnt move the arm just moves enough to move the skin a little. But the good news is, it means that the transplanted nerves have now bonded to the new muscle and are starting to function. It's pretty crazy that they actually fire from a heavy breathing routine because the brain still thiinks those nerves inhale and exhale.
As you might remember, the Mayo Clinic transplanted live nerves from the rib cage to the left arm in September. The brain can eventually be re-trained to use those nerves for arm function and not require breathing if and when I get the arm to move a little with the breathing. Then I had a spinal MRI here in Lewiston Thursday to make sure there is nothing major causing the right hand weakness. Dr. Flinders at Interventional Pain showed me the MRI results yesterday and there is just some swelling and a pocket of fluid that is causing the right side to be affected. It will all dissipate with time and I should get normal function so thats good news. The hand has already gotten a little better in the last week or so.
Anyway, Just wanted to keep you updated. More news soon.