I visited the Mayo Clinic this morning for a checkup on my arm since I've had some muscle activity over the last month or so. We got some definite indication that the transplanted nerves are functioning in the arm. It was wierd when he pinch squeezed my bicep area and it actually felt like he was clamping my left chest area cause thats where the nerves were transplanted from. Wow! So now just the waiting game for those nerves to make the muscle function and then the arm move. I do a routine every day where i breathe in heavy and hold to tighten those chest muscles because that fires the nerves that are now in the arm. Over time they can be re-trained and the brain will also be re-trained to use those nerves for arm function and sensation.
Wanted to keep you all in the loop. Slow progress with the left arm but at least some… When the Mayo transplanted the nerves from the ribcage last Sept, the way I understand it is they moved sensory fibers and motor fibers with each nerve. I’ve recently had some tingling in my left arm, sometimes intense, not really painful, just annoying but it sounds like it might be a good thing. The surgery in Chicago for the nerve pain should have left me with no sensation in the left arm or hand. So the tingling is most likely the sensory fibers from the rib cage nerves re-activating and giving me that sensation. I go back to the Mayo Sept. 29 for some tests to see how much nerve activity there is. I’ll keep you posted.
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.