I had some wonderful news today. I got the call that my TENS/EMS machine has been paid for. Which means, I can go pick it up! Big thing, big help! It is the electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) capability that I am getting this machine for. TENS is for pain management, EMS is for atrophied muscle rehabilitation and prevention. I will have the machine, but will not begin till October. I am having carpal tunnel surgery on both wrists, one after the other (long overdue). My right wrist is being done August 31. Then after healing, the second which isn’t scheduled yet. Walking without the cane will be tricky, because falling is not an option, instinctively, you put your wrists out to catch the fall, not good. I’ll deal with that when I get closer. It is important to point out, that when looking for a machine for rehabilitation, the machine must say EMS or NEMS, it can be TENS/EMS. If it only says TENS or in the description says nothing about its EMS capabilities, then its not going to work. TENS is strictly to alleviate pain, it isn’t a strong enough pulse to get into the muscle enough to make it move and in case anyone is wondering, Dr. Ho’s is strictly a TENS machine, it has no EMS capability.
While I am walking better by far, I still have a ways to go. I have a prominent limp, I trip often, and my leg gets fatigued after extended use, requiring rest. What an hour a day using the EMS machine will do is re-educate my atrophied muscles. Getting them up and running, so to say, which should, invariably, with time, patience and diligence improve my leg. I am hoping (envisioning) for the limp and tripping to go away and a speedier step and increased stamina before my leg fatigues. I understand fully that it won’t heal 100%. That is because this is one of the oldest lesions I have (one of the first two detected in 2004), it has gotten progressively bigger over the years. EMS can’t fix the lesion, although, everything else I am doing will help improve it some. What does that mean? What I think it will mean is that my leg will still experience fatigue. But, its performance before that happens, will be far better and will be almost imperceptible. It is important to remember, that it took Dr. Wahls three years using the EMS machine in one hour sessions everyday to turn her drop leg and lower back around. Dr. Wahls was confined to a tilt back wheel chair when she began healing. Her back was too weak to hold her up straight. She used EMS for both areas. She now lives and works without any walking aids. She rides her bike daily 17 miles, she goes on speaking tours and walks and stands during her public speeches. She has said that, her leg is good during a one hour talk, but fatigues on two hour talks. She does use a high seat she keeps at the kitchen counter at times. That’s what I mean, her performance is enhanced, but she can still get fatigued. I want what Dr. Wahls has, so I am doing everything she did and does. Along with the time spent with EMS, it is necessary to build stamina and strength with a regular exercise routine. I go to the Southland Leisure Center four days a week where I swim and circuit train and daily I walk and stretch more. EMS won’t get far without it.
I took a really big step today. I told my disability worker about my blog and my long term plan to go back to work at the end of one year on the Dr. Wahls Protocol. Remember, my can’t/can do blog the other day? It means having my “can do” conversations with the entity that needs to hear what “I can’t do” to remain on it. After I told her, I said, “I just had a heart attack!” She replied, “Whhhhy?” I have a lovely worker. I explained and pointed out that I need more time for rehabilitation. Not that she questioned it, but part of me thinks, after they read this, I’m going to get a letter saying, “You don’t need it anymore, go to work!” And, I’m not ready, then all that I have done will be unraveled. I know that won’t happen, I just find this scary. I meant what I said in my introduction, “I will be honest about everything to do with my journey on this blog.” If this sounds familiar, I have told everyone, doctor and AISH, that I was on the Dr. Wahls Protocol, that was a big step then and I wrote about that. Now, I’m telling them about the blog and the plan. Which of course makes it even more of a commitment. But, as I’ve said, I am in this for the long haul. I’m on a mission. I am a firm believer of this statement, “God did not bring you this far to drop you on your head now.”