Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Treatment Protocol - Stem Cells Day 1

Here is the first stem cell packet, given to me on March 18 via IV. The most immediate sensation was very twitchy legs, like I had energy to spare. Jason and I had to take a walk around the ward about 3 hours after the treatment. My legs twitched most of the night, but I finally got some sleep.

This morning, my gait was noticeably faster, and I was looking forward to the two hour daily physical therapy with "No Mercy James," my 26 year-old theraptist.

My protocol has changed a bit. The doctors say for muscular dystrophy patients, lumbar injections will not work as well as site injections into the muscle groups. They have not told me when yet when the site injections will begin, but the IVs of stem cells will be weekly. Also, for about 40 minutes each day I have acupuncture treatment. The Chinese use a needle about twice the length and girth of US needles for this. They push them into the muscle then hook them up to an electrical stimulator. Yeah, I know, sounds painful, and it is, a little, but that's the cost so I'll pay it. After acupuncture they hook me up for another 40 minutes to a TENS machine and send electrical current through my legs and arms simulating the muscles again, but there are no needles involved. Its actually relaxing.

Next Tuesday will be the bone marrow extraction. I'll be completely put under for this procedure. The next day will be another IV of stem cells.


  1. "No Mercy" James is a great name. Your past post with the pictures of the food have made me hungry!

  2. Hi Russ ~ Wow, that's a lot of needles! You're a lot braver than I am... Glad to hear of the good progress, I hope everything continues that way.


  3. When they inject the IV w/ the stem cells where or what part of the body do they do this???? Thanks.

  4. The IV of stem cells is placed in a vein in the back of the hand. Later, stem cells will be injected directly into my biceps, forearms, calfs and thighs.


  5. Hi Russ, Do you have TV or DVDs for entertainment? Have you been able to get out of the hospital for short periods? What's the weather like? Linda

  6. Linda,
    We have a TV but only get on English speaking channel. We have a DVD player as well, but have not used it yet. We're on the computer or reading or working the treatment program instead. The weather has been nice - in the low 70's everyday, but you cannot see any blue sky due to the air pollution. It looks the same everyday - like a fog has rolled in. Yuk!