He began straight into standing exercises. This time while he was doing sets of standing, Alexis told him to try moving his hips right and left. This was a new challenge and Eric had to really focus but was able to use his abs to move his hips back and forth.
For the next set of exercises Eric sat in his wheelchair and sat straight up, not leaning on the backrest. He held a 24 inch bar in both hands and moved it like he was rowing a boat, then making a large figure 8 and finally up and down at an angle across his body. This worked his balance, abs and shoulders.
For the final set of exercises Eric moved to the cushioned table and did his least favorite balancing exercises. He had to do sets reaching left, right and in front of him to touch a ball then pull himself back with his abs and lower back muscles. He still struggles but I see a definite improvement from the first time he performed these exercises several weeks ago. Eric's upper body and core strength has definitely increased through the physical therapy sessions.
The session concluded with the range of motion stretching of Eric's legs. Then Eric was given a folder with printouts of physiotherapy exercises for people with spinal cord injuries. Every day Alexis has stressed to Eric the importance of working on core body strength and doing his stretches. Likewise, the people at the Stem Cell Institute have stressed the importance of continued physical therapy. We have heard several reasons for this.
- The stem cells go to the inflamed part of the body and exercise will supposedly stress and inflame the injured part of the body.
- As a person with SCI regains functionality, it is critical to have strength to work on recovery therapy.
- Maintaining physical strength, especially core strength, and balance will help a person with SCI perform day to day activities easier.
After saying our final goodbyes, we returned to the hotel then were whisked off to the Stem Cell Institute. Eric was quickly taken in to get his spinal and IV injections of his bone marrow. One difference with these IV injections is instead of approximately 6cc's for the umbilical cord injections, the bone marrow vial is approximately 30cc's.
After 4 weeks, Eric has received injections of approximately 340 million stem cells. Let's hope that over the next few months Eric begins to see improvements in functionality. To supplement the stem cells over the next few months patients are recommended to take D3 and Folic Acid vitamins. The Stem Cell Institute provided a 2 month supply of Stem-Kine D3 vitamin supplements. We will buy the Folic Acid back home. A nurse from the Stem Cell Institute will followup with Eric at 30 days and 60 days. Based on Eric's improvements she will make a determination whether or not to recommend Eric return in 6 months.
|Spinal injections team: Nurse SantaMaria, Dr Herrera & Dr Bowen with Eric|
|Samantha, Dr Hernandez (IV injections), & Elena with Eric|
|Eric with Pablo De La Hoya. He manages the business side but spends a lot of time talking to patients and getting feedback.|