So, What If… 2003

Chapter 16
So, what if… 2003

               The sitting trials continued in increments of 100, 200, and 300 seconds. 300

seconds is 5 minutes. The results continually produced great success so Yuri took it step

further and extended the time to 10 minutes. With this step my ability to keep my body

still and centered soared to a much higher level. Not only that, the residual effect amplified

and lasted longer, I could even stand with my eyes closed, without the TDU in my mouth!

This was a feat all its own because if my eyes were closed (or if I were in the dark) my

ability to discern what was up or down using vertical lines disappeared and I would fall

apart or rather fall down. Surprisingly, after using the TDU for the 10 minutes, standing

with my eyes closed my body began reconnecting to what I lost, even though I couldn’t see

it. To me, that was a miracle; it certainly took away the tremendous amount of energy I

had to put out just to stand up, eyes open or closed.

 

What we learned from the 10 minute trials were so exciting that a gathering of

people showed up to watch as I confirmed the results. Dr. Mark Pyle, an otolaryngologist

affiliated with the UW Hospital and Clinics, consultant for the research, and also my

doctor, arrived to see the results. (An otolaryngologist specializes in the care of troubles in

ears, nose and throat). My son, Kris came to witness the results. Lots of people were there,

Yuri, and Mitch who had a hand in developing the device, and of course Paul was there.

Everyone was amazed; especially me. With each residual I felt closer to a balanced world,

if only for a little while. However, there was something else rising in me. There was an

emergent sense of change beyond what the research was looking for. Something else was

happening. It was some kind of transformation. It was beyond my comprehension and I

wasn’t able to put my finger on it, only a feeling of a slow introduction to something bigger

than a return to balance. I kept this to myself and continued displaying what the TDU

could do; I continued to follow instructions and the tasks I was given.

 

During the time our successful clinical trials were documented and confirmed the

TDU needed to be patented and licensed with the University Wisconsin Alumni Research

Foundation, or WARF. This is a process for any successful research that involved the use

of federal funding, which our research was. What WARF does is steward the cycle of

research, discovery, commercialization and investment for the University of Wisconsin. It

is the designated patent management organization for the University of Wisconsin–

Madison. WARF also provides, free of charge, patenting and licensing services for

inventions, copyrights and other intellectual property that has the potential to be

commercially developed. The patent belongs to WARF, however, the work continues in an

approach determined by the researchers.

 

With the WARF submission in, we continued trials using our own approach still at

the lab on campus. At the same time, search for a location was launched to shift the

research from the UW campus and continue it in a way determined by our group. A

location was found and Paul formed a company naming it “Wicab”, in honor of his wife’s

family name meaning “lover of honey”.

 

My demonstrations using the TDU became a method to search for funds to

support the research. Yuri and Mitch traveled to various seminars and scientific trade

shows to increase its visibility. Grants were written and invitations were extended to

various organizations all over the US and beyond to witness what Yuri later described as a

miracle.

 

Paul, Mitch and Yuri wanted others in areas of neurology, otolaryngology,

physiology, and more, to see me demonstrate the power of the TDU hoping it would

connect us to a source of funding to move the research forward expanding trials to others

with vestibular loss. At this time I was a member of a support group called “Wobblers

Anonymous”. This group provides support to hundreds of others whose vestibular system

had been destroyed by use of gentamicin, hundreds… I was fortunate to have found this

group; it helped find peace and understanding of the place I was put in, and, how I could

adjust. Through this group I was able to locate others who might be interested in joining

the study.

 

Paul, Yuri and Mitch worked tirelessly writing a grant to the National Institute of

Health or NIH, a grant that would take the research to massive expansion. Mitch took on

the task of completing most of the grant applications and with each and every one I

witnessed his relentless and determined dedication to attain any and all support we could

find. To this day I’ve never seen anyone work so hard believing in something so strongly.

 

As grant applications were being submitted there were also invitations extended to

potential partners. There were many discussions about the TDU and the clinical proof as I

demonstrated the results. We were looking for a way to bring in money. During this time a

CEO with connections, and who put up his own money, came into the picture as the

research continued. However, Paul was still in dire need of locating more funding and at

this point began reaching out to people he knew outside scientific fields. Paul was a

graduate of the Bronx High School of Science from which many of his fellow graduates

went on to successful careers. This is where Bill Angelos came into the picture; a

Hollywood Emmy award winning producer and writer for several years working with well

known actors and singers such as Sammy Davis, Jr., the Carol Burnett show and many

other famous projects. Paul went to school with Bill and thinking Bill would be interested

in the research he might want to invest and partner. What Paul didn’t know was Bill had

left the world of Hollywood fame and commotion and was not in a position financially to

help with funding, but he did know others in his past life that might. Bill made a few calls

and delivered $50,000. Beyond that, it turned out Bill continued producing

documentaries and had built up a great deal of knowledge that fit into the research. More

on that later.

 

So, with money in the bank and me on call for demonstrations, we all worked

together to launch a clinically recognized proof of the results from the use of the TDU.

Yuri, Mitch, and Paul conversed about how neuroplasticity was involved, how my brain

was changing because using the TDU was sending a substituted vestibular message to my

brain.

 

One day I received a call to come to the office. I was surprised to be introduced to

a group of individuals from Israel wanting to learn more about the research and observe as

I demonstrated how the TDU was used and witness the residual effect. With me on display

everyone talked about how the brain must be involved. There were speculations of how

and why it worked and a lot of talk about neuroplasticity, again, the brains ability to

change by introducing other pathways to replace those that have been lost. In the context

of neuroplasticity Paul often used an example of how someone who lost their sight used a

cane to connect to the environment around them. The sense of touch from the cane was

the other pathway to feel what’s in front of them. That touch then is how the brain

perceives “sight”.

 

With the group from Israel observing, I demonstrated how the 10 minute trail

changed my ability to re-balance. They also witnessed the residual effect. A lot of

discussion and questions opened up about the TDU, my results, and how and why. I was

asked questions; how it felt, and to describe what I thought was happening to me. I echoed

the words of Paul as the residual began to fade. Then the group from Israel suggested –

what would happen if I stayed on the TDU for 20 minutes? This was quite a challenge to

undertake but I thought what the hell, I’ll do it – We set in motion something we hadn’t

attempted before. I was suddenly in a position proving what the TDU can do but in a new

direction. I’ll be honest; I had reservations that upping the time to 20 minutes, double

what I was use to, standing like a statue wasn’t going to be easy, let alone hold my

attention that long. However, I did it, I was even able to zone out the chatter of those in the

room. When the 20 minutes were up I removed the TDU and found myself experiencing

the same affects as before, but this time it was very different. I stood there quietly in a

state of an amazing presence that previous trials hadn’t touched. I looked at Mitch and

said “something’s different”. Mitch looked worried then calmed as he watched me stand in

a beautiful silence absent of the noise that previously consumed my every thought, I was

absent of the noise of disability.

 

Without saying a word I looked at the corner of the wall in front of me and tilted

my head from side to side. The walls shifted but I saw a considerable reduction of seeing

the room tilt like they did as if on teeter totter. The intensity of the bouncing, blurry mess

of my vision had calmed. I was stunned. I felt a sense of relief throughout my body. I

couldn’t express what I was feeling; there were no words for it, only awe of how I felt. The

Subject Zero had just proved the power of the TDU, changing everything we had done. I

had just demonstrated a major difference how the longer on the TDU increased the

intensity of balance and residual increasing the stillness and silence and had at 10

minutes. It was stunning, amazing, life changing…

 

From that meeting on our trials used 20 minutes as the guideline for using the

TDU in a standing position. With each and every trial a flourishing increase of my balance

returned but also the length of residual time grew stronger and longer! These results were

shared throughout the scientific realm and a series of scientific curiosity exploded. The

research and I suddenly became the center of a series of displays demonstrating proof that

the TDU worked. This set off a spree of local and national attention, written articles,

television coverage, and droves of other researchers and potential investors from all over

wanted to know more. Paul, Mitch and Yuri set off to explain the science behind it, how

my brain was changing, I was proof.

This entry was posted in Aminoglycosides, Biomedical Research, Clinical Research, Disability, Disability Noise, Discovery, Expressing It, Gentamicin, Identity, Inspiration, Lessons, Motivation, Non Fiction, Oscillopsia, Ototoxicity, Rehabilitation, Research, Self Help, Sensory Substitution, Spirit, Subject Zero, The Noise of Disability, Tongue Display Unit, Transition, trauma, Uncategorized, Vestibular System and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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