Like A Baby

*I will send $20 to whomever knows what song that line comes from. (Hint: Shooting pool directions, they may or may not eat robots, from Boulder, CO) Email your answer.

I’ve been home for a little over a week now.

As expected, the results are not as dramatic as they were right out of the gate.

But! There is no doubt that I am less fatigued and THE PAIN IS STILL GONE.

It was far too easy to feel discouraged a few days ago when my exhaustion made me wonder if the fatigue was back. But no one can go from 10 miles an hour to 50 miles an hour without feeling it. I was just plain tired.

The pain is still gone.

That may just be a direct result of the procedure causing an anti-inflammatory effect. A dose of steroids can do that! So it may come back, it may not. And I will be honest on this blog regardless.

I wondered before the procedure if weakness was fatigue. For instance, my left side is incredibly weak and I was getting to a point where I couldn’t safely grip anything with my left hand anymore.

With fatigue gone, would my left hand work better? The answer is yes. Weakness with a layer of fatigue on top makes it even worse! I am still weak but I can grip things easier.

I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do. I’m moving every 30 minutes. I’m doing breathing exercises. I’ve added some things to my diet per my doctor’s suggestion. There are some new supplements/medications on the way that I will add. I also have several tests at home which I need to do and send to a lab which will dictate future treatments as well.

Baby steps. The struggle remains but the fact also remains that I am able to take those baby steps! I wasn’t at all pre-treatment.

SO Glad I Did This!!

IMG_3425To L.A. and back we went! The experience was big and we learned so much. Dr. Arata is fantastic and very knowledgable. The clinic staff was extraordinary. And here we are at Venice Beach. We even saw the famous turban dude on skates who plays electric guitar!

This procedure wasn’t a magic pill. It was the first step toward getting better. (Curious? Procedure details are below. )

I have two challenges. First, I have to put the fire out that is inside of me that is causing my disability.
Second, I have to “rebuild the house”-after years of struggling, my muscles have atrophied and my frame is extremely weak.

This procedure made giant leaps towards putting the fire out. The doctor then instructed us on a path to continue containing that fire so that I can feel better and work on the second challenge.

He reminded us that this will not happen quickly. It took me 10+ years to be in the physical state that I am in right now. So it will take patience and strict determination to get past the fire.

However! Initially, I am so pleased to report that I instantly am feeling tremendously less fatigue and pain. In fact, I am a little nervous to say this but… Here I go… The pain is gone!

So when you see me, you may or may not see any progress yet. But I feel it! It’s like I took a solid nap then drank a cup of coffee. Ping! I’m chipper!

Most people don’t know because I think I did a pretty good job of hiding it. Preprocedure, I struggled every day to get out of bed. I didn’t ever want to. I got out of bed ONLY  because I didn’t want to be that person that slept all day. I got dressed ONLY because I didn’t want to be that person that wore her pajamas all day. So that was more reflective of the type of personality that I have.

All throughout my day, I had an overwhelming urge to just go back to bed.

That one thing is gone! That is what I needed to be able to get started on the journey towards rebuilding the house. And now that the procedure is done, I can actually respond to my efforts (that wasn’t happening before.)

It will be a long road and I need to be diligent.

What do I have to do now?
John has extensive notes, thankfully, because it’s a lot. The success of this system “reboot” is dependent on my actions.
Supplements, tests, possible medication… (Want details? Email me if you’re curious or need the info!)

First and foremost, I need to retrain my body to eat the way it is supposed to – 4 times per day, mindfully, preferably socially. And move – but not overdo. Apparently hormones secreted during intense exercise are bad during my reboot time. So that is what I’ll do and I will record all of that here to keep myself accountable- not because I believe y’all want to know.

  • PROCEDURE DESCRIPTION:

The doctor put a tube in my femoral artery and snaked it to my jugular and some points along the way. It’s crazy to me they can do that! And we have a video of it! He inflated a mini vein balloon to open up those key circulation points. He mentioned I’d feel pressure.

To quote my favorite comedian Brian Regan, “Doctors don’t tell you about pain. They do talk about pressure…When a doctor tells you you’re going to feel pressure, buckle up.” Yep. I did not enjoy the pressure.

He also harvested stem cells from my flank (that makes me feel like a cow) and separated them from the collagen. Then they fed them back to me through an IV. These cells settle in my lungs where they are consumed by macrophages. Once a macrophage consumes a stem (they normally consume bacteria which inflames my system…bad), it becomes anti-inflammatory and calming to the whole system. That’s what my immune system needs.