Well, my stem cell procedure happened and I’m still alive. Good news, right? Hee.
I spent the night at my Mom’s and woke up, took a shower, and made some eggs. Usually I don’t eat until later but they wanted me to have a full stomach. I took an Ativan at 7:30 and hoped it would calm me. I wasn’t super overly anxious but I could feel that I was internalizing some of my feelings, as I tend to do.
We arrived at 8:30 and they promptly gave me a Percocet. I headed to the bathroom since I had been gulping down the water at a fast rate in prep for my IV and needle stick. If I’m not hydrated, the veins disappear. When I came back they were eying me. I was too perky and not out of it enough! So they handed me another Percocet and I downed that one too.
I then had a shot of Phenergen in my shoulder. It was my choice between the butt and the shoulder. Um, thanks, I’ll take the shoulder.
HOLY HECK that stung. It stung worse after she shot it in and then pressed on it a few times to massage it out. It wasn’t the end of the world though, just a shot. We then walked into the room and I laid down on the bed.
Let me just break in here and say how beautiful Dr. John Laura’s office was. It was right on PCH and the ‘operating room’ looked out into the bay where we could see all the boats and paddle boarders. Everyone was awesome, so helpful, and super nice. We had a visiting Dr. (Simone) from Hawaii to observe the procedure and the rep from the stem cell machine was there (Jeff) to teach a new way of acquiring even more stem cells from the fat they were pulling out. With Jerra and John in there, everyone was having a good time chatting it up.
At this point, they get my IV in. Luckily, Christina got it on the first try (she used to be a pediatric nurse, I believe) although she said my vein blew a bit but she got out in front of it and it worked well. Then they went on a hunt for another vein to take some blood. Oh, it was a hunt. They would spray numbing solution on me, stab me, hunt around… they literally could not see ANY viable vein to grab but they could feel it. At the same time I was incredibly cold (they had a wonky AC, apparently they play wars with the cleaning crew) and I was shaking. I’m assuming half of that was a reaction to the drugs. I probably had 6 blankets piled on me. After a few sticks, Dr. Laura came to the rescue and got to be the ‘hero’ for getting the blood out. Of course, it took forever and a day for the blood to actually COME out. I have no idea why my body does that. Is my heart beating too slowly? I don’t get it.
So, they sterilize my stomach and get me all prepped. As they are doing that, I decide to ask them when I’m supposed to be ‘drowsy’ and ‘out’ and to make sure I don’t feel anything. They all stopped and stared at me for a bit and couldn’t believe I was so ‘aware’ after all the meds I had taken. So I got another shot of Phenergen in my other shoulder.
It didn’t hurt as bad so I think it was taking effect. Looking back later, I think I had a lot of adrenaline I was suppressing and everything just hit me later.
Dr. John Laura made two punctures on either side of my stomach. They stung a little but it wasn’t painful. Then he took something and put it into my stomach. I believe it was the tumescent liposuction procedure, where it’s tumescent and lidocaine mixture to numb everything up inside. They waited 15 or 20 minutes and then he stuck another tube inside and started sucking everything out.
It was weird. It felt like I had 6 little babies inside me doing a tumbling class. There was pressure and rolling feelings but it wasn’t painful. I was deep breathing but every time I breathed really deep I felt it was worse. I tried to take slow breaths but not deep breaths. As my fat was coming out through the tube, they remarked on the color. Apparently it was the same color as my Mama’s, ha! Did you know that everyone’s fat is a different color? I guess it makes sense as to what you are eating. We decided Kesha’s fat would have glitter in it. (Yep, totally drugged at this point, right?)
This was around the point where I felt really relaxed. The florescent lights where beaming down on me and when I squinted you could see other colors. You know how that happens? So I was seeing little pink blobs of light on the ceiling and they were turning into little pink bunnies that would run across the ceiling. Then those bunnies would turn into turtles and run the other way. Or, I would stare at the ceiling and the black and white dots would start moving, just like when you stare at a picture long enough and it swirls in front of you? Yea. That was happening. I remarked on it and Dr. Laura said as long as you don’t see pink elephants you are fine! But I was seeing pink elephants… and I think everyone thought I was kidding!
Finally he was done sucking fat out of me. As for the total, it was small but they got enough. I’m going to guess and say they pulled out 1/4th of a pound. Also, with auto-immune diseases it’s usually best that you do up to four stem cell procedures to ‘heal’ you or put you in remission, apparently. So they say.
Here is the beautiful Christina holding my harvested fat that they pulled out with the other liquid.
Below, she is just processing it. You can see the big silver machine next to her which takes it, spins it, and extracts all the good stem cells. It takes about thirty minutes, I think.
At this point, the rep showed them how to extract stem cells from other liquid that they used to throw away and didn’t think was viable. He was able to get 270 million stem cells out of it, so everyone was very excited. Apparently this is what they can do when they have someone who doesn’t have enough fat to suck out. (People like John – my step-dad – and my Mom don’t have much fat on them so they were trying to EAT fatty foods a few days before their procedure!)
By the way, this whole procedure is called extracting adipose-derived stem cells – or stem cells derived from fat tissue. An interesting article to read is ‘Human adipose tissue is a source of multipotent stem cells’. Or, this one about Adipose Derived Stem Cells for Regenerative Medicine.
Once my stem cells were spun and extracted they found out that they had acquired 890 million. If you combined that with the 270 million, I had a ton of stem cells! My stem cells were the record for the office so far, and Jeff the rep said it was the highest he had ever seen as well. Counting the numbers made me laugh but they all seemed very impressed.
They got the IV bag ready and inserted it into me and that took about 20 minutes.
At this time, people could have the choice to have them inserted directly into problem areas like joints, problem areas, head, or face. I was a little vain and had them done on my face because I figured… I was there, why not? It’s my own stem cells, right!? It took the same amount of time that the IV took so when I was done, they removed everything and patched me up where I had my incision.
They put a compression wrap around my stomach that I will need to keep on for a week or two, maybe longer.
It’s been ten hours and I came home to sleep off and on. I took off the compression wrap to see if my gauze was leaking but it was taped up so well and wasn’t wet, so I just left it alone. It hurt when the wrap was off, so I took a Percocet and went and laid back down.
As for the purpose of this whole thing, they said everyone is different but I should feel improvement in as little as a day. A friend who had it done two months ago had most of his Crohn’s symptoms abating immediately. He was able to eat more things (I can’t wait to eat raw veggies… a salad every day… YUM) and felt much better. After two months, about 25% of his symptoms came back so he may go back in for a second procedure.
I have several random auto-immune problems that go hand in hand with Crohn’s that bother me here and there. It’s really mild though so I’m not expecting to see miracles tomorrow. I am keeping my fingers crossed though that this will be nothing but good for me.
I’ll keep ya posted!
BTW – Here is the list for ‘what else’ stem cells can help cure and heal. It’s not limited to this but it’s a good list:
Degenerative and Debilitating Conditions:
1. Stem Cell Therapy ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
2. Stem Cell Therapy Alzheimer’s Disease
3. Stem Cell Therapy Autism
4. Stem Cell Therapy Cerebral Palsy
5. Stem Cell Therapy Degenerative Disc Disease
6. Stem Cell Therapy Erectile Dysfunction
7. Stem Cell Therapy Glaucoma
8. Stem Cell Therapy Hearing Loss
9. Stem Cell Therapy Heart Disease
10. Stem Cell Therapy Huntington’s Disease
11. Stem Cell Therapy Kidney Failure
12. Stem Cell Therapy Liver Disease
13. Stem Cell Therapy Macular Degeneration
14. Stem Cell Therapy Muscular Dystrophy
15. Stem Cell Therapy Optic Nerve Injuries
16. Stem Cell Therapy Parkinson’s Disease
17. Stem Cell Therapy Pulmonary Fibrosis, Emphysema, COPD
18. Stem Cell Therapy Retinitis Pigmentosa
19. Stem Cell Therapy Spinal Cord Injuries
20. Stem Cell Therapy Stroke
1. Stem Cell Treatment Diabetes
2. Stem Cell Treatment Lupus
3. Stem Cell Treatment Multiple Sclerosis
4. Stem Cell Treatment Rheumatoid Arthritis
5. Stem Cell Treatment Crohn’s Disease
1. Stem Cell Therapy Knee Injuries
2. Stem Cell Therapy Osteoarthritis
3. Stem Cell Therapy Torn Ligaments and Sports Injuries
Cosmetic and Dermatological:
1. Stem Cell Therapy Facelift
2. Stem Cell Therapy for Hair Loss