I am 19 days post stem cell, and boy has this been a ride so far. Lots of successes and lots of setbacks. I will try to elaborate a bit.
The first 4 to 5 days post stem cell, I was seeing some AMAZING results. You can check out all of my videos on the previous post to get a bit of an idea. However, after the initial progress, I took a nose dive. 🙁 The spasticity increased to more than it has ever been, making me even more immobile and massively increasing my pain. Not to mention, the actual nerve pain increased as well! I was devastated! (and still have small moments of anguish) This went against everything that I knew and believed about stem cells and how they worked. This could not be happening…
Well, praise the Lord, it’s NOT happening! Not because of the stem cells anyway. After consulting my physical therapist (who also shared my opinion that it could not be the stem cells) and some further digging, the pieces started adding up. The procedure was on May 23rd…I decided to start weaning off of my final doses of gabapentin on May 25th. After 3 days of drug detox, the symptoms kicked in and began to be unbearable. Ding ding ding…LIGHT BULB!
My PT believes that I am having what she calls “rebound” spasticity and pain. My body is trying to relearn how to produce the things that the medication had taken over/altered production of. After contacting the pharmacist, who contacted the makers of the drug, we were left with “I don’t know” as the answer to how long this was going to take to work its self out. The drug company could not tell the pharmacist any information on how long the drug stays in the system, how long it takes the system to recover, or how slowly one should taper. They basically said that they knew NOTHING about the drug that they make and sell to the American public. That was comforting. And it also reminded me why I don’t like drug companies or prescription medications.
All of that aside, it gave me an answer. However, for those that know me, my patience level is not very privy to answers if they are not immediate fixes. 🙁 So, answers yes, comfort, not so much at times. It is hard to see what was happening that was so good, and now have to be blinded to it because of this other crap that is going on. It is frustrating. And I still have 1 more pill to stop. My evening dose of gabapentin is all that is left. We are praying, and asking that any that are willing, would join us in prayer. We need to be sure that stopping this and going through 1 detox instead of 2 is the best option. However, this could mean that I will get even WORSE than I am now before it gets better. 🙁 If this is something that we feel safe to pursue, we will be stopping my last dose on Friday….and then I just have to ride the ride until it is over. Then I can see the stem cells at work again, physically. 😉
The positive side to all of this, because there always is one if we look close enough….God speaks my language, and He always knows small things that He can do to get my attention and keep me focused.
First and foremost, my husband. There is no one more convinced than that man, that I am going to be walking and running and beaming and full of life and happiness! I thank God for him daily. Without his encouragement and his awesome patience with me and my frequently pessimistic heart, I don’t know how I could manage.
Secondly…for those that are not familiar with the term CRP (C reactive protein), I will let WebMD define it “A C-reactive protein (CRP) test is a blood test that measures the amount of a protein called C-reactive protein in your blood. C-reactive protein measures general levels of inflammation in your body.” I had specifically asked my GP if we could test mine. I hadn’t had it done for a while, and was curious what mine was showing. I have always (since diagnosis) ran in the 3.5-3.8 range. Best is 0, worst you can be is 5….so my inflammation was always pretty high.
So on June 6th, we had my blood draw, and she tested my iron and my CRP….the iron came back at 104 which was AWESOME! And my CRP was 0.9!!!!! Let me be as direct as possible here folks…that means LITTLE TO NO INFLAMMATION!!! This is the first time in almost 5 years that my blood has not shown signs of massive inflammation! Praise the Lord! I might not be able to outwardly see what the stem cells are doing, but there is no other explanation for those results! They are working behind the scenes. I can’t see it yet, but by God, I WILL! He used that 1 little number to remind me (once again) that He is working, and that He has got this under control, and that He sees things that I can’t. (I’m a very slow learner. lol )
I can’t wait to feel the grass beneath my feet!! 😀