I should've done this before... let me break it down...
Nutech Mediworld has two facilities -
Green Park Clinic - Where we stay, do Physio twice a day (except weekends... Saturday - once a day and Sunday - none) and OT once each weekday, recieve two daily intramuscular stem cell injections, recieve infusions of stem cells every 10-14 days and undergo 2 of the 5 "stem cell procedures"... And during our stay here, home
Guatam Nagar Hospital/Clinic - Where we go for the 3 more intensive "stem cell procedures" - Our Aussie friends fittingly labled it, Gotham City - lol, it's a little dark and old and scary
There are five different types of "stem cell" procedures -
1) Caudal Procedure (toward the tailbone area) – injection of two syringe-fulls of HESCs into the cauda equina area near the coccyx.
2) Deep Spinal Muscle Procedure – two injections of HESCs into the muscles on either side of my spinal cord at the site of injury.
3) Direct Thoracic or Lumbar Puncture – injection of two syringes of HESCs below or above the injury site directly into the spinal cord.
4) Epidural Catheter Three-day Procedure – catheter inserted into the outer sheath of the spinal cord with tubing that is taped to the back and a portal that hangs over the shoulder. HESCs are injected into the portal to saturate the outer spinal area over the course of three days.
5) Epidural Procedure – insertion of of two syringes of HESCs into the outer sheath of the spinal cord
The protocol for a quadriplegic is to recieve 9 procedues over a 3-month initial visit. I've received 4 and will recieve the remaining 5 ovr the following month. (They wait a few weeks after the first round to evaluate before starting the second round)
The nurses are called sisters (except AJO the one male nurse who is called AJO =)...) and are some of the kindest people I've ever met.
We'll have pictures/videos when we get home but they are stuck on mom's phone right now. (we forgot our camera)
You know, I came here expecting any improvements to be months down the line and have been pleasantly surprised- both in myself and what I am seeing around me! I have met paraplegics and quadriplegics 5, 10, 12 years out of injury come and regain function in autonomic, sensory and motor functions that they were told they would never have and had not had since their injury. These are individuals with injuries classified as complete (severed spinal cords) and incomplete.
A T-4 complete para 10 years outside of injury who after 1 & 1/2 years of stem cells (3 visits), can walk with only ankle braces and a stick. (T-4 would be pretty close to my current functionality if I had hand function).
A 13 year out T12 complete para walking with knee braces and a walker after 1 & 1/2 years of stem cell treatments (3 visits).
A complete C-5/6 complete quad 10 years out regaining some hand, hamstring, toe, core and tricep function after 1 visit last summer (she just arrived for visit 2).
A C5/6 quad 3 years post injury regaining some bowel, bladder, autonomic, tricep, core, some toe and leg function after a year of stem cells. To name a few.
But, everyone I have met has improved, regained some function!
I believe in this and I know it is healing me. Already. I am doing well and am definitely seeing subtle changes. I have hand movement I haven't had since the accident - stronger finger, some pincer grasp, stronger grip and slight extension.... Some of things are just flickers and some enhancements of what I had already, but definite progress! I have enhanced and new flickers in my quads and hamstrings, increasing balance, core strengthening, touch sensation in my left calf and knee, deep muscle sensation increasing in my core,... All of these are subtle, but happening. One day they may be strong, the next not, but connections are being made... Now it's up to me to work hard in exercise/ot/physio to train the stem cells what to do from here as they are just blank nerve cells at this point. Thus why most results aren't seen until months after patients get home and workout to train the stem cells.. =).
So, the fact I've seen the results I have already is huge! The doctors are extremely pleased and so are we! I am not giving up faith, ever. I plan to walk again and will never stop trying... But before that I plan to be independent and free my parents from having to care for me daily... And everything I gain along the way is a miracle!
I promise I will keep you updated as things happen... (internet conectivity permitting... lol... they are getting ready for the Commonwealth games to be held in New Delhi October 2010 and with all the construction going on around here the internet could be down for awhile or the electricity could flicker off or the lift could break...ha, not that those things were so stable pre-Commonwealth preparation..!)