November 2, 2008

I'm in Costa Rica. One week down, three more to go!

I came down here for stem cell treatment and have completed my first week of treatment.

I am extremely thrilled with the quality of care I have so far received.

I arrived in Costa Rica last Sunday. I had a consultation on Monday morning and the clinic drew blood. I also has physical therapy Monday afternoon at a private hospital here in Costa Rica, the same hospital that the rest of the procedures are done.

Tuesday I went to physical therapy. Love my therapist. She is focusing on my balance and hand strength, but therapy is definitely a work out overall, to say the least.

Wednesday morning I had surgery uinder general anastesia to extract adipose tissue. They call it a "mini lipo", but it is still real surgery. It went well. The plastic surgeon was excellent. I was in the hospital from about 6:30am - 11:00am. I only have 2 small stiches and did not have too much discomfort when I awoke. Now, 3 days later, my stitches are healing, so they itch a little, and my tummy is flatter. Who knew! Love that part and didn't expect it

Wednesday afternoon I had my first intrathecal injection (spinal injection) of stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood. The anesthesiologist is great! I was nervous to say the least, but extremely pleased after the injection. Not unbearable pain during the procedure. Just a slight pinch and a little burning for a few seconds. You lie flat for about 15 minutes after procedure, then get dressed and head back to the hotel. You need to lie flat for no less than 4 hours after the injection so as not to get a headache. I rested for the 4 hours, got up to have a sandwich, and then was back in bed until the next morning. I only had a slight headache, and was fine Thursday morning.

No treatment on Thursday. We just visited with some others at the hotel on Thursday and walked to some local shops and had a nice dinner out.

Friday afternoon I had my 2nd intrathecal injection. Again, no major problems and came back to the hotel and rested, then slept until Saturday morning.

The doctors here are so attentive and the focus on patient care is exceeding my expectations 3 fold. Others who are here for the same treatment are diverse, some who "look so good", others who move a little slower, and some who are not mobile any longer. What an experience! I have 6 more injections schedule during the next 3 weeks, and physical therapy 4 days a week as well.

I am noticing small changes, but am reserved in reporting until I am sure it's not just because I "believe" so much that this is going to work.

I will continue to report my journey.
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