A Lifetime Lost: A New Lifetime Gained

I absolutely promised myself I wouldn’t blog about this at all tonight and revel in my gift I’ve been given. It’s just too miraculous not to share this light. The above picture I made the night before my stem cell therapy to manifest healing instead of all my worrying about failing. The circles in the body are similar to artist description you can find on google of my particular type of stem cells. The first quote is what my medical professional said last week when we were talking final plans for today.

If you have followed my blog, along with the trauma healing (the good part), the most devastating part has been watching my physical body falling apart and realizing all my hopes and dreams were being flushed down the toilet as my diagnoses and symptoms stacked up leaving me able to go out a couple times a week if I were lucky, but my life has been lived at home mostly for really the past couple years.

Last March, while in the hospital, a neurological MRI showed I had massive lymph nodes and lung nodes. The thought of the doctor who was sent to talk to me about it was lymphoma or sarcoidosis. As time went by, it was pointing more towards lymphoma, which I wasn’t surprised about as cancer is definitely a family disease.

I’ve been diagnosed with this and that, autoimmune, neuro immune, genetic, diseases of serious inflammation, arthritis (that was when I was a late teenager), had my spine fused with the promise that I would walk normally. That miraculous surgery clearly didn’t work.

My primary care, who we will just call, P has ridden this roller coaster right along with me. I’ve had a Lifetime of terrible medical issues that my mom called “dramatic” or “attention seeking”. I’ve kind of used that framework to manage my own health. Despite concrete evidence, I just felt like drama. P was just wanting a clear answer it wasn’t cancer.

When I was in my 20s, I fell in an aerobics class. The ER said it was sprained. The orthopedic doctor I was referred to didn’t look at it. When I went back several months later, he said the “pain is all in your head”. My primary care at the time finally believed it was bad and sent my foot for an immediate MRI over a year and a half later. I was instantly being scheduled for major orthopedic surgery as my calcaneous (the round bone in your heel) had shifted so much that I was implanted with 5 screws and a metal plate to make my right foot not move. I was screwed together as I now had a very bad case of arthritis in my foot for the pain being “all in my head”

It took many years to heal from and still bothers me as my foot and ankle don’t bend properly, not to mention it ruined nearly a year of my life as I was left helpless with a partner that seemed pretty irritated with my neediness. I was certainly irritated with my neediness. I just tell that little bit in a Lifetime of medical neglect.

So today, I was injected with mesenchymal stem cells derived from umbilical cord tissue from healthy births donated by healthy moms to help people just like me! There are certainly tons of research papers on its efficacy for autoimmune diseases, especially neurological ones as well as inflammation and arthritis. There are other uses, but this was to save me with hope to get life back.

This was my holding my bottle of stem cells that I had to warm from freezing in my palms for a long time. In doing so, I put all my own new found self love, the new and genuine love of others, and the love of a spirituality I am gaining into that tiny bottle to heal me. I was crying from so much gratitude as this process has been a huge gift in many ways.

Ugh, the needle was huge and hurt! My crazy face was more about how weird it was to feel my arm start pulsating really intensely. It was so intense that others in the room could see it. My weakest and most affected side is my right. I had a study showing I have very abnormal nerve conduction down the right side of my neck to my right hand. That was the biggest pulsating and reassured it was a good sign as it meant the stem cells were immediately traveling to the bad parts.

The only time you will get a glimpse of my butt! I was injected in both biceps and on both sides of my glutes. By this time, despite the pretty intense pain, I was laughing at what a weird experience it was.

On my way out, I had to go to the bathroom and noticed how much lighter I felt. It could have been an emotional lightness as I had been struggling for several days with a medical professional having so much confidence in me that I would just fail and disappointment yet another person. Despite many of my medical issues showing up on imaging, lab work, lumbar puncture, and I’ve been injected with so much radioactive material, there’s no wonder I emanate light. (You might not want to get too close as my light could just be radioactive ☢️). I still continue to believe I’m somehow “dramatic”.

I was told I might experience some immediate improvement and some will come over the coming months.

My biggest notice is that I had to text a LOT of people to give them an update. About 5 seconds into texting, my right hand goes completely numb. Switching to my left, it will go numb too. No numbness for either hand after injections today! I honestly can’t believe it. I almost keep wishing it to go numb as there’s no way possible…

Except it is possible as I have typed and typed tonight with just a slight bit of tingling. I guess all that arm pulsating was going straight to my right hand!

Stem cell therapy and its applications are very experimental and people sadly get lost in a circle of unethical doctors just trying to make money. So they sell you just enough hope to keep you spending thousands as people will spend thousands once they get a touch of normalcy.

I was given a gift of a medical professional watch me decline over nearly 2 years rather rapidly and had a belief in me. She is only the latest in a series of several people who have believed me in ways I could never find within myself until recently.

I’m sitting in huge gratitude for the procedure I underwent today simply because I am worth it. So many people have gone above and beyond for me since the beginning. So tonight I don’t sit here worrying I will fail. I’m sitting in huge gratitude that my really hard work, which sometimes looked like laying in a psych hospital trying to figure out a reason to continue, is coming full circle that maybe, just maybe my trauma recovery will be matched by at least a partial to complete physical recovery allowing me to make some of my dreams come true. Those dreams have so much to do with giving back and being a beacon of light I desperately needed when I had no desire to continue and was in a constant state of plotting how I was going to kill my self in my 20s.

It really is amazing what happens when you get to a place of recognizing far I’ve come and the intense amount of work I put into it. Life is still not a simple ball of rosiness. I’m sure I’ll still have those moments or days where I’m curled in a ball convinced that no one cares about me.

For now, I will accept that a lifetime of so many difficult times marked by just wanting life to be over as I was convinced that if my own mother couldn’t love me, no one could just means a rainbow driving home from IVIG treatment last week isn’t just a rainbow, it’s a sign of beauty, a natural moment to bring me to tears as I see things just a little brighter after living with so much darkness.

Find your light or beacon or something to cling to. When life has been really bad, it has a higher propensity to become really good. It’s the gift of trauma.

Love

Lizzie

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