Severe Chronic Pain Patient: Robert
My initial debilitating medical problem was diagnosed over 2 1/2 years ago as severe peripheral neuropathy as a result of an artificial disk that was placed in my spine at the L-5, S-1 location, because of my chronic mild to moderate back pain.
The damage almost certainly evolved from the head surgeon severely over stretching my spinal chord during a surgery that lasted over 9 hours. When I got up the next day after the surgery I had excruciating pain from the waist down, no feeling in my feet and part of my right leg, something I had never felt before in my entire life and I have not been right since.
My Doctor assured me that in time everything would become normal again. I kept my trust in his word. Over the next 6 months after the procedure I kept insisting to him that something was really wrong with my legs and feet, however, it kept falling on deaf ears. All he wanted was to talk about was my back pain. I told him very well, but I was much more concerned about my other frightening symptoms, which he was refusing to deal with, or really even to acknowledge.
Since I could not get him to listen, I went to another Doctor who performed a nerve conductive study. The results were that I had severe peripheral neuropathy in both legs and feet from the knees down to the ends of my feet. He too had nothing to offer for me.
As someone who is not prone to exaggeration, to try to explain to you the level of my unbearable pain, it actually felt as if a 10 ton road compactor had rolled over and crushed both of my feet flat as a pancake and then lit them on fire, as well as the soles of the bottom of my feet felt as if someone had sewn small jagged lumps of coal in them.
The calf muscles of my legs were also in excruciating pain as if I had torn every ligament, tendon and muscles in each of them with the right leg being worse than the left. The paralysis was mostly in my right leg again more than the left. When I would try to walk up stairs I just did not have the muscle strength needed to walk up them. I had to use my arms to pull myself up by the railings. I lived in a constant hell with all that pain and no matter what I tried I was unable to get any relief from the nightmare that I was living in.
I finally went to another Doctor that thought maybe a wheelchair, crutches or a walker might help in my daily activities (my response was this is not an option I have not, nor will I ever give in to this condition and that I must find a cure). It was at that time he explained to me that I was disabled and that he wouldissue me a handicapped sticker, so that I wouldn’t have to walk as far. Again I explained to him that I am not handicapped and would continue for a search for a cure that he assured me that did not exist.
Another year went by with me continuing to try every possibility for any type of relief that I was able to find including Laser treatment, Tinge treatments, E.M.S. treatments and many more. Again nothing worked.
I was mentally exhausted, I could hardly think straight and I was alienating everyone around me because of a very short temper. All of this because of my being in severe unrelenting pain from the moment I woke up until the time I finally went to bed.
Which leads me to about 10 weeks ago when I decided I had not been back to my original Doctor in over a year and I was determined to find out if their was anything recently discovered that could possibly help me. So, I went back to him again thinking maybe there would be some new magic bullet and instead here were the options that were given to me......either get a portable pump where I could press a button and inject morphine into my vein or have a device surgically implanted into me permanently, which would dispense the morphine automatically. Either of which would have assured I would end up as a hard core morphine addict. Or the third and final option was to just continue to live in agony with the pain. Pardon me........but I let him know in harsh terms that none of the suggestions were in any way were acceptable to me. I told him this is not Monty Hall and let's make a deal. I brought up the possibility that stem cells might be of some help to me, he then immediately told me that there is not any proof it could work, I was not being realistic and I was just wasting my time.
He then said “you are a very hard headed man and you do not get that you are at a dead end street” I told him, I was going to search the entire world until I find a cure and when that happens I will come back to him with new muscles, a new attitude and that I will not be denied.
When I went back to my car from his office, I cried for the first time in many years.
My daughter called me later that day and asked me what was wrong. Holding back my tears I proceeded to tell her what the doctor had told me. She said dad, you have never been a quitter and you did not raise your children to be quitters either, so don't let anyone steal your power......cause dad there is someone out their that can heal you....and you know what I thought, she is right and I am going to find that person or persons.
This is when I literally spent the next 48 hours searching everything I could about stem cells and started to get an education on the different kinds available and then I ran across your website.
Naturally, I was anxious to get this done ASAP since this problem had been going on for almost 3 years. I called your office and scheduled the next available appointment.
I received the fetal stem cells on the 28th day of September 2008.
On 10-05-08 I started to notice that my energy was increasing and that the pressure in my legs in feet had let up a little. My calf muscles were still hurting and there was no noticeable difference in the paralysis in my right leg and foot.
On 10-09-08 I went to the gym for the first time in a very long time. I focused on my feet, calves and thighs. I thought I did pretty well, but not great, however, I made my mind up I will do great, it's just around the corner. Went back to the gym again on 10-11-08 kept with the same routine.
Then a breakthrough day came on 10-12-08. Where before I had such weakness from the paralysis in my right foot, I now for the first time noticed a little muscle strength when I went to push off to go up some stairs. I had not had that feeling for 3 years. My feet were still burning a bit and were still numb, but there was definitely less pressure in them.
10-17-08 went back to gym and continued the exercises that I previously mentioned and walked a mile and a half. When I got back home I became very excited I noticed a small muscle beginning to form in my right and left calf. That is when I knew I had to shift gears and keep the power flowing.
On 10-18-08 I went to the gym, went home and walked another one and a half miles. When I got home for the first time in 3 years my calf muscles were not hurting nearly as much.........Oh happy day!
So without boring you with every day's agenda I want you to know I am continuing to walk, go to the gym and my legs are feeling much, much, better. I am so excited to be walking with not only almost no pain, but also, I am getting my muscles back!!!
And by the way you are the man. I know you have to be extremely proud of what you have made available for myself and others whom Doctors have told; “you have no hope”. Well, I now know without a doubt there is hope for the many that would put their trust in you. Therefore, I really, really, believe that what you have done for me will ultimately lead me to a complete recovery. I know it’s just a matter of time.
I would love the opportunity to be of help to you in any way that I can.
I apologize to you for such a lengthy e-mail, but I am excited and YOU will never know how blessed I feel to have had the privilege to be one of your patients. You are a powerful and compassionate Doctor unlike most I've ever met!
In my opinion you deserve the Nobel peace prize. Always know that I am here for you in anything and everything. Peace to you and yours!!!!!!! You are No.1.
All statements, opinions, and advice on this page is provided for educational information only. It is not a substitute for proper medical diagnosis and care. Like all medical treatments and procedures, results may significantly vary and positive results may not always be achieved. Please contact us so we may evaluate your specific case.