My Inner Voice and Stem Cell Therapy

[ A+ ] /[ A- ]

Safe to say, it usually takes a state of crisis in order to spark a change. I was  guilty as charged!, the last half of 2017.

This pivotal predicament snuck up on me at the end of August 2017. I never saw it coming. The warm water therapy pool allowed me a place to walk and push my body, more than ever, for over half a year. I felt like I was right where I needed to be. So grateful physical exertion was reigning over stagnancy. It felt great! Just when I had figured out the mysterious puzzle for creating the optimum environment to propel my body in the right direction…I felt a tweak at my top right pelvic bone while exiting the pool.  Almost like something came loose. Although concerned, a good night’s rest usually would do the trick.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. Again, my pelvis felt like it was falling apart. It was worse than ever.  Instinctively, I knew that the relaxing waters of the pool would only exacerbate the “unraveling”. Unlike the membership dues, trips to the beloved pool abruptly halted. My backward spiral made it difficult to sit, much less do any activity. By December, I was fed up! My inner voice shouting that I was ready and desperate for a step toward change.

The best way to echo this inner voice is through one of my favorite poets, Shel Silverstein…   

“The Voice

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.”
― Shel Silverstein

Paying close attention to my inner voice is of utmost importance. For me, these whispers are the voice of God. Over the past year, I’d been praying for guidance and direction regarding my health. External hints and internal whispers gradually became stronger and stronger. Research and prayer converging on the same thought. A voice so strong became one that I could no longer ignore. I knew in my heart it was time to pursue stem cell therapy.

One stem cell company, in particular, kept popping up on my radar; Celltex Therapeutics Corporation. Celltex, located in Houston, isolates and stores adult stem cells from a person’s own fat. The cells are multiplied or expanded into millions of cells and are then cryogenically frozen until the recipient is ready for a physician to put them back into their body. But, the  FDA considers one’s own expanded stem cells a drug since they are being manipulated and will not allow the returning of expanded cells back into the body to take place in the United States. Therefore, most patients are required to travel to Cancun, Mexico. where Celltex has a relationship with doctors qualified to return the cells.

I was very much aware that this was a crap shoot, but I kept recalling a saying that I always emphasized to my fourth grade students, and that was widely posted for all to see… “You never know what you can do until you try.”  I had to try…

High quality 3d render of cells

So, December 11, 2017, I️ made a life changing decision. Pulling the trigger, I called Celltex to finalize my decision to receive stem cell therapy. Limitless, mind blowing potential now lie ahead! An exciting and simultaneously terrifying concept so monumental, it teetered on the verge of incomprehensible. Whoa!

Once the ball got rolling, things happened swiftly …December 12th, after two hours and a very patient lab tech, eight large vials of blood were sucked out of this bloodless turnip. This necessary first step by LabCorp would allow Celltex to confirm that my blood was healthy for the next increment in the process.

Celltex quickly green lighted my blood work so by December 14th, I found myself lying on a table in a Dallas doctor’s office waiting for two tablespoons of fat to be extracted from my stomach. My SI joint was extremely painful that day so I probably wasn’t entering this process with an optimum frame of mind. While on the table, the nurses sterilized my stomach and then blocked off the area around my belly with sterile dressings. They were kind enough to let me keep my stability ball between my knees to make me more comfortable. In my squirminess, the ball fell out of my legs, briefly breaching the perimeter of the sterile barrier earlier secured. The nurses took a moment of pause, concern lurking in their eyes, but decided that  the miniscule interference lacked the need to start over. I didn’t have the strength to argue. Next, the doctor entered and inserted a four inch needle in my upper abdomen, injecting the sedative. He, then, used a much longer probe to suck, the fat out of a millimeter incision through my belly button. After a long twenty minutes the completed procedure drew enough fat for Celltex to centrifuge the fat, separating out the blood, fat, and stem cells. There, the stem cells would be cleaned and cryogenically frozen so they could be expanded for three months into millions of my own cells. As the fat was carefully packed up and sent to Celltex in Houston, all I could do was wait.

The day after Christmas 2017, December 26th, I informed my sister, Karin, of my stem cell plans. To put it mildly, she was not happy about this news…in addition, her dismay was, also, fueled by my choice to focus on holistic medicine, wasting my money, and the fact that I am depriving my parents of the retirement they so deserve, by living with them. Sadly, this is the last time I have seen my sister, or her family. If you are reading this, please pray for healing within our family.

Ironically, the very next day on December 27th, Celltex alerted me of the news that my fat was contaminated during the extraction process. Deep down, I knew it was the mishap with the darn stability ball. They offered to give it another try, but I just couldn’t put my body through that again. Being the upright company they are, Celltex returned my money in full. Although, this came as quite a shock, my reaction surprised me even more. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t angry. I felt very much at peace and that hope had not been abandoned. It was if God was throwing me a last minute curveball saying, “I have something better in mind.” Stem cell was off the table, for now, and I was back listening for His external hints and internal whispers. I continue to pray for the manifestation of God’s will in my health and my life.

* If you would like to receive a free subscription to Laurel’s blog, Strides of Faith, enter your e-mail address in the box under “Don’t Miss My Updates”, and new blogs will be sent directly to your e-mail.

Leave a Reply