I’m in the process of making a big decision.
How big of a decision?
A five thousand dollar decision.
I met with my orthopedic surgeon yesterday to review my shoulder MRI.
He’s suggested I undergo stem cell therapy on my bum arm.
This is an idea Dr. Painless, my pain management specialist, brought up to me awhile back also.
Now I have two doctors suggesting stem cell therapy might help.
(And yes, I do have a “team” looking after me. That’s what happens when you’re really f*cked up for a long time.)
My arm is currently as “fixed” as it’s going to get.
There’s nothing left surgically to fix.
I don’t, however, have any muscle strength in, or around, my arm or shoulder.
I can’t move my arm.
Well, I sort of can but I move my arm by using my neck muscles.
It doesn’t work too well and it causes a host of other issues.
(This is why it helps me so much to have Paul Newman move my body FOR me.)
In an ideal world, I would gradually get my own muscles working.
This is kind of a two part deal –
First, my brain has to be re-trained on HOW to make my muscles move.
(My brain-to-arm connection doesn’t work after seven and a half years.)
Second, my non-working muscles need to regain strength because they have absolutely no strength right now.
The problem is, when I “try” to use my body under my own power … I’m stopped by severe pain.
It becomes a never-ending cycle …
I don’t use arm/shoulder/upper body due to pain,
My arm/shoulder/upper body becomes weaker and causes more pain and more problems.
With stem cell therapy, stem cells are taken from placentas.
The stem cells would be injected into my arm and shoulder.
Hopefully, six weeks after being injected I would
have a pregnant arm experience a decrease in pain and inflammation.
In turn, a decrease in pain and inflammation would allow Paul Newman to re-train my brain and body to use my arm.
There’s really no risk to stem cell therapy.
It isn’t like a surgery where things might go terribly wrong.
It involves some injections with a very big needle.
It would hurt.
I would be sore for a few days.
I wouldn’t be allowed to use my camera for a week or two.
Compared to what I’ve been through over the last seven and a half years, it would be nothing.
But, there’s no guarantee it will work.
If it cost a few bucks, there would be no reason NOT to try it.
It can’t damage my arm,
And it might help.
But it doesn’t cost a few bucks.
It costs five THOUSAND dollars.
And no, my insurance won’t pay for it.
I’d have to pay for it out of money I earn from photo sales.
My son pointed out I’ve spent five thousand dollars on photography equipment without blinking.
(Not true – I DID blink. I blinked a LOT. In fact, I’m still blinking.)
“Your body should be a bigger priority than a camera,” he pointed out as only a teenager can.
With a camera I know I’ll have it to use for many years.
(Not to mention, it’s a tool of my profession.)
Stem cell therapy could end up costing five thousand dollars with nothing gained.
What should I do?
P.S. My doctor had stem cells injected into his OWN shoulder after he had shoulder surgery. He believes in the benefits that much.