My stem cell experience started in 2013 when my family started reverently looking into authentic and renowned institutions for stem cell therapy for me. I was adamantly against it as I have an irrational fear of pain – in this case, needles. However, this did not deter my family from continuing their search for options.
My brother took the project upon himself. In the latter months of 2014, my brother suggested a hospital in Mumbai for my stem cell treatment. He had thoroughly researched this hospital and even visited them in March 2015. In May 2015, I headed to Mumbai with my parents and two aides. My stay at the hospital was a little over one week, as I was required to be an inpatient. My parents stayed with me at the hospital despite the uncomfortable accommodation.
Coming to the therapy, I got pierced with needles six times. I was in a lot of pain and also remember getting anxiety attacks. In case you wonder what exactly Stem Cell Therapy is, let me break it down for you. It starts with stem cell extraction, where the cells are taken from the hip and injected into the spine’s base. Generally, the doctor uses local anesthesia, but in my case, I used to panic so much that the medics had to do the surgery with general anesthesia.
As I was taken into the operation theatre and lost sight of my parents, I started crying profusely. In hindsight, I am not even sure why I cried. I was indeed scared, but more so, I think it was due to being led somewhere I didn’t know, by people I didn’t know, going somewhere against my will. Losing sight of what is familiar is a terrifying thing, it is a feeling of helplessness.
The post-op was a horrible experience. I had no energy, and even after being bedridden for two days, walking for more than 2 minutes exhausted me. I also experienced nasty gastrointestinal issues. I was in a lot of pain and discomfort. I had a hard time sleeping because of my stomach pain and my frequent trips to the restroom.
Upon my return to Gurgaon, I immediately felt some improved control. I also got to hear that my eyes looked more focused and centered. But the improvements that I was looking for did not manifest, and despite all my efforts, I don’t think the pain and torment I suffered in the hospital superseded the differences I felt in my balance.