Getting Our Stem Cell Infusions

Posted by Judith

It took only a few minutes for the injections

Before our stem cells could be introduced into our bodies they had to be processed by using a centrifuge to isolate the stem cells. This took about an hour, so while it was in process we left the clinic and went across the street for lunch.

When we returned each of us received an intravenous full body infusion through a vein in the crook of our arm, the same place they take blood when you have your blood drawn. In Jim’s case, he received half of his stem cells in this manner, leaving the other half for his knee which has been “crabby” for over 15 years. I received 20% in this manner, leaving 80% to be injected into my hip sockets to focus on and treat what had been diagnosed as “arthritis.” Jim will share with you how they treated his “crabby” knee.

After Jim’s knee procedures in Elliot’s office (done by a knee specialist), we were directed over to an imaging center for my hip infusions.

Carrying the other 80% of my stem cells in a vial with my name carefully written on the label, which was embedded in a plastic bag filled with ice, I entered the imaging center and was promptly taken to a dressing room to remove my pants and shoes, leaving me naked from the waist down and clothed in a hospital gown.

Heidi, a delightful tech assistant, took me into a room with a CAT scanner, positioned me on the movable table, and covered my “private” area while leaving my thighs ready to be analyzed for perfect stem cell injection locations by the CAT scan process. In case you’re interested the CAT scan, according to online resources, is a computerized axial tomography that takes data from several X-ray images of structures inside a human’s body and converts them into pictures on a monitor.

So even though they had my x-rays from just a couple of months prior, in order to arrive at the absolutely correct locations for the stem cell injections, the CAT scan was utilized by the imaging specialist Dr. Fuller. Before doing the injections, he validated that I was indeed the owner of my stem cells, showing me the label on the vial and asking if I was “Judith Sherven” to which I said “yes”!

It took only a few minutes for the injections and after shaking my hand and telling me to be very inactive for the rest of the day to allow my stem cells to settle in, suggesting going back to our hotel room and napping or watching a movie and not even leaving the hotel for dinner but to eat there, Dr Fuller vanished and Heidi helped me sit up and walk to the dressing room.

I say “helped”because I was a bit dizzy and unsure of my footing. In the dressing room I sat on a little bench to put on my panties only to find that my hip sockets didn’t like that activity at all and I could only lift my feet about 3 inches without sharp pain. But that was enough to inch my feet into my panties and loose crab-digger pants. And thankfully I could just step into my sandals.

Handing me over to Jim in the reception area, Heidi assured me the pain was to be expected now that my hip sockets were filled with my stem cells. Jim had tracked down a local ice cream place so we stopped there for a special “treat” before returning to our hotel room. By now it was about 3pm. I quickly fell asleep, napping for a couple of hours, while Jim watched TV, both of us obeying orders to “take it easy.”

The next day we flew back to the San Jose airport, minding the advice to take it easy, walking as gently and slowly as possible—much appreciated by my still sore hip sockets.