My Trip to Bangkok: Stem Cell Treatment [Journal]

Discussion in 'Treatments' started by attheedgeofscience, Aug 18, 2013.

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    1. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
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      Day 0 —

      This will be the very first entry regarding my stem cell treatment for tinnitus (for those who are interested in following the 2 week treatment course).

      I arrived all in one piece this morning local time in Bangkok. The trip from Germany went via Istanbul (Turkish Airlines). I managed to get decently priced business class tickets - and so the trip itself was pretty okay (non stop catering basically). Only downside was that I am not allowed to drink alcohol one week ahead of the stem cell treatment - so it was mineral water all the way...

      I am now at the hotel where the clinic is also located. Tomorrow begins a comprehensive screening of "everything inside of me". The blood tests will allow matching of appropriate cord blood stem cells (not to be confused with embryonic stem cells). Also, there will be consultation of course - and hence a chance to get to know more about the treatment success rate and so on.

      Not much more to add at this stage really...
       
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    2. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Day 1 —

      Today was the first real day of my stem cell treatment adventure. I got to meet the doctor I have been in contact with over the last 3-4 weeks. Also, I met with the stem cell treating physician who took notes of my full medical history. A slight change was made to the pre-planned treatment programme: they decided to give me my first peptide injection ahead of the stem cell injections (which are planned for this Wednesday). The peptide injections help guide the stem cells to the site of injury. Besides, the stem cell injections, I will be receiving laser therapy of the blood and ear area (much like that of dr. Wilden which I have already described in my introduction). I will also be receiving oxygen therapy (liquid form IV). Lastly a body energetic scan was done. I have never heard of that before - but after a brief interview with the technician, here is how it works: cells in every area of the body have a unique frequency (don't ask for the details), and deficiencies can be measured anywhere in the body when introducing a sound signal (via headphones). The procedure took about 30 minutes, and the outcome will first have to be interpreted by the physician before I will know results. So more on this later.

      Some people have been asking for the cost of this treatment: it is USD 25,000. However, for that you also get full assistance: ie. assistance not just with the treatment but also getting picked up at the airport, shopping, hotel booking, and today they free of charge provided me with 4 extra days of "oxyven" and laser therapy (as I had booked my stay beyond the 7 days required). Essentially they take care of my every need while I am here...

      Some people have also been asking for the name and contact details of the clinic (in order to prove that it is real?). I have made the decision that I will not be disclosing the details in a public forum (but you can ask - as some have already done - in a private mail, and I will disclose it - but please don't start asking unless you have intentions about actually going for the treatment; the authenticity of my trip has already been documented via Markku).

      As for risks - there are some (as with any medical procedure). But, the clinic is state-of-art, and I have absolutely had no sleepless nights at all over that (the only reason I didn't sleep well last night was because of jet lag and a hard cushioned bed...).

      Some people have also been questioning the science behind the this procedure. This is of course quite relevant and something I will address on Wednesday when I get my first stem cell injection.
       
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    3. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Day 2 —

      The day - today - was supposed to have been a rest day where results from yesterday's blood tests would be examined. However, as the clinic offered me additional laser and "oxyven" treatments free-of-charge, I decided to go right ahead with it. The laser therapy here is radiation of the blood (not the ear). Three different wavelengths are used. A study done on 380 patients (which was shown to me) had been carried out (I will quote the "success rate" later on). The oxyven and radiation treatment is not only used for tinnitus, but many other conditions as well.

      I was meant to have met the person from the resource organization that guided me to the clinic I am at (he goes for treatments himself). However, when I showed up at the clinic noontime, he had cancelled his appointment for treatment (I will meet him tomorrow instead). Since I was at the clinic already, I ended up having an informal chat with one of the doctors there - here's what he shared about stem cells:

      The clinic can provide 3 kinds of stem cell types for treatment (each with a different potency).
      • Cord blood stem cells (most potent of all - and usually donated unless the invidual had his/her stem cells stored from birth): cost = $25,000,-
      • Adipose stem cells (these are adult stem cells and are harvested from the fat around the belly of the patient): cost = $15.000,-
      • Blood platelets + bone marrow stem cells (also adult stem cells from the patient being treated, and the least potent): cost = $??.000,- (but < $15.000,-)
      I will be having the first type i.e. cord blood stem cells (with two different sub-types: MSC and CD34) by recommendation of the clinic and the injections are spread over four days. Basically these types of stem cells have the potential to turn into any kind of cell within the human body (they are especially useful for neurological conditions i.e. nerve regeneration in general).

      There should be no risk of rejection of the stem cells (even though they are donated in my case). The human body is not capable of recognizing cord blood stem cells as foreign intruders. The injection will be done IV as stem cells uniquely can pass through the blood brain barrier (normally when "something" needs to reach the brain, it must be injected via the spinal cord - e.g. steroid injections for brain swelling).

      It will take about 3-4 weeks before any results can be noticed. Nerves are generally slow to heal...

      Besides that, I did wake up with a sore derriere this morning. The peptide injection which was done in my left buttock had made its impact overnight (4 cm needle). However, I did not develop any fever as can sometimes happen.

      Tomorrow awaits the first big day: my first stem cell injection.
       
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    4. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Day 3 —

      Today was probably one of the most exciting days of my life. Today, I received my first injection of cord blood stem cells. 5 million of them. It is thrilling to be receiving medicine hailed as being to the 21st century, what antibiotics were to the 20th. Stem stells may not always produce the outcome desired, but when the treatments do work, the results are far beyond what conventional medicine can achieve. A few video clips further down to illustrate this.

      As with yesterday, the day today did not execute quite as planned. By chance, I met with the senior physician of the clinic along with the medical director (who has been my contact person up until now). We discussed ototoxicity and the delayed effects of broad spectrum antibiotics (which may come as late as several years later). We also discussed the potential of stem cells. Essentially, the biggest hurdle with stem cell treatments is getting the body to recognize that it has an injury. If the injury can be recognized through the help of the peptide injections, stem cell treatments have a pretty good chance of success. Lastly, we touched upon the method of administration of the stem cells (IV vs spinal cord): their latest study shows that it makes no difference - stem cells are able to travel anywhere within the body (and also cross the blood brain barrier). He did mention that using stem cells for tinnitus may not be all that effective - essentially, I am among the first handful of patients (worldwide) to undergo treatment for this condition. So in a very real sense, I am at-the-edge-of-science.

      Next up was another unplanned change to the schedule. They redid the bio energic scan from Monday as they have only just started using the device (and did not get all the required results). For this reason, the person who has invented the device was at the clinic (and actually ended up running the tests on me). This device - I will post photos - is something straight out of a science fiction movie. Basically, any object he explained (even a piece of wood), will have a unique resonance frequency. This frequency can be detected via sound signals. Using this device, they are able to pick up the energy levels of any part of the body - and indirectly the device can also give clues as to previous disease exposure (eg. anything from rabies, herpes, to HIV). Within a few minutes he already had important clues as to my tinnitus (indeed it is inner ear related, as I suspected). However, he was also able to say that I seem unusally sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, that I have apparently have high trace amounts of mercury in my body (where did that come from?) and many other things. We ended up spending two hours scanning my body for clues; he will return again tomorrow to continue the scans.

      From then on it was another round of laser therapy (both IV and ear area), oxygen therapy (also IV), and stem cell injection (type MSC). Then another peptide injection - I will be getting four in total...

      Below, the youtube videos I mentioned:

      RNL BIO Rescues a College Student from...


      First FDA Approved Study of Stem Cells to...


      Multiple Sclerosis Stem Cell Patient
       
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    5. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Day 4 —

      Another day has gone by in Bangkok - and so hereby yet another update from the "frontlines of regenerative medicine".

      As it happens, my stem cell schedule had been changed slightly yesterday (without me knowing). So instead of receiving 5 million MSC stem cells, I actually received 10 million stem cells (sub types MSC and CD34). I had a somewhat restless night as they also inject steroids to suppress any immune system reaction to the stem cells; however, one of the common side effects of steroids is insomnia...

      After a brief discussion with both the stem cell treating physician and the medical director, it was time to go ahead with the day's schedule (4 hours in total). However, let me just add a piece of reflection that has been developing in my mind over the last 24 hours: even though the clinic is quite small and the atmosphere rather informal, these doctors are top of their class and will stop at nothing to try to cure you of whatever disease or condition you have. Once you pay the initial fee, they will run whatever tests necessary to pinpoint the possible reasons for your medical condition. They are not like your average GP who after 5 minutes in their office, sends you on your way with a prescription for the local pharmacy, with the instruction: take these pills for a week and see if that doesn't help...

      Back to the schedule for today: first another peptide injection - right side this time, thank god (and as follow-up from yesterday: they use something called cytoplasmic peptides). Then another 5 million MSC stem cells (IV) followed by another round of steroids (also IV form). This process about 1 hour (as the infusion is done drop wise). Then oxyven therapy followed by laser therapy of the blood and laser therapy of the ear area (I will post pictures of this tomorrow).

      The very helpful man who had helped me yesterday with the bio energetic scan was here again. We ended up spending 2 hours talking and looking for clues to tinnitus within my body. This tool is an entire encylopedia of knowledge (it can pinpoint energy states of any part of the body using extremely accurate resonance frequency footprints). He was able to further tweak the energy states of my inner ear (and several other body parts). In his own words, he said that my ears are now beginning to behave like ears. Random pictures attached further down.

      Then it was time to get on my way again - with a handful of melatonin and tramadol tablets to ensure uninterrupted sleep tonight.

      Please also watch this clip - remember animals cannot lie...

      Stem Cell Therapy Success



      Body Scan
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      Brain Scan (one of many)
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      Stem Cell Scan (with bio correction feedback = notice the "expanding" circle)
      Image0237.jpg

      Not sure what this is, sorry...
      Image0238.jpg

      Image0240.jpg


      GlYCQbc.png
       
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    6. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Day 5 —

      Today's schedule lasted three hours: last stem cell injection (sub-type CD34), along with steriods (IV), oxyven therapy (IV), as well as laser therapy (IV + ear area). Photos attached (for personal use only: not to be published or shared, anywhere).

      When I had my first round of IV laser therapy this Tuesday, I noticed a slight spike in my tinnitus later the same evening (which is common when applying laser treatment directly to the ear, but apparently also for IV laser treatment); this is only a good sign. Going forward, I will of course report on any changes I notice in my tinnitus levels from this treatment.

      IV Laser Treatment (RED wavelength)
      Image0230.jpg

      IV Laser Treatment (GREEN wavelength)
      Image0231.jpg

      Topical Laser Therapy (RED + INFRARED wavelengths)
      Image0242.jpg


      GlYCQbc.png
       
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    7. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Day 6 —

      Basically, the bulk of my treatment is now over (ie. all stem cell and peptide injections have been administered at this point). However, as the clinic has offered me additional oxyven- and laser therapy, I went for treatment this Saturday as well.

      Based on the comments received so far, I am only too well aware, that there are differing views on many aspects of my treatment. Specific questions, I will try to answer. But, I am not going to get into the melee of a heated debate (I have no interest in this). As an example, the bio energetic scan may be mumbo-jumbo, but it was able to predict certain things so specific about myself, that there has to be some "science to the madness"...

      The reason I went for treatment at this clinic is because it at least had experience from one prior case of treating tinnitus using stem cells. The results from this case were good.

      I will make an entry for each day of my treatment while in Bangkok, but essentially it is a wait-and-see game from now on. Results from the stem cell treatment may come as late as 6 months from now.
       
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    8. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Day 7 —

      Not much to report: scheduled treatment lasted one and a half hours consisting of IV laser therapy + IV "oxyven" therapy.
       
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    9. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Day 8 —

      Yesterday evening, I had a late night phone call from the medical director, asking if I would be available for lunch with the CEO of the resource organization that helped me find the stem cell clinic I am currently receiving treatment at. I suggested breakfast at the hotel instead (as it is more convenient). And so today, I had breakfast with a person who has been in the stem cell business for a decade. The main purpose of his organization is to rate clinics around the world so that patients can be certain of the quality of the treatment they receive. Besides that, he also maintains an overview of which clinics have the best results in the various areas of disease that stem cell treatments can be applied to. As with all good discussions, it was cut short by my own 11 o'clock treatment deadline at the clinic - and so he asked if I would be available again later during the week...

      Treatment for the day: IV laser and IV oxyven.

      During the almost 2 hour treatment, the former tinnitus patient mentioned earlier popped by to share his story with stem cells. He had been in a motorbike accident some years ago. This left him with knee damage and tinnitus. He had attempted "all treatments on earth" to get rid of his tinnitus - but nothing had helped. It was by coincidence that he discovered that stem cells were the solution (for him): because of his knee condition, he had gone through the adipose stem cell treatment at the clinic - and that's when he 3 to 4 weeks later noticed a decline in his tinnitus. He later decided to attempt the cord blood treatment also. In his opinion - and this really is his opinion (not mine!) - he says that there is nothing, except stem cells, that have the potential to cure tinnitus.
       
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    10. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Day 9 —

      This will be the last entry in my journal regarding my trip to Bangkok. Even though I am here until Saturday, I don't believe I will have anything of interest to report for the next coming days. With this journal, I have tried to provide insights into world of medicine which is poorly understood by many - even doctors (GPs) are unfamiliar with stem cell treatments and their potential. I have tried to be fact based, objective, and accurate in terms of what I have written.

      Today started off with a continuation of yesterday's breakfast conversation with the CEO of the resource organization that guided me to the clinic I am receiving treatment at. We spent another 2 hours discussing healthcare in general, and specifically the following: the so-called Berlin Man and the two recent cases of people who have been cured of HIV, herpes zoster and chickenpox, established schools of thought within medicine and how that prevents doctors from thinking outside the box. More importantly, we also discussed the barriers preventing patients from choosing stem cell therapy. Being a patient myself, I believe one important aspect is credibility ie. how do you know the good guys from the bad? In my case, I had to pay USD 12,500 upfront - most people will only do that with people they can trust. But how do you trust people you haven't met yet? So credibility is an important component in my opinion.

      Another important component of all of this is the success rate, of course. There is really no way to predict my outcome. Would I advise others to attempt what I have done without waiting for the results? That would be a purely financial question. If money is no issue to you, doing an intravenous stem cell treatment is essentially as simple as picking up a carton of milk in the supermarket: basically they stick a needle in your arm, a needle in your ass, you then lie down for a couple of hours while watching TV and drinking coffee - and after that you are free to go and do what you please (with no side effects). There is not much to worry about, the quality of care is very high, and the stem cells - if not your own - are checked left, right, and center for diseases (not just at the end when donated, but also during the pregnancy of the women donating the stem cells).

      So far, I have not noticed any change in my tinnitus level - but then again, that was not expected at this point. How would I estimate my own future success rate at this point? My intuition and gut feeling tells me that I have about a 50% chance of seeing some improvement, a 20% chance of a good improvement, and a 1-2% chance of a total recovery. Which category I end up with, only time can tell...

      I will "check in" from time to time, but so far this is my last entry.
       
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    11. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      2 Week Post Therapy Update —

      I had actually not planned to do an update at this time, because updates should be reserved for when there is something of significance to share. At the same time, the two threads about my stem cell therapy have a combined view count of more than 6000 since I started the journal about 4 weeks ago; this means a lot of eyes are watching (5 different forums at the moment), and hence any update regarding my progress needs to be accurate and carefully considered. And most importantly: not create false hope. On the other hand, I am getting a number of private emails and public comments asking for updates. So here is what I can share at the moment (for what it is worth).

      As the stem cells were given intravenously, they will have an impact all over the body (and not just at the desired location). At this time, I have noticed the following changes:
      • I have previously used cortisone cream for treating eczema on my hands/fingers - this after long term use leaves the skin wrinkled and thinner (permanently). I have had two specific locations on the sides of my index and little finger which were visibly damaged and have been that way for now 2 years. This damage has now been repaired. There is no way that this damage could have been repaired some other way, because there is no other way (ask a dermatologist).
      • Due to allergies and/or overuse of nasal sprays when I was a teenager, I had developed chronic inflamation in my nose. However, for the first time in nearly 20 years, I can now breathe freely through my nose while lying down (ie. for sleeping).
      • In 2006, I trained for an ultramarathon which left me with tendinitis of the achilles tendon. I spent half a year doing physiotherapy afterwards - but still the tendon would not really heal properly. I therefore decided to "retire" after my 15 marathons, but even 7 years on, I could still feel a tenderness when pressing against the tendon (even though I have not done any running since 2006). This tenderness is now gone.
      So something seems to be happening. As for the tinnitus, there are not really any changes at this point. I would not expect anything to happen in terms of tinnitus improvement until around the two month mark (if at all). This is the timeline that the clinic has given me, and it is also the timeline of other similar stem cell treatment cases that I am aware of (eg. Chloe Sohl, L. Francis).
       
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    12. Tinnitus Talk
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      Tinnitus Talk Knowledge Base

      We have just heard back from attheedgeofscience.

      His health is fine. There have been some fluctuations in his tinnitus, but no permanent changes as of yet.

      Interestingly, he thinks his immune system has somewhat improved and has noticed slight hair regrowth on the scalp.

      He is currently busy and will most likely be writing a longer journal entry by himself later on. He has some plans to attend to so a comprehensive update on his situation may take a couple of months.

      The next post in this [Journal] will be by attheedgeofscience. Let this post serve as an interim update.

      Please do not comment in this thread, instead write your comments in this [Comments] thread.
       
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    13. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Time for an update (which several members have been asking for)...

      One of my concerns when I attempted the stem cell treatment at the clinic in Thailand was the low stem cell count used (only 20 million umbilical cord blood stem cells). Against my instinct and gut feeling, I decided to go with the treatment as it came recommended by a resource organization - and this particular clinic also had experience with one former patient. However, they changed the treatment protocol half-way through my correspondance with them (ie. the former patient received adipose stem cells and I got the umbilical cord blood stem cells). The former patient therefore received a higher stem cell dosage than I (even though umbilical cord blood stem cells are considered more potent).

      Has the treatment been successful? No, but I have experienced enough "hints" of potential improvements that I already decided to go for another stem cell treatment. This stem cell treatment is entirely based on my own research - and is now well underway in its planning and I will be leaving for "somewhere in the world" for a 3 week stem cell treatment around x'mas. This time, it will be at a hospital and not a clinic. I will be receiving 1,2 billion stem cells (which is 60 times as many stem cells as I got in Thailand). It is also the highest standard dose used anywhere in the world (as far as I know). The dose is fairly important when treating conditions via IV.

      I have seen from the comments section that my treatment is somewhat debated using references to various theoretical studies as well as inviting the input from "experts". My advice: stem cell science is still in its infancy and so is the study of tinnitus - and hence when combining two unknowns, the result is likely also to be unknown. The scientists and doctors around the world have yet to do their homework, and until they do, it is only the estimated handful of stem cell pioneers having undergone treatment for tinnitus who currently hold the answer to the question. I have little time for scientists claiming they know the answer to something based on theoretical findings. The only way to find out if something works is by researching the topic and then putting it to the test. In a way, it is quite sad that some one with a background in finance (and not medicine) should be amongst those very few contributing to a new field of science such as stem cells and tinnitus by using himself as a lab rat.

      The authenticity of my trip has already been confirmed via Markku privately - so no need to start questioning whether the above is true or not (as some members have a tendency to do). For reasons of objectivity, I will not disclose the location or the name of the hospital at which I will be staying (as some may think that I am trying to "advertise" the treatment if I were to include the location/name in this journal...).

      It will most likely be a long while before I check in with this forum again - probably not before Feb, March, next year.
       
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    14. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      3½ Month Post-Therapy Update —

      My next stem cell treatment is now one week away. However, I do have some developments to share (I keep getting "PMs" asking me for updates). There have also been some "complications" in relation to my next stem cell treatment - in fact my whole trip was put into jeopardy at one point (more on this later).

      There is now undeniable evidence that the even modest amount of stem cells I received in Thailand have had an impact on my tinnitus. As I have pointed out earlier, I have not just suffered from tinnitus since April, this year, but all of my life (as I have had slight tinnitus in my right ear also; two "components" of tinnitus in my right ear since childhood, in fact). Both the tinnitus in my right ear and the tinnitus that I developed this year have now improved. Had it just been the tinnitus that I developed this year which had improved, then it could be considered a co-incidence - and hence something not attributable to the stem cell treatment. But my lifelong (mild) tinnitus has also improved. This is why the evidence is irrefutable. I would not classify the improvements as a "cure", but they are significant enough for me to clearly notice - and they have definitely had an impact on my "quality of life". As an example, I went to the fitness club for the first time this Friday in 4 months and actually enjoyed myself.

      Here is the full list of improvements I have experienced since my stem cell treatment in August:
      • No eczema on my hands any more (a condition I have had as a child, but which reappeared when I was in my early twenties).
      • No more "random" skin rashes from clothing and so on.
      • No more redness in my right eye after showers (a condition I have had for two years).
      • I can breathe freely through my nose when lying down (ie. sleeping).
      • Slight hair regrowth on scalp.
      • My left Achilles tendon is less tender in the mornings (a condition I have had since training for an ultramarathon in 2006).
      • The tinnitus that I developed this year was an intrusive whine which could be heard in my head (not in my left or right ear). That tinnitus "moved" to my left ear in October (which is the ear I have had three ear infections in). The volume is reduced by about 30-35%. The tinnitus volume in my right ear has been reduced by about 50%.
      As for the complications about my upcoming trip, I will not be sharing everything at this point (if at all). But a former agent of the hospital I will be receiving treatment at has apparently "gone rogue" and is utilizing the hospital's logo, company material, photos, videos, as well as his own general insight to cheat money out of patients. There is also a former patient who has set up her own website - claiming she is working with the hospital (again to cheat money out people). At this point I have sent the hospital a reprimand for not doing more to make patients aware of these websites that seem to be affiliated with the hospital. The hospital acknowledges that there is a problem, but reply that they cannot close down the websites as they are hosted by foreign countries (the lawyers of the hospital have done what they could at this point, apparently). However, it would appear that I am now in contact with the "right people". But as a further precaution, I will not be paying any hospital fees until I actually arrive at the hospital - a condition I have told the hospital they will have to accept (given the circumstances).

      I anticipate that I will have 2 or 3 further updates to share; I will see if I can do one from the hospital itself with a couple of photographs (if they allow it; the clinic in Thailand did, as long as it was not done during an operation). I expect a conclusion some time in early/mid March.
       
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    15. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      I am currently in Istanbul, Turkey, as I write this - and en route to my 2nd stem cell therapy. I have a few hours to kill before my connecting flight to Asia. Indeed there are many similarities between my upcoming stem cell treatment and the one I had in Thailand. Again, I am flying with Turkish Airlines, again via Istanbul, again no alcohol one week before, and again I "managed" to get Business Class tickets - but this time they were the only tickets I could get because of the busy x'mas period (and consequently not so decently priced). Indeed by the time this whole adventure is over, the total cost for all of my tinnitus therapies will have passed the EUR 50.000, - mark, I will have travelled more than 40.000 kilometres, read more than 500 pages of research, and the combined correspondence with all the various stem cell doctors is now at around 40 A4-pages, if printed. But, there are also some differences between this trip and the last one. As I am flying long distance, I of course use ear plugs. For my last trip, my ears were therefore "screaming" as soon as I put the ear plugs in. Not so for my current trip - a clear sign that something has happened since my last stem cell therapy 4 months ago. This improvement has also had a knock-on effect on my mental state: I can feel I am slowly returning to my former self - which for me means going to the fitness club regularly and addressing the schedule for the day with more decisiveness (instead of just letting things drift, as they have done for a while now).

      The period leading up to my departure has also been a time for reflection. I am finding myself more at ease because there is a genuine possibility of further improvement with my second treatment. But, I am also acutely aware that it is "now or never" ie. if this doesn't deal tinnitus the final blow, then nothing will for the foreseeable future. I also find myself reflecting on whether this blog has any real value. I get e-mails urging me to continue "reporting from the front lines of regenerative medicine", but let's be honest here: suppose this treatment turns out really well, who would believe that a cure has been found? And even if people did believe it, the next hurdle to overcome would be the "one man, one treatment doesn't prove anything"-concept. On the other hand, the treatment may turn out not to be successful, of course. And so either way, this "human guinea pig experiment" will end up becoming an irrelevant footnote in the search for a cure. At least, that is how I see it. However... for the moment, I will stay the course: being a pioneer, a stem cell pioneer - anyway - means moving against the flow of established medicine. And that suits me just fine, actually.

      As for treatment itself, I have some amendments to share. The stem cell count figures I mentioned in a previous update are incorrect due to the mishap with the former agent who has decided to set up his own little scam scheme. I would gladly expose his name all over the Internet, but if I did, I would also reveal the hospital I am seeking treatment at (and that is something I have decided I will not do). This means that, the volumes I will be treated with are the standard 375.000 million umbilical cord stem cells that the hospital uses. However, I asked the hospital to do a second review of my case - with all options on the table - and after a doctor's panel conference of my case, the hospital has come back with a suggestion of increasing the stem cell volume to 500.000 million stem cells (all IV delivered). The additional cost for this is USD 7.000,- thereby bringing the total therapy cost to USD 26.000,- (for those who are interested in the details of treatment).

      And with that, I have shared as much as I can. For now, at least.

      Now onto the final leg of my journey.

      Merry x'mas to all.
       
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