Today, Steve is coming to visit and stay overnight with me. At last, some company with my favourite person in the whole world. He makes me laugh and keeps me sane!
He bought me a home made bacon sandwich, which is a real treat! We live about 5 hours away from Seoul and the hospital, so he travels up on the KTX, which is a fast train. It had been snowing overnight and the cars in the car park were all frosted over. Taxis are very reasonable here, so instead of using the Seoul underground system, he got here sooner.
He also kindly put me some nail varnish on my toenails- now I feel human again!
I’ve been to the ‘toothpaste squeezer’ and got that over with. This time, I stood up whilst the excess fluid was squeezed out of the drains. These are in my ankles and inside thighs. I was thrilled when Dr Yoo advised me that he would be taking these out on Monday and the squeezing method would be replaced with pneumatic compression sleeves. This has honestly been the most painful part of the process and I make no bones about it- its excruciating, but mercifully not for long as well as being necessary.
Whilst the wrappings were off, I took a look at the handiwork of the surgeons. My legs are a little misshapen, as obviously there is some swelling going on, but that is to be expected. BUT -Best of all, they feel empty, gloriously empty…not weighted down with all that fluid and bulk…
And to me – they are beautiful!
I’m really happy with what I am seeing evolve in front of my very eyes!
The wrappings are refreshed and they look a little less bulky. They are still leaking though, so my corridor walking is pushing the extra fluid out.
The hospital is quiet over the weekend, apart from me, a Russian lady who is having her varicose veins done and a young Korean man with Lymphodema in one leg. Dr Shim’s patients are mainly Korean, Chinese and Russian. He has helped one American- please come forward! and me, the English Patient. But we have one thing in common- we are all seeking a cure for our conditions
Dr Shim told me that the most dramatic changes will take place in the first three months, then it plateaus and settles down to the final shape over the following nine months. That means, by Christmas 2014, I should be totally free of Lymphodema and Lipodema, which I find mind blowing….I think others have, too, as I have asked him what interest there has been from the medical professions around the world. He tells me that they don’t believe him and that some other pioneers and experts hold their methods up as the best, which I find disturbing.
Questions are starting to jump out at me – if anyone has the answers, or even more questions, please feel free to let me know them!
How come Lymphodema and Lipodema got so left behind in the medical research world?
How come its ok to condemn sufferers to a lifetime of pain, progressively bloated limbs, poor quality of life and endless bandaging and compression, till the day they expire?
Being mercenary, even the latter seems such a waste of medical money!
Surely a claim of a ‘cure’ should be checked out?
How long and how many patients have to be ‘cured’ before the international medical worlds sit up and take notice?
Is it because Korea is considered a still developing country? Yet, they are worlds ahead in the medical laser industry – they pioneered laser eye surgery for a start…
Is it the language barrier?
Dr Shim tells me that the frustration lies in the lack of written evidence to show the medical world. There have been no formal clinical trials yet, but he’s not too concerned, as the more patients he helps, the more evidence he is collecting.
His method seems so simple, it sounds like its not possible, but the theory has only been tested on animals.
Personally, I think the physical results tell the best story- and I hope will be able to do just that with my own story in the coming year.
He has permission from grateful ex- patients to share some photographs with me, so I will have them soon, to show you.
He is an interesting man to talk to, passionate about his specialisms and obviously knowledgeable in the world of Lymphodema and Lipodema. We discuss the other treatments that are being pioneered around the world and that they can’t yet offer or guarantee a 100% cure, as he can.
Here’s how Dr Shim’s method works- don’t read this whilst you’re eating, please, unless you have a strong constitution!
1) Establish what is fat, what is fluid and it’s position in the tissue, by sonograph. ( I had 80% lipodema and 20% lymphedema)
Stem cells are surrounded by adipose fat cells, which effectively make them dormant, they don’t have a job to do, so are inactive.
2) Liposuction removes the fat and stem cells close to the muscle. These are separated out and the stem cells are extracted for use.
3) Lymphosuction clears the area where the lymphatic system sits, just under the skin.
4) The stem cells are re-introduced and drains are placed in the best exit points.
5) The limbs are wrapped in absorbent bandages and the lymph fluid is free to leave via the drains.
My question was- how come all the stem cells don’t drain out? That’s due to where they have been placed, not where the fat has been removed from, in the subcutaneous area.
6) The stem cells are activated and go to work, repairing the damaged areas and rebuilding new channels. The circuit will be whole again. Have a look at the links at the bottom of this page- stem cell progress is about to impact on every condition!
Sometimes, the simplest things work so well! I really hope that this works…and maybe the way ahead to provide the evidence to the other medics, is to record the individual’s levels of Lipodema and/or Lymphodema at each stage of his process, with sonogram print outs, showing the progressive reduction each month and the results at the end of month 12.
My newly awakened stem cells have drifted upwards and my brain is also fired up in the desire to learn more, so he’s lent me a huge tome – so just to warn you- I will be spouting facts and information from it, we can all learn together.
It’s by a world leading authority on Lymphology…
- Human Neural Stem Cells Could Address Critical Limb Ischemia (gavintamhk.wordpress.com)
- Dr. Brian Mehling Talks Stem Cells at China’s Taishan Academic Forum (sacbee.com)
- How will stem cell therapies impact patient care? (eurekalert.org)
- Stem Cells Build “Biobridges” to Aid Brain Repair (pharmaceuticalintelligence.com)