Greetings from South Korea!
Thank you to those of you who have dropped me a line to see how these legs are doing!
Well, I am still here and as it’s over 6 months since my last post, I thought it would be timely to update you. They are not cured, still, but hey, they are doing just fine!
I have put some of the lost weight back on and as a result, I can feel large lumpy areas of fat under the skin, where before it was just muscle. This is entirely my fault and now I am working to lose it again.
I have found that bandaging at night works to help keep the ankle in existence, I would be heartbroken if I lost these re-claimed land marks through complacency.
And I still have visible knee caps when sitting.
I will get back into those shorts I wore last summer, though- I have to….and once the weather cools, it will be so much easier. I feel inflammation has a huge part to play, along with delicious iced coffees, which contain the dreaded corn syrup as a sweetener. Avoid this sticky sweet stuff at all costs- it encourages that nasty white fat and sluggish waste proteins to stay with you for far too long.
I haven’t been idle during the last and final year away from England-
- I have been volunteering at a local private English speaking school, known as a hagwon. The children attend each day after normal school and they are learning through conversation and game playing with me. It’s such fun- but exhausting- they are so competitive and lively.
- I continue to walk daily with the dogs, covering around 10 km. This keeps the lymph moving and my legs tell me when I have been sitting for long enough, even when they are elevated.
- I have learned to drink water when socialising. Alcohol hurts too much! Let me explain… the local firewater here is called soju. This summer, it has had flavours added, which of course, are totally artificial and make it taste like alcopops- much easier to swallow. It’s taken in a shot glass, downed in one and a bottle of it is as cheap as it comes…. around £.70 or a dollar. It looks quite innocent, doesn’t it?
( Not my picture)
I tried just one shot glass and enjoyed it as a fruity drink, but that night, my legs were so uncomfortable! I don’t seem to be able to cope with any foods or drink that are not ‘clean.’
Even orange juice is too sweet now, and leaves me thirsty. Of course, this means I am always the designated driver home, but hey ho…!
- I have been recording the adventures of our dogs and trying my hand at being an author! These two little dogs have kept me going out here and it’s nice to be able record their antics. Maybe you have a 6-8 year old who will enjoy the stories. The first book is here on Amazon kindle for free this weekend – take a look and see what they think!
You can access it via these 3 links, whichever is best for you
- I continue to search for information on stem cell treatment progress, which seems so painfully slow around the world.
This article is most positive- a new drug to fast track tissue regeneration
This one states that a way to change stem cells to blood vessels has been found
And finally, this one filled me with hope for the future- as long is it is genuine… growing new lymph vessels.
There are set backs in the stem cell world as physicians and researchers fake their results and the various Food and Drug agencies clamp down on the definition of adipose stem cells. Simply- If they are manipulated, its constitutes a medicine which must be trialled in a controlled manner – but where does that leave test tube babies?
The media slate those physicians and surgeons asking people to pay for their own clinical trials, but there are so few research programmes available worldwide. In the meantime, some exciting discoveries have been made and we need to take a little comfort from the fact that Lymphedema and Lipoedema have raised profiles and people are looking for solutions.
Dr Shim still continues to work miracles on those with lymph filled limbs, but there has not been any other person fully repaired with stem cells, apart from the one I met 18 months ago. She kindly made contact with me through her English speaking son –in –law, to say ‘don’t give up’ but for me, it’s a case of I need to save up.
If I could, I would try a second operation, but this time, with just a little liposuction to get to my stem cells and have them injected into my calves.
I do wonder if the size of the first operation which included liposuction meant that the stem cells went off to calm the effects of the op, rather than start building new tissue and pathways. Who knows… maybe there should have been a top up after 4 months or so…. And this is why clinical trials are needed so badly!
I thought you might like to see a photo of how things are – so here is a picture taken in May this year, back in England…I still look like I have large legs, but they will get slimmer again, they did after my New Year diet started.
I guess constant monitoring and care is the key to success- healthy food, consistent exercise, pure liquids, watching weight levels, night bandaging, daily compression tights, but sometimes it’s just nice to forget that I have a condition like this- and just have a normal day. But, none of us go to bed without having cleaned our teeth and washed our face at the very least, so it’s just a longer routine, like flossing and face cream!
I still think I did the right thing for me, for already being in South Korea and not trying to find a stem cell cure where so much medical innovation is taking place….I would have forever kicked myself and wondered if I’d missed the best opportunity.
Take care and stay well, all of you- don’t forget to try that little book of mine this weekend whilst it’s free!