If you’re unaware, I’ll soon go to Germany to get stem cell surgery. https://gofund.me/50d9f5db
Here and over the next few posts, I’ll be describing my experience.
When I was first injured, I had an absurd amount of hope for my recovery. I truly believed I would have a complete and full recovery in a few months. Then it became years. Then I realized it wasn’t going to happen without something external, so I began to look into stem cell surgery.
What I discovered is that in the USA, there are only clinical trials happening for spinal cord injury (SCI) stem cell surgery. I look across the waters to see where I could get stem cell surgery and found a few options. I don’t remember them all, but I know I reached out to them all, told them who I am and my history, and waited to hear back about their program before deciding.
In the midst of my research, I happened upon this article, which cautions against going abroad for stem cell because a lot of places will be less strict with their practice, telling me it’s not proven, and some other “bad” stuff to convince me not to go get stem cell.
Why try? Well, for me, not trying is not an option. All my optimism and acclaimed positive attitude comes from hope for a recovery.
I decided on Anova institute in Germany
When it comes to a procedure like this (experimental), insurance doesn’t cover it and there is actually a lot of freedom. I pay for either 10 or 20 doses of the stem cell secretome (which is derived from my own lipid cells from liposuction) and from there I can decide what the injection program looks like. The only constraints are that I can’t get injections in intervals of less than 2 weeks and the injection size can’t be greater than 7.5mL and is typically 5mL. It’s up to me whether I want to go to physical therapy if I want to get injections every 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 2 weeks, or whatever.
The regimen I chose is to do physical therapy 5 days/week for 12 weeks while getting stem cell injections every 1-2 weeks (I think for the first few injections they’ll do it 1 week apart and then only fortnightly).
What I’m currently working on is finding out if my insurance will cover the physical therapy as an out-of-network provider. They said that they cover “eligible claims,” with a 20% coinsurance after I reach my out-of-network deductible (whatever that may be). What I need to know is if the physical therapy clinic I’ll be going to is “eligible.”
Planning this wasn’t too hard but not easy either. I have to figure out what’s going on at work, save up a lot of money for a hotel and food for 12 weeks, get x-rays and blood tests, and get the flights roundtrip to and from Germany.
Right now, I’m just waiting until it’s time to schedule all of this because it’s still a bit early on.
(ps, it’s worth noting that this is my experience and what I remember, I may soon find out that I’m wrong about certain things)
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