My journey with excruciating Intractable Chronic Neck Pain started in the blink of an eye after a car accident in 2005. A car accident that seemed so minor changed everything.
The person I was who rarely sat still, was stuck in bed… rolling, crying at times screaming in pain for years. The excruciating, debilitating pain would keep me from sleeping or wake me up crying out loud enough it would my children.
With multiple health care professionals, including specialists assessing, evaluating, testing, treating and all sharing the same conclusion. “Take these drugs; there is nothing else we can do for you.” As a critical care registered nurse by career & single mom of 2 young children, my fit, healthy, active lifestyle allowed me to accomplish what I needed until this point.
My local physicians, including neurosurgeon & neurologists, could not find the cause for this debilitating pain or the intense muscle spasms in my face, neck & shoulders. They kept saying it was a simple whiplash. Taking the nature of the pain, my knowledge and experience as a critical care registered nurse, and knowing my own pain tolerance I knew it was more than strained muscles.
My physiotherapist, occupational therapist & acupuncturist sorted the root cause to be in the area of my altas & axis, which are the top 2 vertebrae in our neck. They were able to provide treatment that would sometimes temporarily decrease the pain & muscle spasm, but it was always short-lived.
I made a choice …
In my determination to find a precise diagnosis & solution, I spent over $100,000 traveling to the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Florida & Chennai, India Apollo Hospital to see a world-renowned neurosurgeon who specializes in vertebral reconstruction. Amongst these specialists & the diagnostics, my injury was clarified. Visualization of subluxation of my atlas, confirmation of sub-occipital & occipital nerve pain through x-ray guided injection of freezing & CT scan visualization of stretched atlas-axis tendons In India at the Apollo Hospital. Again, as so many times already, I was told this was as good as it was going to get.
Even the next solution offered to having a neurotransmitter implanted was temporary. The pain was never completely gone but was much less for about three months. 7 months later, I was rushed back to the operating room for emergency removal due to infection.
This is when I started to research Stem Cell Procedures. Connecting with multiple clinics, I found Dr. Gonzalez at Integra Medical Center. Almost instantly, after speaking with him, I knew this is what I wanted to do next.
I was rarely able to sleep more than 1-3 hours at a time. Any head, neck, or arm movement hurt. I was not able to push or pull any weight with my arms without triggering extra intense pain. Any vibration or bumps in the car and the pain went to excruciating levels. Walking upstairs was a struggle. I could only walk about 1/2 a block before having to pause due to the increased pain. Cold air & wind is also a trigger that would increase both the spasm & nerve pain. These are a few of the triggers that would increase the pain to the point I would vomit. My entire head & face had a constant ache with burning. My neck & shoulders were frequently in muscle spasm. At this point, 9 1/2 years after the car accident, I had only had 28 days in total when I hadn’t needed pain killers &/or muscle relaxants.
My first Stem Cell protocol with Dr. Gonzalez was life-changing. I remember him being surprised at how much muscle spasm & scar tissue I had in my neck area. When I walked in that 1st day, I wasn’t in as much pain as I could be but even moving my arms and neck where he needed to evaluate would bring tears and make me want to vomit. He was patient with me as he assessed and marked the spots for injections and implants. The whole day from the driver picking me up at the hotel through the procedure and the driver dropping me off went as Dr. Gonzalez and his team had prepared me for.
Immediately after the full protocol, I had relief of muscle spasm & nerve pain. I also had more range of motion of my neck and arms. I also had more clarity of thought. The following week was incredible.
Every night I slept through the night. I had minimal tenderness in the neck area and each implant area. No nerve pain. No muscle spasm. No medications taken. Each day I would walk more and farther. My neck range of motion, arm range of motion still more. By the 6th day, I walked over a mile on the beach in soft sand and on the 7th day I climbed up 90 steps of the pyramid at Coba. I walked so much my feet & ankles were sore. It was such a welcoming feeling!
I have since had four more Stem Cell protocols with Dr. Gonzalez. Each time I have 6 to 9 months where I am stronger. My triggers are less with minimal pain & muscle spasm.
My most recent Stem Cell Protocol included intravenous infusion. I have also stayed in Mexico in the warm, humid climate. I have now gone for ten months with no pain killers. Three times during this time, the nerve pain has been triggered, but no pain killers are required. Each time it settled down quickly with rest, stretching, Qigong & neck traction. I have been able to exercise daily with long walks, swimming laps & a workout routine that includes weights & resistance with my arms. I am stronger & healthier than I have been since before the car accident 15 years ago.
IF you are considering a Stem Cell procedure and want more information, I would be happy to discuss your options with you, help you find the answer to any questions you may have, and arrange a free consultation with Dr. Gonzalez. In my 15 years as a critical care registered nurse and now 15 years requiring extensive healthcare, I have never worked with a more compassionate, knowledgeable practitioner as Dr. Gonzalez.