Olivia’s surgery on 1/13 was decompression of frontal area, and repair of deviated septum. She also had stem cell injections into the occipital area to see if that would help the pain there where the decompression was not working. We’ve had a rough couple of weeks.
I’ve heard great things about the stem cell injections. I’ve talked to people that have had it done, with success. I’ve read nothing but good things about it. They take fat cells from your stomach area, go through a process that is over my head to get the stem cells to inject into the area where there is still pain. This was a last ditch effort to see if anything would help the pain in the back of her head before we cut the GON (Greater Occipital Nerve) Have not wanted to jump into that because she would have a numb head for many years, if not forever. Probably forever, and she’s only 14. One woman I spoke with has a teenage daughter that had it done and she is glad she did it. She has her life back, she’s participating in activities, the numbness doesn’t even bother her. There are things to consider though, like having to be careful when blow drying your hair because you could burn your head and not know it. Obviously nothing to be taken lightly. So, we tried the stem cell procedure first. It couldn’t hurt and if it helped, we could postpone looking into severing the nerve.
This caused her to have pain in her stomach area, (the donor site) so bad that she couldn’t get out of bed to walk to the bathroom for a week after surgery. I am pretty sure that this is not normal, and for some reason it just hurt her stomach much worse that it should. This brought on a whole new set of problems with her colon that we have had 3 trips to ER for. She had to have a procedure done under anesthesia to de-impact her colon and spend 2 days in the hospital. The doctor that did that procedure said that sometimes that lipo procedure that they use to suction out the fat cells can cause the bowels to freeze up. This was really awful pain for her. We are focusing on trying to get her bowels healthy again, lots of water, mirilax, juicing fresh fruit daily, taking a Rx peri-colace, eating nothing but healthy greens and a high fiber diet, everything we can do to help her stomach and digestive system. She is still in a lot of pain, I think it will take a little time for her system to recover and get regular again, but by consistently doing all the right things, I don’t know how it cannot get better. It has to.
It has not helped her head pain yet, but it can take up to 3 months.
She has been through so much in such a short period of time, she needs a few months to recover, and get the rest of her body as healthy as possible. It’s hard when she can’t do too much because her head is throbbing. But we have to try to get her systems healthy and let her heal, and see where her pain lands, what the pain level is and if we must cut the nerve then that’s what we’ll have to do. Gonna rest and try to heal for now. Poor baby has been through so much.
It’s too soon to tell if the frontal surgery will be successful, but so far she still feels numbness in her eyes (better than feeling like knives are sticking in them) and numb / soreness in the forehead area. This is normal, once the numbness wears off she can tell if the pain will be better. She needs some time to heal, and then we’ll know for sure.
It’s that darn occipital area that is so painful, that’s what hurts her the most, it’s debilitating. Even if the frontal surgery helps that area, she won’t get her life back until she gets relief there because it’s the most intense, level 10 24/7, and covers most of her head. This is why she’s so upset, it’s been depressing to have 2 attempts at decompression, and they didn’t work. Well it worked the first time, but it didn’t last.
Trying to keep her positive, it’s getting more and more difficult for her. She can’t give up. She’s had success, she’s had pain relief, she can have it again.