6/18/11 Intervention #8

On June 3rd, we arranged a call with Dr. Arata to check on my progress.  I told the doc that I was doing quite well in a couple of main areas, namely the bowel and bladder.  I told him I was feeling the bowel waste in the colon a little better, thus being better able to avoid accidents, and that the bladder was beginning to feel like it was pumping out the urine instead of just dribbling out like it has for some time.  I also told him my recent motorcycle fall was impeding my leg progress a bit, but my knee was healing, yielding to my “normal” leg weakness.  We agreed it was time to order up the Doppler, and he had the staff fax over the order to Red Rock Radiology here in Las Vegas.
On the 9th, last Thursday, I went to see the same technician at the radiologist, and checked the flow.  Strangely, though I felt better the prior week and was reporting accurately to Dr. Arata, I sensed that those benefits had waned somewhat, and I had a funny feeling that the left jugular that had been giving me so much problem was clogged again. 
A quick placement of the ultrasound head confirmed it.  99+% clogged.  It was worse actually than the last Doppler test that was showing only about a 75% or so occlusion.  The technician said the blood flow was “just a trickle,” and it was confirmed in an instant that my progress was delayed yet again.
People ask me why I keep doing this and why it’s so important to get the veins open.  It’s a good question, really.  I’m not obsessed over it, nor a glutton for punishment.  I am following a theory with a specific purpose, because I have seen the future for me as an MS patient and I don’t like it.  I've also felt the benefits of the CCSVI surgery.  Remember, it isn’t life threatening having a clogged jugular vein like it is with a clogged artery, but the whole point behind the theory of CCSVI is to maximize the blood flow return from the head through the jugulars with no impediment.  This in turn removes eddy currents and also removes the refluxing condition and iron deposits that have led to the formation of the lesions, or so goes the theory.  If one doesn’t buy into that theory, the whole process is a waste of time.  Anything less than maximum, unobstructed blood flow defeats the purpose, even though doctors will repeatedly tell patients that individual veins are not important like arteries because the blood will always find another path.   
And while this is indeed true for a “normal” person, in order for there to be any benefit from the CCSVI process, one has to remove conventional thinking about veins’ inherent ability to re-route deoxygenated blood back to the heart, and think of the veins as an equally important blood route as the arteries. When this thinking is applied, one can isolate the disease from the body, and specific things can be done to promote healing.  CCSVI, in theory, removes the MS disease environment from the body so a person and his or her doctors can turn their focus to the remaining lesions and symptoms.  I see it as analogous to a fire burning through a forest, causing charring on trees and plant life.  Think of the trees as your spine or brain.  The fire comes through, and the trees that survive are charred to various degrees.  Eventually nature or the forest service, or some combination therein, puts the fire out, but the damage is left behind.  In MS, if we put the fire (disease) out, we turn to healing the charred areas (lesions).  We know that all cells on the body will eventually regenerate, but we can’t heal if we’re in an active disease, just as a tree can’t heal when it’s on fire. 

If a person goes for a CCSVI procedure with an expectation that they will be cured immediately, they will likely be disappointed.  But if a person gets a CCSVI procedure with the idea that they are extinguishing the fire and then begin the healing process by other natural means, namely the delivery of oxygen-rich blood.  Anything less than this thinking will not allow for any benefit, will not change the environment that has allowed the lesions to happen, and will not allow for healing. 
Fast forward to yesterday, Friday June 17.  The doctors and staff at Pacific Interventionalists managed to squeeze me in (they are really busy, more on that later) and I was the last surgery in the center yesterday.  As a known vaso-vagler (I have passed out in prior CCSVI surgeries so they’re getting to know me there), a few modifications to my sedatives were given and I tolerated everything well.  Dr. Arata rooted out the left jugular once again, then checked the right and azygos, which remain open and flowing well.  The surgery took about 45 minutes this time, most of which was spent getting the catheter through the clog. 
Something about the trip just felt right this time.  It seemed the surgery itself flowed better, I was much more alert when it was done, and I felt a few immediate results.  At dinner a couple of hours later, Kathy, Jake and I all found I could handle a few stairs without the handrail, something that was not possible just a few hours prior. 
As has been typical for me following these surgeries, I spent the night waking up to go to the bathroom numerous times as my body removed excess fluids and toxins.  I write this the following morning and I feel pretty good.  My left knee still hurts a bit from the bike fall, but overall it feels like some progress, so now the monitoring shall begin.  Previous post surgical anticoagulants have been Lovenox and/or Coumadin which didn't seem to have worked too well, so this time we’re going to try and keep the veins open with Pradaxa.  Let's hope #9 isn't in the cards.

P.S. This is a video of me going up some stairs after the surgery:

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