Read all of my Infusio posts here.
Last month, I headed back to Germany for my follow-up appointment at Infusio in Frankfurt. I was four months post stem cells. Since I had treatment back in October/November, Infusio’s protocols have actually been updated. Now included in the program is a 5-day follow-up where patients receive a new therapy called ACT.
What Is ACT?
As I was still within the timeframe for my follow-up, I was able to receive this treatment too. ACT stands for autologous cyto-immunotherapy. I won’t go into too much detail here about what it is as you can read all about it on Infusio’s website here.
Essentially, it is an extract made from a patient’s own blood. The cells within the ACT can be tailored to suit each individual’s needs and the idea is to potentiate a patient’s newly repaired immune system (the initial stem cell treatment works to repair the immune system).
The cells that can comprise ACT include mesenchymal stem cells, hematopoietic stem cells, macrophages, lymphocytes (T, B and NK cells) and a bunch of different growth factors.
Is ACT Safe?
I know there are some Infusio patients who have been worried about getting ACT due to it being a new treatment that Infusio offer. Personally, I was all for it! The cells have individually been studied and safely used. For me, it was much less daunting than the first stem cell (SVF) procedure. This involved having liposuction on my back whereas ACT is a simple blood draw.
I was also made aware that Infusio had been developing and testing the ACT for a couple of years before integrating it into the program. Plus, Dr Bijan had the treatment himself. If my doctor is more than happy to have it then I certainly don’t have any qualms about it.
I also felt like I needed a bit of a helping hand with regards to my healing and I hoped that ACT would give me a bit of a boost. If you’ve been reading my updates, you’ll know that I’ve seen some amazing improvements since receiving my stem cells. But, that my healing journey has been full of ups and downs.
My hope was that ACT would help to settle things down and put me on a more upward trajectory.
my Follow-up Appointment at Infusio: Day 1
As I mentioned above, the follow-up is over five days in Germany. It is much less intense than the initial treatment and I was only at the clinic for a couple of hours each day. On the first day, I headed to Infusio for 8.30am. I walked there from the apartment where we were staying, which was such a contrast to how I was when I first went for treatment!
At the clinic, I received a warm welcome from all the staff. It was so nice to be back and see everyone and show them how much better I was doing. It was also lovely to catch-up with my stem cell buddy who I went through treatment with and to meet new patients too.
It was a quick morning at the clinic. All I had was a blood sample taken for testing, a treatment on the laser bed and a Global Diagnostic scan (you can read about what that is in this post). Dr Bijan made me laugh as he mentioned that he remembered my veins as he was taking my blood (they aren’t the best!).
Day 2: ACT Day
On the second day of my follow up at Infusio, I had my ACT treatment. I wasn’t actually meant to receive it until the following day but another patient, unfortunately, fell ill with a virus and was unable to receive her ACT. I was, therefore, called in to have mine instead.
ACT Blood Draw
This involved going to the clinic in the morning and having 14 vials of blood taken. This sounds like a lot but I was fine with this and didn’t feel dizzy or light-headed. Dr Bijan mentioned that it can actually be a positive thing to remove so much blood. It triggers your body into creating new blood. Apparently, bloodletting is sometimes used as a treatment in Germany.
Going by my test results and the Global Diagnostic scan, Dr Bijan said he felt confident he knew which cells would help me the most for my ACT.My results were all looking really good but Dr Bijan mentioned that, while my cells were producing a good amount of energy, my body couldn’t utilise it. He was hopeful that the ACT would help with this issue. I was certainly excited to find out!
The IV catheter was left in my arm following the blood draw as this would be needed to receive my ACT in the afternoon. A bandage was placed over it and, once I had a drink of water, I was free to go. I then had a few hours wait until I had to go back to the clinic to receive my ACT. I was advised to re-hydrate and stay hydrated in the meantime.
Receiving my ACT
Later that day, I headed back to Infusio to receive my ACT. I had my IV flushed with saline and received an injection in my stomach, though I can’t remember what that was. Then, it was time for my ACT.
My ACT was a clear liquid (that looked so unassuming!) in a syringe that was injected into an IV bag. It was so amazing to think about what was actually in it. It didn’t take long for the ACT to be administered and afterwards, I had another flush of saline. I was then free to go.
I felt good after the ACT but there was no immediate effect like I had with the SVF stem cells. After the SVF I felt a noticeable shift– it was almost like I had been super-charged! I did, however, crash a few days later following SVF. This time, the effect was more subtle.
Follow-up: day 3
The next day I had an IV treatment. Dr Bijan decided to give me one of the new IVs Infusio are now using as part of their updated program, which was to help with energy. My body loved it! I felt more energised afterwards but in a nice way; it wasn’t overstimulating. This was exactly what Dr Bijan was hoping for.
As I was having my IV, I also had a lymphatic massage treatment in the Slimyonik pants (which I call the squeezy space trousers). One of the things my Global Diagnostics scan did show up was that my lymphatic system was sluggish and needed help.
I actually enjoyed the treatment this time around. I wasn’t keen on it before and found it uncomfortable. But, this time it was actually quite relaxing.
Day 4 of my Follow-up Appointment at Infusio
Day 4 was the individual IV day. I had three different IVs. The first was to help support lymphatic drainage and the final two were to help with energy (one was Q10 and the other included a B-vitamin complex, amino acids and peptides).
These IVs definitely helped me and I felt that my energy was boosted even more afterwards. I even joked with Dr Bijan that I had more energy than my husband Ross! It was incredible.
I believe these IVs worked in conjunction with the ACT and my body seemed to love it! It was definitely what I was needing as my body responded to the treatments exactly as Dr Bijan expected, which was great.
Just as a side note, the IVs I mention here might not be the ones you receive if you are headed for your follow-up at Infusio. What you receive is tailored to you as an individual and will be dependent on your test results and Global Diagnostics scan. So, don’t be concerned if what you have is different to me; we are all unique!
My Final Day at Infusio
Today, was a really great day. I was feeling well and energised. I think both Ross and I were boosted mentally from the follow-up treatments I had. It was amazing to see me with so much energy.
My final day was a quick one. I had a treatment on the laser bed, another lymphatic drainage massage in the Slimyonik pants and then a chat with Dr Bijan.
Dr Bijan took the time to go through my Global Diagnostics scan in detail. He was really happy with the progress I had made since receiving treatment. I was given some recommendations on areas that still need support (mainly my gut and lymphatic system). But, overall, he was pleased with how I was doing. And, so am I.
I am So Glad I had ACT
I left Infusio knowing that it’s unlikely that I will need to go back for additional treatment. I am so thankful and grateful to Dr Bijan and the team at Infusio. I love that they are innovative and always looking for ways to improve and help their patients.
ACT has been a wonderful addition to the program and I am happy that I received the treatment. I’ll write more about how I have been doing in the weeks following ACT in another post. But, I’ll quickly mention that I’ve continued to do well and the roller coaster that I was on following SVF has settled down.
I’ve done things in the past month that I once didn’t think would be possible for me again. For me, treatment at Infusio has been life-changing and I am so thankful for it.
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Read all of my Infusio posts here.