How My Love for Science Fiction Changed My Life

What if instead of telling you to “act your age,” I would ask you to act childish, free your mind, play, explore, experience awe, dream, and imagine?

In 2020, I turned 45-earth-years-young. I still have many vibrant passions in life: mountains, writing, reading, music, the outdoors, teaching, practicing wellness, and I love animals!  

One of my favorite reading genres is science-fiction. First, I read the story. Then, I try to learn and understand the science behind fiction. Finally, I ponder the concepts. What would it be like to pilot a spaceship? to live forever? to encounter an alien civilization?

If we really reflect on our current civilization, however, we realize that we live in a science-fiction world imagined by the past. We might not have flying cars and superpowers, but many ideas and gadgets that were science-fiction in the past became science-facts of our daily lives. Let’s take a blast from the past, shall we?

Vitro Fertilization

One of my favorite authors, Aldous Huxley, in his novel A Brave New World from 1932, imagined a world where humanity was able to produce children through Vitro fertilization. Four decades later, the first successful birth of a “test-tube baby,” Louise Brown, occurred in 1978.

Communication Satellites

Arthur C. Clarke (another favorite) predicted the use of communications satellites in 1945. His idea was dismissed as pure fantasy. Guess what? It became a reality within 20 years, with the first launch in 1965. Arthur C. Clarke has woven the idea into many of his futuristic tales. 

Wireless Technology

Gene Roddenberry’s (creator of Star Trek) revolutionary idea of wireless technology fired up Martin Cooper’s imagination as he led the team at Motorola that developed the world’s first handheld mobile phone. Watching his favorite characters in Star Trek communicate wirelessly inspired Cooper to invent the first “non-vehicular” cell phone. Since the original Star Trek production in 1966, many more leaders in innovation have been inspired to turn science-fiction technologies into science fact.

Rejuvenation and Longevity Therapies

My latest sci-fi fascination, Peter F. Hamilton, detailed the ideas of Rejuvenation and Longevity in his Commonwealth Saga, where he theorized that death may be postponed indefinitely. Commonwealth citizens undergo a process called rejuvenation, approximately every thirty to fifty years. Rejuvenation is an intense process that leaves the subject’s body aged around 20 years old with adjustments made for personal preference. This is done by gene therapy. As I listened to his audiobooks, I imagined the world with a medical landscape unlike anything we recognize now, with medicines obsolete and surgical intervention a rarity. Where breakthroughs mean people will be living way beyond their 100′s in good health and with a sound mind. 

In 2020, I picked up David Sinclair’s book, where I learned about up-and-coming treatments for aging! So, stay tuned for more in that sector.

When Science Fiction Turns into Science Fact

Switching to reality. I busted my knee doing what I love the most, skiing, in 2015. My ACL was torn completely, my MCL and menisci were partially torn as well. A few top surgeons recommended reconstructive surgery as soon as possible. Thankfully, I had a blood clot which would allow me four weeks to contemplate what to do.

Funny how the worst of all injuries saved me from the knife! What I found out is that contrary to popular belief, ACL surgery, as new research continues to support it, is not something that guarantees any higher or better function for the knee. Also, there are plenty of reasons not to get the surgery.

I kept fantasizing about alternative medicine where my cells could somehow be used to repair my knee. One day, I stumbled upon the stem cells Ted talk followed by an article in the Outdoor magazine where I saw a reference to the stem cell clinic in Bloomfield, CO.  

I was still skeptical. Not to mention, everyone I talked to (including doctors) contributed to my skepticism. One of my “traditional” doctors looked at me like I was talking about aliens. Setting aside my interest in science-fiction, I tried to put the subject to rest. However, my subconsciousness kept bugging me to continue the research. So, I decided to listen to my inner voice and I embarked on a wonderful journey of stem cell regenerative therapy!

The Science of Stem Cells 

The use of stem cells is evolving rapidly, and theories are quickly turning into medical facts!  Many predict that stem cells will cause a dramatic shift in the future of medicine. A key component in this evolving future is Regenerative Adult Stem Cell Replacement Therapy, which is applied to treat a span of diseases and ailments, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, damaged bones, and many other issues in the near future. Scientists primarily work with two main types of stem cells: adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells are used in research for orthopedic conditions.

Stem Cell therapy is not the modern equivalent of the “fountain of youth.”  Magical things can happen when your own stem cells are used for treatment. But there is no such thing as a 100% success rate, and while some patients are a good fit for stem cell therapy, some are not. There are many variables: health, level of physical activity, the degree of injury, and genetics to name a few.  

Regenexx stem cell procedures have been studied extensively for more than a decade. They have the world’s largest human mesenchymal stem cell re-implantation database for orthopedic purposes. 

Basically, your own bone marrow Stem Cells are used in combination with Blood Platelet Treatments to regenerate the ACL.  Regenexx has quite a few Clinical Studies of success and failure rates. They also offer webinars and easy-to-read articles.

The idea of surgery becomes a distant memory.

Finally, I had my consultation with Dr. John Schultz. The exam was not your typical 20-minute look at the problem of prescribing surgery or a pill. 

Dr. John Schultz took a very holistic approach. I was asked about my nutrition. He looked at the alignment of my spine. Dr. Schultz also found instability in my left ankle (none of the doctors have seen it before). As a result, Dr. John Schultz gave me a 50% success chance based on all the factors. 

Unfortunately, my ACL had lost the majority of its fibers, but a 50% success rate was a pretty good chance in my book. As I am writing this blog, I am approaching week 3 post stem cell procedure. I believe that my ACL is growing and that my story will be another success story! 

2020 Update: All healed!

Mount Audubon 11,340 feet

My skiing accident has been quite a trip. The most valuable lesson learned is to listen to my inner voice and to be guided by intuition. In that light, I invite you to think of yourself as a scientist and an explorer, to gravitate towards the non-traditional, and to nurture your intellect and think outside of the box. If you are injured, consider all possibilities of healing.  Learn, listen, and tune in to your inner voice instead of only hearing the opinions of others, even your doctors!

Check out my MRI in My Success Story: Healing Injuries with Stem Cells. So far, I have no problems running or jumping, I’ve climbed up to 14,000 ft in elevation, and have zero issues with my knees.

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