Published by ICSEB at 14 April, 2009
Date of intervention: July 2003
Since I was a little girl I already suffered from back pain and cervical contractures, this is when my ordeal with doctors and clinics started.
They simply did X-rays to me, nothing else and the diagnosis was always the same, contracture caused from my work. After a few years, I even had to wait to have a visit for 9 months, with the hope of finding a solution. When the day of the visit arrived, as always, a simple X-ray. Once he had it in his hands, the doctor literally told me he did not know what to say to me. I asked him to have more tests done on me and he answered saying that if with an X-ray there was nothing coming out, I did not need to have any other tests done; I came out of the visit crying with rage and impotence.
As time went by, I felt worse every time, until one day I got a cervical blockage like I had never had before. When I went for my sick leave to the “cap de Sant Andreu de Barcelona” Doctor Sancho attended me; he did not even look at me in the face, he simply told me I had to lose weight; this way I would feel better and that I should not return to him, that if when I took off the neck brace they had given me from an urgency it did not hurt I, should go see a Rheumatologist. The day arrived and of course I had to go and see the other specialist. His version was that I had different fibromyalgic spots and a depression; the last thing wasn´t surprising… Years go by and worse every time: dizziness, headaches, vertigos, fatigue, etc… not being able to work outside the house and limiting myself to doing household work.
I get up one day and again, I get a cervical blockage. I go to the “Tres Torres” clinic of Barcelona, where at last someone professional attends me, an internist, Dr. Homedes, who finally listens to me. He directs me to the “Institut Neurologic de Barcelona”, where after making an appointment, Dr. Royo attends me. I thought his first visit was fabulous, since no one before had asked me so many questions or examined my reflexes and sensitivity in my hands and feet; he also asked for an MRI, a Scoliogram and Electromyogram.
After the test results, Dr. Royo diagnosed me with an illness which I had never heard about before: Syringomyelia and Arnold Chiari I Syndrome. During the visit, the doctor gives me a clear and professional explanation of the causes and how the two surgeries are practiced for their cure. In the “Valle Hebrón” clinic the surgery in traumatic, long and quite risky, besides the majorities of the patients who have chosen this one do not improve or even get worse. Dr. Royo and his team´s technique is very simple, fast and has no danger and the patients who have chosen this one obtain improvements right away.
The decision for me was clear, the confidence that Dr. Royo transmitted me is so strong, even knowing I would be patient number 21 who goes through the surgery, I did not have a doubt about it.
When I arrive home, I go on the Internet and I start to understand the magnitude of my illness, it all fit well with what Dr. Royo said and it made sense, also the other patient´s testimonials cleared up many of my doubts. I definitely think I took the right decision.
I enter the surgery room after five days. After a few hours from the surgery I recover the sensitivity in my hands, left leg and the cervical pain disappears. The improvements are surprising, day by day, during the night I do not need five pillows anymore to exchange them, the blood pressure adjusts itself and I have to be careful when I pick up warm things, since previously I could not feel the heat. This surgery has changed my life one hundred percent, I go to work again, and my personality has improved together with my family life.
It has taken me a while to write this letter, one is not a writer and I wanted it to reflect well what I feel about Dr. Royo and his team, how they have helped me and how they have changed my life. It is an illness with minorities, so it is crucial for the patients to stick together and give support to a doctor who has invested time and capital to study a way to stop the illness with a simple intervention, which works. If he continues to investigate it is possible that he will open new doors to be able to cure the illness consequences and other patients benefit themselves. I can´t understand why he is not recognized in his collective, maybe his way of operating is not profitable for some people…
PS: I also want to express my gratitude to my husband Pere Guasch, who has helped and supported me the whole time in overcoming this illness the best way.
Celia Nebot Noguera
Barcelona, April 14th 2009.
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