Just a "zebra" trying my best to live life to the fullest with EDS and POTS...and loving the ride.

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” -Miyazawa

Written by Katie. Posted in Prolotherapy

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It turns out the third time WAS the charm.  I finally had my first round of prolotherapy yesterday.  Going into it I had no clue what to expect except that people kept saying I would be in pain.  They weren’t lying. 

We got to the office and the nurse came and took my vitals.  Dr. Cantieri came in and we talked about what would happen, and he asked if I had questions.  Of course I did.  He answered everything like I will be using the Testosterone cream for probably about 8 weeks to help my body heal, I need to come back in three weeks for round 2, that I should not get discouraged if I do not feel much different after the first treatment….Dr. Cantieri explained that it is usually after the second treatment that I would be able to tell if the prolotherapy was making a difference.  He said I was fine to go to PT Thursday and reminded me that prolo’s success goes hand in hand with a strong PT program.  He explained that I was to take no anti-inflammatory’s for pain afterwards, and I could not use ice because it is the inflammation that is key to the healing process.  I was told that Tylenol and heat were okay.  After talking through everything, I was asked to sign the consent form.  I always have a flash of panic before I sign one of those papers, but I heard Lisa in my head, saying “Do it afraid,” and I autographed that paper. 

Then it was “time to get to work,” as Dr. Cantieri put it.  He first mapped out where he was going to inject with a pen similar to a Sharpie.  He then told me that for each injection he would do a skin numbing injection first.  I started by sitting up and he injected about 16 injections into my mid back.  Then I layed face down and he injected my upper back and neck up to my skull.  We chatted away while Brad watched and I kept saying “this is not bad at all.”  We talked about our families, being Italian, the craziness of the past year, how I have been counting down the days to getting prolo which Dr. Cantieri laughingly replied with, “That is a little sick…”

At one point he jokingly asked Brad if he wanted to inject a few in my back and Brad was VERY smart to decline.  I asked what was in the solution and he said the proliferants were dextrose, lidocaine, and something else that starts with an “f” that I can’t remember.  There were about 5 spots that were injected that made me speak up loudly and pretty much jump off of the table, but that is not bad considering how many I had. 

After an hour, Dr. Cantieri was finished and I asked him how many total injections I had.  He counted and said 55, but 110 if you count the numbing injections.  Crazy.  At this point I still kept saying how I thought it was not bad at all.  Then I stood up and whoa, the pain that everyone warned me about hit me hard.  At that moment I just wanted to be home.  I checked out, paid the bill, made my follow up for my second treatment on February 28th, and we were on our way.  It then set in that we still had 2.5 hours in the car, which did not make me happy to say the least.  I lasted about 2 minutes in the front seat before I was in the backseat laying down.  The best way I can describe the pain is the stiffest I’ve ever felt with a lot of burning and feeling like my neck and back were on fire. 

We made it home by 5.  I’m not sure who was happier~Brad or me seeing how Brad had to hear from me about 1567896757 times how bumpy the roads were. 🙂  Brad put my shoes on so I could walk into the house since I was having a terrible time with any kind of bending.  I made it into the house where I immediately built up a stack of pillows with my heating pad on top so I could lean back against it.  The rest of the night I took it very, very easy.  I was able to sleep pretty well propped up in our loveseat.  This morning when I woke up I felt super stiff but I felt a bit better.  As I SLOWLY got ready for another doctor’s appointment I had this morning, I realized some of the stiffness was feeling better as I moved around. I still feel pretty uncomfortable today, but it is nothing like last night.

So I survived round one.  I just hope and pray that it will help give me better back and neck stability, and it all will have been worth it. 

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” -Lance Armstrong

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