Given the Choice Between the Experience of Pain and Nothing, I Would Choose Pain." ~Faulkner
Last Tuesday marked prolotherapy, round 6. Since MSU Basketball camps were over, and school was out, Brad was able to take me this time. We decided to make a “pre-prolo” date out of it.
Brad’s very favorite beer is Fat Tire. The problem with this is that it is only sold in 20-some states, and Michigan is not one of them. Since we have various social events and vacation coming up, Brad decided he wanted to stop and load up on Fat Tire since they sell it in Indiana. So, as we arrived in Mishawaka we found a “beverage” shop and Brad was able to check his mission off our list.
Mishawaka also has the BEST Subway. Brad and I call it the best Subway in America. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason it just tastes better, and I could eat their pickles all day. So after loading up on Fat Tire, we ate our tasty sandwiches with EXTRA pickles, and then headed to the “Life is Good” store. Brad and I also share a love for this store, and since we do not have one anywhere near us in Michigan, we decided to do a little shopping. Three shirts (2 for Brad and 1 for me) and a surprise later, we were off for SHOTS! I say surprise, because I am getting close to doing another giveaway, and I will be giving this “surprise” away real soon.
If you have been reading all along, you know the prolo drill by now. Vitals, weight, discuss progress, and then shots. As Dr. Cantieri and I discussed how my neck, back, and hips were doing, I explained that one of my concerns is that as I try and up my activity, my bottom left ribs are still giving me problems. With that, Dr. Cantieri took me through many of my therapy exercises to see my muscle firing patterns. Basically, he thinks I am still recruiting the wrong muscles to do certain exercises and activities. The bottom line is this… I have more intense glute firing work to do at therapy. He also decided to really go after the area aggressively with shots, and to prolo my left hip again to see if I feel improvements in the lower back/lower rib area. Dr. Cantieri WAS very pleased with my progress in my upper back and said my scapular muscles are becoming more and more defined each time I return.
After our talk, the plan of attack was to go after my upper neck (near the skull) and the sides of my neck, a few points in my upper back, many points in my lower rib area, some points in my SI joint area, and to prolo my left hip.
Since it was my sixth round, I point blank asked Dr. Cantieri if he was frustrated, or if I should be frustrated with my progress at this point. He said that he was not frustrated and did not think I needed to be because he pointed out what bad shape I was in when I came to him for the first time back in January. He told me he was actually really encouraged by my progress in my upper back and he is hoping that if we continue to go after the lower areas, and I continue to work hard at therapy, we will see the same kind of progress.
I do have to say that from January to now, the stability I have achieved in many areas makes me happy. We chatted about EDS and prolo, and Dr. Cantieri also explained that with prolo, and a connective tissue disease, he has no way of knowing exactly how my body will respond, or how many treatments I will need, since us EDS’rs are all so different. I admire the fact that he also admitted that he is still learning about EDS in relation to prolotherapy. Aren’t we all?
I told Dr. Cantieri as he was doing the shots that he should try and speak at the Ehlers-Danlos National Conference about Prolotherapy next year since so many people do not know about it, and how it could help them. He said that people who attend those conferences often want to also hear first-hand testimonials from patients, so he would have to bring me along. Sign me up 🙂
After my shots were finished, I sat up and thought I was going to pass out. I was given a juice box which definitely helped. The ride home and the rest of the night was rough, but by now that is to be expected. I go back in a month, in hopes that I will have better stability in my stubborn rib area and upper neck.
I have learned through each experience with prolotherapy and EDS, that it is very important to keep the big picture in mind so that I do not become frustrated. Am I achieving the stability at the rate I would like? No. But am I achieving better stability? Yes. This is what I must keep in mind. Prolo for me is not a sprint. It is a marathon. Becoming stronger with EDS is also not a sprint. It is more like an Iron Man. Dr. Lavallee made sure I realized this in January. As long as I am moving forward, even if I feel like it is at a snail’s pace, then that is okay with me.
Tags: Dr. Cantieri, Ehlers-Danlos, Mishawaka, Prolotherapy