"Pain can be endured and defeated only if it is embraced. Denied or feared, it grows." ~Koontz
Monday, I had round 4 of prolotherapy. As I was getting ready to leave for Mishawaka, my friend Ila called to see if I was still coming because it was snowing. Yes, SNOWING on April 18th.
Sidenote: Every time I have had prolo, it has snowed. When I made my April 18th appointment, I made the comment to the receptionist, “Well, at least I won’t have to worry about snow by then.” Mother Nature sure showed me.
I told Ila, I was still coming and I would be there around 1:30. If you recall, I met Ila through my blog. She was a competitive gymnast, and was just diagnosed with EDS and Dysautonomia too. She and I both share a love for Dr. Lavallee. Since Ila lives in South Bend, she told me she would meet me at my appointment so we would finally get to meet in person. I was stoked! We had talked a few times on the phone and I was excited to finally put a face with the voice. Plus, I was meeting another zebra who is living what I am living!
My Dad took me again since Brad was going to take me to my POTS appointment in Toledo on Wednesday. As usual, my Dad and I sang along to our favorite songs, and I realized I wasn’t even nervous. I guess I’m becoming a “prolo pro :)”
I got to the office and Ila was in the parking lot waiting for me with the cutest pillow pet ever! We hugged and it felt like I had known her forever. We went into the office and I was called back right away. I told Ila I did not mind if she wanted to watch, so Ila and my Dad went back with me. My vitals were taken (blood pressure was high again…hmm), and then Dr. Cantieri came to get me. Usually I love getting called back right away, but this time, I was a little bummed since it didn’t leave much time for Ila and I to chat. I didn’t even have time to get a picture! I guess that just means we will have to plan another get together that does not involve a doctor’s office.
As usual, Dr. Cantieri and I started by talking about how I’ve been doing. I told him my ribs felt better than last time, but I was still having some pain. I also told him I was still having on and off neck pain and headaches. Since it was my fourth visit, I asked what the plan was, since I thought I was only going to have four treatments. Well, I must have misunderstood, because Dr. Cantieri explained that with an EDS patient, his rule of thumb is that we would know if prolo was helping after four treatments. Since I have gotten relief, he recommended I come back in six weeks for a fifth treatment, and hopefully we would find that I would need less points prolo’d. Plus he said, that would give me six solid weeks of physical therapy to continue strengthening, in hopes that I would experience even more relief with the prolo-PT combo. That made sense to me.
Next, Dr. Cantieri checked my progress on the physical therapy homework he had given me~glute firing, scapula work, and pelvic clocks. Well, I am proud to report that I passed glute firing and scapula work with flying colors. Dr. Cantieri was impressed. He even said he noticed a lot better muscle tone in my upper back/scapula area. Then came time for the pelvic clocks. Let’s just say I still have a LOT of work to do on those clocks. For some reason, my pelvis has an awfully hard time finding 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. It’s back to work on those! I was given more exercises to work on, including more neck strengthening exercises. Then I changed into the gown, so Dr. Cantieri could begin the injections.
As usual, we went through the injection mapping. The good news is I had a lot less points to inject on my right side. The bad news is that still means I have a significant muscle imbalance problem that needs to continue to be addressed. More PT homework for me!
Dr. Cantieri began the injections while Ila went to work taking pictures. When she had to leave, my Dad took over. Dr. Cantieri asked me, “Out of curiosity, what do you do with these pictures?” I told him I document everything on my blog, and I wanted to make sure I had prolo documented since so little is known about it. He laughed and said, “That makes sense…I just always wondered what you did with all these fun injection pictures.” Ha! I think he thought I was kinda twisted before I told him about the blog 😉
When Dr. Cantieri was finished, I followed my post prolo routine~Tylenol right away, I got dressed slowlllllly, I paid the bill, I scheduled the next appointment, and I got into the back seat, layed down, and supported my body with many pillows. I had my pillow pet this time to lay on as well! Thank you Ila!
I survived the ride home and took it really easy the rest of the night. I ate my usual after-prolo meal of eggs and toast, and yes, I threw up like usual. It never fails. Again, I think it is just from the stress that is placed on my body. By the next day, I was done getting sick. As I layed on the heating pad the rest of the night, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would be snowing May 31st when I return to Mishawaka. Not much surprises me these days.
Tags: Dr. Cantieri, Ehlers-Danlos, Friends, POTS, Prolotherapy