I had my first lot of PRP injections yesterday.
The whole process was pretty amazing. My husband and I went to SSMC after work (he had to come because I wouldn't have been able to drive home after the injections, especially in peak hour traffic. When I went in to see Dr Kuah, he looked at my MRI scans and talked me through what he was looking at. He said it was what he expected from someone with high hamstring tendinopathy. He then talked to me again about the PRP injections and why he recommended them. I'd already done a lot of research on them after seeing Dr Kuah last time so I was prepared to go ahead.
One important thing I did ask was about shock wave therapy, which someone else I know has been treating HHT with and has been getting good results. Dr Kuah said shockwave therapy has a good result with calcific tendinopathy (which she has) but not with what I've got. Apparently with me it may have some immediate results, but wouldn't help the tendon long-term, which it what I want/need.
To start the PRP injections I had four vials of blood taken out of my arm. This was then taken away (to a centrifuge I assume) so the plasma could be separated. While this was happening I had a local anaesthetic in both legs (just under my butt), which Dr Kuah put in with the guidance of ultrasound. I found it fascinating to watch the screen and I wanted to talk to him about it but I didn't want to distract him and make him mess up so I stayed silent!
Dr Kuah then went and 'harvested' the PRP. While I was laying on the bed in his office it was very reassuring to see signed photos from gold medal Olympians and Comm Games athletes with messages saying, "Thank you for keeping me in one piece." If they trust Dr Kuah with their bodies, I certainly do too!
The PRP injections were painless (just felt a bit of pressure) and I watched them go in on the ultrasound. This time Dr Kuah talked to me so I figured I was able to ask him about what I was looking at on the screen. He pointed out different things (I was way off - what I thought was the tendon was actually the bone) and I saw how he moved the needle around.
After the injections Dr Kuah asked if I had any pain medication at home and recommended I get Panadeine or Panadeine Extra because things were going to get a bit uncomfortable. I nodded but had no intention of getting any - I rarely take any drugs and I figured I'd be fine.
About halfway home (in peak hour traffic) the pain started to kick in a bit. My husband said we were going to the pharmacy just in case. I acquiesced.
I ended up taking one tablet but it didn't really do much. The night was uncomfortable, as was today. I didn't do any form of training because I physically couldn't. I'm walking like the tin man, it's uncomfortable sitting on my butt and I feel like I really need to stretch. This was all explained to me and expected and I'm hoping it'll be greatly improved tomorrow.
In four weeks I go back to get my second lot of injections. In between now and then I've got to keep up all my physio excercises (once the pain from the injections is gone).
I hope it's not false hope but I'm feeling a lot more positive about things now. I'm pretty sure Canberra is a goner this year (which is a bummer because it would have been my tenth Canberra Marathon and I would have become a Griffin) so I'm looking towards making the M7 Marathon in July my first one for 2013. It seems such a long way off, but better late than never.
I AM going to run sub-2:50 this year!!
Ouch my butt hurts right now.