Tag Archives: PRP

PRP Take 2: Something’s Afoot

15 May

I hope you like that little play on words there.  I’m pretty pleased with myself for that one.

Anyhow, ho hum, I went and got my foot stabbed again yesterday.  Good times.  The entire experience was and is very different from last time, which of course I’m hoping means that the outcome will be different (read BETTER) than last time.  The outcome last time, you remember, was… er… no outcome.

So why did I decide to do it again?  I was aware from the get-go that the injections commonly happen in multiples, though I obviously really hoped that wouldn’t be the case for me.  However, when I went to see my doc about 5 weeks post-injection, he showed me on the ultrasound where my plantar fascia objectively looked better (re-inflamed, as opposed to degenerated) and thus thought I could benefit from a second injection.  Listen, I’m still not sold on this procedure being a “cure,” but given that I’ve tried pretty much everything else one is supposed to try for plantar fasciitis, I figured I did the first damn injection, I may as well carry on with the second.  (Again, with the hefty price tag of $630 and the added angst and stress– delightful!)

Anyway… like I said, this time was different.  First of all, instead of taking the day off, I went to work and left around 4:30 for my 5:00 appointment.  T met me at my office and we subway-ed it to the point of no return doctor’s office.  I thought I would feel less anxious this time around, seeing as how I knew what was going to happen this time.  But that was not the case.

This was evidenced when I nearly keeled over as the PA was drawing my blood.  No, I definitely didn’t turn ash-white, sweat profusely, and feel like I was going to faint/vomit, to the point where the PA had to withdraw the needle and T had to grab the trash can.  Not at all!

Taken directly after that little incident took place. When I saw the picture, I exclaimed, “why didn’t you tell me there was mascara all over my face?” to which T responded, “I was too busy GRABBING THE TRASHCAN FOR YOU.” Touche.

Good Lord.  That was humiliating.  I’ve always had a phobia of needles, but that has never happened before.  I had to drink some water and lie down a bit before the PA returned for a second try, which worked much better.

Then, I went and got the needle jabbed in my foot a bunch of times.  I don’t really know what the hell was going on down there because I was supine on the exam table and there was no way in hell I was going to let myself get even a glimpse of that sh*t.  But like last time, it was mildly painful and uncomfortable.

The doc stuck some Band-Aids on me, we each said thank you and we hoped never to see one another again, and then T and I were on our way to a place where I feel safe and happy.

Mmmm… beer…

I noticed right away that I wasn’t getting around nearly as easily as I had been the last time– my foot felt a lot more tender, and I was limping.  It felt good to sit down to this:

Bread. Olive Oil. Meat. CHEESE. Yes.

Oh and yeah, also this:

Victory Summer Love is DELICIOUS! Also, yes, I changed out of my “comfy injection clothes” and back into my work clothes. Said comfy injection clothes were soaked in sweat.

And it’s a good thing this guy was there!

Not only was he awesomely supportive in my time of need, but he was also crucial in getting me home because I LITERALLY COULD NOT WALK when I went to get up from the table.  My foot was so tender, I could hardly put any weight on it at all.  Some man gave us a weird look as I hobbled out, clinging to T, and asked if I needed a paramedic.

Anyhow, it took me more than twice as long as it normally does to get to the subway this morning, and I haven’t been able to walk normally at all yet.  My foot still feels very stiff and tender and it’s currently throbbing, so I have it propped up on my CPU.  This is a major difference from last time, since I basically felt pretty much normal immediately last time.  So, needless to say, I’m hoping this is a great sign that it’s working its magic!

Here’s hoping next time I write, it’s some good news.  I mean, IT’S ABOUT TIME, for real!



I Did It, And I Lived To Tell The Tale

27 Mar

Friday morning, I slept in ’til 8:30 AM and then went to Flywheel for a class with Aleah.  It was my first class with her, and she definitely is my new favorite instructor!  (Though I also love Ryan.)

Then, I got coffee, relaxed around my apartment, got lunch with T at Bareburger … and then we headed to my doctor’s office for the dreaded PRP injection.


trying not to look too freaked out as I wait for the procedure to begin...

The doctor and PA drew blood.  It felt like a lot of blood.  It felt like a very long time that they were drawing the blood.  I did not like this.  I looked away and babbled at T and dug my fingernails into his hand.  I also secreted about a gallon of sweat.  I do indeed live a sweaty life, and it’s not always due to exercise.

This is post phlebotomy. I am laughing at the ridiculous amount of sweat that has poured out of my body, and the ridiculous amount of anxiety I am still experiencing. A few of my friends have commented I look like I am on the can in this picture, but I assure you that this was not nearly as relaxing as that experience usually is...

I felt a little woozy and nauseated after the blood was drawn.  Notice the slightly ashen cast of my face here.

Still smiling, though!

Anyhow… then they spun the blood in the centrifuge and isolated the platelet-rich blood.  I did not see any of this, but I did see it in the syringe when I was ushered into the room where the injection would take place.  I laid supine, gripped T’s hand… and felt the needle inject the painkiller into my foot.  Then, the next needle (containing the PRP) went in.  I felt some pressure and 3 times felt a very sharp pain that felt like it was deep inside my foot and caused me to let out a startled sort of yelp.  I assume I jolted a bit, too, since I was instructed firmly (but nicely!) to keep my foot still.  The entire time, I was gripping T’s hand and telling him some stupid story (I don’t even remember what it was about) and the doctor was telling me I was doing great.  It seemed to last forever and finally, when I felt a bit of a lull in the pain/pressure, I said hesitantly, “Are we almost done?” to which T and the doctor said, “You’re done!”  All-in-all, it was probably only a few minutes.

The doctor put a little band-aid on the point where the needle went in and then I basically hopped off of the table and walked out.  I was favoring my left foot a little, just because the right one was slightly tender, but all-in-all, I was fine!  (Note:  my f*cking left foot is now hurting a bit from favoring it.)

Then came the next painful part of the procedure, which was paying for it.  I am $630 poorer now, but it honestly feels like just another expense on top of all the PT, orthotics, entry fees for races I have not run, etc.  Also, at this juncture, I would honestly drop much more than that just to be able to run again.  Now, if only I could be assured that this will get me running again… Sigh…

Anyhow, the woman at the front desk reconfirmed that I had gotten PRP done and commented that she hadn’t heard anything.  When I asked her what she meant, she said she often hears patients yelling, which made me feel a lot better about my reaction.  However, I doubt most patients in their 30s require a chaperone, but whatever.

I took one of the painkillers the doc gave me right away, but I haven’t experienced any  pain since then that warranted taking any more, which is awesome.

So, the injection itself was pretty painful, but that is also likely because I am a big baby.  The aftermath was fine, but since I still felt a little shaky, I indulged in this.

The most indulgent thing I have ever gotten at 16 Handles: a huge helping of cake batter, dulce de leche, and coffee froyo, topped with brownie bites, cookie dough, and hot fudge. Don't mind if I do!

Happy camper: Shots aren't so bad! Also, I am 5 years old and require ice cream after mildly unpleasant visits to the doctor's office.

Soon after the 16 Handles trip, I hopped in a cab with Cookie and we headed off to Laguardia for our flight to Charlotte.

I had a wonderful weekend in Charlotte with my girlfriends.  Highlights included getting our nails done,

obnoxiously pink and I love it

playing with Jen’s beautiful baby, eating AWESOME AWESOME SUSHI at The Cowfish, and a little shopping.

I experienced practically zero pain in my right foot over the weekend and I had fantasies that the PRP had cured me completely and I’d be back to running immediately… but my foot went back to being the little b*tch I’ve become so not fond of this morning at Flywheel.  I know that the results are supposed to appear gradually over a period of weeks and even months… but I am getting extremely impatient.  EXTREMELY.

On another note, a friend of mine who is injured and supposed to run Boston (crossing my fingers BIG TIME for you, Lara!) sent me this the other day.  Sooooo very appropriate.  I think any runner who has been injured before understands this sentiment 100%.

So, all-in-all, my foot is not any WORSE, so that is good.  Looking on the bright side here.  Time to get this healing biz-nass on the road already!

I Would Punch a Baby in the Face To Go For a Run Right Now*

20 Mar

Listen, I love babies.  My niece and nephew (OK, they are 2.5 and 5, respectively– not babies) are the loves of my life.  (I still call them babies.)  Tons of my besties have babies that I adore, including my dear friend Jen, who I am going to visit this weekend.  I’ll be meeting little Molly for the first time, just before her 1st birthday!

This is from Jen's bridal shower-- that's me with Jen (the other blonde) and Cookie (far left) who is also coming to visit Jen with me. That's Emmy on the far right. She isn't coming, because she is a 2nd year medical resident and hardly ever gets to do fun stuff any more. 😦

Anyhow, I’m kidding.  Jen, please do not forbid me from coming.  I promise I would never even think of punching Molly.

But it’s really difficult for me to express how badly I want to run.  It’s been 10 LONG WEEKS since my last run.  It’s been practically 4 months now since my PF diagnosis when I cut back on my mileage.  I feel like a broken record because I KNOW I’ve repeated this information again and again.

Yeah, I’m appealing for sympathy.

Actually, I’m appealing for good wishes for Friday.  Friday is when the PRP is happening.

Whenever I think too much about it, I actually start to feel a bit weak and woozy.  I am trying not to freak out about it because that is not helping at all.  And my doc is making it sound like it’s no big deal.

I’ve consulted some friends, family, and acquaintances who are doctors and Meggie even put me in touch with a doctor who is pretty serious runner and also had PRP for her PF!  (Meggie, you win awesome blog buddy of the year!)  This has all made me feel better about going forward with the procedure.

My dear friend Elizabeth, who is getting her PhD in bioethics, sent me a long and informative email with her thoughts on PRP.  She detailed a myriad of excellent points, including this one, which had not occurred to me but is very valid:

“…because PRP is not a drug, it is not being marketed by pharmaceutical companies out to
make money. Yes, the treatment itself does obviously cost something and someone is making money off of it, but it doesn’t have the likes of Pfizer or other big pharma companies with huge PR and marketing departments
advertising the treatment to the masses.”

*Eliz, I hope you don’t mind me quoting you, but you’re just so darn eloquent.

The overwhelming consensus from my due diligence is that while it may not work, (PLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE LET IT WORK) it is not harmful.


I have experienced a lot of strife from this little foot injury– some of which I’ve detailed on the blog, but a lot of which I have not.  I know it sounds dramatic.  But yeah, not running has been really difficult for me.  Especially since I have been doing just what I’m supposed to.  Plantar fasciitis is the most frustrating injury because it just seems there is never an end in sight, and I have gotten so many instructions that confuse me.

“Try barefoot running!”

“Never EVER go barefoot!”

“Don’t wear flat shoes!  They have no arch support!”

“Don’t wear heels!  They tighten up your calves!”

Etc etc.  People swear by all kinds of remedies, but the most popular ones (the night splint and no running and PT) have obviously not worked for me.  Time to pull out the big guns, er needles.  WAH.

On a lighter note, I watched the NYC Half on Sunday, which was a lot of fun!  Lori PRed and did awesome!  Celia and Josie nailed it, too!  I was waiting eagerly for Lori to pass at 47th and 7th and snapped a bunch of random photos in the meantime.

I don't know these people, but lookin' good, runners!

I was so excited when I finally saw Lori that I completely forgot to take a pic!  Luckily, she sent over this one, in which she looks amahhhhhzing.


So this weekend, I have to get this little pesky injection out of the way, then it’s off to Charlotte for a girls’ weekend.  And next weekend… well, next weekend I will go spectate another race (one I am signed up for, sigh) and I will do it with a smile and — I hope– feeling as though I’m on the brink of running again myself.  I hope.  I hope.  I hope.  I hope……

*just to further clarify, I would never actually punch a baby**!  Look at this face (my nephew, when he actually WAS a baby.)  LOVE

**the only baby I would actually punch is that f**king Stewie from Family Guy.  I hate that baby.

Another Doc, A New Idea

15 Mar


So, my new routine goes a little something like this:  wake up at 5, leave house by 5:20, get on train at 5:30, get to Flywheel for 6 AM class, take said class, walk to work, do 15 minutes on TM (that involves 2 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking, for 15 minutes total) shower, and be at my desk by around 8:15.  This is neither convenient nor particularly fun, but I’ve gotten sort of used to it.

However, getting up routinely at 5 AM may just be killing me.  I am so tired.  So very tired.  All the livelong day.  A lot of my friends have been popping out babies lately and I simply cannot fathom that brand of tired.  I try and think of them when I am feeling very sorry for myself and wanting to nap under my desk a la George Costanza around 2 PM.

I'd rather not divulge how many times a day I consider following his lead....

Anyhow… I’ve had a few days this week where my foot pain was nil (which was exciting!) or very low.  However, just when I think the pain is gone, I get a little gnawing reminder of it.  It’s not incapacitating and never has been, actually, but at this point, I just want it to go away completely so I can feel 100% confident about running and not having the PF rear its ugly head and end my running days for good.  I’m trying very hard to be smart and cautious and I’m hoping it will pay off in the long run.  (“long run”– so punny.)  I’ve read some horror stories about runners who persisted in running while they had PF and I do not want that.

My PT has me working on strengthening my hips, ankles, and core.  My right ankle is a big part of the problem, as its range of motion is very low (but has gotten much better!)  My calves are and always have “the tightest calves ever.”  (quote from PT.)  I’m working to loosen them up.  I’m seeing some results (slowly.)  But the foot issue persists.  And I know that despite how little pain I am in currently, it would come raging back if I chose to do a run longer than 20 minutes or so.  I can just tell.

Since I’ve been going to PT so much and reading so much about PF, I’ve formed an opinion that the issue (at least in my case) is not so much with my FOOT,  as it is with my running mechanics– the aforementioned ankle weakness, calf tightness, etc.  By the way, I think my PT is awesome and if anyone is looking for a recommendation, please hit me up.  I like that he takes a holistic approach to it and wants to fix the mechanics issues, rather than just focusing on my foot.  Anyhow, this belief is why I have balked at the notion of expensive orthotics (which obviously focus on the foot) and cortisone injections (which, more times than not, it seems to me, ease the pain, but not the issue.)  I am not interested in easing any pain, since, as I’ve said before, it’s more than bearable right now.  I am interested in getting rid of the PF completely and never seeing it return.

Now that I’ve given this long and rambling introduction… I saw a new doctor yesterday.  I really liked him, as he sat down and asked me a bunch of questions, listened to me, and took a long look at my feet.  He acknowledged that I had been very good about doing pretty much everything they consider to be a conservative treatment– not running, PT, sleeping in the splint, etc.  He then explained that he was fairly certain I had progressed from plantar fasciitis to plantar fasciosis.  That basically means, from what I understand, that my plantar fascia have progressed (or regressed, I guess?) from a point of inflammation to one of degeneration.  No one wants to hear that something is “degenerating” on one’s body and he acknowledged that it sounded scary, but it was very common– especially in runners.  He then did an ultrasound where he confirmed that I was indeed dealing with a case of fasciosis.  He showed me where the tendons had started to degenerate.  Then he told me how he likes to deal with this problem…

He suggested giving me a PRP injection.  PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma.  Basically, he would draw blood from my arm, spin it in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets, then inject the blood into my foot.  OK, I’m not a scientist, I don’t really get it.  Also, when I hear that he is going to be DRAWING BLOOD (eeeeek needles) and then INJECTING ME (eeeeeek more needles) I don’t really hear anything else.  Even though T and I love Intervention, I can no longer watch the ones about heroin because seeing needles gives me the willies.  One of my loved ones has to have blood drawn regularly and our family has come to refer to it as a “sparkle test” because too much talk of blood being drawn makes me ill.  (BTW, my code for anything icky or uncomfortable is sparkles and unicorns– picturing those things makes me happy ’cause I’m a girl and stuff.)

Oh hey! Look at that! It's a unicorn! This image has basically nothing to do with the subject matter, but I was getting a bit uncomfortable with all the blood talk, plus I've got a hella huge block of text going on here.

Anyhow, the doc said he had seen some really good results from this.  He said he saw me having a long running life ahead of me.  I asked him what his thoughts were on shockwave therapy and he said, “That’s a really good question.”  He seemed pretty impressed in general with my knowledge of PF and its treatment options and I kind of wanted to say, “Bro, I am OBSESSED with fixing this ish!”  Anyhow, he told me that shockwave therapy was the same idea as PRP in that it also re-injured the area in order to re-inflame it, (again, I’m paraphrasing and have basically no clue what I’m talking about) but that shockwave therapy was done in a series of sessions, where PRP is one injection, maybe two (nooooo), maybe three, (hail noooooo) and in the case of one runner he had done, four.  (For the love of G-d.)  Anyhow, he encouraged me to see another doc and look into it if that was something I was interested in, and I really appreciated his candor.

So, I found out that the injection is not covered by insurance.  And it is, um, expensive.  Not prohibitively expensive, but “Ouch, that’s more than I’d like to spend anywhere but Bloomingdales” expensive.  But I set up an appointment for next week.

Then I obsessively began reading about PRP.  I’m still obsessively reading about PRP.  If you’re curious, this is a good article about it.  It definitely clearly states the pros and cons and the research.  But it’s a year old, so I’m still looking for more research…

But I think I’m gonna do it.  I woke up Sunday morning and it was beautiful outside– warm and sunny and perfect.  I had the entire day stretching ahead of me and I was beside my sweetie.  Life was good.

And I cried.

Because ALL I WANTED TO DO in the entire world was run.  I knew it was ridiculous.  I laughed through my tears.  But I just felt so frustrated and tired of doing everything I’m supposed to do and not seeing results.

I woke up this morning, removed my Strassburg Sock (much easier to sleep in than the boot) and my foot didn’t hurt.  I felt encouraged and thought, “Maybe I won’t do this wack needle thing after all.”  But as the day progressed, the usual dull and irritating pain developed in my foot.  Same as usual.  The difference is that instead of immense, overpowering frustration, now I almost feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel with this option of PRP.

So I think I’m going to do it.

Thoughts and opinions are very welcome, and congratulations if you’ve made it through this ridiculously long and dry post.

*Oh and in case I don’t get another post in before–  I’m watching Lori and Cheryl run the NYC Half on Sunday and hoping I catch a glimpse of Josie, too!  Good luck to them, and everyone else running!  And GOOD LUCK to my buddy Sara, who is running her first half this weekend– the National Half in DC!!! :)*