Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)

Yesterday I finally had my PRP treatment. It has been a wild week!

Monday night started with my son and husband vomiting (thought it was food poisoning). I was up almost all night with Josh (3 sheet changes and 1 pj change for me). This would be the nonglorious side of being a mother! Josh stayed home from school a couple of days. Kevin stayed home from work which is a rarity, he was really sick.

Wednesday morning I decided to go to 6am Bikram Yoga class so I could get one last workout in before my treatment that afternoon. I woke at 5am showed up at class and the instructor never came. I was quite grumpy. I decided to hop on the elliptical quickly before getting Katherine to school and going to Ash Wed mass. Around noon I got a call from the doctor’s office that they had to cancel my appt since the ultrasound tech could not be there. They said they could reschedule me in one month. As calmly as I could I told the woman that was unacceptable and to check with the doctor and call me back. I felt like collapsing into a pile of tears. Not being able to run or know when you will be better is extremely difficult and mentally draining. Later that day I got a call to come back Fri at 415 to the Scottsdale location. I was curious if I could drive after the procedure since it was going to be in my right adductor. She checked with the doctor and said I should be able to. I figured I would try since it would be a logistic nightmare to get me a ride with everyone elses schedules.

I went to bed Thursday night feeling full after a nice meal of homemade chili, chips and salsa. I would regret that meal several hours later as I awoke with stomach pain and vomiting. I guess the boys did not have food poisoning after all. I spent the next several hours vomiting, chills, achy and stomach pain. Now the real question could I make it to my appt in later that day? I was more worried about being rescheduled weeks or months away that I decided to suck it up to the best of my ability. My mom decided to drive me, we got rides for the kids secured and we were off.

I arrived about 4pm the nurse drew my blood and put it in the machine. I was freezing and shaking so had my mom get me another jacket out of the car, put on my pants and the nurse brought me a blanket. The nurse said the machine will take 14 minutes and hopefully the doctor will be here when it is finished. I asked her about the ultrasound tech and she was not sure if she would be there. Hmm I was thinking was that not important to have her here, like they told me the other day?? I was left in the room with the machine spinning my blood away. It started making crazy loud beeping noises and I noticed an error message. I wondered around til I found the nurse. Two nurses came in and fumbled around with the machine trying to get it to work. At this point I was really starting to wonder if there was a higher power suggesting I don’t get this treatment! They finally got the machine working but still no doctor. I was moved to the treatment room to wait. One hour later the doctor finally showed up. I was feeling so miserable and thought I might just pass out. I was trying to fake feeling good since I didn’t want them to say I was too sick to get the PRP.

Finally the treatment got started! First the dr felt around to find the painful areas in my adductor and abdominal. He marked them with a pen and then used the ultrasound machine to take a better look. Once that was done he prepped the needles. I was under the impression numbing would take place but he decided not to use it since he said it was not as effective with it numbed. He started on the right adductor and used 6 needles. It was not too bad. The most pain was from the blood being injected not the actual needle. Now time for the stomach. He did 4 needles in my stomach and they hurt pretty bad. At this point I just had no toughness left and felt worn out from all the vomiting and chills earlier in the day. I did my best to breath and hold still so the needles would go in the right spot. Once it was finished we discussed the next few weeks.

I go back to see him in 3 weeks. The first few days I am to do nothing but sit on the couch and rest (no icing or pain mediation allowed). After 2 weeks I can start easy walking, elliptical and cycling. He thinks I can start running at 6 or 8 weeks. Somehow I thought it was only going to be 4 weeks so bummed it is longer.

My mom drove me home and I got settled on the couch feeling absolutely horrible more from the illness than the procedure. I knew I looked bad when Josh was saying “Don’t move mommy I will do anything you need me to”. I finally headed to bed with plans of spending Sat and Sun on the couch, bed or lounge chair by the pool since it was going to be 80 degrees.

Saturday 4am Katherine comes downstairs crying I threw up and feel sick. Oh wow here we go again. Kevin took care of her so I could try to rest. I spent most of the day at her side she was so sick. She definitely got it the worst. After a couple calls to the pediatrician we were almost set to take her to the urgent care or ER but she finally stopped vomiting around hour 13. I was feeling exhausted and spent! Not really anytime to rest and I was worried I was doing too much for my leg. Mothering always takes priority over everything else. She felt a pinch better that evening and even drank some Vitamin water.

I plan on following doctors orders to recover from this injury. I think the mental part is the hardest. I am planning to keep myself busy. I am on a journey to recover and regain my strength and running speed. I know I will come back stronger than before. The big picture is out there: 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials.  I can see it!

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Living my dream!

I have some great news I want to share but first a look back into my past.

I was a competitive gymnast from age 9 until 16 when I got injured. I loved doing gymnastics and competing on my team. I always had dreams of going to college on a gymnastics scholarship. December 5 1985 I was working hard on my casts to handstand position on the bars. A girl who was taking classes kept leaning on the cable of the bars I was on and continued to do so after I told her to stand back. Well the next thing I knew I was up in the handstand on the bar and the bars came crashing to the ground and I felt something weird in my arm. I looked down to see my badly shapen arm. I had broken it in 4 places! I spent the next several months in casts.

I decided to run track that spring on my high school team to stay in shape for gymnastics. I asked coach Thompson if it would be ok that I ran with a full arm cast on. He seemed to think it would be fine. Aside from major chafing it was no big deal. I was still going to gymnastics for conditioning and to work on any skills I could do with one arm. I had big dreams to go after and nothing was going to stop me. After my cast was off (no physical therapy in those days) my arm had lost all the muscle and I could not straighten it. I tried pursuing gymnastics again but kept getting hurt when my arm would give out on me. My coach pulled me aside one day and explained he could not let me continue for my own safety.

I ran cross-country and track my junior and senior year in high school but did not share the same passion that I had as a gymnast. I was one of the faster girls on the team but never thought about pursuing being a college runner. My dream of doing gymnastics in college was over as far as I was concerned.

Fast forward to 2004 doing my first triathlon and rediscovering my competitive athlete. I was hooked immediately. I shifted to solely running in 2010 to reach my goal of qualifying for the marathon Olympic Trials. If you have followed my blog you know I came within 117 seconds of that goal and had an amazing journey along the way. 2016 marathon Olympic Trials is in my sites but going to do a little something first this year.

I will be running cross-country for Mesa Community College (MCC) on scholarship in this fall semester.

Huge thanks to my friend Flash for leading me into this opportunity. He was coaching last year at Gateway Community College and had invited me to be on the team. My first question was “Do you know I am 41 and have a college degree already?” He said no problem. I was not able to accept the invitation since it would have conflicted with my marathon goal last year. Sadly GCC dropped the program for funding reasons and I assumed the opportunity was gone.

A couple of weeks ago I signed my Letter of Intent to run cross-country in the fall. I am super excited to be fulfilling this dream from 24 years ago. Never could I have imagined this opportunity coming my way.

After high school I attended MCC my 2nd semester in college and then moved onto ASU and even got about half my Masters completed at University of Phoenix. It was such a thrill to step on campus to sign my paperwork. It really brought back memories of who I was in my college years and who I became.

I will be taking 12 credit hours and running each day with the team. My racing distance will be 5k. This will allow me to work on my speed to further prepare me for that goal in 2016. I can’t wait to meet my teammates, I am sure they will be intrigued by me. I hope to inspire and motivate them with my story. I look forward to blogging about this experience.

I am proud to say I will be a MCC Thunderbird in the fall!

Cleaning up the mess!

It has been almost a month since I up updated my blog so lots to catch up on!

The Olympic Trials was an incredible experience! I was overjoyed to see my close friends racing. It was a thrill to see our countries best marathoners running for their spot on the Olympic Team. This was the day of dreams to be achieved and dreams to be broken. Many of my Bandidos teammates had traveled to Houston to watch and some to race on Sunday. On race day we watched the start and then headed out on the course. John had picked an awesome spot for us to see the runners come by 4 times in the same area. We parked the car and quickly ran to our viewing spot. I could feel the pain in my adductor and abdominal and it really hit home how injured I was at that point. I still felt the loss of not running in the trials but also thought how in the world would I have run another marathon. It was so exciting to see the top men and women fly by at a hands reach away! My friends Jaymee and Susan were in the back all smiles. Both these ladies are awesome Master runners but injured. I know it was hard for them to run at the back but hopefully seeing me spectating made them thankful to be out there.  It truly an incredible day and motivated me for 2016.

In the fall I trained with several injuries and pushed my body to the limit. I had an evaluation done in Sept along with x-rays and MRI so I knew what was wrong while I was training. My attitude was I can still run so I am still going to try to qualify then clean up the mess afterwards. In reality it is much better that I did not have to run a marathon in January! Well now 9 1/2 weeks later I am working on cleaning up the mess of injuries. Luckily most things calmed down on their own. Two areas remain not right; my right adductor and abdominal muscle. Waiting for injuries to heal is very difficult! Having patience while you can’t run is almost impossible at times. Some days I am amazed that I have a scrap of sanity left. I am trying to stay busy so I don’t sink into a state of depression. So far I have succeeded, luckily I have supportive friends.

I went to see Dr Ball again 7 weeks post marathon since my adductor and abdominal still felt exactly the same. He  checked me over one last time and recommended I see another doctor about possibly getting Platelet Rick Plasma (PRP) to promote healing in this area. In the fall when I had my first MRI PRP was recommended also so I have had this in the back of my mind. I was hoping to heal things on my own but this is not the case.

Next stop was a visit to Dr Michael Wolff at Southwest Sport and Spine. Several other runners I know have been to him for stubborn injuries. They have had PRP and been healed. I had my 1st visit a couple of weeks ago and we discussed in length my injuries and he wanted a diagnostic ultrasound and MRI. This week I got to meet with him to go over the results. My right adductor is chronically and severely strained, my abdominal muscle on the lower right has some damage also. Essentially I have repeatedly  injured this area over the years and now it is in need of some major fixing. The MRI on my low back did not show any significant problems (Yeah!). I am scheduled for PRP on Feb 22.More waiting and patience!  This will involve using the ultrasound to guide the needle to the right locations.

What is PRP? It is a substance made from your own blood to promote healing. My blood will be drawn and then placed in a centrifuge to spin it seperating the blood cells from the plasma and allows concentration of the platelets. This is then injected into the injury site under ultrasound guidance. It will create an immflatory response to promote healing.

After the PRP I will need complete rest for 1 week then easy walking during week 2. I am not totally clear on when I can start running but I think about 4 weeks post PRP.

Watch for some very exciting news and a big announcement! Good news finally!!!!!!!!

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