My PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection went as planned last Thursday.
I woke up at 4 a.m. and left for L.A. at 5:00 a.m.
A Kerlan Jobe nurse took blood from me.
Then I waited for about a half hour for the “spinning machine” to do its thing and pull out my platelets.
I was put in a procedure room, hooked up to an ultrasound machine, and the doc began injecting the actual elbow tendon itself with the PRP magical mixture.
(Some doctors inject the injured joint vs the specific tendon. It’s less painful to do so, but it isn’t nearly as effective.)
I expected lots of numbing medication – thinking the pain I’d been warned of would come AFTER I was done.
Well, it turns out the numbing medication kills the cells they want alive so …!
I won’t lie, the injection did hurt.
(My elbow hurt much more over the course of the next 24-48 hours.)
The doctor had told me it’s normal to be quite sore for a couple weeks.
I drove home.
I was surprised my body seemed to kind of shut down a couple hours later.
I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
I’m not a nap person.
I cannot ever fall asleep during the day.
But, I fell asleep for most of the next 24 hours.
I thought it was very strange to sleep so much, but my body clearly needed to rest.
I took the pain medication my doctor prescribed during the first 24 hours.
On Day #2 I only took one pain pill.
I “could have” taken more based on the pain I felt, but I hate taking pain meds and I felt I could handle it without drugs.
(Probably most people would choose pain meds for the first week – I’m used to pain so I didn’t feel I needed it.)
I’ve been instructed to take a week off of physical therapy – I go back this Wednesday.
The doctor told me to treat my elbow as if it just had surgery – no activity, baby it, ice, etc.
He will do an ultrasound to look at the tendon at the four week point.
He’ll be able to determine then if the PRP has accomplished what he hoped for.
If it has, I’ll get to begin a gradual progression of arm-related activities.
My doctor felt very optimistic during, and after, the procedure.
I’m choosing to adopt his optimism as I go through this four week waiting period.
After all, if some of the biggest stars in the sports world are having success with PRP, why shouldn’t I?