As I promised at the end of my previous article where I explained PRP injections, I’m here to let you know what happened with my follow-up appointment with Dr. Lawson, as well as my second round of injections, this time to my lower spinal joints.
On the 19th of October, I met with Dr. Lawson on a Zoom meeting at my request, as traveling to and from Unionville seemed not as important as the second appointment for injections that were to be done on the 21st of October. And, Dr. Lawson agreed.
Especially given the recent growing numbers of those being diagnosed with COVID-19, at that point in time. We are BOTH better off limiting our need to meet unless an emergency.
My level of pain has dropped substantially from what I experienced BEFORE the PRP injections that were done on my SI joints. So, we were BOTH very hopeful for the 2nd round of injections that were to come.
So, let me begin with the morning of the 21st of October. I had been on a similar diet, for two days less of two weeks prior to this appointment, minus the beef liver. Also, I tend to eat less in the fall, so even my strawberry-kiwi smoothies were not as frequently consumed.
However, on the morning of the 21st, I made certain to drink one MORE tall glass of water than I did for the 1st PRP treatment. And, if you’ve been following along with me, you already know that I drank 3 very tall glasses of water before my first PRP treatment.
Once I arrived, my temperature determined me to be safe enough… I was then asked to go to the room at the far end of the office.
Thankfully, Ron was going to be extracting the 3 very large vials of blood from me once again.
Ron was soooo funny the first time that blood was drawn for my first PRP injections that he made it possible for this ‘wuss’ to actually tolerate (and laugh a LOT!) having alllllll of that blood extracted (which, until it was over, I thought that he was removing the regular sized vials).
This time Ron and I were NOT so fortunate.
For some reason, my first vein offering one vial, apparently then collapsed and the rest of my veins decided to remain HIDDEN. Yes, you read correctly… HIDDEN.
None of my veins wanted to come to the surface that morning. After several attempts, he got another person to try, and I felt sooooo sorry for her, as she too could NOT get my veins to surface after trying BOTH arms.
Then another lady came into the room, explaining that she just finished up with another patient whose blood was hard to get started too. And then, this lady stepped in to try getting the other 2 vials of blood from me.
Needless to say, I had become very frustrated that my body was not cooperating that morning.
At this point, my biggest fear was that they would tell me to go home and we’d have to try again some other time. Had that happened I KNEW it would be put off until 2021, due to our glorious (said, sarcastically, of course), Canadian winters creeping up on us once again. And, I sure did NOT want to have to leave after going THIS far.
They just HAD to get blood from me.
Dr. Lawson came into the room at one point, and we got to talking and I explained to him about my left foot being a problem for so many years now. It likes to swell up, and sometimes the right foot will do the same. The fall is always the worse for this.
I told him that one time BOTH my feet had swollen up so bad that the swellings wouldn’t allow me to take off my sandals. My GP (General Practitioner) never seemed to feel that this was an issue to worry about.
Yet, in previous years, when having a different GP, I was threatened so much when complaining about my foot swelling up a LOT that I quit telling THAT doctor about it anymore. He scared me into thinking he would put me through some sort of painful tests if this continued to be an issue, and I didn’t want that, so I quit telling that GP.
Having been continually ignored over the past few times that I have complained about my left foot swelling up from my ankle up, I recently decided to do some investigating on my own. That’s when I thought MAYBE whatever is causing my foot to swell AGAIN… might be what is blocking the veins from letting the blood be drawn properly.
Dr. Lawson asked me to drop into his office in Unionville on my way home. He said that he would call one of his staff to do a BIA test on me, and that it wouldn’t take long. The prep work for such a test had already been done, given my recent diet, the span of time that would have lapsed due to the time they have had to waste on me, trying to extract my blood… PLUS, I had yet to get the PRP injections.
When I tried to find out what he was hoping to learn, he told me we’d talk later, and he left the room.
Shortly after that Dr. Gonzalez came into the room with a portable ultrasound machine in order to (what I called) ‘deep-dive’ for a vein that would give blood up willingly, and NOT collapse during extraction.
Then, Dr. Ko and Dr. Lawson both stepped into the room. Dr. Ko took it upon himself to distract me (Thank GOD!) by chatting with me regarding some test that you can now take online to help determine your vulnerability for contracting COVID-19.
I KNOW I put their office appointments sooooo far behind schedule, and I HATE being a pain in the you-know-what, so that too was frustrating me.
Once the additional 2 vials of blood were successfully extracted from me, all three vials were put into the centrifuge machine which was started so that the PRP could be extracted for use.
Well, guess I have to count my lucky stars that they were able to extract about the same (just under a half inch, when placed in a regular vial) amount of PRP from my blood as they did during my September appointment.
However, that tiny bit of PRP had to be used amongst 8 shots (where the first PRP treatment, I only had 4 injections), of which 4 injections were given on either side of my spinal joints going up from the small of my back to nearer my waist.
Not sure if it was because the last injection was truly in a more sensitive area, or if I had started to run out of tolerance of needles, but the top right needle that was delivering the “deadener” shot, hurt like ‘bloody-blazes’ (as my Dad used to say).
Getting off the table from those injections, I wasn’t as fortunate with the same level of instant pain-relief that the first set of injections had afforded me, back in September. Shuckers!
As luck would have it, my cousin Gord was the one who willingly took me in for this appointment, and he was okay with dropping by Dr. Lawson’s office for a quick test. I have to admit, that BIA test was a LOT quicker than I had anticipated. The results are to be discussed during a zoom appointment on the 5th of November.
So now, on November 26, the Zoom appointment scheduled with Dr. Lawson will be to discuss my level of pain since the 2nd round of PRP injections.
By the time this post goes live, it will be a few more days before the last Zoom appointment, but I promise you that I will return to let you know the results. They will appear in an UPDATE near the bottom of this post, once I have had the opportunity to share the news here.
For the sake of transparency, it is 27 of October 2020, when I am writing this post, and I am in less pain than I have been. Though, I have had to take Tylenol Extra Strength, a couple of times since the second set of PRP injections.
Sometimes, I get this pain shooting down my left leg, making my leg want to collapse out from under me. Other than that, all other back pain issues seem to be slowly subsiding.
Was hoping these pains would have been all gone by now. But I may have to go in for more PRP injections in the spring, as I feel one area needs juuuuuust a bit more to stop that last, nasty pain. But I do need to give this treatment the full 30 days before knowing for certain.
If that proves to be the case, I WILL have more PRP injections done, for sure.
I cannot believe how blessed I am for having discovered so many great doctors lately, and how fortunate I am that my experience with PRP injections have been so positive.
You know… it’s funny that I’ve had so many friends and family members ask me if PRP injections are expensive, and I have to say, NO! Not at all.
And, if you are fortunate enough to have more PRP in YOUR blood than I do, then your PRP treatments could probably cost you a lot less than mine have costed me. Simply because I’ve had to go in a second time, where if my body had of allowed for MORE PRP during my September appointment, the spinal joints COULD have been treated too.
This happened for me, only because my genes didn’t allow my blood to have enough PRP to do the quality treatment that the doctors were so hoping for.
Never mind, I am STILL elated with my results thus far!
Heck, some people have even asked me… but, what if the PRP injections didn’t work?
All I can say is this…
For me, following through with this treatment of PRP injections was a safer bet than betting at any gambling joint OR buying those Lotto tickets you’re so fond of buying weekly. PLUS, I get to write the PRP injection treatments off on my income tax, due to their NOT being covered by OHIP.
And will ya’ look at me now?
I’m in a whole lot LESS PAIN than I was earlier in the year when the lockdown forced my massages to be cancelled for so long that I starting thinking that I might need a wheel chair to get around.
These two posts sharing my experience with PRP treatments, I did in hope that others who are contemplating this type of treatment might know better what to expect with PRP injections. So, I hope that I have been able to not only explain what PRP injections are, but also what to expect from the PRP injections.
Feel free to help me spread the word by sharing my experience with PRP injections with your friends and family.
If you have ANY questions about my experience with this treatment, please do leave me a comment below and I will gladly do my best to answer them.
UPDATE: 26 November 2020 – Dr. Lawson informed me that I qualify to have the procedures repeated next year and promised to make sure I would be done during the summer months.
As for the test that Dr. Lawson had insisted HAD to be done on the exact same day (even though I told him that I had to pester my cousin to bring me in for these PRP injections) by dropping into his Unionville office to have his helper run some sort of test that would only take 10 minutes tops, I had assumed would somehow help them extract blood from me in the future easier.
Well, did I get the shock of my life.
The test was call Body Composition Analysis, and it cost me another $130, only to be told by Dr. Lawson that I have very high percentage of body fat.
Yeah, I was shocked. I mean, really?
Not being able to so much as walk my dogs for over 2 years now because my left leg loves to collapse under me without warning due to lower back issues, you BET I’m overweight by at least 15 pounds. So… what point was that test? You tell me if you can, because I am confused.
UPDATE: 13 April 2021 I CAN NO LONGER recommend Dr. Lawson for PRP injections, as my confidence in his ability to continue directing my health care in this manner is no longer there.
His avoidance to explain to me why what I deemed as an unnecessary charge would be billed to me IF I want to get the second round of injections. This charge would be added above and beyond my savings for the second round of PRP injections, and has to be paid or NO more injections.
It has not even been a year yet since the last time I attended the TIPS clinic for my last round of PRP injections. And, don’t forget… Dr. Lawson assured me on the 26th of November that I qualified to return to the TIPS clinic to repeat the procedures.
I feel that Dr. Lawson needs to actually learn to care about his patients rather than adding what I deem as totally unnecessary extra charges to a patient’s costs, especially when he has been informed that his patient is existing on a limited income.
Because my confidence in Dr. Lawson’s continued involvement has diminished substantially due to his improper… or rather lack of communication with me on this issue, PLUS his refusal to allow me to attend the TIPS clinic (and, with the clinic’s insistence that I HAVE to go through his office), I am seeking help elsewhere.
AND… NOW sadly, I understand much better why OHIP refuses to acknowledge PRP injections as a proven medical procedure. But there really does need to be a method of regulating this procedure for sure.
This procedure works for so many that it is worth seeking an HONEST doctor/clinic to help you. Just far too much room for price gouging, so be sure to do your research on your chosen doctor/clinic BEFORE you begin.