Warning: If you can not handle the sight of blood, you probably won’t want to read this because, yes, you will see some blood.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to the clinic for my PRP injection. How long will it take? Will it hurt? How long will my recovery be? Will this be my only injection? And, most importantly: will it work?
The “blood-sucker” introduced herself, took me into a room and proceeded to withdraw 30 cc of blood from my arm. “Whoa! That’s a big syringe!” I said when I saw it, and I didn’t look at it again until after she had finished taking my blood. “Wow! That’s really purple!” I had forgotten that blood can look purple too,
Dr. Bentley, then, put my blood into the centrifuge to spin it around. It only took seconds to see the blood start to separate into its layers: red blood cells on the bottom, then white bloods cells, and the platelets on top. After a minute, the 30 cc that I had given him had been reduced to much less. After that, I really didn’t see much more as I was getting ready for the injection. I caught of glimpse of what I think was a very long needle (the length of a pencil) as Dr. Bentley filled a syringe with my platelets to inject into my hamstring tendon. I lay on the table, face-down and in a quasi-prone position, trying to relax.
Dr. Bentley poked with his finger at my upper hamstring to find the location of the tear before he started using the ultrasound. I wasn’t able to feel any discomfort at first and that made me nervous. “What if there really isn’t a problem?” I thought, only to be followed by my verbalizing, “That’s where it is.” Dr. Bentley started to use the ultrasound and I heard him say to his student “That’s the tear, right there.” I suddenly felt a bit of assurance.
“Get ready for a poke,” he said and that was all I really felt. At one point, I felt like I was in a dentist’s chair as he asked how I was doing a few times. I was fine. “I’m just telling myself that this isn’t going to hurt that much because my legs are so muscular – ha!” There was no real sensation of pain; it was more of a tightening. I later described it to Dr. Bentley as an elastic tightening around your arm until you have a constant throbbing. He replied that the blood being injected into a tendon has no where else to go so it would create that same kind of feeling. As we finished up, he told me that it would feel like I was sitting on a golf ball for a few days.
On the way home, I was glad that Dave drove me to my appointment. Moving my foot from the pedal to the brake and back to the pedal would have been difficult. We hadn’t even left Hamilton when I said to him “I feel like my leg is having a baby.” Painful, but not terrible, and knowing that it would end with something good.
A few hours later, I was able to drive. I took my 13 year old to referee a soccer game and I happily stood for an hour to watch. Walking was difficult and sitting was impossible, so standing had become the position of choice. I could tell that it was going to be for the few days but I had a feeling that it would be worth it.