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Posted Jul 27 2011 2:49pm

I am sitting in a cafe right now. Directly in front of me, no more than four feet, is an old woman in a wheelchair. Her head is tilted to the side, and she looks so small in the midst of all the whirling customers traveling past. You can see her pain in the lines of her face and small openings of her eyes. Yet she is sitting there with a vibrant red, pink, and orange shirt, crisp white pants, a few strands of pearls, and a diamond bracelet. She is trying so hard to maintain a collected and confident exterior. We locked eyes for a few brief moments and something transpired. We had a mutual understanding and for those few seconds, the rest of the coffee shop did not exist. She revealed her suffering and hopelessness, and I revealed mine. Our exchange was interrupted by her friend sitting down with a small cup of coffee and sandwich. Hands shaking, the old woman reached down to take a bite, and couldn't raise it up to her mouth. Without hesitation, her friend touched her gently on the wrist and brought her arm up so she could eat. They continued this way in rhythm, the friend stopping occasionally to brush the crumbs off the old woman's shirt. It was as if they had been doing things this way always.

I came to this coffee shop first to study for a physics exam, but soon realized it would be fruitless unless I tried to put my frustrations and emotions on internet paper. I had an appointment early Monday morning with a new specialist, but have been unable to process the information because of a heavy exam week. Everything is still pent-up inside, and I just can't bring myself to release. With only two weeks left before summer term, I cannot have any setbacks.

Under direction by my PT, I saw Dr. Magaziner of North Brunswick. I was discharged from PT a few weeks ago because the iontophoresis and laser stim therapy were not working. Dr. Magaziner is well-known for his use of regenerative medicine to fight chronic pain. We went over my case history, which took quite some time, and then he physically examined me to determine where my pain was directly located. We found an incredible amount of trigger points ranging from my hips to my entire pelvic floor. The main muscles in my glutes were by far the worst. He wanted to try prolotherapy with me immediately, and believed that it could really put "a dent" in my pain with 7 or 8 treatments. I asked him where I ranked as far as severeness of cases, and he said I was in the more complex percent because of the many locations my pain stems from. I am rather new to the idea of prolotherapy, so I'll give a quick summary for others who may be considering it.

Prolotherapy involves a series of injections to trigger points that causes tissue inflammation. This inflammation is supposed to trigger your body's natural healing process, by bringing in growth factors to the area to then repair the site. You can read more here

Dr. Magaziner thinks I will need at least 7 or 8 treatments bilaterally, since my case is so involved, and the injections will take place once a month. He estimates they will take about an hour. We also went over pain levels to the procedure. Since I have so many areas that need to be injected and since I am doing the injections bilaterally instead of one side at a time, I will experience a good amount of pain, for up to 6 days after the procedure. He promised to write me notes for classes that will allow me to stand up, since sitting down will not be an option after injections. After 8 months of so, he then wants to do PRP injections, a step above prolotherapy, to the more severe parts of my body that need healing, specifically hips and groin (sites of all three of my surgeries.)

As I said, it was a lot of information to take in right away. I am excited to start new treatment, but as always, I am approaching with a side of caution. I have been promised relief many times, and right now my pain is worse than ever. And even though I've had much experience in handling pain, I am not looking forward to 8 months of fighting. The first treatment is scheduled in two weeks, and I am anxious about how it will feel and affect me. It's also frustrating that for the next year I will again have to rely on family and friends to take me for the treatments and take care of me when I am home. I am tired of being cared for. I got very emotional watching the old woman in front of me because I can put myself in her shoes. I know how difficult it is to maintain a presentable appearance when you are struggling so much and reluctantly relying on people around you.

The more time that passes by, the more I feel cold, hardened, depressed, and reclusive. I used to be able to talk more about how I feel, but now I am hiding away and ignoring human contact. It's hard to witness so many people advancing in their lives, romantically and professionally. I am even beginning to feel apathetic to other people's struggles because I am so tied to my own. The feeling are not healthy, but I don't really know what the solution is at this point.

If you could but see this rage inside of me
I could shake these stars to dust

I wrote those lines a few weeks ago, but they grow more appropriate daily. I apologize profusely for the lack of email responses. I hope you can see I am just trying to keep myself up right now. However, if you have any experiences with prolotherapy, prp, or other regenerative medicine, please comment to this post. Or if you have any encouraging words, poems, or thoughts, this would also be a good place (and time) for them.
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