Here are just a few stories from patients, colleagues and friends. If you have a story about HBOT or Washington Hyperbaric Therapy Center that you’d like to share with us, email it to us at [email protected].
The smile-making machine
Stories from our patients
I have had Multiple Sclerosis for over 20 years. It is widely understood that inflammation in the brain occurs in MS. I personally believe the theory – which is slowly gaining attention – that there is a significant vascular aspect to MS, and that inflammation occurs in part because of constricted blood flow through some of the major veins in the body. This results in blood reflux into the brain and the spinal cord. And ultimately causes damage and the accompanying inflammation when old, deoxygenated blood builds up. Iron buildup is seen as a possible cause for that damage.
I was hopeful that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) could be helpful as a way of reducing inflammation throughout my body and of increasing the oxygen levels in my blood and tissue.
My son Toros has suffered a head injury when he was 2 ½. He also was diagnosed with Autism when he was 4 years old and ever since we have tried many different therapies as well as vitamins and herbal supplements. By the time he turned 6, my main concerns remained opened – my child’s severe speech delay, low memory and focus. When he learned a new word or a phrase, clearly pronouncing it, a few days later he would stop using it or even understanding, as if it never existed in his vocabulary. He had challenges focusing on verbal directions and actually carrying out the directions, he was not able to concentrate on any activity, especially writing or coloring, for longer than half a minute, and was not able to memorize a story sequence even with the pictures prompts.
At that time I heard about hyperbaric therapy from a friend. I made my own research, and, as most of the parents at first, I was still a little skeptical about it taking as well in consideration the cost of hyperbaric sessions. However, now I only regret that I was hesitating for so long – the results were amazing!
I heard about HBOT therapy for MS over the years, and when Washington Hyperbaric opened near my home I was excited to try it. I had accumulated brain damage from over 15 years of suffering from MS. Before HBOT I tried many treatments with little success. My vascular doctor agreed that supplemental oxygen should speed repair of the brain
and central nervous system, so I began a program of 40 HBOT sessions.
At the start I could not lift my legs off the mat in the tank due to stiffness and spasticity. I was told not to expect immediate results, but on the third session, my legs felt looser, and I could suddenly lift my knees to my chest. At first I only got relief while in the chamber, but at two weeks the spasticity relief was lasting throughout the day, and I quit using my walker to get around the house. It had been several years since I could ride my exercise bike, now I could ride 15-20 minutes every day, do exercises to regain muscle strength, and my energy levels remained high during the day. By the last two weeks of the program, bladder urgency problems were reduced by 80%. I also noticed vision improvement - I was reading highway signs again! About 40% of my right eye vision had been lost due to optic nerve atrophy, and I had been told this could not be regained.
We have done 40 sessions of HBOT for our 5 year old son Max, who suffers from a seizure disorder, developmental delay, has poor appetite and hyperactive behavior.
Upon completing HBOT we observed a lot of positive changes: his appetite became better; his behavior improved dramatically – he became more calm, more responsive, and attentive; his attention span improved; his speech changed a lot as well in terms of clarity, vocabulary, word recalling, and sentence building. Our physical, occupational, and speech therapists have all noted these changes. We were hoping to see less of the seizure activity; however, this unfortunately hasn't happened so far.
In light of all the positive changes, we are planning on restarting the treatment as we see that the treatment clearly makes a difference for our son.
--Lyudmila and Yuriy
My wife and I were feeling the emotions of helplessness after hearing the cerebral palsy diagnosis over our one year old son Alex. The doctors prescribed some medication for his seizures, and told us that his seizures would lead to more seizures without the medication. However, when we studied the side effects of the medication we did not feel a peace in our hearts to move forward so eagerly. We were concerned that it would alter the personality of our sweet little boy.
Our 10 year old son with Prader-Willi Syndrome and PDD-NOS did 80 sessions of HBOT at Washington Hyperbaric Therapy Center over the summer of 2010 in two sets of 40.
We chose to do HBOT for our son, in part because of the success it's shown for helping many kids on the autism spectrum, but also because he may have had some low grade, but persistent, low oxygen levels due to several years of untreated severe sleep apnea. We thought the mitochondrial dysfunction that likely exists in his genetic syndrome might improve as well. By the 37th session we began seeing undeniable results with really nice increases in language, both receptive and expressive and increases in motor skills.