I felt like I was out of options; none of the many prescription medicines or alternative therapies were helping me. I am 29 years old and have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia since I was 18 years old. I don’t recall a time when my body was not in pain so my outlook about Hyperbaric Therapy was more along the lines of realism rather than optimism.
Unfortunately, I responded very poorly to the many medications doctors have prescribed to “help” my fibromyalgia; either it does not work or I have terrible reactions and need to discontinue use regardless of whether it works or not. I have tried everything from Ambien, Celebrex, and Vicodin to Vibe machines and drastic diet changes. For a period of time I ate only whole foods and tried to keep them raw, there were a lot of smoothies in my life at the time, this helped to improve my mood but did not seem to affect me in any other way.
It was after years of trying medications and having them recalled on the news, due to ‘life threatening side effects’, and trying alternative therapies that weren’t helping me physically but were very beneficial to my debt, that I came across Hyperbaric Therapy. As always I began doing extensive research to see if it was worth putting my body through. It is important for me to weigh the possible benefits with the possible costs when deciding a new treatment for my FMS, a person has to know what they are getting themselves into after all.
What I found was that there were relatively no side effects to Hyperbaric Therapy and the chances of it helping me were good, and the information I found made scientific sense to me. I was able to talk with Jesse Rooney about my doubts, which was extremely helpful as he reinforced the minimal side effects.
Jesse spent time trying to reassure me of the minimal side effects and was always genuinely concerned for my well being. He worked with me initially to try and decide how we would go about implementing a routine for treatment, as being treated for FMS with Hyperbaric is relatively new. He was always open and agreeable to my questions and recommendations for what I believed may make the treatment work better for me. He listened as I explained my illness to him and he listened respectfully and was so kind about my unwillingness to believe it would work.
I was looking for something to help me, not cure me, to cure me I knew that the scientists would first have to come up with a cause for FMS. We initially decided on a very intensive treatment at the beginning of the summer. I was going to go every day for a week and then try to cut back to 2-3 times a week after that.
What ended up happening as I started my first week was an intense, and I will admit a debilitating, detox that put me into a terrible flare up. I was back to using a cane, but I knew the cause of the flare up would end up helping me. The detox helped rid my body of the toxins it is so awfully prone to carrying.
We were only able to complete 3 of the first weeks’ treatments, due to my flare up, and followed suit with three treatments the following week. While it took time to start feeling the benefits, they were not quite what I had expected. I used to require 10-13 hours of sleep each night, just to make it through the work day and if I had less than 8 hours I was pretty useless.
Today I require the amount of sleep the average person needs, 8 hours! This is a huge benefit to me as I feel like I have been given 4 hours of every day back and to top it off I feel energized. While I do not have more energy to use up I feel like I have more which makes the day much more bearable. The hardest part of this benefit was realizing that I still have my limitations and need to adhere to them, no matter how energetic my body feels.
The second benefit I found was that it has enhanced my mood, whether getting out so many toxins helped or if it’s the feeling of being energized, I have felt more emotionally capable of handling situations around me.
The third benefit, after 2 months I believe the brain fog started to lift. I still have it but the severity is often times negligible… I seem like an average person looking for a word instead of trying to remember the whole story!
The fourth benefit, I have become more comfortable in my physical body; this is a hard thing for a person with Fibromyalgia, or anyone with chronic pain as you never can seem to find a good spot to sit. Initially I was extremely nervous of having to sit in the chamber, it was the hardest thing to overcome, and there are still days where I hurt too much to stay in the small space.
Jesse was very kind and helpful, encouraging me to keep trying, he supplied extra pillows in the chamber for my comfort, and continued reminding me that this was going to help. Now there are many more days where sitting in the chamber is relaxing, I enjoy my Sudoku time. I have only fallen asleep a handful of times as I find it difficult to sit still, but the sleep was very energizing.
The benefits are adding up over time and perhaps someday it will alleviate the pain, but the benefits are already incomparable to other things I have tried. I also get the benefit of this treatment not damaging my body. Unlike many prescriptions which I have been prescribed and take a toll on the kidneys and liver especially, Hyperbaric treatment does not hurt my body… it helps it!
I would recommend Hyperbaric treatment to anyone, as it improves the quality of life for healthy people too, and most definitely I would recommend it to those with fibromyalgia. Those of us with FMS know not everything works for everyone, but this doesn’t have the side effects that can be a detriment! I had lost hope for a long time about getting better from this thing that has a hold of me, but I found a rejuvenation of spirit and began to believe that I may not be living through my 30’s relying on a cane. Hyperbaric treatment has given me a belief that I can get back to “good” and spare my other organs in the process, and that is priceless to me.