Patient: B. L.
Condition: Resection spinal cord tumor
Number of Treatments: 16
Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy has given my life back. In 1998, I had a large tumor removed from my spinal cord at C6-T2. Although the surgery was a success and saved me from a life of paralysis, the recovery and rehabilitation was slow and challenging. One year after the tumor surgery and relearning how to walk, sit up and use my hands, I experienced the sudden, devastating effects of the onset of pain. Suddenly my entire body was immersed in burning pain. Nothing I tried gave me relief. Medications were useless, intensified the pain and left me dealing with the side effects of the medications. Nerve blocks, trigger point injections and facet joint injections gave only limited and temporary relief. I had acupuncture and head massages weekly. I had almost given up hope when I saw an ad in the Asbury Park Press for the Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT) at Dr. Dornfeld’s office.
When I met Dr. Dornfeld, I immediately sensed a unique, caring professional who is concerned for the patients he dealt with while he evaluated them. He wasn’t afraid to deal with my situation. He believed that HBOT would benefit my spasms, nerve and muscle pain, depression, and compromised immune system.
I scheduled and began the treatments immediately. What did I have to lose?
To my amazement I felt a surge of energy by the third treatment. My burning pain eased and I could feel my muscles relaxing. I became more active which left me in pain at the days end. But what an experience to wake up the next morning and feel relieve for the first time in eight years.
After 16 treatments, I now feel less pain and have been able to have deep tissue massage without screaming! In the last month, I have increased energy and stamina, less pain, more mobility and improved alertness. My body feels as if it’s been defrosting. The massage therapist I’ve been seeing since 2002 noticed a significant difference in my muscles. I have been able to shop at the mall for 3 hours using a walker, not a wheelchair, and could try on clothes.
For certain activities, I can walk away from the walker with confidence. I am getting out of the house much more. One Friday, I went to our church gala/dance, walking through the crowded room, dining and even dancing to midnight. The next day, I went to an indoor/outdoor dedication to 7PM, out to dinner and came home after 10 PM. Sunday, I used the hot tub and hammock on my own and out to dinner at 5 PM. I have never had such a full, active weekend in nine years! Everyone is amazed at the progress HBOT has had on me.
I recently saw my neurosurgeon, who was very impressed with my progress. He commented on how I have an increase in sensation, stability, and strength. I have 23 treatments and feel I am once more a part of life. My days used to be spent lying in bed as still as possible to keep the pain at bay. I am living life laughing and hopeful. I will continue the healing process provided by HBOT. I believe HBOT is an essential therapy for spinal cord injury patients.
Other improvement areas are:
- Balance – can balance barefoot
- Coordination – arm and leg swinging is better and the muscles in my hand are coming back
- Mobility improvement – can feel my hips moving
- Clarity in thinking
- Ability to focus
- Memory improvement
- Sleep quality
- Pain reduction
- Fatigue reduction – greatly improved
- Appetite improvement – digestion is much better