Friday, August 8, 2008


I want to make one thing perfectly clear ... 

I am not a croo ..

on no, wait.

I did not sleep with that wom ...

nope, that's not it either.

Oh yeah.

I wanted to say that I hope there is no confusion about my purpose with this blog. I talked to someone today who felt that it was only about one person's journey with HBOT. That many people who read this would probably not understand the overall message that I was trying to convey. I was surprised because I thought I had come across with my goals fairly well. 

I hope that in my writings I have shared much more than that. 

My purposes in doing the blog were many. Among them;

1) Open up the world of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to the CRPS Community.

2) Share as much of the vast amount of information available on HBOT as I could; articles, studies, websites, clinics, etc. as I went through the weeks of therapy.

3) Try to answer questions patients/loved ones had who were considering HBOT, were going through HBOT, or maybe had gone through it in the past.

4) Explain from a first-person viewpoint what it was like to experience the therapy, what the side effects were, what to expect along the way, what if any supplements were recommended to take to enhance its' effectiveness, what a dive was like, how to prepare for the days/weeks when the going got tough, etc.

If I only succeeded in making it appear as "one-person's experience" and nothing else, then I have failed. If I have not gotten across the point that every patient's treatment may be different, every experience, while following similar patterns, many be different, then I have failed.  If I did not get across the point that my own personal treatment must be looked upon in the aggregate rather than what each individual day was like, then I have failed. 

I hope I have not. I hope I have been able to move the discussion forward. Time will judge :)

There are some other tidbits I wanted to share in response to questions I have received in the past few days. 

HBO therapy affects the body in other ways. For example, it enhances the function of white blood cells, which fight infection. This is important because increasing the efficiency of white blood cells through the use of HBO therapy has a positive effect on the immune system. Also, HBO therapy has a positive effect on peripheral blood vessels and causes the formation of new capillaries, which are tiny, thin-walled blood vessels. Such formations effectively increase blood flow to the body's extremities (your hands and feet)

The above is from CHICO HYPERBARIC website

I have talked a lot about what the monoplace (single person) chambers are like, because that is what my personal experience is. I have also tried to throw in some information on the other types as well. But while looking for some information in response to a question I received, I found this great description. 

When a patient enters the hyperbaric chamber they sit in a chair for the duration of the treatment. If a patient is unable to sit in a chair then a gurney can be used. When the chamber door is closed compression takes place with standard air, or the air we normally breathe. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to reach the desired pressure, equivalent to a depth of up to 60 feet of sea water. Once the desired pressure is reached a large, see-through hood is placed over the patient's head and 100 percent oxygen begins to flow into the hood. The patient breathes 100 percent oxygen for the prescribed amount of time, usually 60 to 90 minutes depending on the condition being treated. During treatment the patient can watch TV, read a book or just relax. 

After the prescribed amount of time has elapsed the flow of 100 percent oxygen is stopped and the hood is removed. The chamber is decompressed, or returned to the same pressure that exists outside the chamber, which takes 10 to 15 minutes. The patient then leaves the treatment environment. If a patient is receiving two treatments a day the second treatment follows the first after a 3 to 4 hour break outside the chamber. 

A patient receiving one treatment per day will spend about two hours at the treatment facility in either the morning or afternoon. A patient receiving two treatments per day will spend about four hours per day at the facility. The Chico Hyperbaric Center offers treatments Monday through Friday; treatments are not normally scheduled on weekends. 

Someone asked me about HBO's affects on the vasoconstriction problems of CRPS. This is an excellent question and the answer I got, when I first looked into this, is what gave me my "lightbulb moment". It is what first opened my eyes to the possibilities and made me seriously look into the existing research. 

At sea level, our lungs absorb a certain amount of oxygen molecules from the air. When descending to lower altitudes (below sea level), the pressure is greater (above 1ATA) and now the lungs more easily absorb the compressed oxygen molecules in the air.  ... During a hyperbaric “dive” the fluids and tissues of the body receive an infusion of readily available oxygen. In fact, even cells and areas of the body with limited circulation become saturated in oxygen. The effect is an uptake of oxygen in the blood, plasma cerebral-spinal fluids, and tissues. In addition, the vaso-constrictive nature of hyperbaric therapy has an added effect of reducing inflammation and edema. (From Wisconsin Hyperbarics)

So let me close with this thought;

"Hyperbaric oxygen adhering to all the gas laws of physics delivers free molecular oxygen to the cells for immediate metabolic use without energy exchange, even with compromised circulation" -- Edward Teller PhD (Father of the Hydrogen Bomb)

The late Dr. Edward Teller (1908-2004), one of the great geniuses of our century, served as Director Emeritus of the Board of Advisors of the Ocean Hyperbaric Neurologic Center.

Peace, Keith


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