From Jane, Lydia's mom:
We rented a hyperbaric chamber for a month this summer to see if Lydia is a "responder" to this type of treatment. The unit is expensive so most parents rent for a month, determine results, and then decide if its worth it to purchase. The month trial required that Lydia be in the chamber 60-80 hours in one month so that there was no denying if there was a change or not. Our schedule was easy. We put her to bed in the chamber and transferred her to her own bed after 1-2 hours. She was in for another hour in the morning at 6 - and she would go back to sleep.
Luckily, Lydia is a responder and we have seen the most dramatic increase in her focus, attention, executive function (being able to see and understand the whole picture). So what changed? Her language. She has always been quite verbal, but she can retell a story and include most of the important pieces... again, an "executive function" where you see and understand the whole picture. She transitions characters in a book from school to bus to home, where as before she would just tell you what happened without any context. She gets up, gets dressed, makes her own lunch and snack all in very appropriate time frames. It's the big picture of getting ready for school and moving through each step so that what we would expect a child of 9 to accomplish in 30 minutes takes 30 minutes - not 90. This has completely changed our lives. No more crabby mornings! And Lydia is really excited about her new found independence and responsibility. She has the same math teacher as last year and the teacher is completely shocked. The focus Lydia has is something they could only dream about last year. She works independently and moves much more quickly through her work than before. I'll have to see what her timed facts tests comes back as. She also can remember and spell words better. Last year it was arduous for her to learn certain sight words. This past week she learned people, because, would, could, should, sometime, and where - although where still trips her up a bit. Her awareness, focus and brain capacity has changed. There is no question.
How did we finally get to the point of renting a unit? Well, I kept pushing my doctors for neurogenesis - how are we going to achieve it? What are your peers saying? If not Prozac, what? Our neurofeedback doctor out of NY is aware of the top neurologists and their work and I'm sure goes to all the conferences trying to figure out how to increase brain connections and brain cells. FINALLY, his nurse called back and said we might want to look at hyperbaric treatment. Dr. Usman had suggested hyperbaric before, but it's expensive. When I had 2 experts saying the same thing, we gave it a try. Dr. Usman also said that because Lydia responds well to mitochondrial support, she is a likely candidate to respond to the hyperbaric.
In case you were wondering, we kept all supplements the same, except increased Vit. C and CoQ 10. God kept me extremely busy at work this summer so unlike other summers where we played school and read, and wrote and did math, and unit studies, Lydia was free to roam the neighborhood like other children. We were lucky if we read a book every other day and I know her amount of TV exceeded the suggested limit.
The next post shows how to get financial assistance if you are interested in trying HBOT. Financial Asssistance Beyond Insurance & Medicaid
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