Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Has Helped Beat TBI/PTSD, Veteran’s Testimony
Veteran Testimony - One of the first five treated in the TBI/PTSD HBOT Pilot Trial
The following is a testimony of one of the first five veterans treated by Dr. Harch with HBOT for TBI and PTSD. This veteran was referred by a compassionate Army doctor who was unsuccessful with other treatments. His story is typical of the ability of HBOT to positively change the trajectory of a brain-injured individual's life and literally give people back their lives. It is also the foundation of the Oklahoma HBOT legislation for veterans and the National Grassroots Movement for HBOT in the treatment of veterans that was launched by Rainey Owens in Texas. We hope you enjoy his story and realize that he is the rule, not the exception.
I sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in April 2003 when an ammunition bunker in Iraq was detonated within close proximity to my location. The concussion was tremendous and the negative effects immediate. Later on, after brain surgery to fix some damaged blood vessels, the disabilities became even more evident. Then, on March 1, 2007, I was in my home when an F4 tornado torn the place apart all around me. The sudden pressure changes from that event left me literally unable to cope with life. Everything was so confusing, overwhelming and frustrating, I would seek out the darkest areas of our rebuilt house and sit in confused agony for hours at a time. Often, not remembering what I had done earlier in the day, much less the events of the days before. I hardly knew what month it was and was completely unaware of the day of the week or the time of day.
Prior to my Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment beginning in June 2008, by Dr. Harch, I found myself living in a daily fog that was later diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Everything from my ability to think to my impatient, misery/depression filled interaction with my family and friends, to writing and reading was affected by this PTSD fog. My frustration levels were extremely high. My family life was compromised to the point of my wife feeling as though she had an adult child in the house and my son didn't think I was very fun either! I was living in daily frustration with not being able to think clearly, sleeping on and off through out the day and generally, not having the capability to work or interact for very long with others. I was miserable. Knowing who I was before the TBI/PTSD, yet dealing with what I had become was depressing. I simply couldn't get myself out of that hole the head injury had caused.
Literally, during the first two Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy treatments, I found parts of my brain waking up and the fogginess becoming less intrusive. By the time I finished 80 treatments, I had rediscovered the ability to enjoy reading a book again for the first time in five years! Writing this simple statement would have taken me three or four hours before treatment but now, a matter of fifteen minutes. I have high hopes of working full time after my medical retirement from the Army and most importantly, my wife and son still come up to me on occasion and just hug me.. They then mention how happy they are to have their husband and father back. I also found myself able to sleep again and feel refreshed!
I still struggle with various issues, some cognitive and some physical, but I'm so very grateful that the Lord placed Dr. Harch in my path to recovery. Dr. Harch and his staff are some of the most dedicated, sincere and hard working medical professionals I've ever been treated by. The quality of life improvements I've seen since being treated by Dr. Harch have made the difference between an existence of sitting at home, too confused and frustrated to LIVE, and a life with hope, patience and most importantly, a reduction in the daily fog of brain injury. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has helped me to find my motivation and desire for life again. Also, since I am able to process better, the following four months at the Shepherd Center were much more productive!
For those who suffer with the fog and depression of TBI/PTSD, you will know how tremendously important those kinds gains are.. For the family members of those who suffer with this type of injury, the smiles and happiness from my wife and kids are testimony enough to know how much this treatment has given me back my life. God Bless!!