Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment for Migraine Headaches
Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
A U.S. Navy-man's Testimony
December 11, 2014
To whom it may concern,
My name is Miguel A. Bermudez-Gonzalez, former U.S. Navy Electrician’s Mate First Class, Submarine qualified.
While serving on board the submarine USS San Juan (SSN 751) in 1998, I suffered a concussion. During a workup period preparing for a deployment I hit my head on a valve located in a cramped space in the engine room and lost consciousness. The Navy Hospital Corpsman onboard treated me and after being monitored for a couple of hours released me. After a day or two I felt that I was back to normal and did not pay any attention to the incident.
Approximately 5 months after the concussion I started to suffer from migraine headaches, with the first episode lasting 4 days. During those 4 days in the middle of our deployment I was incapacitated to the point in which the corpsman would inject me with pain killers and I was confined to my rack. This was the beginning, the migraines continued and worsen. By the end of 1999 I spent close to three months in bed, asleep from all the pain medication. Eventually I received a medical discharge from the Navy and tried to continue with my life.
The Veterans Administration rated me at a 30% disability and took over my care. After seeing several neurologists and other doctors my condition never improved. Countless prescriptions for several different medications would only reduce my level of pain, but the end result was always the same: I would spend weeks in bed with so much medication in me that I was effectively just a mass of flesh. This pattern would continue, and this year I spent a continuous four and a half months out of work.
I came to the conclusion that there was no solution to my problem. That was true until a co-worker and friend referred me to Dr. Paul Harch. I traveled from Florida to Louisiana and was examined by Dr. Harch. I figured that seeing just another doctor would not hurt. He confirmed my concussion diagnosis but for the first time a doctor connected my concussion to my migraines. The migraines were not a condition but a symptom of a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). I had a SPECT scan done that confirmed my mTBI and he said that his Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment would be beneficial for me. After living with debilitating migraines for over 16 years and after taking almost every medication known to treat migraines I had my reservations about the treatment. At the time I started my Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment I was taking 7 prescription medications and had a severe migraine that had lasted 4.5 months. After 6 treatments the pain abated. After 15 treatments I was able to stop taking all medication. Today on my 32 second treatment I feel that I have a second chance, the chance of a normal productive life. During those 16 years I always had a feeling of pressure or mild pain on my right temple, like something that did not belong was there. This was a daily symptom; I ALWAYS felt that pressure/pain. Today I am completely pain free.