Before my son (Anthony, 16) became ill, he was an athlete. He was one of the top kayakers for his age and trained 8-10 times a week. Then in August 2018, he feels ill. It felt so similar to when our daughter fell ill with Lyme several years earlier. The GP physician did various blood tests (including Lyme). They all came back negative and I arranged a DNA Connexions Lab test for Lyme – it came back definitely positive. So his journey with Lyme began.
Initially, we started with lots of supplements and various antibiotics. He was in Sophomore in HS. After the first 3 weeks of a semester, he crashed completely and didn’t go to school for the rest of that semester. The antibiotics etc made a difference and in the Spring semester (2019) he managed about 35% of his lessons. By the summer term (2019) his health had slipped backward and he was managing a few lessons a week.
Understandably his school suggested he repeated his Sophomore year 10. I was very worried about the impact repeating the year would have on his mental health.
Luckily I had just read William Fife’s research paper so I had become aware of HBOT. Based on this research paper and my plans for Anthony to undertake a series of HBOT sessions, the school was prepared to postpone the decision on him repeating a year until the end of the summer vacation. I booked an initial session with Dr. Pender at The Hyperbaric Therapy Centre (Dr. P no longer works at this clinic). This was useful but very expensive. Luckily Anthony’s kayaking club shares its building with an MS center and they had two individual HBOT chambers (they now also have a multi-person chamber). I booked Anthony in for several sessions.
Dr. Pender had advised us he might feel worse after 5/6 dives due to spirochetes dying off and hexing so he will have to do several detox protocols and wouldn’t feel better until after about 15-20 dives. He recommended 40 dives at 2.7-2.8ATA until he was better and then reducing the number of dives a week gradually.
After the 4th dive, Anthony said “I’m going to be one of the ones HBOT doesn’t work for. I don’t want to do it again – it makes me feel awful”. I told him we had been warned of this and he had to keep going. After the 23rd dive, he got back in his boat and paddled 3km. On the day of his 39th dive, he paddled 15km (7km before and 8km after the dive). This is the boy that struggled to walk around the block only a few weeks earlier. We were hooked!
Anthony continued to dive, and although his progress slowed substantially, he still progressed. As a result, he was able to continue with his friends intones Junior Year.
His health plateaued for a few weeks and then started to slip backward, as did his school attendance. I spoke to Dr. Pender who recommended taking 2 complete weeks off and then gradually getting back to 2.8ATA. He was back to 2.8ATA by early December and started to seem a bit stronger – the change was not like the first time, but it definitely felt like we were going in the right direction again.
Just after Christmas, I bought a PEMF mat (Bemer) and Anthony started using it for 8mins twice a day at the “sensitive” setting. This was in addition to HBOT. My logic was that PEMF is meant to help the flow of things in and out of the cells, so it would improve the effect of HBOT and help with detox.
Anthony gets a slight headache during the PEMF sessions, but these only last the length of the session.
He is definitely improving and a few days ago he acknowledged it, saying “I’m starting to get better again – I still feel grotty but I recover from doing things much more quickly”. I have no idea whether this is the HBOT, the PEMF or the combination, but long may it last.
Regarding the effect of the PEMF, being 16 Anthony does this himself. On Sunday he accidentally forgot to change the setting from 25 (which is the setting when you turn it on) to sensitive. He was absolutely whacked from it. Recovered now and but he won’t make that mistake again!
Sorry about the long post. Hopefully, it is of use to some. Personal thoughts: HBOT and PEMF are both very helpful but it’s a long road.
HBOT is very expensive, but you can get good value sessions at most MS centers.
With PEMF it is essential to start very gently, not all mats have a really sensitive setting.
For more information on PEMF ( beamer group) or Classic Hyperbarics please call 800-208-4846 or www.classichyperbarics.com