San Diego Center for Hyperbaric Therapy



I have suffered with multiple sclerosis since 2003. Since my diagnosis I have tried the suggested beta interferon treatment in order to help “slow down” the process that MS takes. Unfortunately, the injections made me so very sick for at least two days of the week with flu like symptoms. I did my best to tolerate these drugs for many years; thinking this was the only way to slow the progress MS takes and keep the exacerbations at bay. When I would have a severe exacerbation (landing me in the hospital every three months on average) the treatment protocol was a minimum 24 hours iv treatment of high powered steroids and pain medication to bring the swelling in my brain down and manage the excruciating pain. My recovery time was usually about a week before I could really get out of bed and two weeks before I felt like getting up and doing anything at all. After that, I had to deal with the horrible side effects of the steroids, which included major weight gain, skin issues, and nausea.

I have since stopped the beta interferon treatments; deciding on incorporating a healthy diet, stress management, and a good exercise program because I just could no longer tolerate the flu-like symptoms affecting my quality of life. After stopping the beta interferon injections and improving my diet, I experienced severe exacerbations only once every 6 to 8 months on average.

While I was in California visiting a friend I had my latest severe exacerbation. I woke up in the morning not being able to get out of bed without help, experiencing terrific nerve pain in my legs feet and hands and muscle weakness. A typical severe exacerbation. It was getting to the point where I was feeling that I really needed to go to the hospital and was preparing to do so. My boyfriend had been doing research on hyperbaric oxygen therapy and suggested I try it on the way to the hospital. I must admit I was hesitant, however, the research showed oxygen therapy is quite safe and I literally planned on going to the hospital directly after my treatment. After calling my doctor and getting push back from him for a prescription, I finally got the go ahead. By the time I got to the clinic I was really in bad shape, feeling tremendous pain and weakness......

I was offered a selection of DVD movies to play for my 1.5 hour session. I was helped into a special bed on rollers, and slid into the all-glass cylinder. As I could see everything around me it did not feel too small or constrained. When the pressurization started, it felt like driving down a mountain and I had to clear my ears a few times. I honestly couldn’t tell you what movie was playing, as soon as I got comfortable, I was out like a light. It seemed like only a few minutes I heard a voice through the internal speaker that I was finished and would be coming out shortly. I was immediately aware that for the few minutes I had been awake, I had not had any shooting nerve pain. I fully expected them to start back up any minute and prepared myself for it. After the chamber was opened up and I was wheeled out, I was asked to sit up and again, I could not believe it, no pain. I felt very weak still, but no pain. I still thought it would come back any minute as it had always lasted a week or more in dozens of previous exacerbations. After getting dressed, I literally walked myself out and could not believe how hungry I was. I was told that my metabolism was in high gear from the HBOT and it was normal. I also noticed that my vision was remarkably clear and colors were brighter and deeper. It felt good. After eating, still no pain. Could this be possible? I did not feel like going to the hospital if it was possible that HBOT had lowered the swelling in my brain enough to stop the damage and pain in only one session. After eating and still no nerve pain, I scheduled another session for later that day. I was very weak still and curious if a second session might help me get my strength back. 4 hours later I was back in the chamber. After sleeping like a rock through another movie, I awoke more refreshed than before. When it came to sitting up and getting dressed, I felt about 10% better than when I walked in. My strength was far from back, but it appeared to be coming back faster than I’d ever experienced. The next day I did two more sessions and with each one I felt about 10% better. Within a few days of two sessions per day I was wanting to go on short walks and feeling much better. By the end of the week I was pretty much back to normal with no negative side effects that I could detect. Am I a believer? Let’s just say that I’d move from Oregon to California to be closer to this center if I can’t find one closer to home. I will never go back to the negative effects of the drugs as long as HBOT continues to do the job.