I am currently 30 weeks into my journey with long covid. Like many others living with long covid my journey could be described by very slow gradual improvements with debilitating crashes which seem to reset any small progress previously made. My symptoms initially seemed to be neuro based and not respiratory which most associate with covid. From my initial collapse episode, I have recorded over 60 symptoms to date of which some are transient, coming in waves while others have remained. The journey has been life changing, going from an independent 27 year old who lived a fast paced outdoor, sporting lifestyle, working full time and buying a house with my partner of 8 years to being housebound being able to walk a few hundred steps at a time at my best and bed/sofa bound for the majority using a mobility scooter for any further journeys.
My research into long covid searching for answers, following any thread or latest study found me coming across Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
With more articles coming out about neuro implications of long covid, inflammation, and vascular issues and extensive research and studies showing success in using hyperbaric oxygen in helping head injury, disease states, decreasing inflammation, nerve and blood vessel regeneration etc. I felt this could finally be something that could help. At a time when I felt there was no other help other than to wait for an unknown outcome, I finally felt I found something that could help. I was amazed when I learnt of a centre in Magheramorne, somewhere I could get a lift to.
At week 26 I started hbot. I started during a crash period where I struggled getting dressed and was mainly bed/sofa bound in a lot of pain and had spiralling anxiety never experienced before covid. After my first 3 sessions, I had come out of that crash – the quickest I have come out of a crash to date.
After 15 sessions, I have noticed the following.
– Increased sleep giving my body a chance to heal. (Previous insomnia spells)
– Improved Attention span
– Helped with sensory overload
– Reduced fasciculation/ muscle spasms each day after completing the session.
– Memory improving (very bad pre oxygen)
– Finding words and articulating improved
– General pain improved
– No migraines experienced during time doing oxygen
– Reduced anxiety
– Told by those around me I am becoming more like myself.
I will be continuing the hyperbaric oxygen for as long as it as available to me while in my current condition.
All of the staff at the centre have been excellent. A great team, very understanding and a perfect fit for a brilliant service being provided.
I can only hope I’m not in this journey for much longer and appreciate it will take its course, however, I firmly believe I am getting benefit from the hyperbaric oxygen and I am certain it will shorten/ help along the way. I feel both lucky and privileged to be able to avail of this excellent service that has kept me optimistic and given me hope of the best possible outcome that is a return to the life I knew pre covid.
(Note I am continuing to track and measure progress on a chart. As time goes on and more oxygen sessions complete I would hope to have more info I can give as hopefully will have more positive patterns)