Expert OpinionHyperbarics 101

A Patient’s Perspective – How Hyperbarics Healed My Long Covid

By Jim Nieters
A Patient’s Perspective – How Hyperbarics Healed My Long Covid
Before I had Covid, my friends used to say they felt exhausted just hearing about all of my activities. After Covid, I didn't have the energy to hang out or even answer my friends’ calls, let alone hike, bike or go to concerts. I never knew what it was like to feel exhausted in the morning or to be unable to do simple things like cook a meal.

Long Covid Took Away My Emotional Energy

At 59, I liked to boast that 30-year-olds had a hard time keeping up with me (and it was true). But Covid got me. I couldn’t even muster the energy to try and regain my previous enthusiasm, and worried that this new baseline would persist the rest of my life. I also noticed that I had begun to shuffle, rather than walk, because of increased pain in my joints and limbs. I had difficulty recalling words during conversations, felt depressed, and felt breathless during even minor exercise. I’d aged 15 years in two weeks!

A Friend Insisted I Try HBOT

For background, I’m one of those guys who is very skeptical about most “alternative” treatments are silly. Acupuncture? Maybe. (Not that I don't try alternate therapies; I'm just skeptical.) Fortunately, a dear friend insisted I try Hyperbarics. She attested that it healed her bone infection when after years of trying, nothing else did. Had she not pushed me, I never would have tried HBOT.

HBOT Started Helping Immediately

What surprised me the most was that the evening after my first treatment, I completed several chores that had been sitting around for months, and then I took my dogs out for a run. I didn’t really think anything of it, because that’s how I used to approach life. It was normal for me. But my partner pointed out that I hadn’t actually run with my dogs in months— since before Covid and that I hadn’t done a chore in as long. That night, I hard-wired smoke detectors that had been sitting around for six months into my electrical system. Do you realize how big a change this represented? I did not have the energy— physical or emotional— to do virtually anything for months. And here, after one treatment, I felt like my old self again. To say this felt miraculous is not an overstatement.

Research Suggested I Stick with It

The challenge was that I let a couple days go by before my next treatment, and by the second day, I was again exhausted, both physically and emotionally. Emerging from the hyperbaric chamber again, I felt normal. It wasn’t like … oh, a caffeine high for example. I just felt like myself again, without the heaviness Covid had layered on. Of course, my feeling was that I could just do a few sessions and stop, but my friend showed me some of the research. She showed me studies highlighting that hyperbarics reduced inflammation in both brain tissues and throughout my body, which occurred for some patients during Covid. She showed that it could re-oxygenate tissues in the lungs and neuronal systems that had been adversely affected, and that brain scans in studies proved that idling brain cells were again activated. Studies of people who had died from Covid also showed thousands of minor dead spots throughout the body, in the lungs and brain tissue. She convinced me that to create long-lasting healing, I needed at least 20 treatments.

I Ended Up Completing 40 Treatments

In the end, I received 40 treatments, and I am back to 95% of my previous self. I have the physical energy, the emotional energy, and my cognitive functions, including word recall. They have returned to normal. A number of people have asked if the results have been worth the cost of hyperbarics. I would choose hyperbaric oxygen therapy over any other expense, because for me, it makes life feel worth living again. I am in fact so pleased with hyperbarics that I am going to set up treatments every year to reverse the effects of aging.

The Bay Area Hyperbarics Team Cares!

I also cannot speak highly enough about the team at Bay Area Hyperbarics. They treated me not only with respect, but with the care of a family member. Every member of the team treated me like my concerns mattered, from my first initial intake to my final treatment. I look forward to seeing them again for my anti-aging treatments.

Jim Nieters
Jim Nieters

Jim is a Product Design Leader who designs software applications and websites. He excels at optimizing those products and sites to engage customers and monetize the digital presence for small to medium businesses.

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