Hi, my name is Audrey. I am the founder of Healing The Hyperbaric Way. This is my story about hyperbaric oxygen therapy and Lyme Disease.
It 1994 at the age of 18 I kept getting sick and very emotional. It started out with more mental health symptoms. First, I was told depression then years later I was told bi-polar, but none of the medications ever really worked and I just kept getting worse. These diagnoses never made sense to me because there were so many things happening with my body. Years went on, I had been in two car accidents, five herniated disks, then later I had severe mold in my body from a home I was living in. Once the mold happened my body just shut down.
Fast forward to 2016, I was just existing. So fatigued I would fall through the door into my bed after work, slept on my lunch break, I mixed up my words in sentences, limped with one leg, back and neck pain, hormones were out of control, short of breath, rage one moment, tears the next and I didn't know how much longer I could keep living like this. I hate saying this, but I didn’t want to live.
I had the weirdest things happen to my body. I felt like I had bugs crawling in my body, thought I was going crazy, and angry at doctors for never really helping me and making me feel like it was all in my head. I had been through 19 years of endless specialists, neurologists, psychotherapists, infectious disease doctors, gynecologists, gastrologists, endocrinologist, some of the best hospitals in the US such as the Mayo Clinic, University of Washington, and ER visits.
Over the years there were so many paths the doctors went down which included Addison’s disease, cortisol issues, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, SIBO, parasites, mold in my body, extremely low blood pressure, Multiple Sclerosis, gluten, dairy, sugar, and flour intolerance's, surgery for Endometriosis, hormone problems, anemia and I could keep going. Some of these made sense, but I felt there had to be a reason I had hormone problems, brain fog, failing adrenal glands, but none of the diagnosis seemed to fit the full puzzle to me.
Then I found a Lyme literate doctor, she evaluated me, and gave me a diagnosis of Lyme disease. That made sense to me.
Finally, I could start treating the problem not the symptoms, but Lyme Disease, ugh! It was bittersweet. I was happy to hear the words positive for Lyme Disease because at least I knew then it was not all in my head, but OMG I had no idea the mess I had ahead of me.
I tried all kinds of antibiotics, IV’s, acupuncture, physical therapy to get my leg working, elimination diets, chiropractic, sauna, ion footbath, and many other treatments. Then I found a naturopathic doctor in Seattle, WA. She had been treating me for a while with some success. She said to me. "You need a hyperbaric chamber. I am seeing all these amazing things happening in my patients and if you can swing it, you should try it." I trusted her, she had been the most honest, no BS advocate for me.
I did not want to be that woman that was just existing, and knew I was really missing life. My friends were getting married and having kids. I wanted that, but I could not even go hiking anymore, my friends were gone because I was always sick, and any boyfriend I had, they always saw a sick mess. I did not have the strength to even go to the grocery store. I always had an adventurous spirit, and I was losing hope that I could ever get it back.
I desperately wanted my life back. I had traveled the world by myself, loved fitness and health, lifted weights, went halibut fishing in Alaska in the summers, and I wanted to find a partner in life. I was beyond desperate as I had spent most all my money to save my health.
So, I took her advice, and I purchased a portable hyperbaric chamber for my home. I started at 5 minutes at 4 PSI (max pressure) and worked my way up 6 days a week. I could not do any more than 5 minutes to start as I was just so weak and sick. After a while, my body started to take little turns! It was a commitment of my time and money. I had to be in there many many hours, but a hyperbaric chamber has been one of the best tools with the least amount of side effects in my recovery process. I still use my hyperbaric chamber today. I get so much energy I cannot go in after 4pm or I am up half the night.
My health is not perfect, but I can hike the mountains, spend the day digging in my garden, read books, go to yoga 3 days a week, I have friendships where I do not cancel on our plans, I have my mental health back, and it was never bi-polar! I don’t limp anymore, and I can eat more food than I had in the past. I am still working on the boyfriend/life partner situation😊
My dog Frederick and I hiking in Alaska, skiing at Mt. Baker, WA, and halibut fishing in Alaska.
Anyway, I am not saying my hyperbaric chamber did all of this, but it was one of the best tools for my journey! I did need medications, herbals, and lots of detoxing in conjunction with the hyperbaric chamber. I was not getting the healing until I added the hyperbaric oxygen therapy though.
Now, I want to give back by helping to inspire and educate you and your family so you can experience the amazing benefits of hyperbaric oxygen.
I keep getting more inspired by the diverse array of diseases people report that it helps. I had thought, how is this helping so many people from athletes, burns, brain injury, and autism? But our bodies need oxygen and when we have that oxygen we can heal.
I am here to help you with questions about buying a hyperbaric chamber, you need help getting one set up, or my story!
I know how hard it is to advocate for yourself and make decisions when you are living in chronic pain and have no hope left in you. I am not a doctor so I can only speak from my experience, but sometimes learning from others that have suffered in that same way can be that next piece that turns you in the right direction. It has always been that way for me and if I can help someone avoid a little of the pain I went through or support you in finding your next step in your journey then something good has come out of my long bumpy road to recovery.