How I overcame the nightmare at my feet

A structural problem to my toes that developed when I was a 23 year old flared and fluctuated through the years. In my early thirties, this became unbearable. I found out through visiting a specialist that I had a condition, in which my toes were subject to poor healing and constant breaks. The worst was yet to come, though. Even reading it now takes my breath away, because two of my toes on the left foot would need to be amputated. Suffice to say, it wasn’t a great time, but thankfully, relief came in the form of hyperbaric treatment. Melbourne won me over again with a place specialising in hyperbaric treatments that I could regularly visit just a few main roads away.

Thankfully, around the same time, I was referred by a friend who played football to a place that offered hyperbaric chamber sessions. He made sure I knew about about the benefits of oxygen therapies and why not trying one would be a mistake. He was right.

In the end,  I wasn’t able to save my toes but I was able to deal with the amputation wound, which threatened to be very difficult to treat. Areas of the body far away from the heart are notoriously more resistant to healing, due to the fact that oxygen is firstly used in the central regions of the body, leaving legs and extremities to go with less. a long period of recovery behind. I was able to focus on intensive return to health though, and what made that easier than I expected was the introduction to leading Melbourne hyperbaric chamber oxygen therapies.

My first session in a chamber made me realise how much pain I’d been in. A level down from the pain I’d normally been in was the eye opener. I guess I had become become complacent with compensating pain, and my body showed the aftershocks of this, with tiny niggles opening up all over my body, which I guess were the small but numerous readjustments my body needed to make now that those pain-led movements no longer happened.

Talking health with an old chum

Today I was on the tram and ran into an old pal from high school, Kasey. I haven’t seen her for yonks. We’d never been that close, but she seemed up for a chinwag, so I really went for it and told her all about my bung knee. She reciprocated by telling me about how she’d been struggling with chronic fatigue since her final year at uni, and had just recently come across a treatment that seemed to be alleviating it.

One of my cousins has chronic fatigue, so I was pretty interested to hear this. The treatment, Kasey told me, is a type of oxygen therapy. In the Melbourne area, it hasn’t been all that easy to access, so she’d had to shell out heaps of money on the whole thing. Even so, the results had been so good that she hadn’t been fazed.

I looked into it a bit more when I got home. I found out that it’s called hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and involves the patient spending time in a chamber with a high internal air pressure. I’m not 100% sure how it works, but it’s something to do with being able to take more oxygen into the lungs.

Kasey was saying she’d been looking into investing in a portable unit for home use, which makes sense now that I can see what the chambers are like. Buying a portable hyperbaric chamber would save heaps of money and time in the long run, compared with having to go to a treatment facility every time she needs to have a session. I guess it’s not that dissimilar to people installing saunas in their homes for health support purposes.

It’s good to hear that Kasey has found a way of dealing with chronic fatigue that works for her. I wonder what kind of timeline the treatment happens on. In her case, it sounds like she expects it to be an ongoing kind of deal, or she probably wouldn’t be considering buying a chamber for herself. In any case, I’ll have to talk to my cousin about this.