Jul 02, 2016

Coming Back From the Dark


I would like to share a personal story with you how alternative medicine and perseverance impacted my daughter’s health with her accident.

A few years ago my daughter, in her second year of university, suffered a serious concussion. Previously she had experienced two concussions when she was younger; one from falling off a horse and the other from playing hockey. Fortunately, these childhood concussions were not too serious and under the care of a neurologist, she had experienced a full recovery within a week or so, and was able to return to school and all activities.

Unfortunately, this last concussion, we were not so lucky. The neurologist informed us she would most likely suffer permanent brain damage and would experience long-term difficulties.

This all happened in March, just as her exams at university were about to begin. It was apparent my daughter was in no condition to attend classes, let alone write any exams. She was placed under the care of the Brain Injury Clinic, where they advised me to take her home and provided her with in-home care. She was granted special permission to defer any school work and all her exams until the end of the summer.

Leaving university was very difficult knowing she may not be returning. The Brain Injury Clinic would do simple every day tasks with her, from testing her memory, communication/comprehension skills, to organizing her daily tasks.  This went on for months, as they checked-in on her to monitor her progress.

I had never before seen such serious symptoms caused by a concussion. This injury drove my daughter into a very dark place without any communication or contact with people. When she was not sleeping, she would just stay in her dark room, rolled up in a ball in the corner. You could clearly see she was in a lot of pain and discomfort. She experienced great difficulty communicating with anyone, and any simple mental task was a challenge. With each passing day, she was not showing any signs of improvement; in fact, things were becoming progressively worse.

Just trying to get her to a doctor’s appointment was an ordeal. She was unable to be in the car without being blindfolded, any light, movement or the slightest noise would cause major discomfort, sending her into a fetal position. She was unable to hold a conversation at any level and her memory was minimal.

As things progressively got worse so did my concern if she would ever recover. Critical time continued to tick away, the neurologist was surprised to see that she had no improvement.  Since her condition was going downhill, he went so far as to suggest she was faking her symptoms to get out of her exams. This was not the kind of statement that I would ever believe, and if he had known her prior to the concussion, he never would have made that assumption.

Little did he know, my daughter was an honor-roll student with a love of school and books. She had big dreams of completing her Bachelor degree and a Masters and even going on for her Ph.D. degree. I knew if things did not improve quickly, her dreams would surely slip away and be forgotten.

It was apparent that if I wanted my daughter to recover, I was not going to get the support and guidance we needed from her doctor. Luckily, with my line of work, I knew of some alternative treatments that I felt was worth a try, figuring we had nothing to lose by exploring other options. When I discussed these protocols with her neurologist, he quickly shut me down and told me I shouldn’t waste my time or money on nonsense treatments that did not guarantee any results. He suggested I take my daughter home, put her back in the dark room, no computer, TV or cell phone. Oh, and don’t forget the painkillers and anti-depressants. He was convinced that was the treatment she needed.

I knew that what he was suggesting was not going to work for my daughter. Maybe for someone else, the treatment suggested could have worked. As a mother, there was no way I was going to stand by and watch my daughter deteriorate each day and not make every effort in my power to try and help her.

On leaving the hospital, I reached out to the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Clinic that was highly recommended to me and explained the severity of my daughter’s condition and how things were becoming worse with each passing day. Lesly R. was extremely knowledgeable working with concussed patients, and advised us to come in right NOW! Do not even go home, she said. Come straight here.  I will be waiting for you.

When we arrived, my daughter was a mess. I needed assistance to bring her into the building. They immediately put her in a Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment tank for ninety-minutes. I can’t even explain to you what happened. I was in complete shock when a different person came out of that tank ninety minutes later! This was honestly the first positive sign of improvement I had seen in the past few weeks.

She looked as though someone just took away her pain, her eyes prior to treatment were foggy and clouded over, after the treatment they were slightly opened and she did not look so dazed and far away. Her voice was weak as she tried to say a few words, she seemed to know that being in this strange tank was helping her feel better. I was just so thankful to see a positive sign!

She participated in these sessions every day for the next seven days. When we returned to the neurologist office one week later for her follow-up appointment, as you can probably imagine, the neurologist was very impressed with her improvement. He assumed it was from his recommended strategy; the dark room, rest, and painkillers. I didn’t have the energy or patience to explain to him that we were going ahead with the Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments after he advised us against it.

My daughter continued with the Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment over the next few months; about twenty sessions in total. In conjunction with the oxygen treatment, her naturopathic doctor highly recommended she also start high dose Vitamin C, IV therapy. This Vitamin C, IV therapy worked hand in hand with the Hyperbaric Oxygen, created amazing benefits to her brain. You could see some small improvement taking place with each treatment, she was now able to spend a few minutes out of her room, sometimes you would catch a little smile as she was slowly beginning to communicate again. The Vitamin C, IV therapy, gave her high dose of natural vitamins and minerals that her body and brain needed. We slowly began to phase out the pain killer and drugs and that made a big difference. You could see she was starting to be more her old self.

By the end of the school year in June, she was able to complete all but one exam, she received an extension for the last exam, that she completed by the end of July. She had missed a lot of schoolwork while she recovered from this brain injury and had to work even harder to catch up with everything.

She took extra summer classes to catch up with the work and was able to complete all the classes she needed before returning in September, to continue her third year of school.

My daughter has now completed her honours undergraduate degree on time. She also earned straight A’s in her finial year and the highest mark in one of her classes. Her professor even sent her an email to inform her of her grade and congratulate her for her accomplishment. All her dedication and the medical treatment she received gave her the ability to work hard and complete her school. Not only is she graduating, she also has completed her thesis, volunteers at her university and at a local environmental company. She was recently accepted into a Masters program for fall 2016. I’m sure you can imagine how extremely proud I am of what my daughter has accomplished. This is truly remarkable results when a much different picture was painted two years ago. I know in my heart; this outcome would have been very different if we did not pursue alternative and naturopathic treatments.

She still does suffer today from the occasional headaches from mild to a migraine. Over the years, she has developed a keen sense of what can trigger this- lighting, electromagnetic radiation, loud noises, too many things going on around her, but her naturopathic doctor found some natural remedies that help with these symptoms.

This is truly a lesson of perseverance that gave her the strength to keep going; in life anything is possible; and to never limit yourself. Never give up and be confident in what you do. There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds.
The purpose of this is simply to give you information for making informed decisions when it comes to your health. If something isn’t working for you, then explore other options. Do not assume or believe that you have no possibilities until you have exhausted every avenue.

I hope that no one will ever require this type of treatment. But in case you know someone that may, timing is critical to get treatment started as soon as possible before damage is permanent. When something like this happens, it’s not the time to begin searching for alternative treatment, the time to learn is now. It’s kind of one of those things that doesn’t seem important until you need it.

Brain injury is not the only condition Hyperbaric Oxygen can help with. This type of treatment can help with a number of conditions from autism to strokes and is now being recognized by conventional medicine with even the cost of treatment being covered for some conditions under OHIP.

Unfortunately, you can be sure that you will not hear about high dose Vitamin C and Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment through your conventional doctor. That is why I’m extremely passionate to share these treatment options with you.




Maureen photoMaureen Christensen, Founder of Core Habits, is a Nutritional Weight Loss Practitioner and Certified Wellness Health Coach, who specializes in weight loss and weight management. She focuses on educating and inspiring her clients to utilize the benefits of food to improve their health. Maureen believes that weight loss ‘Goes Beyond the Scale’, and that education is the key to not only losing weight but knowing how to keep it off for good.  No matter what road the client’s journey takes them, the most important aspect is learning how to build ‘Healthy Core Habits’ and learning to navigate the road to good health long term.


Contact Maureen to get started!  maureen@corehabits.ca or 905-617-1359


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