Two weeks ago, Susie started Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) at St. David’s Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center. Her treatments last two hours, are daily Monday through Friday and are scheduled for eight weeks. The chamber’s pressure is increased to two atmospheres and is filled with 100% oxygen. It takes about ten to fifteen minutes at the beginning and end of each session to gradually increase/ decrease the pressure in the oxygen chamber. During which she has to equalize the pressure in her ears (i.e. yawning…). They have a TV above the chamber and speakers in the chamber, but Susie mostly likes to take a nap.
The question that keeps me up at night is whether we can arrest Susie’s cognitive decline and if we improve her quality of life. She has been extremely tired for the last three months. My gut feeling is her tiredness is psychosomatic and boredom related. It used to be that she could help with cutting vegetables for dinner and she could operate on her own the TV and her iPhone. I used to be able to gauge whether she was having a decline by the words she played in scrabble. All of which now require assistance or can’t be done. Some other activities I am doing with her are puzzles and coloring books. She has not returned to the pool, but we are doing short walks. Pearl also introduced a couple of board games in the last two weeks.
Speaking of Pearl, I am very proud of her. She reached out to friends and family via Facebook to see if they can help. Her post was compassionate, heartfelt and thoughtful. In addition, she has taken the task of coordinating the assistance schedule. She provided two options:
- Visiting w/ Susie between 10:30 am and 1 pm, or
- Bringing a meal
There has been an overwhelming response. So much so, that I only cooked a meal once last week. Fortunately, no one has brought us a cream of mushroom casserole, as most everyone knows Susie prefers fresh vegetables to rich or fatty dishes. We’ve also received gift cards from friends and family who are not in Austin.
We greatly appreciate the love and support. Thank you!!!
PS: For those who need help sleeping at night, there is a good article from 2014 in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences on “The Diagnosis and Treatment of Pseudoprogression, Radiation Necrosis and Brain Tumor Recurrence“.