Lavender Essential Oil and Surgical Pain

lavender-Swiss-army-knife-oils

lavender-Swiss-army-knife-oilsThe “Swiss Knife of Essential Oils” continues to surprise and delight! Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia) is known for being sedative and calming, as a gentle antiseptic and healing agent for burns and for its ability to reduce depression and increase alertness.

Iranian researchers from the Department of Anesthesiology, Golestan Hospital, Ahvaz Jundishapur University investigated lavender essential oil in another mode: that of pain reliever.

Dealing with pain after surgery can be complicated. Regarding post-operative pain relief, the researchers write that “many drugs that are used for this purpose, especially opioids and NSAIDS [Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs], have side effects such as respiratory distress, nausea, itching, and gastrointestinal bleeding.”1

As an alternative, researchers looked to lavender essential oil since the “lipophilic monoterpenes [of] the plant are reacted to the cell membranes, and cause changes in the activity of ion channels, carriers and nervous receptors. Such [properties] can explain the soothing and anti-bacterial effects of Lavender oil.”2

This Iranian study was set up as a triple-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial with 60 pregnant women who were admitted to a general hospital for cesarean section and divided randomly into two groups. Women with coagulation disorders, migraines, chronic headaches, the medical condition anosmia (inability to perceive odor), and/or a history of allergies to medicinal plants were not included in the study.

The severity of post-surgical pain was documented based on the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), a standard rating tool of 0 to 10 (0 for no pain up to 10 for the most severe pain). The test subjects were to receive a 10 percent lavender essence provided by the Barji Essence Pharmaceutical Company of Kashan, Iran. This company also provided the placebo, which was a base of aromatherapy blend without lavender essence. The patients were monitored by an ECG, and their heart rates, blood pressure, and pulse rates were recorded.

Following the C-sections, opioids or benzodiazepines were not administered. Once post-operative pain was experienced, 4, 8, and 12 hours later, the inhalation of aromatherapy (lavender and placebo) was performed. Three drops were placed on a cotton ball, and the patients were asked to inhale it for five minutes at a distance of 10 centimeters while the VAS scale was measured. If the score was greater than 3, analgesic was given in accordance with the hospital protocol (the first time intra-muscular injection of Diclofenac sudume 75 mg and next times, Diclofenac suppositories 100 mg).

The researchers report that “Heart rate, blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and patients’ satisfaction were recorded before and after the aromatherapy. . . .”3

In the discussion section of this study, it is stated that the use of drugs “can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting and excessive sedation; and it can cause a delay in getting out of bed and discharge from the hospital. In addition, the drugs excrete in breast milk and can cause sedation in the baby as well.” Then the researchers state, “It seems necessary to use multiple methods of analgesia (multi-modal) for the pain relief after Cesarean section and to have more research in this area.”4

How did just 10 percent lavender perform as an added analgesic in this study? First of all, the time of need for the Diclofenac was similar in both the lavender and the placebo groups. But after “using the drug comparing it with before, there was more decrease in the VAS score in the Lavender group than the placebo group, these values were significant in four, eight and 12 hours after the first intervention. In the Lavender group, the level of satisfaction from the drug was 90%, while in the placebo group, a 50% satisfaction was reported. In the Lavender group using Diclofenac suppository for completing analgesia was 43.3%, and in the placebo group was 76.7%. After using the drug comparing it with before, heart rate showed a greater reduction in the Lavender group compared with the placebo group. . . . However, no difference was observed in terms of blood pressure between the two groups. In terms of the complication incidence, only one patient in the placebo group had nausea, and none of the patients in both groups had vomiting and dizziness.” 5

The researchers concluded that “Due to the lack of reported side effects such as nausea, vomiting and dizziness in the group treated with Lavandula in our study and other studies on this drug, it can be concluded that this drug does not have [the] serious and common side effects of the opioid analgesics and NSAIDs, and further studies could be used as part of a multimodal analgesic treatment of postoperative pain.”6

We like the conclusion of the Iranian study but have a difficult time with the researchers calling lavender essential oil a “drug.” It is not created in a pharmaceutical laboratory but in the great outdoors. And why the excessive dilution rate?

This study is available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3821145/pdf/aapm-03-203.pdf.

We were pleased to see that the dilution rate is addressed. A study7 done at the Department of Anesthesiology, New York University Medical Center, is mentioned by the Iranians because lavender oil (not diluted) was applied to the oxygen mask of patients undergoing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB). The placebo group of this study received a nonscented baby oil applied to the oxygen mask. The NYU study discovered that “significantly more patients in the Placebo group (PL) required analgesics for postoperative pain (82%) than patients in the Lavender (LAV) group (46%). Moreover, the LAV patients required significantly less morphine postoperatively than PL patients: 2.38 mg vs 4.26 mg. . . . Our results suggest that lavender aromatherapy can be used to reduce the demand for opioids in the immediate postoperative period.”8

The Iranian study also reports on an earlier study from New York University Medical, where just “two drops of 2% lavender oil” were used on a face mask following breast biopsy surgery. A control group received supplemental oxygen with no lavender oil. This study showed that there were “no significant differences in narcotic requirements and recovery room discharge times between the two groups. Postoperative lavender aromatherapy did not significantly affect pain scores. However, patients in the lavender group reported a higher satisfaction rate with pain control than patients in the control group.”9 (Do you wonder what the outcome would have been if undiluted lavender had been used?)

And finally, the Iranians quoted a 2012 study by colleagues at Islamic Azad University in Khalkhjal, Iran, that used lavender oil following episiotomy procedures after childbirth, while a control group received only the usual hospital protocol. This study found a statistical difference in pain intensity scores between the two groups after four hours and after five days after the episiotomy. But differences in pain intensity between the two groups at 12 hours post-surgery were not significant. The REEDA scale (Redness, Edema, Ecchymosis, Discharge) score was significantly lower in the experimental group (Lavender oil group) 5 days after the episiotomy. This study’s conclusion is “It is suggested that Lavender oil essence may be preferable to the use of Betadine for episiotomy wound care.”10

Finally, we get back to the conclusion of the Iranian study. “Based on findings of our study, it can be concluded that the inhaled Lavender essence may be used as a part of the multimodal analgesic treatment after cesarean section.”11 The Iranian researchers make sure they are clear on one point, lavender is not to be the sole analgesic following a C-section. Well, obviously! However, the supportive, supplemental use of lavender essential oil has been well documented as reported here and with an additional 53 studies found on PubMed. (A search for “lavender” and “pain” results in 102 research papers. However, 49 of those papers must be excluded because they have an author whose last name is Lavender.)

Research

  1. Olapour A, et al. The Effect of Inhalation of Aromatherapy Blend containing Lavender Essential Oil on Cesarean Postoperative Pain. Anesth Pain Med. 2013 Summer;3(1):203-7.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Kim JT, et al. Treatment with lavender aromatherapy in the post-anesthesia care unit reduces opioid requirements of morbidly obese patients undergoing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. Obes Surg. 2007 Jul;17(7):920-5.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Kim JT, et al. Evaluation of aromatherapy in treating postoperative pain: pilot study. Pain Pract. 2006 Dec;6(4):273-7.
  10. Sheikhan F, et al. Episiotomy pain relief: Use of Lavender oil essence in primiparous Iranian women. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2012 Feb;18(1):66-70.
  11. Olapour, op cited.

Lavender essential oil may be purchased at: http://www.youngliving.com/grainsofhope

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An Unusual Blend for Mental Exhaustion

All those who have experienced mental exhaustion or moderate burnout (ME/MB) raise your hands! Since most of us cannot take the time or money for a quick trip to a sunny beach to recuperate, here’s some research that just might brighten your day.

Jane Buckle, PhD, RN, is well known in the UK for her work in critical care nursing. She has published widely in nursing and medical journals. With co-author E. Varney, Ms. Buckle investigated a blend of three essential oils on mental exhaustion and moderate burnout in a November 2012 study.1

peppermintThe study tested a blend of peppermint, basil, and helichrysum for the randomized, controlled, double-blind investigation. The placebo was rose water as used in Indian cooking. The convenience sample consisted of 13 women and one man who each had self-assessed ME/MB.

basilData were collected three times a day for three weeks, Monday through Friday. Baseline was the first week, the second week was intervention (aromatherapy or the placebo), and the final week was for washout.

Each participant was given a personal inhaler to use at home or at work during the trial. The inhalers contained either the essential oil blend of peppermint, basil, and helichrysum or rose water. A qualitative questionnaire rated the aroma, and another questionnaire was given for listing perceived stressors. The outcome measures were a 0-10 scale with 10 for worst feeling of burnout, 0 for no feeling of burnout.

Never doubt the power of placebo as both groups experienced a reduction of perception of ME/MB. However, the study reported that “the aromatherapy group had a much greater reduction. Conclusions: The results suggest that inhaling essential oils may reduce the perceived level of mental fatigue/burnout. Further research is warranted.”2

HelichrysumWe invite you to test your favorite essential oils and blends to see if they are able to help you recover from the stress of our busy lives.

References
1.      Varney E, Buckle J, “Effect of Inhaled Essential Oils on Mental Exhaustion and Moderate Burnout: A Small Pilot Study,” J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Nov. 9. [Epub ahead of print] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23140115.
2.      Ibid.

Order peppermint, basil, and helichrysum oils here

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Lavender Essential Oil Calms Dementia Agitation

lavender

Watching an elderly parent descend into dementia is certainly one of life’s most wrenching experiences. A study conducted at the Chinese University of Hong Kong summarized the dilemmas of treatment. “Agitated behaviors among persons with dementia are distressing to both patients and their caregivers. As pharmacological interventions may be limited by their potentially adverse effects, the use of complimentary therapies for treatment of agitation has become more popular and aromatherapy is the fastest growing one.”1

We present to you under a dozen studies mostly focused on lavender essential oil and its use in the treatment of dementia.

lavenderNurses at the Institute of Health and Nursing Science at the University of Agder in Norway tested the efficacy of lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia) with patients suffering from dementia, anxiety, and disturbed sleep. The November 20132 study reported on the experience of 24 residents and 12 nurses from four nursing homes that participated in the research. Lavender oil was diffused nightly and “was perceived as an effective care modality reducing insomnia and anxiety in this patient cohort.”3

This result is not surprising to most as it is widely known that lavender is calming. Regardless, the study states that “Nurses experienced some negative attitudes among colleagues because they considered aromatherapy as not evidence based. Nurses require greater access to evidence based use of Aromatherapy.”4

How grateful we are to have such easy and free access to the website of the National Library of Medicine, www.pubmed.gov. We have a difficult time with the idea that aromatherapy is not considered “evidence based” by some. A search today for “essential oil” resulted in 13,450 peer-reviewed studies. Then a search for “lavender” and “dementia” brought up 24 studies. (Not all were applicable, as there is a Down’s syndrome researcher whose last name is Lavender.)

We excluded animal, autism, and Down’s syndrome studies, and three studies with no abstract. We also gave up on an intriguing 20105 study that listed the protocol to test lavender essential oil with dementia patients. But after three years, the study has not been completed and published. That left 10 human-subject studies that investigated the use of lavender essential oil for dementia and anxiety.

So did the rest of the research back up what the Norwegian scientists found? Mostly, yes. First the clearly positive results. A Japanese study in 2012 observed 145 nursing home residents aged 65 and older who received either a lavender patch that gave continuous olfactory stimulation or an unscented patch. The primary outcome that was measured was resident falls, but baseline and 12-month measurements were also taken of functional ability and behavioral and psychological problems associated with dementia.

Not only did the lavender group have significantly fewer falls, but they experienced reduced dementia problems as well. The conclusion of the study reported: “Lavender olfactory stimulation may reduce falls and agitation in elderly nursing home residents.”6 (There was also the obligatory “further research is needed to confirm these findings” statement.)

A rigorous 2009 Japanese study studied 28 elderly people with dementia, 17 of whom had Alzheimer’s disease. There was a control period of 28 days, and aromatherapy was “performed” over the following 28 days, followed by a washout period of another 28 days. More oils than just lavender were used. In the mornings, aromatherapy with rosemary and lemon essential oils was performed; in the evening, lavender and orange. All the patients showed significant improvement relative to functional testing scores for Alzheimer’s disease and for two dementia scales. The study stated, “In conclusion, we found aromatherapy an efficacious non-pharmacological therapy for dementia. Aromatherapy may have some potential for improving cognitive function, especially in AD [Alzheimer’s disease] patients.”7

A care center in Waltham, Massachusetts, offers “meaningful activities” to nursing home residents with advanced dementia. Called Namaste Care, this 7-day a week program is staffed by specially trained nursing assistants who provide care with a “loving touch” in a room with “lowered lighting, soft music playing, and the scent of lavender. “Analyses of Minimum Data Set data before the program [was] implemented and after residents were involved in the program for at least 30 days showed a decrease in resident’s withdrawal, social interaction, delirium indicators, and trend for decreased agitation.”8

A “faint praise” study was done in 2002 in the UK in a long-stay psychogeriatric ward. A 2 percent lavender oil aromatherapy stream was administered in the ward for two hours alternated with a placebo (water) every other day for ten treatment sessions. Nine of the 15 patients with severe dementia and agitated behavior showed improvement (60 percent). Five (33 percent) showed no change and one patient (7 percent) had worse agitated behavior. The study concluded, “Lavender oil administered in an aroma stream shows modest efficacy in the treatment of agitated behavior in patients with severe dementia.”9

The 2007 Chinese study mentioned at the beginning of this article had much more positive remarks about lavender aromatherapy. In a cross-over, randomized trial, half of 70 older adults with dementia were randomly assigned to the active (lavender) group for three weeks and then switched to the control group that received sunflower oil inhalation for another three weeks while the other half did the opposite. “Clinical response was evaluated using the Chinese version of Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CCMAI) and Neuropsychiatric Inventory (CNPI).”10 The study found there were no adverse events and that “lavender is effective as an adjunctive therapy in alleviating agitated behaviours in Chinese patients with dementia. In a patient population particularly vulnerable to side effects of psychotropic medications, aromatherapy using lavender may offer an alternative option.”11 (Emphasis added.)

We will briefly mention the last of seven positive studies on the use of lavender with dementia. A 2005 Korean study found that “A lavender aromatherapy hand massage program is effective on emotions and aggressive behavior of elderly with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.”12

Now for the mixed messages. A 2004 study13 was conducted at the Michael E. Debakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas. As two previous studies showed efficacy in treating dementia with a lavender essential oil hand massage, this study was to determine if the inhalation of lavender oil without cutaneous absorption would decrease agitated behaviors in patients with dementia. Three groups of dementia patients received either lavender, thyme, or an unscented grapefruit oil. The study found no differences between the groups. The conclusion noted that there is significant evidence showing dementia patients have impaired olfactory abilities. “Cutaneous application of the essential oil may be necessary to achieve the effects reported in previous controlled studies.”14

This finding of hampered sense of smell is supported also in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A Penn State study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine smell dysfunction. The study stated, “In summary, the present study demonstrates that significant AD-related changes in odor-related BOLD signaling responding to different odorant concentrations are present beyond those observed in healthy elderly.”15 For those familiar with this imaging, the full study is available to download at no charge here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3515873/pdf/nihms233824.pdf.

A final study we will review suggests another complication that may interfere with the efficacy of lavender essential oil for dementia patients. The Centre for Health Practice Innovation in Brisbane, Australia, investigated the effect of aromatherapy (a 3 percent lavender oil spray) with or without hand massage on disruptive behavior in dementia patients living in long-term care.

Sixty-seven people from three long-term care facilities received a combination (aromatherapy and hand massage), aromatherapy, or a placebo control (water spray). The results showed “Despite a downward trend in behaviours displayed not one of the interventions significantly reduced disruptive behaviour.”16

But what was of most interest in the failure of the lavender oil to impact negative behavior in this study was this insightful comment. “Further large-scale placebo-controlled studies are required where antipsychotic medication is controlled and a comparison of the methods of application of aromatherapy are investigated.”17 (Emphasis added.) It was thus suggested that the psychotropic medications prescribed may have interfered with the efficacy of lavender essential oil.

Research

  1. Lin PW, et al. Efficacy of aromatherapy (Lavandula angustifolia) as an intervention for agitated behaviours in Chinese older persons with dementia: a cross-over randomized trial. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007 May;22(5):405-10.
  2. Johannessen B. Nurses experience of aromatherapy use with dementia patients experiencing disturbed sleep patterns. An action research project. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2013 Nov;19(4):209-13. Found at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24199975.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. van der Ploeg ES, et al. The study protocol of a blinded randomized-controlled cross-over trial of lavender oil as a treatment of behavioural symptoms in dementia. BMC Geriatr. 2010 Jul 22;10:49.
  6. Sakamoto Y, et al. Fall prevention using olfactory stimulation with lavender odor in elderly nursing home residents: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Jun;60(6):1005-11.
  7. Jimbo D, et al. Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Psychogeriatrics. 2009 Dec;9(4):173-9.
  8. Simard J, Volicer L. Effects of Namaste Care on residents who do not benefit from usual activities. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2010 Feb;25)(1):46-50.
  9. Holmes C, et al. Lavender oil as a treatment for agitated behavior in severe dementia: a placebo controlled study. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2002 Apr;17(4):305-8.
  10. Lin PW, op cited.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Lee SY, [The effect of lavender aromatherapy on cognitive function, emotion, and aggressive behavior of elderly with dementia]. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2005 Apr;35(2):303-12.
  13. Snow LA, et al. A controlled trial of aromatherapy for agitation in nursing home patients with dementia. J Altern Complement Med. 2004 Jun;10(3):431-7.
  14. Ibid.
  15. Wang J, et al. Olfactory deficit detected by fMRI in early Alzheimer’s disease. Brain Res. 2010 Oct 21;1357:184-94.
  16. Fu CY, A randomized controlled trial of the use of aromatherapy and hand massage to reduce disruptive behaviour in people with dementia. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Jul 10;13:165.
  17. Ibid.

You can order lavender essential oil from http://www.youngliving.com/grainsofhope

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Natural Essential Oil Reduces Stress – Synthetic Shows no Improvement

bergamot

The three Taiwanese research scientists who authored the study we will discuss today have the most eclectic background.

  •  Shing-Hong Liu is with the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology at Chaoyang University of Technology, Taichung.
  • Tzu-Hsin Lin is from the Department of Cardiology at Lin-Shin Hospital in Taichung.
  • Kang-Ming Chang is connected with the Department of Photonics and Communication Engineering, Asia University, Taichung, and the Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, China Medical University, also in Taichung, Taiwan.

What is so impressive about the research of these three scientists is their multipronged approach to their study. Equally important and a research bonus is that this study tested an essential oil against its synthetic counterpart!

First, the researchers explain that in our modern society “ . . . job-related stress is a substantial problem because 40% – ­50% of all relative work misses [absences] are related to stress.”1 Work-related stress, they say, adds to disease risk, including cardiovascular disease, the chronic diseases of aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and metabolic syndrome.

They reviewed aromatherapy/stress studies and found that bergamot, lavender, and geranium were the most studied essential oils, and inhalation was the most common delivery system. Next, the researchers decided on the best method to scientifically show stress and any reduction caused by aromatherapy.

The researchers report that “The autonomic nervous system includes sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. When people feel physical or psychological stress, the sympathetic system becomes more active. When this stressor disappears, the parasympathetic system reduces the heart rate and the breathing rate. The response of the autonomic nervous system can be monitored using the heart rate variability (HRV), which is derived from heartbeat interval time series.”2 So heart-rate variability was the main method chosen to measure autonomic nervous system activity.

The researchers actually had two major points to explore, so “The experiment comprised two phases. The purpose of the first phase was to verify the effect of aromatherapy by using two blind tests. We used natural essential oil extracted from plants and synthetic essential oil made with chemical materials to do the aromatherapy.”3

bergamot

Bergamot has many uses

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) was the essential oil chosen for the study. The study explains that 100 percent pure, natural bergamot essential oil was used as the control, and a synthesized, chemical essential oil served as the placebo. We are not surprised that “ . . . only the natural bergamot essential oil had an effect.”4

The tests were carefully blinded. Although the synthetic and the natural bergamot had a similar scent, the researchers thought that some people might be able to distinguish a difference if they were able to compare them together. So there was a week between the two experiments (where the teachers would receive real bergamot and then a week later, they would receive the synthetic version via an ultrasonic ionizer aromatherapy diffuser.

The teachers that were tested were required to abstain from alcohol, smoking, and coffee for the six hours prior to the aromatherapy treatment. They were asked to sit quietly in a chair and rest for three minutes. Their blood pressure was measured and an ECG administered. The aromatherapy treatment was 15 minutes; and at the completion of the testing period, the participants’ blood pressure was measured again along with a three-minute ECG. During this first phase, the synthetic version, unlike the natural bergamot, was found ineffective at relieving stress.

The second phase analyzed the performance of aromatherapy with only the pure bergamot essential oil for teachers with varying workload. “Each participant underwent aroma treatment twice: once during a heavy-workload state [defined as teaching more than four classes a day], and once more during a light workload state [teaching less than two classes in one day].”5

The researchers quoted a previous aromatherapy study6 that showed that age and gender affect heart-rate variability. So intergroup differences among age, gender, BMI (Body Mass Index), and the degree of anxiety were also analyzed.

And what were the results of this carefully crafted study? “The response of autonomic nervous system has a significant change after the natural essential bergamot oil treatment. We also analyzed the effect of aromatherapy at different workloads. The aromatherapy may alleviate the symptoms of physical and psychological stress. The results also suggest that age and BMI factors affect aromatherapy performance when teachers have a heavy workload.”7

We love learning how bergamot essential oil can relieve stress in elementary school teachers. It is fascinating to know that the researchers also charted age and BMI influences in the study. The full study is available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3818840/pdf/ECAM2013-853809.pdf.

We must admit, our favorite part of this study will always be: “Table 3 shows that the results obtained for the synthetic essential oil did not have any indicators with a sig

nificant difference.”8

The next time shysters try to sell you an essential oil adulterated with synthetic compounds, tell them NO THANKS! You know better!

Research

  1.  Liu SH, et al. The physical effects of aromatherapy in alleviating work-related stress on elementary school teachers in Taiwan. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:853809. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Chang KM, Shen CW. Aromatherapy benefits autonomic nervous system regulation for elementary school faculty in Taiwan. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.2011;2011:946537.
  6. Liu, op cited.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.

Natural Bergamot essential oil may be purchased from: http://www.youngliving.com/grainsofhope

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Exciting Healing Opportunity

We have a situation we are hoping someone in our community can help us with:

Many of you know we have a son, Arif, who was in a car wreck eleven and a half years ago and now has a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. I have written part of his story.

We have a chance to take part in a study using hyperbaric oxygen therapy which seems to show much promise, even years after the injury. The clinic is in Kennesaw, Georgia, which is over an hour and a half drive from where we live. The therapy is given 5 days a week, and they have a day-long program that will shorten the duration from eight weeks to four weeks.

Our dilemma: We have only one car and one driver in the family, who works a 9 to 5. If we do the day-long program, we need somewhere to go in between treatments (3 hours apart), so it will not be such a long day for us both. Ideally, we would like to ride back and forth to the clinic each day, although, there may be times we need to camp out overnight somewhere. Our teen-ager has a fairly full evening schedule.

The teen has evening activities on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I figured those nights, we may just try to find someplace to camp out overnight, since this will put Wonderhubs in a crunch to come and get us.

The teen will also need someplace to do schoolwork rather than being alone or having to run with us and sit around waiting for our other son to be finished. This way, he could have some ‘encouragement’ to do his schoolwork, perhaps with other home schoolers in our local area. He says he won’t mind spending some days at home alone, but I am not comfortable leaving a teen to his own devices for that much time. We actually planned to take time off from school during Christmas week and the week between the holidays. So it will only be a couple of weeks of schoolwork during the time frame. I am sure he would love to have some other kids to hang out with. Being close to home, the teen will be available for his father to pick him up after work and take him to his evening activities.

The initial appointment to determine our son’s eligibility (although he has been pre-screened, and they seem to think he is a good candidate, the neurologist has to make the determination) is December 4 at 2:00. Please keep us in your prayers for this interview.

Our son may be able to have his first treatment immediately after the interview. This will be followed by thirty nine more treatments over four weeks: five days a week, with two treatments each day. At least three hours are required between treatments. The center also offers physical therapy, chiropractic, and an exercise program, which may take some of the time between appointments. The clinic is closed on Christmas and New Years Day, so he will have no treatment those days. They may be added on to the end of the schedule (in January).

On December 4th, we find out the schedule for his treatments. My idea on this was to spend some time in a quiet(er) place to get some lunch and rest between the two daily treatments. Plus some familiar friendly faces during this time, when we may well be separated from our family, would certainly be welcome

One of the big issues is the cost, so I am hoping to minimize our other expenditures, outside the treatment program. I am more than willing to give some recompense for anyone who helps out, but at $44 per night (minimum) for a hotel and the cost of eating out, it will get awfully costly quite quickly. This time of year, that is especially perplexing.

Does anyone have any ideas about how we can get this to work for our son? It is an exciting opportunity for him in his continuing recovery.

We may need to do some sort of fund raiser to cover the cost of the treatment, which, even though it is part of a study is not pro bono, but costs several thousand dollars. If your would like to help, let me know. This is another issue where we covet your prayers.

The clinic address:
Inspiro ProHBO
2911 George Busby Parkway, Suite 50,
Kennesaw, GA 30144
phone: 404-907-1400
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