When Isabella’s Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) occurred, I suddenly found myself thrust into an unknown medical world. Prior to Isabella’s ABI, we dealt with food allergies, reflux, asthma and an immune deficiency. Those were all areas that I had navigated and felt “comfortable” with. Brain injury was a totally different ball game. Everything that I thought I knew about medicine and treatments were wrong. I was so closed-minded in regards to non-traditional medicine. I thought traditional medicine was the only way to go. I refused to even consider alternatives until traditional medicine failed Isabella. Well, I learned that I needed to be more open-minded.
When traditional medicine didn’t seem to help Isabella, I went online looking for alternatives. Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT) was one of the alternative treatments that I found. As we started HBOT and it had such a profound life changing impact on Isabella, I started to have a more open mind about alternative medicine. Prior to Isabella’s ABI, I thought alternative medicine was a hoax. I felt that people were believing in the “placebo effect” where you think it is helping so you buy into it. I thought if it wasn’t traditional medicine or traditional therapy that it couldn’t possibly work. I quickly found out that I was completely wrong. I not only know that HBOT works for Isabella, I have the data to prove that it does.
As time has gone on and traditional medicine continues to be a struggle to aide Isabella, I have continued to research the alternative medical options. Whenever you are researching any sort of medical treatment, whether it be traditional or alternative, here are some guidelines to follow:
- Talk with others who have firsthand experience. When I was researching Omega 3s, the parents in my support group provided a wealth of knowledge. I felt that they gave me the best input because they has been down this road before.
- Talk with your pharmacist. Pharmacists are vital when it comes to possible interactions with current medication. They often times know the current research as well.
- Research as much as you can online. Read articles, blogs, consumer reports, anything and everything that you can find. The more information that you have, the better chance you have of making the right decision. Determine the source of the information you find so you know whether or not to trust it.
- Talk with your medical team (ie: doctors, therapists, etc) about the research you find. Not every provider is going to agree with you. However, you want to make sure that the treatment you are seeking isn’t going to cause harm. For example, Omega 3s can thin your blood so you need to make sure that this is not a risk for you.
In the end, we all do what we think is best for our survivors. Having an open mind to all possible treatment options can make all the difference. I can’t imagine where our life would be had I not found HBOT. Thankfully I do not have to wonder. What alternative medical treatment has been effective for your survivor?
Guest Blogger, Kristin Olliney-Apruzzese, is the mother of 8-year-old Isabella, who suffered sudden acute encephalitis when she was just 4. Kristin’s bi-monthly blog, Mommy of a Miracle, talks about the trials and joys of raising a brain injury survivor.
Legal Statement: The information contained in this blog does not reflect the specific views of BIA-MA. This blog is published for informational purposes only. BIA-MA is not providing medical, legal or other professional advice with its publication.