Our TBI Journey – updated

In April of 2002, our eldest son fell asleep at the wheel on his way to an English Composition class. He stayed up late that night to finish the paper he planned to hand in for that class. In just a few weeks, he planned graduate from the community college at the age of 18.

His car crossed the center line of the well traveled country road. Then it met the back wheel of a tractor trailer carrying several tons of steel pipe and traveling in the opposite direction. The truck’s axle bent and the resulting flat tire deflated, sounding like an explosion.

Thank God, no one else became involved in the accident and the skilled driver managed to keep his pipes on board.

The car spun around and landed on the shoulder of the road.

After 45 minutes, the Jaws of Life freed him from his vehicle. A helicopter arrived just in time to take him to a nearby hospital – one of the best in the area.

When we arrived there, they told us he showed no brain activity. During the next 4 days, he began to show signs of reacting, only to experience spikes in his inter-cranial pressure. These spikes returned him to a “no brain activity” state.

During that time, we relied on little more than prayer, because we signed paperwork forbidding us from bringing any supplements or anything from outside in to him.

Our children grew up knowing only natural remedies for their few ailments. My husband and I needed essential oils, along with our prayers, to keep us calm and focused. We used a bunch of Valor and Peace and Calming (P&C), especially at night.

Recently, studies show that if a certain area of the brain is kept from firing during those critical first hours and/or days after a trauma, it decreases the incidence of PTSD. Perhaps his smelling the P&C on us helped him during the ensuing years.

After four days, he began to show more consistent signs of reacting. The medical team remained very guarded, if not somewhat pessimistic, about his prognosis. The neurologist told us she never saw anything like this. Her description of his becoming more reactive after experiencing no brain activity: “Usually, it only happens once….”

A nurse friend of ours observed to the nurse in charge of his care that his home smelled unlike a hospital, but “more like a bunch of herbs and stuff”. If we wanted him to come out of his coma, she advised us to bring in things that smelled more like home. The nurse agreed. So someone brought a selection of essential oils to the hospital.  We also shared our oils with other families in the waiting room, with some interesting results.

Our first thought, once we could use the oils was: Valor! We knew that he was literally fighting for his life and needed all the courage he could muster. In addition, my Raindrop training taught me that essential oils increase the oxygenation of the blood.

Of course, we were not allowed to use anything around his head because of the monitoring apparatus attached there. His crushed left leg was in a cast with the oxygen monitor attached. They figured that if his blood oxygen was OK there, then the rest of his body should be just fine. Since our only access remained to his right foot for oil application, whenever we went into his room, I headed for that right foot while Hubby headed for the monitors.

The first time I put the Valor on his foot, within just a few seconds, Hubby shouted: “Whoah!”

Apparently, there were two monitors for the oxygen level. Fortunately, his blood oxygenation level was solid throughout his stay in ICU. Of course the percentage never exceeds 99, but Hubby saw the other gauge jump dramatically. The next time we went in the boy’s room, we called in the nurse, who confirmed that it indicated that the oxygen in the blood rose dramatically, and remained there for an extended period of time.

While we maintain our gratitude for the medical help that supported him when he remained in such dire straits, the interventions are not without risk. Before long, our son had major infection issues: meningitis from the monitors in his skull and two kinds of pneumonia from the respirator. An infection specialist was called in and he was put on 4 very strong antibiotics: “for at least two weeks, then we will see….”

At this point we began using ImmuPower and Thieves. We alternated the two. In four days, there was no sign of the meningitis. The immune specialist thought the lab made a mistake, but repeated testing confirmed the infection was gone.

Two and a half weeks after his accident, they finally spoke about him leaving ICU (other than under a sheet). In addition, information came through that discussion the day of his arrival centered on the choice to fix his crushed leg or to harvest his organs.

After a month in ICU, the boy moved to skilled nursing because he was still in a coma. By this time, he had a tracheotomy and a feeding tube. The monitors were removed from his head shortly before he moved to skilled nursing. Now we could put the oils anywhere on his body.

His face, left arm, and left leg were covered with scars. I put lavender on the scars. One nurse, after her 4 day weekend, declared that she hardly knew him because of the improvement in his face during that time. Only the name on his chart assured her he was the same patient.

Soon after he arrived at the skilled nursing facility, the head nurse pulled me aside to tell me her nurses suffered with headaches because of the lavender oil we used. However, one staff member advocated for us, saying that the oils really made a big difference for him. So the head nurse required us to close the door and open the window whenever using the oils. No problem, springtime provided very pleasant outdoor weather.

Oddly, however, a few days later several of the nurses seemed to find reasons to come into his room whenever I applied the lavender and/or Valor with the door closed. One even came in one day, took a deep breath and declared that it smelled like he had been to church.

Gary Young always tells us: “Don’t put anything on your skin that you would not put in your mouth.”

We turned this concept around and applied liquid nutrients to his arms, legs, and torso since he could not take anything by mouth. I diluted Mineral Essence and used a liquid B complex to do a massage.

His left arm and leg were wracked with muscle spasms. We massaged them with basil, marjoram, cypress, and peppermint several times each day. Of course I continued to put Valor on his feet.

With the apparatus removed from his head, I finally took the opportunity to use a tofu plaster on him. A couple Tablespoons of tofu mix with enough flour to hold it together and laced with frankincense oil. I place the mixture in a cotton sock and apply to the injured area. After applying the tofu, he spoke his first words since the accident – two months to the day and on his brother’s birthday.

A month passed in skilled nursing before we transferred him to a rehab hospital.

As we searched for appropriate placement, we grilled the officials at each hospital we visited. Since we gained so much success with the oils, we insisted that we be allowed to continue to use them.

Most places dispensed a firm “NO!”

We finally found one that allowed their use, as long as we gave a list to their pharmacist.

At the rehab hospital, they removed the trache and the feeding tube. We worked with the nutritionist to make sure that most of the food he got was nutritious. He had fresh fruit and veggies with each meal. She also purchased rice and soy milk for him, because of his dairy allergy. We made fresh tea with his meals as well.

We continued using Valor and the leg oils. We added frankincense and Brain Power. His college buddies borrowed Brain Power for finals week and were thrilled with the results.

We also gave him scullcap and gotu kola herb tea with each meal. A few days after we started, he declared to the internist that the herbs gave him more pain relief than the drugs. You could have knocked the poor fellow over with a feather, because he had never heard the boy say two words, but this was delivered clearly, in full sentences.

Four weeks from when we started giving him the tea, he made a major cognitive leap. The speech therapist, who tried to push Ritalin felt victorious that we finally gave in. We made sure she knew that was not even a possibility.

We soon found out that the antispasmodic medication he took sent his blood pressure into the basement. So, between getting him off that and giving him the tea, he made steady progress.

He finally came home four months after his accident on no medication at all. He remains medication free to this day. Many people find that radical.

Government organizations refuse to provide help to us because he is not on medication.

Of course, still severely impaired, he remained wheelchair bound and needed constant attention. So we continued with the oils we had been using and added various other oils as the need arose, and as new ones became available.

I also facilitate Raindrop on him, learning in a dramatic way that the direction of motion is opposite from the way we usually perform it.

Six months after he came home, he suddenly left the wheelchair behind (except when we have long distances to cover), much to the surprise of his physical therapist.

We use many of the nutritional products as well: Super B, Super C, Mineral Essence, Sulfurzyme, other enzymes, omega 3 oils…. And we fed him a nutrient rich diet.

As time went on, we found several other useful resources:

 

•    Extra Virgin and Fermented Coconut Oil has been shown to improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients. We see continual cognitive improvement in our son as he consumes coconut oil.

•    Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAs) help to rebuild damaged brain tissues. This has been observed in studies with rats with induced brain injuries. They also aid the repair and building of muscle tissues. Our son’s wasted muscles show increased bulk as we supplement with BCAs.

•    Chia Seeds contain very concentrated nutrients, including a number of vital minerals as well as Omega 3 fats. They help to keep the digestive channels healthy.

•    Sea vegetables (we prefer dulse, but also use kelp and nori) provide a wide array of minerals which also help to repair damaged tissues, support the glandular system, and enhance the immune system.

•    Ambrotose – a complex containing glyconutrients, which feed the cells of the body, enhancing the immune system and possibly assisting in the production of stem cells to repair bodily tissues.

•    Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments (HBOT), which supply the body with needed oxygen, even to areas which were without needed oxygen for a time. We saw immediate improvement in our son’s language with his HBOT experiences.

•    Rain Soul and Core – seed based nutritional products which have ingredients, extensively studied to have wide ranging benefits throughout the body.

 

Traumatic Brain Injury is not a simple issue, so it takes a great deal of resources and much of commitment to wade through and get the best results possible. Many dire prognoses were put down on our son, and he surpassed every single one of them. He has slowly, but steadily progressed over the past 12 years, even after we were told we could expect no more progress.

We still face a very long road to his full recovery. Many tell us we hold impossible objectives for him and I have been told that nothing I do makes any difference. However, we continue to hope for the highest quality of life he can attain.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s