Catherines story. Caught up in a hijacking, at the age of 26 Catherine Hill’s life…
Oxygen Therapy takes away my debilitating migraines. After a scuba diving holiday brought temporary relief from his agonising cluster migraines, Lee, 46 from Rochester, found a solution closer to home…
“I started getting migraines aged 10. My mum, also a migraine sufferer, could spot my symptoms – bright lights and sounds would hurt, I’d get stabbing pains in my eyes, my face would slip and I’d feel sick.”
By the time I was a teenager, these headaches became strong enough to black me out. Unfortunately, taking painkillers or lying in a darkened room didn’t help.
Migraines as an adult
As time went on my migraines grew increasingly frequent and lasted longer and longer each time.
By my late 20s they’d last for 10 days, go away for two hours then come back for another 10 days.
I put up with them as much as I could, knowing that if I gave in I wouldn’t have gone out, or had a job. But at times the pain was so strong it was a constant fight to stay awake.
I started popping painkillers like candy, getting through a pack of strong Nurofens a day. I knew that wasn’t a long-term solution for my health as well as my wallet.
Even still, my GP put me on increasingly strong painkillers with bad side effects such as heart palpitations.
My first scuba dive
In 2000 in my early 30s I was on holiday in St Kitts and tried scuba diving. I happened to have a migraine at the time, but diving down to 30ft it suddenly vanished.
Rising up to the surface after the dive, I realised the pain hadn’t come back. For the first time in years, I was pain-free.
I stayed that way for two months, until the migraines returned and gathered in intensity.
I’d black out, hitting the floor and losing all motor functions – sometimes unconscious for up to five hours. If I knew I’d already taken my maximum number of painkillers for the day, I had to leave my security job early or collapse at work.
Wanting to see if scuba diving did the trick again, I booked a scuba diving trip to the Bahamas in 2004. Sure enough, my migraine vanished – this time, for three-and-a-half months.
It was an expensive way to get rid of a migraine but I worked out I probably spent the same amount in painkillers anyway.
Finding out about Oxygen Therapy
I started researching online and found a US study which concluded pressure relieved migraines. But when I told my GP about this, and my diving experiences, he wasn’t interested and offered me yet more painkillers instead.
It was thanks to my migraine nurse that I found out about the hyperbaric oxygen chamber (Oxygen Therapy) at Kent MS Therapy Centre.
I started going along in spring 2014, and discovered that Oxygen Therapy has the same effect as scuba diving.
I dive to 33ft for almost an hour around once a month. It’ll generally clear my migraines for around that time.
My daughter, who’s now 12, started having migraines as a child too (I also have a 15-year-old son who doesn’t suffer from them). As soon as I realised Oxygen Therapy worked for me, I took her along too.
She dives to 22ft. Even if she has a migraine every few months, at least it means she’ll be able to have a normal childhood.
Life with Oxygen Therapy
Now I have Oxygen Therapy I have more energy and want to do more. I’m definitely friendlier and laugh more because I’m not in so much pain.
Before I discovered Oxygen Therapy, I used to work nights in the security business so there was less stress and fewer people around.
But these days even if I have a migraine coming, lower dose painkillers work on me and I can handle working in a factory with noisy machinery.
I’d undoubtedly recommend Oxygen Therapy to other migraine sufferers. It’s had a dramatic effect on me and it’ll help others, too.”
- Contact us to find out more about sessions in our hyperbaric oxygen chamber.
- Find out what happens during a dive, how to access Oxygen Therapy and pricing.