Frank, Middle Island
In May, 1995, Frank from Middle Island had his prostate removed as part of his treatment for prostate cancer. He did well for 18 years, but then the cancer came back requiring radiation treatIments. In 2016, Frank noticed blood clots in his urine and had trouble urinating. On several occasions, he found himself in the Emergency Department for the bleeding and clotting as the clots blocked his ability to urinate. The doctors felt that the radiation treatments had injured his bladder causing radiation cystitis. Various treatments were tried but a catheter needed to be inserted to provide relief. During one of his visits to the Emergency Department at Mather Hospital for the clotting issue, Dr. Hirsch, an Emergency Department physician and Associate Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at Mather Hospital suggested hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).
Frank met with Laureen Diot, NP, HBOT program clinical coordinator, who explained to him how HBOT might be able to help. He was scheduled for 30 treatments, with the option of additional treatments if necessary.
Frank underwent two hour treatments, five times a week for eight weeks. According to Frank, going into the chamber didn’t bother him at all and during his treatments, he watched TV or a movie. He was told that he could experience a pressure sensation in his ears, like flying in an airplane. The first day he didn’t feel anything. On the second day the pressure in his ears bothered him but with some simple direction from Dr. Joseph White, Hyperbaric Medical Director, Frank learned techniques on how to equalize his ears such as holding his nose and swallowing to resolve the issue.
Frank said he enjoyed working with all the staff but especially Carla Bond, RN, a critical care trained nurse, “she was fantastic,” said Frank. After 30 treatments, the catheter was removed by Frank’s urologist Dr. Carl Mills and he hasn’t needed it since. Frank finished a total of 40 treatments.
“The HBOT treatments were completed around Thanksgiving and by Christmas I was able to visit my daughter in New Jersey,” Frank said. He had no more pain, the clotting stopped, and it was nice to have his freedom back.