By: Rick Marschall
The Blessings Of Recovery At Oxford Recovery Center
Rick Demeester had driven by the Oxford Recovery Center (ORC) sign in South Lyon many times. With a second back surgery approaching, he decided to turn around one day to learn about the center and see if they could help with his recovery.
Rick met with one of the directors and learned that oxygen therapy could indeed help him recover more quickly after surgery. As he read through an ORC brochure, he noticed a list of many other conditions relieved by oxygen therapy, including trouble concentrating, traumatic brain injuries, neurological disorders, poor memory, insomnia, and anxiety. He thought, “I have ALL these problems; if this therapy can help me recover from surgery AND help with all these other issues on top of that, I can’t lose.”
He went home and talked to his wife and decided to start with 10 or 12 appointments and then have his family give their honest opinions on any mental improvements. This is his story.
For 30 years Rick owned his own body shop in Detroit. Nine years ago he and his foreman were talking after lunch in the front office. Rick saw someone come in the front door wearing a hoodie and a mask. Thinking it was a joke, Rick said, “You’re a little late for Halloween.” But then he noticed that the guy was holding a paper bag in one hand and a black revolver in the other. The shop was being robbed.
Rick tried talking to him about how business had dropped 50 per cent since 9/11 happened and the casinos were built, and that he didn’t have much money, so maybe robbing him wasn’t that great of an idea. The man just said, “Give me the money,” and waved his gun at the safe. Rick thought he wanted him to open the safe, so he turned to do so. When he did, the man shot Rick in the head, point blank.
Rick hit the floor, thinking he was going to die. He was at peace with God, so he wasn’t afraid, but he was very angry. He wanted to be alive for his family, including two new granddaughters. As he lay on the floor, he couldn’t move, but he could talk. He instructed someone to get clean towels to stop the blood flowing from his head. Someone called 911 and he was taken to the hospital.
Rick survived, recovering first at the hospital, and then at home. Eventually, his wife returned to work and his in-laws came to stay and take care of him. Recovering slowly, he remembers the first time he dressed himself: “I put on slip-on shoes because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to remember how to tie my shoes.”
He had many fears, one of which was learning to drive again. He eventually started on back roads and became more comfortable. One day, he decided to drive up Pontiac Trail to the Kroger parking lot. He remembers being hyper- vigilant with all the people in the parking lot. Feeling paranoid, he could not shake the feeling that something bad was going to happen, then or all day long. His whole personality changed; he lost all ambition, motivation, and energy; and was depressed. At home, he spent his time sitting in a chair and watching TV. This was nothing like how he had been before he was shot.
He started seeing psychologists, psychiatrists, and even a neurologist for debilitating migraines. The medications prescribed helped with the headaches and pain, but he also was in a PTSD group trying to talk through issues and get somewhat back to normal.
So the day when he eventually stood in the Oxford Recovery Center office, reading the brochure, he began to hope that maybe the oxygen therapy could help him with the issues that he had been struggling with for the past nine years.
After 12 treatments, he sat with his wife, mother-in-law, and two sons around the kitchen table and said, “OK, I want your honest opinions. Do you see any change in my behavior? Good, bad, or otherwise?” Each one of them had noticed a change for the better. They told him his speech was clearer, and that he had some of his old energy back. They all encouraged him to continue with the treatments, which he did.
Nearing the end of 40 treatments, as he was getting ready one morning to face the day, his son hugged him and said, “We have our old dad back!”
Since completing the 40 rounds of oxygen therapy, friends and family noticed the huge change in Rick’s personality. He frequently works outside, always active like he used to be. He has reconnected and is talking with his friends again. His wife, who was hesitant because of the cost, said, “If we had to pay twice as much, it would’ve been worth it!”
Rick is extremely thankful for the treatment he received at Oxford Recovery Center. He has become one of ORC’s biggest advocates and even helped the staff move their office from South Lyon to the new Brighton location.
“It gave me my life back,” Rick says.
Oxford Recovery Center Troy
165 Kirts Blvd, #500
Troy MI 48084
Oxford Recovery Center Brighton
7030 Whitmore Lake Rd.
Brighton MI 48116