Throwback Thursday #13: ECT #3

Throwback Thursdays feature relevant posts (of about 20) from a private, online journal I kept last fall. They chronicle my time during a depressive episode, which led to another round of  ECT. You’ll read firsthand what that was like for me. The entries are slightly edited for clarity, and with regard to anonymity. Also, I describe how the actual procedure is done from start to finish in a previous post. And, as stated on my About page, I don’t advocate for or against using ECT. I’m just sharing my experience.

doctor-hospital-bed-delivery-labor-medicineECT #3 – November 7, 2016

Well, I’ve been home for a few hours now (about 2). I had an altogether new-to-ECT Nurse. I’ve never seen her before, anyway. She told me she usually works in another section but that one of the regular ECT Nurses (there are about 4) was on vacation.

By the time the only other outpatient and I were brought in from the waiting room, the only unoccupied beds were in stall #s 15 and 16, but ECT Doctor 3 didn’t treat us first. I was concerned about getting my premeds, which Substitute ECT Nurse assured me I’d get, but I was still worried — they’re for my blood pressure, which rises during the procedure. I was very anxious, and I told Substitute ECT Nurse that I’m usually in #s 19 or 20. She told me that there are no assigned beds (I knew that, though sometimes the nurses direct you to a bed when you enter the unit), and that if I wanted to be first I’d have to arrive earlier. That kind of pissed me off because we were there on time. It felt so condescending.

She was a good nurse though, and was very caring and friendly afterwards, so I can’t really complain. I told a regular ECT Nurse who I saw that day that Substitute ECT Nurse didn’t ask me and enter into the computer when the last time was that I took my meds, but the ECT Nurse assured me it was because nothing had changed.

When ECT Doctor 3 spoke to me prior to the ECT, I told him Friday’s treatment might have been a little strong because I couldn’t remember our dog’s name. He asked if I remembered it after I was told what it was and I said yes. So he regarded that as a problem with retrieval (which I call recall), and said that was different from memory. I understood what he meant. When he came to see me after (which the ECT Doctors don’t usually do — maybe he just happened by while I was awake), I told him I remembered my dog’s name. Really I meant recall, but I made him laugh.

Normally when I get home I spend most of the day sleeping off the anesthesia, but Friday and today I’ve been wide awake. I don’t know if it’s because my husband makes coffee once we’re home. I mean, I feel fine when I’m home, other than a few recall disruptions.

I’m still not looking forward to Wednesday, and ECT Doctor 3 said we’d play it by ear as to what my schedule next week will be. That seems like a long way away right now.

I just want things to continue to go smoothly, and I feel some improvement in my mood.

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