Throwback Thursday #15: Maintenance ECT

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.

This is the last post of the series.


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Maintenance ECT – November 17, 2016

Today I sent an email to both ECT Doctor 1 and my psychiatrist regarding my decision and concerns about the recent ECT treatments. My psychiatrist sent me a nice, positive reply and pointed out that back-to-back treatments would definitely wreak havoc with my memory. Anyway, I see him in December.

I also heard back from ECT Doctor 1 today. He recommended monthly maintenance ECT beginning in December when he’ll be back at the helm. Once a month isn’t too bad. I’m open to that.


Epilogue

I can’t remember if I had maintenance ECT that December. As I mentioned above, the treatments at the time were affecting my memory. I do remember undergoing back-to-back treatments in February and March 2017. For the first time, they didn’t work, but still affected my memory. Again, I elected to discontinue treatment.

I hope that I never need ECT again. But if it’s absolutely necessary for my health, I’m open to it.

After being rejected by the DBT Program, I decided not to try again. Even If I was accepted, I honestly didn’t think I’d like or have the patience for the lecture/homework format, which is how it was the first time I went for only 1 day, for the same reasons along with anxiety.

On the other hand, I’ve continued seeing my psychiatrist on a regular basis and my therapist weekly.


Photo credit: hitsnooze via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA

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.


Photo via Visual hunt

Throwback Thursday #12: Still Feel Depressed

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.


3027805767_c7dcb43180_zStill Feel Depressed – November 5, 2016

I went to bed at 10:00 PM even though I wasn’t sleepy yet, but that’s what my sleep med is for. I woke up around 5:00 AM probably because I had to use the bathroom, but didn’t actually get up til 5:30. My husband got up long enough to make a pot of coffee and breakfast for me. Around 10 or so when he was ready to go to a coffee shop, he made me a bagel because I was hungry again.

All I did was brush my teeth and put on sweats. Also, I noticed a ton of dried ECT gel in my hair when I got home yesterday, and rinsed it off right away. Maybe if I hadn’t done that I would have been able to get in the shower today. But I don’t know.

I didn’t have it in me to feed the dog and cats, so my husband did it.

Didn’t feel like crocheting, either, though I did finish up the hat I made for my niece.

I feel more depressed than I did earlier in the week, as though I didn’t have ECT yesterday. And my word recall is the worst it’s ever been. I couldn’t even remember the dog’s name at one point yesterday, and I couldn’t remember my brother’s fiancée’s name this morning — hers is the next hat I’m going to make.

I’m not even looking forward to the Ohio State game on TV tonight. It’s like I don’t even care. And I’m a big fan.

All I want to do is finish reading this not-that-great book (City of Thieves by David Benioff, who’s one of the writers for Game of Thrones), and then maybe starting something better.

If I’m to be completely honest, I’m dreading and afraid of ECT on Monday.


Photo credit: C♥rm3n via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Throwback Thursday #11: ECT #2

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.


information-sign-for-doctors-practiceECT #2 – November 4, 2016

I was supposed to have ECT #2 on Wednesday, but my husband overslept. We might have made it, but I didn’t want to rush, especially for that. I don’t like rushing in general. I wish we made it, because my mood started waning as the week went on.

ECT Doctor 2 is the one who had been administering my ECTs for like, the past year or so. Wednesday was his last day. Now it’s ECT Doctor 3, who did mine once before, but he didn’t remember me. Anyway, I think he really cranked up the juice because since I woke up my memory has been worse than ever on an ECT day.

He told me that 3x/week is the acute phase of treatment, which I’m currently having. He didn’t say how often I’d be doing it the week after next. I honestly don’t know how much of this I can take because of the memory thing, but just the one treatment I had was so helpful.

Also, my voice was (and is) hoarse when I woke up, and I don’t know why. At least I woke up in a calm state.


Photo via VisualHunt.com

Throwback Thursday #10: ECT Didn’t Happen Today

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.


man-young-male-adult-sleeping-deep-sleepECT Didn’t Happen Today – November 2, 2016

. . . because my husband overslept. By the time he woke up we would have had to rush to get there and would have still been late. I hate rushing or being late for anything; it makes me super anxious, and especially on an ECT day, which makes me anxious as it is. So we decided to skip it today.

I was really pissed at him, but I’m over it. However, I’m not happy about missing a treatment because it totally throws my ECT schedule off. The first one seemed to help quite a bit (see Throwback Thursday #9), and now I wonder how much more this one would have helped. I also know there’s no point in dwelling on it.

I wasn’t able to shower today, which probably would have been the case if I had made it to ECT anyway, but I was able to feed the dog and cats when I finally got up at 8:00 AM.


Photo via Visualhunt