Monthly Archives: September 2014

ECT Day One

lightning

Today was ECT treatment day one. I had the bilateral procedure (both sides of the brain) done and I have to say it was not at all like I was expecting. The anticipation of it was much worse than the procedure itself. When I woke up I didn’t even realize it was over. I was laying on the stretcher thinking, “Geze, I hope they take me in soon.” Then someone appeared over me and told me they’d sit me up in a few minutes.

The treatment is done in a separate building on the hospital grounds and I was taken back through a series of underground tunnels. I assume they took me there the same way, but I don’t remember that at all.

Right now I feel alright. I’m a little out of sorts and have a slight headache. If I stand up too fast I get a little vertigo, but it’s not bad. I’m writing this from my room and will post it tomorrow when I feel more up to going out. For today I think I’ll stay put. I have The Big Bang Theory on DVD and will probably just marathon that for today.

Wednesday will be treatment number two and hopefully it will go as well as the first one. I have three scheduled so far and beyond that I’m not sure what the plan is yet. So far I’m very hopeful. If today was any indication, this treatment is nothing to be afraid of, but I’ll reserve my full judgement for when it’s all finished.

Chow for now.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Stumbling In The Dark

depressionblog2

Hello Blogosphere!

Last time I wrote about my decision to begin ECT treatment. Looks like that’s going to happen on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of next week. That will be the first round and we’ll go from there. I am very much hoping for a good result.

I’m sitting here at Starbucks, looking out the big glass windows and it’s a beautiful day in Nova Scotia. 26C (That’s 79F for you Americans.) Everyone is out in their shorts and tank tops, sipping their Frappuccino’s and enjoying summer’s one last hurrah. They all seem so happy. I wish I felt as happy as they did. I can fake it pretty well. Today however I am just jealous. They might be faking it too, who knows? But they are smiling and laughing and I can’t feel happy at all, not even a little.

I’m hoping that in a few weeks that will change. I’m tired of feeling this way. Right now it feels like the world is closing in. The only thing keeping me going is that perhaps this treatment will cause the world to open up.

Terrible depression is hard to explain, but if you’ve been there I don’t have to tell you because you already know. That’s the place I’m in. I’m stumbling around in the dark right now, but I hope to join those of you in the sun, sooner rather than later. God, I hope this works. People have asked if I’m worried about the risks. Sure, but you know what? I’ll do anything…ANYTHIHG to stop feeling this way.

So, send me all the good vibes you can muster starting Monday. I really need it. A lot of you have expressed your support and I can’t tell you how much it means. I just need you to bear with me for a little bit longer.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Decision

storm clouds

As any of you who read this blog on a regular basis know, I suffer from psychotic depression. Not that there’s really been a ‘regular basis’ of sorts for the last few months as I’ve kind of disappeared because of it. I have felt unwell for a while now. But today I made a decision.

Before I tell you what that is, just let me also say that I have been dealing with this illness for over two decades now. I have been patient, I have tried treatment after treatment, some with much (albeit temporary) success and some with none at all. I am a big believer in psychiatric medication, and in fact, I would not be sitting here today writing this without it. Some refer to anti-depressants as, ‘happy pills’. Believe me, they are not happy pills, but they are, ‘I think I’ll stick around for a little longer and not jump in front of that truck today’ pills. But lately their effects have been either waning, or the condition is just getting worse.

This morning I had a visit with my psychiatrist and told her I wanted to try ECT, also known as Shock Treatment. Yes, it’s gotten that bad. She suggested new medications or an increase in the one I’m on, and I told her that although I’m not opposed to that idea, it’s a process that may take years, and I’ve already been dealing with this for a couple of decades. I’m 39 years old. I can’t work and I have two young children that I don’t feel I’m caring for or enjoying the way I should be. This treatment has an 80% effectiveness rate and I didn’t see any reason not to try it at this point.

She agreed.

So now I just have to wait. In many places they will give you ECT on an outpatient basis, but not in Halifax. You have to be admitted for the first course of treatment. So on Monday she’s going to begin the process of getting me a bed and getting started.

Am I scared? I’m fucking petrified! But I’m more scared of the years I’m going to lose if something isn’t done. I have the potential to get much, much worse. I do have an advantage over a lot of people in that I’ve seen how effective this treatment can be first hand. I’ve had dozens of hospitalizations over my lifetime and have watched other patients receive ECT and the positive results were dramatic. Even though I have this awful depression, I now at least have some hope.

I’ve been mulling this over for a while and have done a lot of research. The good, the bad, the ugly. I know what the risks are and, to me, they are worth it. So, depending on how I feel, I’ll probably blog about it. One of the side effects is memory loss, but for most people it’s minimal and for some it’s none at all. I may totally forget that I said that. On my return home I plan on telling my family that I’ve forgotten how to cook though. Dinner? What’s that? I think you guys better do it.

Stay tuned.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

I’m Still Here

depressionblog

Hey everyone! My apologies for taking so long between blog posts. I was looking at this the other day and realized I haven’t posted since July. I don’t have an excuse, but I do have a reason. That reason’s name is depression. Yeah, yeah. I know what you’re saying.

“Here she goes again with this whole depression/mental illness thing that she’s already talked about multiple times on here. Holy cow! Give it a rest woman!”

Hey, I get it. It’s a bummer to read about someone with depression if you’re not depressed. And if you’ve never experienced clinical depression you might even be saying that it’s stupid to feel that way. That it could be worse, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I’ve heard it all before and I really wish I could just snap my fingers, think positive and change my perspective, but the truth is, I’m really struggling. I have multiple writing projects I should be working on. Usually, at least the writing is an escape, but right now I don’t even seem to have the motivation to do that. There are very few days of summer left and I feel to not get out into the nice weather right now is to waste a day. Today was a gorgeous day…and I couldn’t leave the house.

I tried.

I forced myself to get ready, but when push came to shove, I just couldn’t walk out the door. I couldn’t face it. I just kept thinking to myself: “What’s the point anyway? What’s the point of going outside? Everything is meaningless. All the things that people make a big deal out of – the way they look, their jobs, their families, their nights out or plans for the future – It’s all just utterly pointless because we are all going to end up dead anyway. Ultimately everything that we do or anything that happens to us, good or bad, is irrelevant. My existence and the existence of everyone walking around out there right now is useless.

Crazy right? But that’s really what I’ve felt like for a large chunk of the last few months. I’ve been fighting this war with my brain for so many years that I’m smart enough to know that this too shall pass, and my brain will start to function in a better way at some point. When that will be I don’t know. I just know that it will happen, because it always does.

So, my apologies for not updating. I’m just sitting here, waiting for my system to reboot itself and come back online. I’m sad. I’m bored. I’ve watched all two seasons of The Mindy Project (which I highly recommend). This needs to scat! And soon.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized