Flashback

Yesterday I had a physical exam that is required within the seven days before the first ECT treatment. Because the blood analysis, etc., will not come back for another day, I won’t know for certain that the actual main event will happen as scheduled. If there is an irregularity that would delay the treatments, it is going to be a problem for me logistically.  My mother is flying in from Japan tomorrow and will be staying with me during the course of the ECT. I’ll know soon enough, I guess, but it would be very nice to know that my mother has rearranged a month of her life for a reason.

Following the physical, I headed to Parthenon Pavilion, a psychiatric facility and the location of the ECT treatments, to complete their intake procedure that usually takes place when you first check in.  For ECT patients, the process is done ahead of time so that they don’t have to deal with it at the beginning of the first treatment. This assessment is not unfamiliar to me; I’ve been to Parthenon before. As depressing as one might fathom a psychiatric hospital to be, there’s an unseemly calmness about their waiting area (this opinion is coming from having been to another hospital; I still have negative thoughts every time I see that building). After I checked in with the receptionist, I sat in the room recalling the time I strolled in this hospital with my luggage as if I was coming to some hotel. I could see that their couches are showing the wear of everyone who must have had to wait for their family member or their own turn in this hospital.  There’s a television set, but it’s just a background noise that attempts to drown the fear that begins to mount as you think to yourself, “Why am I here?,” and perhaps more critically, “What have I done to myself?” The couches have imprints of those memories, and they seemed to have been imprinted into my own memory.

Of course, there’s nothing pleasant about having to check into a psych hospital, but the experiences I’ve had at Parthenon have been not only necessary but positive ones. I used to think that, even in times of crisis, hospitalization should be avoided at all costs. In fact, “at all costs” only serve to place further burden on your friends and loved ones. And by not being removed from everyday life for that short time, it only delays effective care. Though I will always have a bit of hesitance in my heart before choosing to be hospitalized, I totally understand and accept my occasional need for hospitalization and believe it is the best place for me to be safe from myself.

But if anyone ever takes me to a psych hospital in town, please take me to Parthenon.

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2 Comments to “Flashback”

  1. Just know that I am reading this and you are on my mind constantly.
    I have spent many hours in these waiting rooms, intake areas, what ever they choose to call them. The emotions are all the same.

    Is there anything that I can do? How can I be of support to you? Please let me know…
    Sherrie

  2. I don’t recall anything about the admission into hospital but I wish I could. I have no recollection of my time in hospital and have a terrible time even after 3 years ago when I had ECT.
    ECT did not work for me and has only caused more grief for me. I continue daily to struggle with my depression and think it would be so much easier to just go back in to hospital as I struggle to keep my head above water and continue on trying to be normal for others. It’s so tiring and it’s even harder when you’ve lost all the memories of who you are or should say were. I don’t have a clue who I am. I’ve lost my identity and it’s frightening.
    Thanks for your blogs. It’s good to hear from someone else who is going through similar stuff to me

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