ECT #18 (maintenance ECT #3)

My mother came into town (well, country) just yesterday, and what does she get to do first thing today? Take her daughter to ECT. Somehow it’s become some sort of a routine for her to take me to the psych hospital whenever she’s here. What a lovely mother-daughter activity.

I’ve been concerned about the decline in my mood since the treatment two weeks ago, and I somehow wanted to express that to my doctor.   Thankfully, my ECT psychiatrist Dr. F was back from vacation, so we chatted for a bit before the procedure. Seeing that I’m a little better at just writing stuff out rather than talking, I wrote him a note about how I just wanted to evaporate into the sky while I was overlooking the landscape from the airplane. He told me that because the last ECT did make me feel better for a while, as I have more treatments, my suicidal inclinations should dissipate. “You’re still young,” he assured me. I must say that his calmness and smile actually made me feel somewhat encouraged. I’m grateful that he’s my ECT doctor and that he’s still working even though he’s in his 70s.

Before I was given my shot of Brevital, the anesthesia, for the first time, the nurse put the electrode headband around my head. I had actually never seen how the currents were administered to my head. With the new machines, it’s just two patch-like electrodes, but because they’re using the sine-wave machine on me, they are wrapping an old-fashioned device on me (my headband looks even older than this one).

And next thing I know, I’m awake.

As I was wheeled back to the prep room to get my stuff, the nurse let me know that I had a 50-second seizure. Hooray. It’s all because I’ve halted taking alprazolam (Xanax), she said. I’m hoping that the longer seizures will lead to a better outcome.

It’s a relief when I can say that I feel better after the ECT. The question now is, how will I hold up until my next ECT two weeks from now?

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