Posts tagged ‘electroshock’

November 3, 2009

ECT Lessons-I’ve-Learned #7: Be Informed.

Knowledge is power, so we’ve been told. I don’t know if it’s power I was looking for through reading, but I’ve found that in going through ECT, it was helpful to have read quite a bit of information on it before, during and after the treatment. One of the things many of us do to get ready for ECT is to go to the web to look for any info you can find about ECT. We do find information, and some of what we find  are so pro- or anti-ECT that we become unsure what to make of these sites. Sure,web sites and blogs are certainly helpful (and I hope my journal can provide some of that),  but it’s really nice to have a concise guide that you can have in your hand.  I’ve read other books, but for this post I thought I’d mention two works by Dr. Max Fink. Dr. Fink is the founding editor of The Journal of ECT who has more than 50 years of clinical and research experience in ECT.

One to the left in the picture is an earlier work, Electroshock: Healing Mental Illness.  If you want, has a rather extensive Electroshock book preview.

The newest Fink book on market  (and the one I would recommend) is the one to the right in the picture-Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Guide for Professionals & Their Patients. Here’s an extended excerpt. The chapters directly address questions like “What is electroconvulsive therapy?” and “How does ECT work?”

Both of these books are not long (about 100 pages) but more detailed than much of the information I gathered on the web. These books are definitely more clinical in nature, but they are easy to understand and I think these details help you be more calm when you go through treatment. Knowing these details are what made the procedure  feel not so frightening to me. Also, it’s not just the ECT patient that will want some information. There are family and friends around that will want to know about what you are going through, and having a book like these will allow you to give the most accurate information about ECT.

These books serve as a great resource for those who want to know, not just more but accurate info, about ECT.


Collect all previous “lessons”!

March 13, 2009

21 Days Later.

It’s Friday. It’s been three weeks since my last ‘little spark.’ Fifteen of them…sixteen, if you count that day when they had to shock me twice. There are few physical marks left that show from those treatments. The same right-arm area where they inserted the catheter those fifteen times has no visible scars. The only signs left are these itchy spots by the opposite sides of my hairline where the conducting gel must have been for five weeks. But those bumps are starting to recede.

So, two months have now passed since the very first treatment. I don’t know where the time went, mostly because I do have the ‘luxury’ here of not being able to recall every detail. The burden of having to be able to account for every single second of this time belongs to my mother. She’s the one who sat in that ECT waiting room for hours as other patients and their families came and went. Books and my doctor had told her the average number of treatments is eight. She got to sit through fifteen, or five weeks, and actually remember all those hours. And on top of that, she got to celebrate her 30th wedding anniversary and her 60th birthday during this time.

There’s a lot more to say about today, but I can’t seem to put the rest into written words. At least there are more days for me to be able to write because of ECT. Oh, there is one thing I need to write down: ECT did give me three more weeks (or the last two months, really) that I planned on never having.

January 15, 2009

save the date

It’s official!
I have been requested to be at my
first ECT Treatment
Monday, January 19, 2009
in the morning time TBD
five to twelve treatments following

gown attire
make-up and nail polish are allowed

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