February 16, 2009
Twelve treatments are done. And at least three more via sine-wave machine days are on their way. This is already a few more days than the typical number of treatment days, in fact, way more days. I am thankful for my mother for staying an extra month. She is having to change around her own doctor’s appointments so that she can hang around with me. I will not be able to drive around for two weeks after the last ECT, so Mom will have to drive me around. My cat, Simon, is curled up and licking his white paws. He’s become a bit more needy since Mom’s been giving into more of Simon’s morning calls. There’s a part of me that would like to do something a bit artsy while I am involved in this ECT deal. I wonder if I could get someone to take a picture of me getting ready to be zapped. Or they’ll just think that request is a bit odd. (yes, that’s a bit odd.)
Dr. J. told me today that in the last session I kind of got disoriented and freaked out a little. I hope I didn’t create that scene this time around. I saw the Sine-wave ECT machine and it looks very much like a Samsonite cosmetic bag. I hope it worked better than it looked.
Dr. J. also arranged for a lithium medication tapering schedule! I hope that would allow for my hands to stop with the tremors. I’ve already had to see a neurologist, both instate and out, over the tremors, and I think it’s time to look at the lithium dosage before I have to go see another neurologist.
In case anyone wondered, I believe the median number of ECT is around 8. I have a feeling I will double that number….
February 9, 2009
It is technically 4th and final week of ECT, but I’ve grown a bit annoyed by my progress and this development of tics and tremors. While Dr. J. couldn’t guarantee that the ECT will be a success, he thought that his titration method may come to pay off. Also, most people are able to have seizures lasting longer than 30 seconds whereas mine are about 25 seconds. On a separate note, he told me of a good Parkinson’s specialist in town that might be able to help my hands (Let me make a note here that I went out of state two years ago trying to get this problem resolved.)
Dr. H. put me to sleep and sometime later, I woke up hoarse and not at first “alive.” Nurse Jane eventually came to get me and on the way to get my post-vitals checked, I asked her the length of my seizure. “Well,” she says, “You had two seizures, one at 15 seconds and other at 23.” As I kept speaking to her, I realized that I was beginning to feel a lot better. It’s a bit odd. I get recommended a Parkinson’s specialist on the same day, and I’m not horribly down and out about it.
Later that night, I watched President Obama’s first press conference held in the East Room. For a while now, it’s been hard for these occasions to hold my attention, but I caught myself chuckling a little bit or listening intently. I can even profess my crush on Chuck Todd, the NBC political director/chief WH correspondent. Though I don’t feel quite whole, I must say, what a difference!
February 5, 2009
The hand tremors are back. I thought I already dealt with this situation. I’m glad Dr. J. had been made aware of my previous neurological issues from my regular psychiatrist. He reassured me that ECT may cure the tremors. As glad as I am to have the possibility of this issue solved, this just isn’t the time for me to be solving this little problem. I know plenty of other people who have way more to deal with, but I just am not up to taking on bunch of stuff at a time. Or one of the medications that shorten the seizure time is Alprazolam (xanax), which is taken to control the tremors. If I take Alprazolam, it also means I’m not maximizing my seizure time.
Today is the first time where I felt worse than before the treatment yesterday. When Allen from Parthenon Pavilion called me to check up on me, I can generally feign that all’s okay. Well, I could not even hold back an ounce of how I felt today. I really am a bit surprised as to how not-so-well I’m feeling. I know things could all change, but at the same time, things should have been incrementally better. I refuse be to one of the statistics where ECT didn’t work out so well…..that’s only like 15%!
On the real world MH front, NYTimes is reporting a rise in suicide rates in the Army .