I’m going to have electroconvulsive therapy

The first wait was to see shrink two, who gave me the paperwork to go and wait at three more departments, x-ray, ecg and pharmacy. I have a date for ect now, the 27th. I’ll be an inpatient and that’s what was on my mind while she told me she’d got “klapped” by one patient trying to hit another during ward rounds. Scared? Terrified. I’m not scared of the ect itself though.

She went through the possible negative effects – headaches, memory loss, muscle spasm and the usual caveat for a general anaesthetic too. I said hey I don’t care, I don’t even wanna be alive. The x-ray and ecg were part of the pre-anaesthetic checks, I had plenty of blood tests in the preceeding weeks too. I’m healthy, I’m the most depressed person I know, but physically I’m really healthy. My lungs are even “really good for a smoker.”

There was a boy in a wheelchair who looked as though he was somehow folded in on himself. He looked up and drooled and from time to time he emitted a piercing yell. There was a man who smelled of excrement. There’s always something.

She told me that, given the duration of my depression, I shouldn’t expect ect to be some kind of magic switch. She said some people have a short period of remission and then it comes back. She said it can change the way one reacts to meds. She said I’d probably have 12 sessions.

How do I feel? Like I wish someone would switch off the world and let me off.

I won’t be posting next week, but I’ll be back the week after to tell you how it went. Thanks for reading.

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43 responses to “I’m going to have electroconvulsive therapy

  1. 12 sessions! I had no idea you needed more than one. Like you said, you’ve nothong to lose. Here’s hoping for a little miracle. Will be thonking of you on the day xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t have enough words to express my feelings. I believe in you. I hope the ect breaks the darkness, at least long enough for you to remember what the light feels like and give you something to hold on to. I have the misty morning view from your stoep on my desk top and a picture of us together and squinting into the sun. It’s has close to being there with my arm around you as I can get.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sending you prayers for strength and peace Blah. I’m glad that you were able to get ECT and I pray that it brings you through the darkness enough to move forward. Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In all seriousness, I pray you get nothing but complete healing. And since I lack complete seriousness and maybe you need some laughter, maybe the doctors can also set you up with a cool Madeline Kahn “Young Frankenstein” hairdo. These 2, just because I love you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I believe you’re a good candidate for ECT. My Dr. told me it would take 12 to 18 sessions for results. I stopped after 1 because of the side effects of the anesthesia. That 1 session had me up and going for almost a year. I wish you nothing but the best. When it works it REALLY works! Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My heart is sad for you. You are always in my thoughts. And if someone ‘klaps’ you klap ’em back. Harder. I’d also be scared of the inpatient part. I’ve had ECT and its not so bad. Sending lots of hugs <3 <3 <3

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Do whatever it takes. Try you way forward. You’re a great human being and it pains me when you are in pain. I wish I could be there so I could drive you to/from the ect and generally hang around. We care a lot about you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ECTs worked for me. There are side effects but when you’re in that hopeless, helpless pit of nothing, it’s worth it. I’m sorry you have to be inpatient for the entire go of it. I was inpatient for the first few and then was able to go outpatient. After my initial 12 round session, I went for maintenance ECTs once every 4 to 6 weeks for a year. Literally saved my life from suicide. I hear birds chirping and enjoy sunsets again. Thoughts and prayers!!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You have my well wishes and encouragement as a fellow human living with bipolar disorder living in the US. I enjoy reading your blog. I would like to keep people like you on this earth.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. B. P. I believe in miracles ( I hear g2’s voice muttering in my head “Pollyanna” ;) ) If anyone on the planet deserves one, it’s you my friend. You are in my thoughts, and my constant badgering to higher forces to watch over you, and bring the miracle you so deserve. Much love & huge hugs,
    G-uno

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Good luck and be well! I’ve been thinking about broaching the subject with my pdoc because I’m so sick of how I’m feeling. I hope your first session goes well and you’re in my thoughts. *safe hug*

    Liked by 1 person

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