It’s Saturday and I’ve come home for a few hours leave from hospital. It’s nice to get out for a bit and come home to see my kitties, talk to a nice boy on the phone and skulk around the house for a little bit.
Yesterday was ECT day. I really didn’t feel as anxious as I thought I might. In fact, I felt quite relaxed about it. They walked me down to the ECT waiting room, then the ECT nurse directed me to lay on the bed in the centre of the room. There was pictures of a waterfall and forest scene on the roof that I stared at as I was getting an injection in my hand for the anaesthetic, but I literally remember having my eyes opened for about two seconds. The anaesthetic knocked me out like a king hit to the temple. The next thing I knew, I was propped up on a big comfy recliner having my BP taken and the pulse thingy clipped to my toe, because it was the only place I didn’t a fancy manicure. I slept in the chair for about 30 minutes, then they brought me out breakfast consisting of corn flakes and the wateriest Milo I’ve ever tasted that I left behind. I did drink the apple juice though, which was important because my blood pressure was quite low (89/60). The nurse wheeled me to my bedroom, pulled the blankets back and tucked me into bed like I was a kid. It was actually really comforting and nice. She brought me a big jug of water to keep sipping on, which I don’t think I drank much of, but I did fall asleep for two hours. When I woke up, I felt pretty sore but mentally I felt well and alert which was a surprise.
I effectively had two treatments in one because I had an induced seizure at the testing frequency. And then they turned it up again, and gave me another. So two treatments in one, which means Monday will essentially be my third. The part that sucks is how saw my jaw and neck are. Actually everything kind of hurts, but my jaw and neck the most. My doctor prescribed some Panadeine Forte for it which I took this morning before I left the hospital. It really didn’t do that much but it worked better than nothing. Hopefully it won’t be such a shock to the system next session. I did however feel well enough to go to afternoon groups so I did some Art Therapy about Relationships which brought up some feelings for a lot of us.
At 4pm I was walking out of group when I saw my parents arrive. My dad sat in my bedroom while Mum and I went and had a smoke and I introduced her to some people. The old man doesn’t really *do* empathy, and he couldn’t have cared less about how I was feeling so we let him sit inside like a petulant child. My mum on the other hand is so incredibly invested in me and my illness/wellness. They left after an hour or so to my dad’s enthusiasm.
After dinner, I chilled out with the smokers’ in the smoking section which is essentially just three horribly narrow benches inside a little shelter shed. But boy, does it get full and there’s always a shitload of laughter going on in there. We don’t really care how uncomfortable it is. As long as we all have somewhere to gather. It was sweet that I had so many new hospital friends ask me how I was feeling after my unilateral ECT. And a few phone calls from people who love me too, which was totally humbling. Everyone said how good and coherent I sounded which I found a huge relief because I’d worried about the cognitive effects of therapy. But apparently I sounded completely lucid, even ‘lighter’ a friend said. While I can’t remember ALL of yesterday, I remember the bits that count and the people who made me feel safe and loved before and after therapy. You know who you are and I have so much love for you. I really appreciate all your support.
During the week I’m going to see if I can take my camera into the actual ECT room and maybe one of the staff will be kind enough to take a photo or two. In the meantime, I’ve added some photos of where I’m staying to my instagram. I’ll take some more during the week. When I’m actually home for good I have some cracker stories I’ll share with you. I’m writing them down just in case my brain decides to malfunction and drop it’s RAM.
I just wanted you to know I’m doing alright and that I’m being treated really well and that I think this hospital stay has been really beneficial.