I’m finally home after 9 days in hospital. I wasn’t sure I was up to leaving yet, but my Shrink says I’ve responded really well to ECT. Actually he called me an “early responder” so I had four sessions in there, and I’ll have another two as an outpatient this Wednesday and the following Wednesday. It left me a bit dazed and unable to remember people’s names and I’m sure I had the same conversation with certain people over and over again but aside from a few embarrassing ‘can’t remember this person’s name’ or ‘we’ve had this conversation three times already’ moments, it was relatively easy and with few side effects. The first treatment put me on my ass and I had to sleep for a few hours afterwards to recover, but each one after that was easier to recover from. I’d wake up in the recovery room and eat some breakfast that the kitchen was kind enough to send up, then they’d take my obs once or twice over the next hour then I was fine to go outside and have a smoke or go to afternoon groups. I tried to keep the groups light, by doing Art Therapy most of the time.
I met some awesome characters in hospital, and there was no shortage of frequent flyers like myself to catch up with again. There were lots of nights spent out in the smokers area, laughing and telling completely inappropriate stories. I swear, sometimes it feels like a school camp but everyone’s medicated. We ate Freddo Ice Cream Cake, consoled and comforted one another, gossiped, judged dinner and dessert, laughed with one another, drank a lot of Milo and coffee, essentially kept ourselves as sane as we could in a place that can be awfully lonely at times if you don’t get involved. It’s the one place being a smoker is still a sociable activity unlike in the real world where it makes you a pariah. At ten o’clock, the nurse on duty would come out and round us all up to go back inside. Then we’d sit up til half 11, talking shit and laughing about the antics of some of our co-patients. Then D, one of the male nurses, would come in to the lounge and tell us it was time for good boys and girls to go to the land of nod and to come and get our meds. He’s super adorable, and one of my favourite nurses. I actually have a handful of favourite nurses, all of them kind, funny folks who went out of their way to help me.
I can’t wait to catch up with some of the friends I made on the inside. My friend V says I sound lighter and happier, which is probably a good sign. Hopefully I’ll feel even better after the next two treatments. I need to start taking notes of my interactions with people because my short term memory is shot since ECT. Anyway, it’s nice to be home but I miss the camaraderie of other patients that I grew close to.
I want to thank the one person who made an effort to come and see me while I was in hospital. It meant more to me than you could imagine.