I have my final ECT treatment coming up on Wednesday week. I’m looking forward to it being the last of my treatments, as it will mean the last time my memory is wiped clean. I might finally be able to hold on to memories and create new ones without them disappearing under general anesthetic, because that’s what’s been happening the last month or so. After one treatment, I actually lost two entire days of memories. I remember coming home Friday after ECT and the next time I had any awareness was when I woke up Sunday morning. I have no idea where Saturday went, but my mum tells me I ordered pizza and generally walked around like a zombie. So it’s safe to say, I’m anticipating next Wednesday’s treatment being the last I’ll have until I require maintenance, which is a few months down the track.
I really can’t tell you if I feel it’s helped me, as ECT also coincided with my being prescribed Lithium, so any changes in my mood could quite as easily be attributed to that. I’m told by the people around me that I seem to be in a better mood. That I seem lighter and happier. Personally I can’t tell as my memory of how I was feeling has been wiped from my mind. I honestly can’t remember how I felt before I started treatment. I think I feel about the same. I’m certainly not overwhelmed with happiness or glee. I still feel depressed and my OCD is a devastating curse. Maybe I’m not quite as depressed, but truthfully, I don’t know. Perhaps that’s what ECT is predicated on, losing a memory of feeling depressed and skewering your capacity to judge any improvements in mood.
I went to email someone before, but when I looked at a history of our last interactions we’d actually fought and I just had no memory of it. I don’t recall exchanging words with this person at all, but apparently according to our correspondence, we had. It’s really quite scary to have no memory of that exchange at all. I certainly won’t miss the mind fog that comes with ECT. It’s robbed me of all manner of memories. Some insignificant, others more important. I’ve been told they may come back, but all the same, it’s really kind of scary in the meantime.
I’m looking forward to ECT being over and done with, at least for a while. On top of the memory loss, the anesthetist is the worst at getting a vein in my arm and there’s the whole potential for peeing myself again. I’m gonna take a spare pair of pants next time, just in case! I’ve made it all sound so glamorous, haven’t I? I’ve just tried to be honest about my experience with ECT, the way I’d hoped to find someone else write about their experiences. If you’re in a situation where you’re thinking about proceeding with ECT, feel free to get in touch. I’m always happy to answer any questions you might have.