I had my first electroconvulsive therapy treatment (ECT) this last Tuesday, and I must say that it wasn’t so bad. Recovering from my first seizure surely takes a lot of energy out of girl but it could be worse.
I woke up in a terrible mood on Tuesday morning, riddled with the understandable anxiety that surrounds the idea of having electricity passed from one temple, bilaterally, to the other. Lately, anxiety and depression have turned into a mean streak, causing me to cannibalize my sense of self and do some lashing out at those around me. But why drag THAT cat outta the bag…on to the hospital.
I was greeted by a really nice man who whisked me right back to my bed, handing me a well air-conditioned gown and surprisingly comfy footies. Next, a nurse came by to place a port in my hand after declaring one of my veins “juicy”! I said, “If it is juicy, that’s the vein!” (It is the little giggles that get you through a hospital procedure!) Mary, the nurse who got me ready for the procedure and took care of me in the recovery room, came into my little cubby and said, “I have a shot to give you. Do you mind rolling over?” I asked, “A shot in my butt?! It’s like I am back in elementary school!” (I am going to have to ask about that shot tomorrow.)
A beautiful anesthesiologist came in next to ask about drug allergies, any previous complications with anesthesia, or other relative information for the procedure. She was very nice and all smiles…and I really appreciated that.
After Mary gave me the first of my IV medications “to relax me”, I was wheeled into an operating suite. My memory gets a bit fuzzy at this point, but I do remember having leads attached to my arms and chest to monitor my heart and breathing. Someone at the foot of my bed yanked off my right footy, and I remember seeing my pretty red-painted toes wiggle in the cold air. I hope they appreciated my pedicure! LOL The last things I remember are having a mask placed over my nose & mouth and taking two deep breaths. That was it!
I woke up back in the recovery room, laying on my left side and snuggled up with 3 or 4 blankets. I guess I got cold at some point because those blankets were warm and toasty, right out of the heating cabinet. Mary came in to check on me and giggled that patients aren’t usually curled into such little balls, but I was comfy! After getting me aroused back to semi-consciousness, she gave me some ginger ale to drink which immediately brought to mind the fact that I had just been clenching my jaws so tightly that only minutes later my teeth were sore. My throat was very scratchy and the more I talked the less voice I had. Between being dehydrated and the gas going through my throat, my voice took a toll. I was already achy in my temples, jaw, and neck with the feeling creeping slowly into my shoulders. I was given pain meds (which didn’t seem to help a thing…Poo!) and given time to fully wake.
I have spent the last few days in bed, partly because of the procedure wiping me out and partly because the procedure coincided with a monster couple days of cramps. (Sorry…but you will live having read that!) The worst of the whole situation is that my jaw was so sore at one point that nothing but tea was comfortable to consume, and I had a decent headache in both temples. However, other than that, it hasn’t been so bad. Heck, I even lost 3 pounds! LOL
So, tomorrow I go in for my second treatment, hoping to have better pains meds! Wish me luck!!! Oh…and I am accepting offers for soft foods and house cleaning!!! I have a feeling that as this proceeds, bouncing back with take a little more time with each session. I need a maid!