Geek

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  1. Someone mentioned to me recently that this thread is referenced a lot by people considering ECT. I, honestly, had completely forgotten about it. I can see from the view count that it's highly trafficked though. So, one final update. I continued getting ECT on a weekly basis all fall. I went back to work on August 22, 2016 after almost 3 months off. I worked Monday through Thursday and then took Fridays off to get ECT until early November. Going back to work was hard, and my progress fell back substantially after that. I don't know how much was because of work and how much because of reduced treatment frequency. Eventually it stopped seeming to make any difference at all, and the cost is substantial. In addition to the medical bills, I was taking a 20% pay cut by working only four days a week. In October, the hospital changed the treatment from right unilateral to bilateral ECT. They wanted me to go back to a more frequent treatment schedule, but I couldn't afford the time off work. I received a total of 27 right unilateral treatments and then 4 bilateral treatments before I stopped entirely in early November 2016. My work was unhappy about my shortened work schedule and because I am in the US on a work visa, losing my job would have substantial impacts beyond the usual. Some of the memory effects eased after I stopped treatment. On the other hand, I've also learned that some of the memory effects may have been worse than I realised. For example, I don't remember any of my TMS treatment or much of the ECT experience except by reading my posts here and my blog. Work is challenging because I have no memory of jobs I worked on before I started ECT. I have lost most of the last couple of years. Sometimes, with sufficient prompting, I can find vague memories. To be fair though, my memory has always been pretty poor. It's hard to tell how much of this is because of ECT, how much is because of depression and how much is just me. Unfortunately, we learned within about 4-6 weeks of quitting ECT that it was, in fact, helping. My mood plummeted after I stopped treatment. Now it's early January 2017 and my tdoc and pdoc would really like me to start ECT again but it doesn't seem to be possible (see above re: cost - even with insurance, need for job, etc.). I have fallen down a deep, dark hole and am in a worse place mood-wise than I was when I started TMS in spring 2016. In a perfect world, I would probably quit my job and start ECT again at 2-3 times per week. This is not a perfect world and that is not an option. Currently, I am taking 250mg/day of imipramine and 2mg/day of Rexulti, in addition to 50mg Naltrexone and 70mg Vyvanse. My pdoc is hoping to get me enrolled in a Ketamine study this spring. I'm considering moving back to Canada and living with my parents where theoretically, eventually, I could get treatment without worrying about medical bills or working full time. There are several barriers there though and it's far from ideal.
  2. I'm sorry you are hurting, dragon. I hope you can get more sleep. More sleep helps ease the hurting a bit, often, for me.
  3. He will be missed, for sure. Thanks for letting us know.
  4. Cheese, I'm so glad to see you, I was thinking about you earlier and wondering how you're doing. The stalker stuff sounds scary. I'm glad, on the other hand, that your new team is so good. I hope the invega helps and helps quickly. Rooting for you!
  5. It's Only Wednesday

    It's only Wednesday. Wednesday night, admittedly. It's a 5-day work week. I still have to make it through 2 more days. I don't know what for though. Just to rinse and repeat it all again next week, and the week after that and the week after that ad infinitum. I'm tired of dragging myself through work. I'm tired of faking it. I'm tired of whining - to you and to my treatment team. It's not getting me anywhere. I'm too negative and repetitive. I'm sorry. I just want to stop hurting. And maybe a hug.
  6. iaawal, that's awesome!! I'm so glad he was found and is safe. What a relief! I also sleep with a stuffed animal. I have two that I alternate between, sometimes the one I've had since I was a baby has too many bad memories attached to it, so I trade her for one that a close friend sent me when I was a teenager.
  7. Sounds like a great day. Congratulations!
  8. Saw Tdoc Today

    I seem to be doing better at effectively communicating to tdoc. Or something. Crying more, whatever that means. Today she asked how I'm doing, as usual. I never know how to answer that. Today I said "well, I'm not dead yet." She didn't really like that response... too open, I think, so I expanded on it. I told her I seem to alternate between intense pain and this kind of calmer, hopeless, negative void. She asked something about when the last time was that I felt okay. Not even great, just.. okay. I told her my memory is really bad. I said I had wanted to know how long I'd been seeing her (I don't remember why), so I was reading through old journal/blog entries (been seeing her since Sept. 2015 - I didn't realise it'd been so long). I don't remember most of the last couple of years. I don't know how much is from the depression and how much from all the ECT and how much is just my sucky memory... but yeah. It's disconcerting. My friend J is pushing for me to move to MA near him. He thinks this would be better than moving back to my parents' in Canada. I talked a bit about it with tdoc. I acknowledged that my opinion about the feasibility of that move is coloured by the depression. Tdoc said that shows good insight. She got out paper and we made a pro/con chart with the four options: move to Canada, move to MA, stay here, suicide. I still don't know what's the best choice. I mentioned this to J this evening. He says he thinks Canada is the odd man out of the four options, with suicide third. He wishes he thought Canada would finish higher. J knew me when I was a teenager. He remembers how bad things were with my parents. He's not optimistic that it would be different now. Tdoc asked me if I wanted to talk about how I'm feeling. I said I want to fix it, I don't want to... whine. She asked if I thought that's what I do. I nodded. I'm whiney and needy and negative. She disagrees and says that's all symptoms of depression. I told her I try to do the stuff like think positively, but clearly I'm not doing it effectively or I'd be better, right? She says it's like treating a cold. Taking cough syrup and fever reducers and using a humidifier and stuff helps the symptoms, but you still have the cold. She asked at one point if I'm getting pissed. I said I think that requires more hope than I feel like I have. I cried again during this session. I think that concerns her. My homework tonight was to take a hot shower, put on clean pajamas, cuddle the dog and drink a hot beverage. Self soothing stuff, I guess. Ideally, prepare dinner (she thinks I don't eat enough... which is true). Then I was supposed to call her so she knew I did it. When I called, one of her children answered the phone which was odd. The phone was awkward and yeah. At the end of the session she said she wants me to know she sees how hard I'm working and it's moving. She got all teary-eyed. I'm not sure what that means. I guess that she cares about me? What does it mean that it's "moving"? Why did she get teary? I've got a new timeslot with her on Mondays at 1.30 starting next week, so if I'm needed at the Wednesday lunch meeting it won't interfere.
  9. I like your tdoc. He sounds like a good guy. I'm glad he listens to you and takes you seriously.
  10. I want someone like that too. Then I look around and think why would someone do that? I mean, you know, first it's me and then they'd have to put up with my messy, furry house/life... so I don't think it'll ever happen (for me). The right person might come along for you, though. But I know the feeling all too well.
  11. Hey iaawal, I wanted you to know that I read this and I can identify with a lot of what you write. Good job on the proofreading for work! Easy or otherwise, try to take some pride in knowing that you did what you were asked to do, and you did it well. Your boss thinks you have value. This is a good thing. Can you focus on that without comparing yourself to your coworker? Who cares what she did/didn't do, boss liked your work. Yay you! I don't know what to suggest about talking to tdoc/pdoc. I don't think you're lying by telling them different things. I struggle with that too, but I see them both weekly and they ask a lot of the same questions so stuff comes up either way. Maybe try bringing up with tdoc that you don't want to worry him but you do want to be clear that suicide is something that is constantly on your mind? Just so he understands. Maybe he gets it and just isn't talking about it because it's kinda pointless (if that makes sense). Maybe you need to have an explicit agreement to share if there are specific kinds of changes? I'm glad you have your cat. I would've kept him too (except not, because I'm allergic to cats, but I would keep a dog with issues). He's lucky to have you. You're lucky to have him, too.
  12. I think when I've been in a similar position, my pdoc has been of the opinion that I was still depressed. Perhaps increasing the dose of your antidepressant will help? For the record, I also did not have issues with withdrawal from Effexor. I suspect it is also good to try to keep forcing yourself to do stuff despite the apathy. I find it's harder to start doing stuff from nothing than to start enjoying stuff you're already doing, if that makes sense. Good luck with the Zoloft.
  13. Big Surprise

    I saw pdoc today, as usual. Big surprise: she (still) doesn't have a magic wand. She increased my AD (imipramine) by 25mg to 250mg. She says we're going to take January slowly. She asked if I have anything at home I could use to kill myself. I raised my eyebrows and said "nothing specific or unusual". So no, I have not procured the necessary things for my Plan A. I cried on the drive back to work. The goal now is to make it through the rest of the day at work (2 hours and counting!) without any more of that. Thanks for reading. Sorry I've not been commenting much on blogs. I'm reading along as best I can.
  14. Should but can't

    I should call tdoc, but I can't. I'm not worth her time or attention. I can't explain how I feel. I can't talk on the phone to her. I have no hope that she could help even if I could. My appointment yesterday got cancelled due to work. She's fitting me in on Monday at lunch, and even though it's Thursday that feels a long way away. I don't know why that matters though, because it's not like she can fix me. I should do more work, but I can't. I can't think. I can't focus. I can read but the words don't have meaning. I can't remember how to do stuff/procedures I used to do all the time. It's embarrassing. I should not isolate. Except I have no patience for people. People only want things I can't do. I should go home, because I can't be productive here at work, but I can't because I can't afford to take time off. I should have hope - tdoc and pdoc do - but I don't. I'm all out of hope life will ever change substantially for the better. It happens for some people but not for me. I should consider going IP for the weekend but again, I have no hope they could help and so I see no point. I'm unlikely to kill myself, all I do is sit around and wish I would. I don't want to be locked up. --- I've been reading my old blog posts. I wanted to see how long I've been with my current tdoc. Stupid ECT. I don't remember most of the stuff that happened in the last couple of years. My memory has never been good but I didn't realize it was this bad. Last night, I skipped group therapy. The usual leader wasn't going to be there and it just feels pointless to go. They don't believe me anyway. I stayed home and folded and put away three loads of laundry I did last weekend. Then I went to bed early.
  15. My tdoc texted me. She doesn't have another opening until 8am next Tuesday (one week from today). I asked if I could get back to her tomorrow afternoon - it's unclear if I'll have to go to all the meetings, or just this week. She said of course. I'm in tears. I won't bother with asking for a phone session. Those are pointless (for me). She didn't ask/offer though. Even though we've had scheduled phone sessions twice since I got back from my trip on Dec. 26th. It's not that I thought she'd fix everything when I saw her tomorrow, but at the same time I guess I hoped she would. Or something. I dunno. Why am I crying? I can't call her, though I think she'd want me to.