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Antigone

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Everything posted by Antigone

  1. I posted this on another thread yesterday. I'll repost it here: I've had 22 so far. I started out going three times a week. I get bitemporal. I'm down to once every other week. They said that would bring my memory back, but so far it's just as bad. And it's TERRIBLE. I can't remember my cats' names, where my daughter was born, places we have lived, how to cook or where the dishes go, how to pay the bills, long chunks of my daughters' childhoods, where all of my writing is, where all of the kids photographs are, what day to day life is supposed to be like. The ECT has helped my depression maybe a little, but this added disability of not being able to remember anything (things just told to me or read in email) or anything longterm about my life is devastating. It's like an entire new disability. I literally can't be trusted to do ANYTHING with regards to the household, shop, pay bills, unload the dishwasher, put the laundry away, get my daughter ready for school, help with homework, make meals. Everything I try, I screw up and things get lost, overlooked or done wrong. I am praying now that we are only doing once every other week that my memory will start coming back. I'm terrified that this is permanent.
  2. I've had 22 so far. I started out going three times a week. I get bitemporal. I'm down to once every other week. They said that would bring my memory back, but so far it's just as bad. And it's TERRIBLE. I can't remember my cats' names, where my daughter was born, places we have lived, how to cook or where the dishes go, how to pay the bills, long chunks of my daughters' childhoods, where all of my writing is, where all of the kids photographs are, what day to day life is supposed to be like. The ECT has helped my depression maybe a little, but this added disability of not being able to remember anything (things just told to me or read in email) or anything longterm about my life is devastating. It's like an entire new disability. I literally can't be trusted to do ANYTHING with regards to the household, shop, pay bills, unload the dishwasher, put the laundry away, get my daughter ready for school, help with homework, make meals. Everything I try, I screw up and things get lost, overlooked or done wrong. I am praying now that we are only doing once every other week that my memory will start coming back. I'm terrified that this is permanent.
  3. November 19, 2014 I had my fifth ECT today. Other than a small increase in appetite, I haven’t noticed any change yet. I’m trying not to get discouraged. It’s supposed to start taking effect around number six. My sister takes me on Friday. And Monday. November 22, 2014 I had my sixth ECT yesterday. My sister took me. They say it starts working around the sixth treatment. I haven’t noticed anything yet. I really hope this is going to work for me.
  4. Today was my fourth ECT. I haven’t noticed any change so far. I was starving today when I woke up, but just ate when I got home (you can’t eat after midnight the night before). I developed a headache and eyepain immediately afterward. I took Imitrex, Tylenol and Advil. So far, it hasn’t helped at all. I have ECT again on Wednesday and Friday.
  5. I had my third ECT today. My sister took me. Because of the confusion I’m experiencing, they did a memory test. If I find the confusion and memory problems to be too much, we can drop to twice a week. As of right now, I’ll live with it. I am desperate for relief and don’t want to slow treatment down. I also developed a headache afterward. I took Tylenol, Aleve, and Imitrex. It finally went away after about four hours. Other than that, no side effects. I haven’t noticed any change in my mood yet.
  6. I wrote this yesterday: I had my second ECT yesterday. It went fine and I woke up easily from the anesthetic. I was confused when I first woke up, thinking I was still waiting for ECT. I haven’t had any of the headache or nausea or body aches afterwards. But since this second time, I keep having this disorienting confusion. I keep forgetting what day it is, where everyone is, who people are on facebook and how I know them. So my anxiety has grown since I woke up this morning. The Atarax is not working. And I can only have ECT twice this week because the nurses are striking at my hospital on today and Wednesday, so I’ll only have ECT Monday and Friday. I’m really bummed about that. I did notice after the first treatment that I had slightly more awakeness and concentration, but I keep having these moments of confusion since yesterday’s ECT. I hope this doesn’t get worse.I had my second ECT yesterday. It went fine and I woke up easily from the anesthetic. I was confused when I first woke up, thinking I was still waiting for ECT. I haven’t had any of the headache or nausea or body aches afterwards. But since this second time, I keep having this disorienting confusion. I keep forgetting what day it is, where everyone is, who people are on facebook and how I know them. So my anxiety has grown since I woke up this morning. The Atarax is not working. And I can only have ECT twice this week because the nurses are striking at my hospital on today and Wednesday, so I’ll only have ECT Monday and Friday. I’m really bummed about that. I did notice after the first treatment that I had slightly more awakeness and concentration, but I keep having these moments of confusion since yesterday’s ECT. I hope this doesn’t get worse.
  7. November 7, 2014 I had my first ECT today. First, I didn’t sleep the entire night and had rolling panic attacks all night. Then DD2’s tummy hurt too much to go to school so we had to take her with us, which meant that DH couldn’t be in the back and in the consultations with doctors and nurses. I was shaking so bad, felt so dizzy and weak that the receptionist called the charge nurse out, then the ECT nurse came out, then she got the ECT doctor into a consultation room with me where he immediately said he couldn’t do ECT on me. I had to convince him I was just having the worst panic attack of my life. I was short of breath, felt a burning sensation across my chest. Anyway, after talking for a few minutes, he agreed to do it. The ECT consultation nurse took me into a consultation room and went over releases, which I could barely sign. Then she took my history. Then she went off on this lecture about how I needed to get out, exercise, socialize with people, take better care of my hygiene. Hello, if I could do that, I wouldn’t be here! Then the nurse took me back. They do ECT in the outpatient surgery center of the hospital. I climbed on the bed in my curtain area and took off my jacket and shoes at the nurse’s request. She then introduced me to my nurse for that day. She took my vitals and noticed my shaking right away. She said she would ask the doctor about it. Another nurse came over and started an IV. The anesthesiologist came to talk to me and immediately noticed my shaking and that my eyes were completely dilated in fear. He immediately ordered IV Fentanyl to calm me down. He was really nice, as were all of the nurses in the back. Next came the nurse anesthetist who also talked to me and was very nice. After a half an hour of doing nothing, then the ECT doctor came to see me again. He noticed that I’d calmed down and explained the procedure to me again. He left again. About forty-five minutes later, they came to take me back. First, the ECT room is like a closet, it is so small. They barely had room to stand at the sides of my bed. They hooked me up to monitors and electrodes (bilateral for me). Then the anesthesiologist put the medicine in my IV. And I was out. I woke up back on my bed in the curtain area. I have no idea how long it took me to wake up. I don’t have much concept of time in how long we were there, but the ECT doc came back and talked to me a third time and we went over the treatment plan again. Then they discontinued my IV, I put my shoes and jacket on and walked into the waiting room. I didn’t feel groggy at all. I had no headache. or nausea. But as soon as we got in the car, I noticed my anxiety was building and I still hadn’t heard from my psychiatrist about getting Atarax while in ECT because I can’t be on my Klonopin. On the way home, I thought tomorrow was Tuesday, not Friday. I don’t know if that was cognitive impairment from the ECT or just this illness and getting old. It was disorienting when DH told me what day it was. We got home and there was an email from my psychiatrist saying the Atarax was now ready, so DH went and picked it up. I took one and got relief in about twenty minutes, however, it only lasted an hour and he’s prescribed 10mg only three times a day. I looked online and saw people taking 50 mg at a time multiple times a day. So I have to email him AGAIN and ask for more. Rinse. Repeat. So far, no side effects and no changes in mood after one treatment. My shaking is pretty bad. I’m hoping I sleep tonight. I am so sleep deprived, I know that’s not helping.
  8. I'm going to record my experience with ECT. It might be helpful to someone else in the future. I know reading others' logs has been helpful for me in preparing for ECT. November 6, 2014 Tommorow, I start ECT at 10:00. For the past two years, since December 2012, I have been increasingly depressed into the deepest depression of my life. I’ve had depression since I was 14, started getting meds and therapy at 30. Well controlled until I had DS2 and was then diagnosed with post-partum onset Bipolar I with severe psychosis and PTSD. This has been almost five years, I think, of medications, individual therapy, group therapy, IOP since then to varying degrees of success. I became officially disabled three years ago. I’ve lost 63 lbs in the past almost two years and am skeletal. My kidneys are starting to fail due to malnutrition. We have tried absolutely everything. Now my body is dying and the pros of ECT completely outweigh the cons, memory loss or not. I am sitting on the couch all day not moving at all but to look at the internet. I can’t read, write, watch TV, do anything. I never laugh or smile. DH has been doing EVERYTHING taking care of the kids, the house, meals, shopping, and he works at night on top of that. I bathe once a week and have to go to the hairdresser down the street to get my hair washed and dried each week. I don’t change my clothes. I’ve been having double vision for a while now. I haven’t mentioned that yet. But today, something weird happened. I completely forgot what day it was, where I was and what I was doing several times. I panicked for a minute each time until I remembered. I’ve also been having weird dizzy spells with vision distortion (like severe narrowing) when I stand up and walk around. I am waiting for a referral to the neurologist to go through. My tardive dyskinesia is really bad being off the Klonopin for ECT. I am worried this is what I’m going to be like all the time for the next six months. I am worried I am going to lose all of my memories of this time. DS2’s second grade year and DS1’s sixth grade. I’m worried I’m going to lose my long term memories. I’ve created a timeline of my life, where I’ve lived, schools I’ve attended, degrees I’ve gotten, things I’ve written and published, when I got married, when the kids were born. I spent last night laying next to DS2 telling her about her first seven years. I tried to explain to her, without scaring her, what might be going on for the next few months. DH is taking me to ECT this first Friday. We’re going for labs before to do further tests on my kidneys and may pick up a script for Atarax for anxiety since I have to be off my Klonopin during ECT. Going forward, DH will take me on Mondays and Wednesdays, My Sister’s will take me on Fridays. I’ll go three times a week for bi-temporal ECT until it starts working, then drop to two for a few weeks, then one, then every other week, then we’ll make a decision whether or not I’ll do maintenance. If the short term memory is so bad I can’t be alone with DS2, my sister will have to come stay with me on the nights DH is gone or my parents will have to come from another state. I really don’t want that, but I’m trying to prepare for anything that might happen with side effects.
  9. I've won NaNo three times. I didn't do it last year due to severe depression that I'm still fighting. I'm getting ready to start ECT treatments so I don't know if I'll be feeling up for it by then or not. Good luck.
  10. My doctor is suggesting this for me for my unmitigated depression. I have bipolar I with extreme psychosis. I'm really wary of this drug and going and getting blood tests every week is going to be very hard for me. I have social anxiety so going out of the house is a HUGE deal for me. I'm also concerned about the side effects. I read the threads on this board that discussed Clozapine but am looking for more people's experience with it.
  11. I relate to this so much. I'm still in a morbid depression, but I have the feeling that I have no life left after the years of mental illness. I have not done anything, have no interests or hobbies, don't work, and only have my children to talk about. I don't know where to start in trying to get a life again. I can't imagine how it can be done. So I empathize with you greatly. I'm sorry you're going through this too.
  12. I was really resistant to the Bipolar diagnosis. So much so that, if I'm honest, I have to admit that I was concealing symptoms from my pdoc. Finally having a really honest conversation and looking at the overall picture helped. Getting the right diagnosis was the first step in getting the right treatment. I have had times where my medications really helped me live a stable life. And, now, my med cocktail is not working for me and we are messing with it. Bipolar is a moving target, my pdoc always says. But if you are having symptoms for which you are not getting relief that would be better described as Bipolar, it's in your interest to allow in the proper diagnosis so that you can get the proper treatment. Otherwise, you're just left to suffer without real direction in your treatment.
  13. Mellifluous, it sounds to me like you're having some issues with your thoughts. Can you call your pdoc and tell him that you're worried about implants in your body? Because it sounds like you're having trouble discerning what is real and what is your mental illness speaking.
  14. Thanks for the great information. I'm wondering what my psych will suggest and I want to be prepared with as much info as possible.
  15. I am considering switching off my mood stabilizer of Lamictal to something else. I have completely flat affect and have forgotten how to smile or laugh at all. I make weird zombie faces instead. I'm also on Wellbutrin and Saphris. I'm also morbidly depressed and don't leave the house so I'm wondering if my mood stabilizer is keeping me unnaturally low on the mood swing front. I cannot gain back the weight I gained on Zyprexa. I have failed all other antipsychotics, so changing Saphris isn't a good idea. And we just switched up to Wellbutrin from Effexor so I know it's not that. I've been having flat affect for a while now. Any suggestions? Experience? Thanks in advance. I've heard Trileptal can work without weight gain. Can anyone confirm this?
  16. I've been in partial hospitalization three times. It was helpful each time. I, too, have a very hard time leaving the house at all or talking to other people. It helped get me out of the house when I most resisted it. It was also very helpful to have such close monitoring of my medications by my psychiatrist. They were able to make quick alterations that my regular pdoc could not. Good luck.
  17. I didn't need gdoc's support in my SSDI claim. I didn't even really get support from pdoc, just tdoc and 400+ pages of psychiatric notes in my chart. I wouldn't worry too much about what he has to say. Don't list him on your application. If you aren't applying for physical disability reasons, his opinion shouldn't matter.
  18. Congratulations! As you know, that is not the norm. I had to appeal twice and finally got benefits at the ALJ level. However, I received $46,000 in backpay, so it was worth sticking with it.
  19. I was required to go to a psychologist for a battery of tests and interview for my SSDI, and my psychiatrist was required to fill out a form. My psychologist also wrote a letter in lieu of sending my medical records.
  20. On paper, I look phenomenally successful through college, masters, Ph.D program, full time work as a writer. Until my daughter was born six years ago and my PTSD was triggered and I was diagnosed with post-partum induced BP1 with psychosis. I've been disabled ever since, which is hard to hide. I have one or two real life friends and cannot stand to leave the house or talk to other people. I am lucky to be in a very stable marriage with wonderful children, but I struggle to get through every day. So that's me.
  21. I just wanted to say hi and welcome you aboard. I'm recently diagnosed and struggling with believing it at all. Sometimes it is easier than others to believe. I'm in a period of disbelief right now, but I'm sure that will change. I hope you keep posting.
  22. I am paralyzed with anxiety about my disability review expected in May. I'm wondering what they look for and how diligently they review your records at the review period. My tdoc says I am profoundly disabled. I see her twice a week. I am med compliant for my Bipolar and go to group therapy for that once a week, too. But my pdoc said I was only moderately disabled when I originally applied, despite finding me unable to go to work 4+ days a week, when only 2+ is considered severely disabled. I do not leave the house except for therapy. I shower and change my clothes once every seven to ten days. I cannot drive or care for my daughter due to dissociation and severe anxiety. I cannot cook, clean or do anything but scoop the cat litter and brush my hair most days. My tdoc knows all of this. My pdoc keeps talking about how I can get better, despite severe PTSD and unstable Bipolar with severe psychosis, which makes me nervous. So I'm wondering if SSDI will request all of my records again. I'm wondering if they will send another form to my pdoc to fill out. I know my tdoc will write a very supportive letter, but I question what my pdoc will say. I am paralyzed with anxiety about this for hours everyday. I don't know what we would do if we lost my disability. I cannot work. It's out of the question. So has anyone ever lost disability benefits after a review? I need some perspective.
  23. I think it's great for a tdoc to give input on your situation as they see it. However, I think sweeping generalizations about medication are not their place. They are not physicians and such stances can be detrimental to your care. I also think it undermines your relationship with pdoc for tdoc to do so. My tdoc just gave input on my depression and anxiety in advance of an appointment with pdoc. She felt it was situational, but couched her advice as just that, her input on what was going on, that my reaction to my current situation was "normal" for what is happening. My pdoc still chose to adjust my meds and treat the biological factors at play.
  24. Update on me. So I disappeared after my hypomania of three months crashed into a free fall depression. When you last tuned in, I had been blogging a thousand words a day, wrote a novel in two weeks, and bought a house and moved in three weeks. Then, the crash. I haven't written in six weeks. I am traumatized by everything about my new house, from the windows, to cooking anything, to doing the laundry, to getting ice water. Every new thing freaks me out. I am going more than a week without showering because the new shower triggers the shit out of me. When I started thinking about finding new homes for my cats, and how much of a burden I am to my husband and daughter, I decided to go see pdoc. She upped my Saphris and may up my Lamictal, too, in a couple of weeks. I fucking hate Bipolar. Trying to cope with the PTSD is hard enough. I can't do anything but deal with the constant, paralyzing anxiety right now and I barely feel like I'm keeping my head above water right now. On an up note, I start a sexual abuse survivors group therapy once a week in two weeks. This will be in addition to once a week with tdoc and once a week bipolar group.
  25. I was high functioning for most of my adult life until the PTSD blasted me out of the water. Because I have a very high IQ and made it through graduate school and a long, successful writing career, my pdoc considers me high functioning. I am anything but at this point. I never leave the house except for therapy. I shower less than once a week. But because I have insight into my situation and am med compliant, my pdoc does not consider me disabled. My tdoc does and that finally got me disability after four years. That said, I don't think suffering is a contest. Whatever you experience is what you experience with mental illness. You have a right to post here no matter what.
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