Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Sign in to follow this  
Antigone

ECT Log - My experience

Recommended Posts

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.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sending you well wishes for the day and for the afterwards. I do hope it helps you without too many sides.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 

Edited by Antigone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry you got stuck with an insensitive nurse at first! You wonder sometimes......I'm glad it didn't go too traumatically for you and I hope you get your medication sorted out soon and some sleep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yech, insensitive nurses suck!

So do panic attacks. I'm glad they continued with the treatment for you.

 

I'm glad it went fairly smoothly for you. I'm sorry you're so anxious. I had to d/c Valium when I had ECT, so it was hard to sleep the night before. Your doc sounds good. The waiting is agony. I'm surprised they made you wait so long after setting up the IV and everything. I found my anxiety was very low after the first treatment, before the next treatments, because I knew what was going to happen. I'd look forward to being put out, and the heated blankets. 

 

I'm glad you don't have any physical side effects. I only had the headache. It can take 4-6 treatments to notice a difference. I hope this helps you. I had a very positive experience with ECT, personally. I really hope you do too. And I hope your anxiety goes down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad you're not having too many horrible side effects and I hope it starts to work for you soon :) Don't have much of anything to say, just wanted to let you know I'm still reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm here and listening. I'm glad the headache went away fairly easily. Confusion and memory issues are common, unfortunately, but I'm glad your team is on it.

 

Are you doing anything for anxiety? Has it lessened at all?

 

It can take 6-8 treatments to feel anything, and it can take time for your head to clear up and feel a lot better. I found 2 weeks after my ECT was done I was doing great. Before that, my memory is fuzzy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Antigone,

 

Any further updates on your treatments ?

 

Hope all is well with you.

 

sook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Antigone,

 

I am so sorry the hear about all the suffering you have had to deal with with your memory lose, I hope it comes back soon.

 

sook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...