My ECT Journey: Day 1
Today, I had my first treatment of ECT. The one thing that stands out afterwards that is in the front of my brain, is that it hurts like hell. But Alan, I can hear you saying, I thought you were under general anesthesia? True, I was, so I couldn’t feel a thing when they were actually shocking me, and thank god I couldn’t. The reverberations of the treatment, and the coinciding convulsions, at least the first time, are body aches, a sore jaw, and for me, a blaringly painful spot where the electrode was attached. I think that everyone should know that just because you’re knocked out, doesn’t mean that it’s a walk in the park. I mean, my calves feel like I just ran a marathon, up hill. My jaw feels like I just took a right hook from Muhammad Ali during his championship fight. Sure they use a disposable mouth guard to make sure that you don’t bite your tongue during the convulsions, but it feels like I was stricken with TMJ in a single half hour (for those of you who don’t know what TMJ is, google it).
Now the good news, is that I’m told the majority of what I feel like today, is only during the first treatment, thank god. And luckily I didn’t experience any confusion, memory loss, or other delightful side effects…yet. The first treatment is usually more load than the body can handle, because well you know, you’re not used to having a seizure. So that is great, let me tell you. The other good news, well it’s not really good news, but the neurological effects are what I have to look forwards to with continued treatment. On the bright side, this may end up “curing” my depression. I put curing in quotes because nothing really cures depression, let me say that outright. However, ECT allows 85-95% of people who go through treatment to enter a sort of remission from their deep depression, which is where I hope to be. Another fun fact, is that from the time I got there, to when I went home, was about 4 hours, while the treatment was only a few minutes. Now this might differ from place to place, especially because where I went is very well known for their ECT treatment. So, now all I have to do is continue treatment, and hope like hell that it works.
Wish me luck