I’ll take ECT and a headache to go, please

I’m sick. I’m dipping into suicidal ideation more and more. I’ve been holding out for my next doc appointment. It’s on Wednesday. I think he’s going to hospitalise me. This time last year I was hospitalised. Put in a lock-up ward on suicide watch. I don’t want to go back there.

November 2015

Apparently I was agitated when admitted. I had no idea. After a few days I got an upset tummy. At 5pm I went to the nurses station and asked for something. They told me the porter had left and I had to wait until morning. Lazy excuse. I flipped out. Rage all the way. Arms waving, shouting “what do you mean you can’t get me some simple atropine? Call me craaa-aa-aa-zzzzz-zzzzzy *jazz hands* but this is a hospital!!!”

The nursing sister arrived. The nurse got on the phone to my doc. They gave me a handful of tablets to ‘calm me down’. Within no time I was slurring my words. I couldn’t walk. I’ve been on tablets and I’ve been on heavy duty tables, but this felt different from anything I’d ever taken before. I had to crawl on the floor back to my bed. It was frightening. I didn’t know what was happening to me. The next morning I asked my doc what he gave me.

What?” he said, puzzled. I told him about the night before. “No one phoned me” he said. “I didn’t prescribe you anything”.

The nurses had given me a large dose of something unknown. I booked myself out of hospital immediately. This time I want ECT. I had it 15 years ago and it worked well. My doc wanted me to have it during the whole Lover Incident earlier this year and I refused. Right now, I need the immediate effects of ECT. I can’t wait around for medication to work? …….or not to work?

And so I wait for Wednesday. Pyjama’s ‘n underwear washed and ready to go.



    1. Well, ECT is usually followed up by maintenance meds. But ECT is also used for treatment resistant patients. As far as I know, they would require sort of ‘follow up treatments’ every few months (not too often). And its different for each person. Like Ulla, she didn’t respond to it. And its usually the last trick in the bag to try after, really, years of trying to get the medical cocktail right.

      Its usually used as a once off ‘jolt’ to ‘reboot’ all the neurons and release of chemicals in the brain. So if you’re suicidal, you get a good jolt of juice and it brings you out of that hole immediately and then is followed up by your usual cocktail of meds as you would in maintaining treatment of your bipolar.

      Last time I had it done I felt so good I stopped taking my meds. But my ex gave me such a hard time about bipolar that I remained unmedicated throughout my marriage. Until I knew I was going to leave. My first step was to get stable.

      Phew, memory loss – huge – short term. My most dreaded question is “Don’t you remember….?”. And over the past five years from meds its just deteriorated at a fast past. My last visit to my doc, he mentioned it as ‘a decline in cognitive ability’. Pretty scary when said like that. And since bipolar is a degenerative illness. I used to be super intelligent. Not anymore. These days I feel quite dumb and its frustrating because I know I used to perform better.

      I’m nervous. I hope I don’t get cold feet. But with xmas shutdown coming up, it will be dangerous for me to be alone. So I need to do something proactive. I’m hoping I can do it outpatient.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No! Not at all. They put you under anaesthetic. Its only a 10-15 minute procedure. Plus a muscle relaxant because you have a seizure – that’s where the magic happens. And then 30mins recovery time. I could be mistaken but I think it can also be done as an outpatient procedure and go to work straight after. I’ll see what my medical aid covers.

        I’m not nervous about the procedure. I’m nervous to stay in the psych hospital. It can get crazy in there ;P

        Liked by 1 person

      1. That sucks. I can relate: last night I forgot to go to sleep. Finally at about 0330 it occurred to me that perhaps I was forgetting something…so finally I took 5 mg of zolpidem and crashed until my poor Doggess couldn’t hold it anymore..about 0900, the dear sweet thing. I had to hustle her outside. She peed a gallon!

        Ironic, when we feel shite we can’t sleep, which makes us feel more shite, etc….hope you can get some shut-eye, sista….

        Liked by 2 people

      1. All the more reason why I never want to be hospitalized. I haven’t been diagnosed that long – only 3 years ago I think it’s been but still, it’s a huge fear of mine. Doesn’t matter that I have a sister that works as a psych nurse. Doesn’t help that I’ve worked in nursing homes. I’ve seen and heard shit – don’t care if I worked in the kitchen to feed the elderly. Doesn’t change the fact that in my mind nursing staff is nursing staff no matter where you go. And so far as a whole they haven’t proven me wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

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