Last week I did a ketamine treatment, the first in years. Before I was hospitalized at The Menninger Clinic in 2019 for depression and anxiety, I’d done about two or three but never felt better after doing them.
I tried again last week because it’s easier for me to do ketamine treatments than ECT treatments, which I’ve been doing since 2019. Those are a pain; I have to drive 2.5 hours to San Antonio, undergo the procedure (which includes anesthesia) and then have my husband drive back home while I battled an inevitable migraine. I’m usually out of it for the rest of the day and some of the next.
I haven’t had an ECT in months, the most I’ve ever gone since being hospitalized, but I started recognizing some of the signs that I might need one. Enter ketamine treatment.
I was very nervous when I got there and as they begin to set up the infusion and IV. I was scared that I would feel out of control and that I’d be overwhelmed. I was sweating. The nurse could tell I was nervous so she stayed with me for a few minutes. That’s all it took, really. I started to feel the warm flush feeling of the medicine entering my body and I started to panic. It was just so overwhelming, so I asked the nurse to slow it down, which she did. After that, it was a gradual high and I didn’t feel out of my mind. I started laughing, saying “wow, I’m so fucked up.” She left the room so I could vibe.
Because the infusion was going slower, I was able to realize that I was “high” and able to enjoy it. I did inventory on my emotions and felt hope that this would help improve my mood. I wasn’t sleepy or tired, but I could tell my eyelids were at half mast (plus I took a picture).
I felt a feeling of euphoria and thanked God for all I was thankful for. I relaxed and explored any emotion that came up, which is cool because normally I swallow my emotions, never giving them any time or space.
Finally, as I did become sleepy, time was up. They took the IV out. They let me “come to” after about 10 minutes. I was a little tired for the rest of the day but wasn’t totally useless, which is good. That’s how the ECTs leave me.
I felt like the treatment worked right away but thought that maybe it was just a lingering feeling of euphoria. It has been several days now and I still have that feeling — that I feel good. That I’m thankful. And like it’s going to be okay. I’m so pleased with how it went and I’ll be doing five more treatments to do.
I’m just so thankful that I didn’t have to get an ECT. I hate anesthesia and memory loss. It’s just too much to deal with, so I’m really hoping I can keep up with ketamine treatments instead.