TMS: Session 24

by Heather Loeb

So it’s been awhile since I last updated my blog, my bad. I’ve also missed a couple of sessions of my TMS but am on session 24 and I’m feeling really good. It’s really helping – I have more energy, I no longer feel hopeless or depressed all day, and little chores that seemed impossible no longer do. I have 11 sessions of TMS to go.

I can’t wait to finish up in October, I should be feeling way better by then.

In other news, I stopped taking the Trintellix because it was just too expensive and went back to Zoloft. I haven’t noticed any changes – if anything, I’m doing better but it’s hard to tell because the TMS is so effective now.

I know this a short update but I don’t really have anything to report other than I’m doing great. Thanks for reading!

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Remember when I said my migraines were nearly non-existent a couple of blogs ago? Well, this week they came back with a vengeance. Usually I would go get a ketamine infusion, which keeps them at bay, but guess what? The ketamine clinic here – the only one in town – has closed. The closest clinic is two hours away.

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Now what exacerbates my migraines is really anything but since I’m doing TMS and it feels like a woodpecker pecking the shit out of my head, it tends to make things worse. Good times.

This week I had to go to my neurologist for two injections. When my migraines get very bad and my abortive meds aren’t working I go to my doc and he gives me an injection of Nubain and some nausea meds. It worked for a little bit Tuesday but then the migraine was back in full force Thursday. I also had a less intense one on Friday but didn’t end up going back to the doc.

During the week I missed a board meeting, play date, didn’t get any chores done, barely saw my kids because they were either at after care at school or with my mother-in-law. And of course that all depressed me because 1. I felt like crap and 2. I felt useless because all I could do was lie down and take a massive amount of drugs that didn’t help.

My husband, who has picked up the slack for me this week, has decided to drive me to San Antonio for a ketamine infusion. Maybe he realized my job was too hard on top of his because I suggested getting an infusion before I started TMS to avoid this whole situation. Men, they never listen.

Last week I also talked about how good I was feeling and then I went a little downhill but with migraines three to four days a week it cant help but depress you. Chronic pain will do that to you, like I discussed in this blog.

I’ve now completed 10 TMS treatments and they say you’re supposed to feel a real difference by treatment 14 or so. I’m really hoping the ketamine will help my migraines, the TMS will start working better and then I can get my ass in gear. I do have two 5Ks coming up in the next four months and I haven’t exactly been running, unless it’s to the fridge for a Diet Coke (I needed the caffeine this week)….which I’m supposed to quit.

I’ll blog after my ketamine treatment and give an update on my TMS treatments next week. Wish my luck.

For more information on ketamine for chronic pain, go here.

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Once again, my brain is playing tricks on me. Last week I was flying high, going to the gym to run and eating healthy. These past two days I’ve felt myself going down the drain and it’s so frustrating because I haven’t done anything differently. I’ve been surrounding myself with positivity but now even that is hard to conjure up. The TMS technician did warn me that it’s a emotional roller coaster at first but I just wasn’t expecting such extreme mood changes. My anxiety is higher than it has been in weeks.

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Tomorrow I plan on eating a healthy breakfast, heading to the gym and continuing eating healthy throughout the day but there are knots in my stomach and fear that that won’t be the case tomorrow. And it’s already making me feel guilty. I’ve been reading all about showing up for yourself – not missing a workout or blowing your “diet” – and how it’s about integrity. Now I don’t feel like I have any integrity, which makes me feel even worse.

I’ve even regretting signing up for a 5K in November. I feel like I should’ve gone to the gym more last week, I should have run longer and farther. I’m scared that my depression will keep me from running more this week and then comes the guilt and fear again.

I know I’m in control. I know if I want to go to the gym tomorrow, I can go but there’s also that part of me that just wants to crawl in bed and ignore the world. I didn’t feel that way last week. I also know it’s all about getting uncomfortable and breaking habits but I’m just not sure I can be positive when all my brain is telling me is negative.

Stupid, asshole brain. It’s never easy with my brain.

Hopefully, it’ll get better as I’m approaching my 8th treatment and you’re supposed to feel better in about two weeks. I hope so. I really felt great last week.

It’s like being two different people at all times and that’s exhausting. Truly exhausting.

I feel weak, sad and worthless now. All I can do is pray for help and try to keep positive – fight all the horrible things my brain is saying and making me feel.

Here’s to tomorrow.

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Today I went to the gym and ran a mile. Without stopping, dying or talking myself out of it. While that might not seem like a big milestone to some, it’s huge for me. I haven’t run since last year – I ran a 5K in June then begged off and probably haven’t run a mile since December. It’s usually hell getting back on track but today was doable. It’s a lot easier running with smaller boobs (compliments of a reduction in March).0

It’s also a big deal because I actually went to the gym. I actually have energy right now. Dare I say that I’m feeling good? Well, I am. I thought it might be the TMS treatments but the technician said it was probably a coincidence – you’re not supposed to feel better until week 2 or 3 – but we all know how special my brain is. Maybe it’s cooperating this time. It owes me.

I’m also feeling better because I’ve been listening to podcasts and reading a book, Girl Wash Your Face, which has led to some realizations: ¬†Mainly that I speak to myself in a mean, awful way and that I hardly ever say nice things to myself. The book and podcasts have helped me see that and I think it’s made a huge difference. I’ve told myself that I’m stupid, failing as a mom, a loser, an idiot and useless. I would NEVER talk that way to a friend, no matter what. What a terrible way to cope with negative feelings. I’m also eating healthier and not quitting just because I screwed up (eating half a pizza). I take one meal at a time and realize that I have to keep going.

Another thing I’ve been practicing is not to let negativity dominate my day. I still have negative emotions but I’m able to process them, dispute what I’m saying or feeling and let it go. It’s hard to do and I haven’t mastered it yet but I can already see a difference.

Long story short, I feel good and I really hope it stays this way.

What about y’all? How do you speak to and feel about yourself? Does it make a difference in your day?




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I went back for the second TMS treatment yesterday so they could remap my brain and try to find that exact spot on my cortex where the magnet would be most effective. They searched and the searched and called corporate (Neurostar). Then the doc had an idea of moving the magnetic device back farther than it was or should be. It worked! My hand and eye were twitching, which is a sign they’re on the right spot.

The doctor then proceeded to tell me I have an anatomical variance – my brain isn’t the same as others so it was harder to find the right spot. Again, my brain is a real asshole and I’ve always known it was different but I didn’t think it was THAT different.

Anyway, once the found the right spot the treatment was started, lasting about 20 minutes again and this time it was less painful/uncomfortable. I can definitely make it thought 34 more sessions. Also, I didn’t get a migraine which is a huge plus. Hopefully, I wont have to worry about that in the next several weeks.

I’m not supposed to feel better until about 2.5 weeks in but I already feel better. Placebo affect, I guess, but I’ll take it. I’m still overeating (way too much) and getting anxious at night but I’m working hard to set goals for myself that will make me healthier.

Enter the Harbor Half. I signed up to do a 5k in November, one of the biggest runs in the city. I figure this is the best goal I can make right now because it forces me to train, fuel my body properly and gives me an exact date, or deadline I should say. I’m excited. I ran my first 5k last year but then stopped running so getting back into shape is going to be tough. I can do it though. I’ve done it before and I’m ready to get uncomfortable to make some major changes in my life.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.

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Day 1: TMS

by Heather Loeb

So, day 1 of TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) did not go according to plan. Since it was my first visit, the treatment operator and doctor had to adjust the magnet exactly right so it would stimulate a certain part of my brain. They figure this out by sending a signal to your brain and seeing if your hand or fingers twitch. They had a hard time finding the right spot but eventually they were happy with where it was and began treatment.

It was weird. Everyone says it’s like a woodpecker pecking your brain and that’s exactly how it felt. The magnet was placed near my temple so it made my eye twitch and water. The treatment lasted only 20 minutes long, and the good thing is that I didn’t get a migraine, thank god. It’s not exactly painful but it is uncomfortable and I have 35 treatments to go (I’ll go Monday-Friday).

So I’m thinking, “this isn’t so bad” but then I got a call from the doc later that night saying she wasn’t happy with the data and they were going to have to remap my brain to find the exact spot where treatment is needed. The doc said she’s never had this problem with anyone else, of course, and it makes sense that my meds don’t work. If worse comes to worse, the corporate guys will come out and help so there’s still hope.

My brain is a real asshole.

Anyway, I’ll keep updating the blog and let you know how I feel as the treatments progress. The doc said it would take about a week to start feeling different. Keep your fingers crossed for me.



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