See you later, alligator

So, I’m taking off the next 6 to 8 weeks. I talked it over with my therapist and husband and we all decided I needed to be inpatient at a mental health facility this past week and, lucky for me, the clinic had an opening in the program starting this Monday that I wanted to be in and that was the best fit for me. One that focuses on my treatment-resistant Major Depressive Disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety and PMDD, and emotional eating. Even substance abuse, because I’ve abused my anxiety medicine in the past.

The clinic is Menningers in Houston, which is well known in the psychiatric arena. I’ve heard such good things about it and I’m hopeful. I should be – the program cost a damn arm and a leg but now’s the time to get better. Nothing else has worked.

The one thing I’m worried about is ECT is not part of my program and I really want to do it. The program leader said I can meet with the doctor to see if I’m a candidate but I don’t know who else would be a better candidate. I’ve tried multiple medications (Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Lamictal, Rexulti, Saphris, Doxepin Lexapro, Cymbalta, Abilify – just to name a few), TMS, ketamine infusions and now Spravato. I’ve been depressed (way) over 5 years, so really how can they turn me down? But they could, so good thoughts please. It’s really my one shot. I wont be able to afford a place like this again and I’m not willing to be away from my children for this long again.

That’s the only thing making me nervous. My babies. I know my husband and mother-in-law (and my mom and dad are helping too) can handle everything, I’ll just miss them so much. I’ll miss my son’s birthday and I’ll miss the first day of school. It’s just hard. But when I come out I’ll hopefully be way better and won’t have to miss anything else, because let’s face it, I’m barely living now.

I won’t have access to internet, other than email., so this is so long for the next 6 to 8 weeks. I will miss blogging but I guess I’ll have some stories when I get back.

Stay well, my friends. See you on the other side.

Spravato: Treatments 1 & 2

This past week I completed my first two treatments of Spravato. What’s that, you say? It’s a nasal spray with esketamine (very much like ketamine) that helps with depression and a host of other things, such as migraines – at least for me.

My first treatment did not go well. First of all, I HATE things going up my nose. Second, it gave my a horrible taste in the back of my throat and I got a little nauseated. I also didn’t dissociate, which is one of the biggest side effects of the drug. Under the FDA’s rules I had to stay there for two hours, so I was hoping for a little dissociation, otherwise it’s just boring. So, it had no affect on me besides being a little sick to my stomach and then I was bored for two hours. Plus when I got home, I got a huge migraine and for the next two days and had to see my neurologist to get a Nubain injection for my migraines to go away. Maybe it was just a coincidence but I was annoyed and didn’t want to go for the second treatment. It had been awhile since I’d had a migraine.

But to my delight, the second treatment went well. I got the hang of putting the nasal mist up my nose, got used to the nasty taste in my throat and this time they gave me Zofran for the nausea. I still didn’t dissociate but I was tired enough to take an almost two hour nap, so the visit passed rather quickly. Can’t say the same for my husband who has to stay there the whole time and give me a ride home. FDA rules again. He can’t leave the whole two hours while I’m receiving treatment.

I don’t feel a whole lot better, and since it’s hardly affecting me, my doctor is going to bump me up to the big girl dose next week, which is about 84mg of esketamine. When I go to get the ketamine infusions at the clinic via IV, I’m receiving 100mg, plus they give me a benzo in the IV – I don’t know why they do that. So, maybe the larger dosage will help me more.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a complete failure. I do feel better after the second one but I’m still dealing with symptoms of depression. But I don’t feel as blah as I have been.

I’m supposed to go three times to the clinic next week to get the larger dose, so we’ll see how that goes.

As far as my weight loss and journey to get healthy, I haven’t even been on the scale. I’ve been eating poorly and drinking Diet Coke again. My depression just hit hard this week and the week before. I think. I can’t remember last week. I’ll get back on track and keep you guys updated. Thanks for the support.

Stay well, my friends.

 

Blah

I haven’t written in a couple days and I don’t really feel like writing today. Yesterday, I had my first Spravato treatment, which I’ll get to later, and since then I haven’t felt right. I have a major migraine and I feel really depressed. So far not impressed with Spravato.

Anyway, that’s it for now.

Oops

Oh, hey. It’s been since September since I last blogged. My apologies. It’s been a hard few months since. First, I was busy with the holidays and since the beginning of the year I’ve been depressed and haven’t felt like talking despite everyone’s urging to do so.

That’s the thing about depression, even when you need to talk the most you feel like you just can’t do it. I can say that I’ve been going to therapy on a regular basis but my meds have stayed the same despite me feeling like crap. Because I’m treatment resistant, there’s really nowhere to go from here medicine wise. My psychiatrist has suggested ECT but I’m just not ready for that. Yet.

I have been getting ketamine infusions which helps with my moods. It doesn’t last very long but thankfully we have the money to get them. I don’t know what I would do if we couldn’t afford it. If you’re poor and have MDD, you’re screwed. My medicine alone costs hundreds of dollars. So wrong.

My therapist and I started Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Basically, you identify your negative behaviors and teach yourself positive behaviors. Seems like common sense but it’s really helpful when all you’ve been doing your whole life is practicing negative coping skills. So far, so good. I’m working in a workbook, which I would recommend to anyone.

I’m also going to try the new ketamine-based nasal spray, Spravato. It was approved by the FDA in March. The doc that did my TMS treatments called and wants me to be her first patient. You have to be in the office and monitored for two hours after receiving the spray and I think you go twice a week for six weeks at first. I hate stuff going up my nose so we’ll see how this goes down. Waiting on insurance to clear my first, of course. It’s always insurance.

That’s my update for now. I’ll try to be more consistent with everything and I’ll definitely keep you updated on the Spravato.