I’ve been struggling more and more lately with memory problems. There are so many things in my past that are completely blank, which does have some benefits. However, there are negatives as well. For example, I don’t remember what pushed me over the side and decided to get sober. I don’t remember most of my childhood and I don’t even remember my time in college when I was taking classes on campus.
In addition to my memory problems, I’m also having a hard time finding the right words when speaking. I did some research and found out that this is called Aphasia. There are different types of Aphasia. Mine appears to be Expressive Aphasia, which is when the person knows what they want to say, but has a hard time communicating it to others. I’m worried that this is going to get worse. It’s been pretty difficult and annoying to deal with. I see my psychiatrist at ECT tomorrow morning, so I will probably mention it to him and see what he has to say.
I had another session of ECT last week. My doctor, Dr Espinoza, asked me again if I wanted to switch to once a week instead of once every other week. When I turned him down on that option, he asked me I had any interest in IV Ketamine. I turned that option down very quickly. I know IV Ketamine is a lot different from using Ketamine to get high, but it brings back memories. I told him why I’m so against IV Ketamine. The last time I used it to get high, I ended up cheating on my boyfriend (he asked me to marry him; I’m sure we would have gone through with it, but I doubt that it would have lasted; that’s just how it goes with relationships based on drugs). Then, less than 24 hours after I got home, the cops were at my door to question me. My boyfriend/fiance was killed in a drug deal gone bad. I don’t want to remind myself of that horrible event and the many others that I went through while on drugs.
I’m not doing too much better, but there has been improvement since my last two ECT treatments. I explained to Dr Espinoza that I got a new dog and I think he will be helping me get through this rough time. I’ve been thinking about it all day and I’ve decided that if I don’t improve enough within the next four weeks, then I will go back to weekly ECT treatments. Hopefully that doesn’t have to happen.
Yesterday was an extremely productive day. I got everything done on my to-do list by 3pm. I even had time to do extra tasks. I probably should have given myself a break, but I felt that I should continue my productivity since I had the energy. Today is going to be a day where I get to rest a lot. I have another ECT treatment at 9:45am. I’ll probably be home by 11am and I’ll get to take a nap. Then, my husband and I meet his father for a late lunch date. I plan on getting as much rest as possible tomorrow.
I spent a good amount of time with Achilles yesterday. We cuddled on the floor, played catch inside, and went on a nice long walk at night (as always). He really seems to be settling into his new home. He’s getting used to his new schedule, he’s taking all of his medication like a champ, he’s getting healthier, and he’s getting stronger. Having Achilles around gives me a reason to get up. I feel lucky to have him as the newest part of my family.
My days seem to be getting longer and longer. I’ve been extremely busy lately and I can’t seem to get everything done that I plan to do. I’m stressed out way beyond my normal breaking point. It feels like I’m just waiting for the next disaster to happen, but I have no clue what it’s going to be or when it’s going to happen. Hopefully, I will have a bit of a break before the next catastrophe.
I had ECT this morning. Every time, my doctor asks me to rate my depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and irritability. For the past couple months, every time he has asked me, my numbers have gone done, which is wonderful. However, today, just about everything was between 7 and 9. Life has been overwhelming in almost every way. Just when I think it can’t get any more stressful, it does. My doctor asked me if I wanted to do ECT once a week for a while, instead of every other week, until I start feeling better. I turned him down. I told him that I want to wait to see if things will improve when the situations in my life start to improve (hopefully that happens).
My therapist called me today because I missed our appointment the other day. In the several years that I’ve been seeing him, that has only happened twice. He was just calling to make sure I was okay. I told him everything that’s going on in the past couple days; the bed bugs, broken dryer, and the problem with my debit card. I also told him about choosing not to go back to weekly ECT, and he was supportive of my decision, which made me feel more confident in my choice.
Another day of ECT. I know it helps, but I really dislike the memory loss side effect. However, I would rather have some memory loss than be completely miserable, irritable, depressed, and suicidal. I am grateful that ECT helps and I hope that it continues to improve my mental health status as time goes on.
I was talking to my husband the other day about how I’ve been going to AA meetings all by myself (of course, not without taking a Valium). We discussed that I have talked to some people, spoke in some of the meetings, and I even stood up to get my sobriety chip (I had 13 years sober on April 29th). It turns out that I really missed meetings.
I have been pushing myself to do a little more each week. My husband and I even take walks each night for about 30 minutes. It’s so beautiful out with the stars shining down on us. The neighborhood is almost completely silent. During the last couple of walks, only 2 cars passed by us each night. It reminds me of where I grew up. I think the reason that I’m able and willing to push myself further is because I know that I have a safe place to come home to. I feel secure and comfortable in our new home. When living at our last house, I always felt on edge. Just leaving the house and going to the garage was a difficult task. I no longer have to worry about things like that; my anxiety while at home is less. Let’s hope it stays that way.
I had another ECT treatment today. When I woke up, I had completely forgotten that we lost our dog, Cash, yesterday. My husband had to remind me. Basically, it feels like I lost him two days in a row. This is exactly what I was fearing. I had a feeling that this would happen. I just need to make it through today. I’m taking it one minute at a time.
I had another ECT treatment this morning. I was happy to tell my psychiatrist that I had gone to a couple meetings and that I even spoke at two of them. I had to take Valium to do so, but that’s still a lot better than I’ve been doing. Progress not perfection. He was happy to hear that I’ve been doing a little better. Because I’ve been doing ECT twice a week for 7 weeks, and because I’ve shown some progress, I’m now able to switch to doing ECT treatments once a week (on Wednesdays).
I’m extremely happy that I’m making progress. Hopefully, I will continue to improve while I only do weekly treatments. And at some point, I’ll switch to one treatment every other week, and maybe even once every three weeks. Since I didn’t do very well with a once a month treatment last time, I probably won’t try it this time.
The noon meeting I went to today went very well. There were only about 10 people there. I didn’t know any of them, so it was a bit nerve-wracking, but it was much better than a meeting with 50 or 75 people. It was an open meeting, with the subject of ‘One day at a time’. Near the end of the meeting, I spoke up by choice. When sharing, I decided to open up about how I’m nervous coming to meetings because I get nervous around people. Afterwards, one of the guys from the meeting came up to me and thanked me for sharing about my nervousness. He said that he feels that way too, but people don’t usually talk about it. He thanked me for my honesty and openness.
This is definitely a huge step forward for me. I can’t wait to tell my therapist and psychiatrist about what I did today. It’s a big sign that the Clozapine and the ECT are absolutely working. I’m going to try to keep going to at least a few meetings a week. Hopefully, I will find smaller meetings to go to so I feel more comfortable. Maybe I’ll even make friends with some of these people.
I have so much to do lately, but it’s extremely hard to get any of it done. The main reason for the difficulty is because I’m having a hard time remembering just about anything. The ECT is causing a lot of memory loss, despite the fact that I’m on two different medications (Memantine and Donepezil) to help my memory. I can’t remember what I’m supposed to be doing, what I have done, or even what I do or don’t enjoy doing.
I miss my memory. You don’t always realize how important something is, until you don’t have it anymore. I wish I had the ability to respond to people accurately. I wish I had the ability to know what I truly wanted in life. I wonder if there is anything that will help my memory come back. Will these medications ever kick in?
I don’t think I’m going to try going to another meeting today. They are so much busier on the weekends, and I’m not ready for that yet, at least not alone. I’m not giving up; I’ll go on Monday. I’m glad that I started going back to meetings. I missed the community and friendships. However, for now, I have lots to do while I’m home. Cleaning and packing is a lot of work.
Yesterday’s ECT seemed harder than usual, but my husband says that I say that every time, I just don’t remember due to the memory loss from the treatments. Last night, we went to my husband’s best friend’s house. We just played some card games. It was difficult, but I pushed myself through it. I think it’s important to hang out with people and have fun. Maybe it’s not the best idea to do it on a day that I had ECT, but I know that I will always find a reason not to do things, so last night, I just figured why not.