Last year, I was approached by an old colleague from SF to be on the advisory board of a new initiative on digitally-based education in Africa. After several months, this turned into work. While I felt entirely comfortable with my old colleague, I also began working with new folks. I wasn’t sure what they’d make of my experience here if they came across it. So, to be safe, I took it offline for a bit. You never know, but now I do and feel confident my colleagues would be supportive above all else.
I’ve spoken of the ECT procedure but have yet to write about the consequences and side effects of the treatment.
The night before ECT treatments I stop eating/drinking at 7 pm due to the anesthesia I’m to be infused with the following day. Something I have eventually grown accustomed to.
It was the end of March and the central pathway to one of the main hospital entrances was getting dusted with snow. I recall taking an extra moment to capture this image in my head as I had never witnessed snow at the hospital before.
This blog took a break as I was under the weather for several months. I took the site offline as I entered Charité again. I’m now re-reading these posts to recall where I left off. I’m surprised the last post was even in 2018. So it goes.
It’s a bit difficult to know where to pick up here for people who are following and those who haven’t. I was very ill from late 2013-2015, went to hospital in 2015 and got better thanks to the amazing folks at Charité and experimental medicine of ketamine infusions. I recovered and decided to go back to school.
After two or so weeks tapering off the last of my debilitating medications, I was finally scheduled for my first Ketamine infusion. For those following, you already know the backstory. For those new here, it was an extremely painful, long fucking time coming.
In the weeks leading up to the infusion, I’d seen patients being wheeled, on their beds, out of and back to their rooms for EKT/ECT (electroshock) or Ketamine treatments. Including my-then roommate, a young twentysomething German woman who went for regular EKT treatments. So, I was prepared for that part. Or so I thought.
As mentioned in my previous hospital post, I had to wait a few weeks to continue tapering off the Jatrosom/Parnate (MAOI) before starting the Ketamine treatment.
After I got situated in my room and had a tour of the facilities, a nurse brought me my schedule. A couple of my co-patients, who spoke English, sat with me to translate it. I jotted down, briefly, the gist of the activity directly on the schedule.