I have given this much thought over the last few days. Something is definitely changing with respect to my mood and my outlook. It feels like worry. In place of “depression”, which is a perspective, often times, of worry but an inability to deal with that worry so I shut things out, there seems to be real, real world concerns and approaches to those concerns. I am certainly beginning to look at what is to come, what Melissa and I will do for income, lifestyle changes which might work well at this intersection, etc. Worry about financial matters is a replacement for the “fuck it” depression approach. When depressed, I am usually indifferent between working through financial and other issues and bringing my life insurance policy into play for Melissa and the kids. I’m not thinking along the life insurance policy lines now. That’s about the best I can explain the apparent paradigm shift over the last several weeks. In relation to work, Melissa and I decided last night that, even if I wanted to (yeah, even if) go back to work right now, I couldn’t do my job. I don’t have the focus or concentration.
Treatment #11 is today at 1:30. Since changing to bilateral treatment, each treatment has seemed to have an exponentially bigger effect on memory, attitude, and similar attributes. This will be the 5th bilateral treatment. I’m still having the fight of my life with canker sores. I haven’t had one in 3 years, and I have at least 6 of them today.
In consistent fashion, treatment #11 seems to have hit just a little harder than the previous 10. My memory and cognitive ability have certainly been effected (all of which I am assured is short term). And, for some reason much stronger today than after any previous treatment, something seems different. Something in my head, in my perception of my world, seems altered. As soon as I can put my finger on what has changed, I’ll write more about that. Nausea also seems to be increasing with each treatment. I had blamed being nauseous on pain meds previously, but today I had as little meds as I could tolerate, which is less than I have had on previous occasions with no nausea, and I was very ill for the rest of the day. It might be that a cumulative effect of the seizures is nausea.
My Beck score today was 26, which is better than its been since treatment started. I DO feel better, not depressed, not suicidal. I’m concerned about my family and income and those things, but Melissa and Dr. Clopton keep telling me to focus on getting better for now and forget that stuff.
The seizure today was 20 seconds peripheral and 40 seconds EEG. Good strong rhythm on the EEG, and then a very rapid cessation of activity. My Doc gave Melissa the EEG strip from today. I’ll have to frame it. They used the same mix of chemicals as last time, including caffeine, lydicane, etomidate, sexicoline (paralytic) fentnyl for pain and to extend the anesthesia a little longer. Woke in Recovery completely lost, with no idea how I got to Recovery and no memory, at first, of being in the OR and going to sleep. Got 100mg of Fentynl in Recovery for headache, and needed every bit of it. Also got 2 Percocet before going home. Ringing in my ears is still a constant feature of the treatment, but jaw pain and muscle soreness have gone away in these latter treatments (maybe those muscles are just getting use dot the electrically induced workout.)
I learned yesterday that the long-term disability insurance I thought I had selected in my benefits package wasn’t being withheld from my checks. It wasn’t much, anyway, being based on a percentage of my “salary” and not my “bonus” (which is the bigger portion of my compensation). So, after my 6 weeks of short-term, I’ll have no continuing disability benefits and I will probably get terminated (which is no big deal…I wasn’t intending to go back after my disability leave, anyway).
I learned today that the treatment plan is to get me “into remission”, do one more treatment, and then begin to stretch the time between treatments out. After this last treatment, I think I am making good progress toward remission.