I don’t know why I decided to write about this today. It is a part of my story, so I thought I would share about it.
I first started Electro Convulsive Therapy(ECT) in 1994. I was 20 years old at the time. Up until this time I had been on numerous medications, but the meds were not helping. So the Doctor at the time thought ECT would be am alternative treatment. I was given information on ECT, and they had me watch a video of someone going through the procedure. I was really freaked out! I did not know what to think. I mean here was someone going through this terrible ordeal, hoping to feel better. I could not fathom this. After the video the doctor sat me down and explained everything to me. I did not want to do this. I was terrified. But the doctor kept pushing and pushing, trying to convince me to go with it. Finally I gave in and said I would try it. A choice I would regret.
Here is how the procedure works. I was rolled into a waiting area, on a gurney. In this area there were others waiting for the same fate as I. It had to be one of the most depressing rooms I have ever been in. I would look around and see all these people. There were a lot of elderly folks here. I guess ECT is suppose to help with Dementia and other sicknesses. I would watch as these elderly people were wheeled by me and led into the “treatment” room, feeling sad for them, because this seemed like there last hope or something. That ECT was going to cure them or something, but it didn’t cure them, they would keep coming back. They probably didn’t even know what was going on. Anyway, while in this room the nurse “Nancy”, would take my vitals, then start a IV for the anesthesia. They use anesthesia to knock me out during the procedure. When my turn came I was wheeled into the “treatment” room. In here there were three people, the psychiatrist, the anesthesiologist, and the nurse. The machine they used to shock me was this little box with wires coming out of it. The nurse would put a blood pressure cuff on me, and put something on my finger to take my pulse. My vitals were done throughout the procedure. While the nurse was doing this, the anesthesiologist was preparing the medicine that would put me to sleep. The psychiatrist would put some kind of gel on my forehead. This was suppose to help with the shock. Then he would put this band around my head, and the wires coming from the little box were snapped onto this band around my head.Every time I went through this procedure, I was always terrified in the inside. I kept asking myself why am I putting myself through this? The doctor and his staff had me convinced that it was working, but in reality it wasn’t. As I look back now, I am certain that the doctor had his own agenda. I was keeping him in business in a sense, but this is another topic for another day. After the wires were strapped onto this band around my head, the nurse would uncover my feet, so that when I go into convulsions, I don’t get wrapped up in the sheet. The anesthesiologist had a syringe in his hand, and would tell me to take three deep breaths. Then he would administer the medication into my IV, and a few seconds later I was asleep, and that’s all she wrote. I would wake up in the recovery room feeling lightheaded, dizzy, and extremely exhausted. I also did not remember a thing that went on. I would go home and sleep the rest of the day, trying to forget what I had just put myself through. I remember one time that I woke up in the recovery room, I started crying because I was so overwhelmed with what I was doing to myself. I said that I would never come back, but the doctor was always there to talk me into coming back again.
This went on from 1994-2011. I am not to sure how many procedures I went through, but I know there were a lot. It is probably a good thing that I do not know. My last procedure was in February of 2011. It is June now. I haven’t been back, and I refuse to go back.
I suffer from memory loss because of the ECT’s. Short-term memory that is. I cannot remember things that happened a year, or a few years back. I lost what good memories I had during this time.
If you are thinking about ECT, I would think again. It is not what it is cracked up to be. Don’t let the doctor, or anybody else influence you. Think for yourself. Thanks again for reading….Stay strong!!!