Tag Archive | ECT

pneumonia 

i stayed for 7 days and have undergone the currents 3 times, so that i could be discharged the next day.

but it wasn’t meant to be. on the night after ECT #2, i felt unwell bodily. many parts of me were aching, and so my parents had to leave early to let me rest. after ECT #3 i felt out of sorts again. but this time apart from the body aches, chills and rigor set in. i had a temperature of 38.8 degree celcius.

i hadn’t had a fever in some 10 years so it felt pretty new to me. the medical officer who came to review me did a thorough check, and made the call to send me to my family hospital’s Emergency Room. although i felt it was uncalled for, I followed suit nevertheless.

my white cell count was raised (16.6), and my chest x-ray showed infiltrates in my right upper lobe. my temperature went up as high as 39.2. i have pneumonia, they said.

bah humbug. how did i even get this? i got better to get out of one hospital, only to go into another one. sigh. 

they told me it’s one week of IV piperacillin/tazobactam. it’s easy when there’s air-conditioning and teevee. but what about no?

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relapsed

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– Viktor E. Frankl

i’ve been struggling for about a month or so, fighting with my demons, with what seemed like an impending relapse. try as i might, i’m not the strong that i should be yet. i’ve been going on a downhill while desperately retaining some functionality that is demanded of me, with what is thought to be my worst yet by my treatment team. you know it must be true when several people who haven’t seen you in awhile look at you, and comment that you look terrible and mustn’t be doing well.

i told Dr S i regret even going to the Eating Disorders Unit to have my problem treated, because it became the catalyst for this relapse. that it fuelled all the existing problems, threatening to make them even bigger problems. but i think he told me not to regret it. that i tried and tried hard enough. that it is with such slip-ups that one learns life lessons.

i am expected to show up inpatient next Monday, just so that they can stabilise me by running currents through my head (all over again) before i disappear from the face of the earth (oh i’m so capable of that). i just did one, but it was sorely inadequate as deemed by Dr S and myself.

aargh i hate this, and i hate myself.

electroshock

i went through the currents again yesterday, for the 34th time in my short life. the amnesia is terrible. but i feel better. i feel like i’m on a high actually, which is usually the case after one’s brain has undergone electric currents. i am now on lithium because we are desperate, even though it can be quite toxic. it is our last hope. i pray it works the wonders they describe it to have, because my life has to go on. not in here, but out in the wild. not unalive, but living.

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage”– Lucius Annaeus Seneca

by His wounds we were healed“- Isaiah 53;5

learning to dance in the rain

things are not and have not been looking too good for me, it seems.

i’m stuck in a rut- the rut of which i keep falling into- and the entire situation looks bleak. my memory is at stake, my job is on the line, i am losing stamina, my doctors are at their wits’ end, i keep going through the currents, i’m a pathetic excuse for polypharmacy, my RA is not controlled, they keep playing the ‘waiting’ game, i end up feeling trapped, i’m on the verge of giving up, my flares don’t get relieved, the pain feeds right into my depressive cycles, i keep getting fed, i end up gaining weight, i lose total control, therapy cannot start till the ECTs are over, i go to sleep each night wishing i’d never have to wake up, i try to sleep away everything bad and negative, i try to hold on to the things that make me happy, i pray that anyone who talks to me can be at least empathetic, i know everyone who knows of me being inpatient again looks at me like i’m a loser or a weakling, i don’t ever stop hoping that i can return to work in the ward, i look at the mirror and i want to punch my fist into it, i look at my scars and i get oh-so-triggered, i am upset that my Hb is 10.7, i see no joy in being cut-free for 3 months, i crave so much to hurt and be in pain, i want to see the blood flow, i want to see my flesh split, i wish i have as much courage as it needs for me to take myself away, i want to smile like i mean it, i want to be loved like how i should be. and most of all, i just want to be me. uninhibited.

the past month has been anything but easy, and i very nearly lost my life. in my previous posts, i talk about life like it was the rain or a thunderstorm. like life’s been a rather rough patch these days, and all that i needed to do is to wait it out. but today, as i made my way to see my rheumy for my routine appointment, it dawned upon me that perhaps it isn’t the weather that needs working on. it is me.

i saw my rheumy with my shoulders and left knee flaring, and i left the room exactly the way i went in. yet i came out different than when i first entered. it didn’t seem possible, since she did not change anything on my medication regimen. she did not give me a steroid shot into my knee either. but i left the consultation room and felt like someone actually cared for me. yes i was still very much in pain, but my rheumy actually cared for me and wanted nothing but the best for me- flares or none, transaminitis or not. and that was enough, at least it was for me. it is that simple.

back to where i was, inpatient, i realised that there was so much i could do for myself despite the debilitating hopelessness and helplessness. instead of waiting out the rain, i could take this chance to learn to dance in the rain. it isn’t everyday that i have such an opportunity. so instead of being inconsolable and letting all those tears fall, i could/should seek joy, however minute, in an otherwise negative situation. wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to find joy in what most people perceive as sad/dark?

yes i am depressed. i am sad, perhaps even too sad. i am disappointed. i am angry. i am resigned. i am in physical pain. i am in pain psychologically. i am frustrated. i want to be loved. i want to be understood. but i am inherently human, and humans are needy creatures. so i have gathered that rain or shine, it is really just a state of mind. there won’t be any rainbow had there no rain, right?

it’s painful i tell you, learning to dance in the rain. but God told me that it’ll be worth it, and i believe in Him.

the rainbow will come, i’m sure.

and God aside, there are so many people who i am thankful and grateful for, and they are reasons to celebrate as well.

 

in pieces

It’s a week to the end of the first month of 2013.

Time flies, really.

While i take this time to rest my head, which is a tangled mess as a result of work in the ward, i’m wondering what should be my next step. I definitely know that i need to stay out of the hospital for longer periods, and i guess this is something to be worked out before my discharge. I’ve signed my confirmation letter, which is good news because i am no longer in such a precarious position. But i know i cannot go on like that in the cardiac ward. Don’t be mistaken though. I love my job, and i love work in the challenging cardiac ward. But my superiors cannot care less about my mental health. After my last admission in Aug-Sept, i returned to work only to hear from them that i have to ‘speak up’ if i felt stressed or could not cope. Well… I heeded their advice, but my words fell on deaf ears, and i continued to be given the heaviest workloads. I have seniors who take advantage of me as a new staff and demand for me to do things which i had the choice of not doing. I mean, i do try to take everything with a pinch of salt, because after all, this is what i love to do. But there is only so much i can take, with this fragile state of mind that i have.

Undergoing the currents again, this time round because of my sky-high risk of suicide. Spent a week in high dependency too. It was that bad.

This admission changes a lot of things. Diagnoses, medication regimen, therapy, my mindset, my newfound inability to trust people (although this does not apply to all), and disillusionment brought up to a whole new level. I have become in a way, fearful of life and whatever it throws at me. *sigh* I honestly think i am incompatible with life. I don’t seem to take too well to such a hostile world with its self-serving and self-absorbed people who have no compassion for anyone whose state of mind is so fragile and vulnerable, and a body that can fail anytime on me.

Broken yet again, i find myself. And i don’t know what i should do.

Smothered

i could feel and smell the night breeze in my face.
i could almost taste what freedom tastes like- sweet.
i long to be uninhibited; i crave to be free again.
i ought to be out there like a bird;
to spread my wings and soar.

but the self-preservation instincts, they are not there.
the self-punitive ways are all too pervasive.
the self-condemnation is omnipresent.
there is no reprieve, no respite whatsoever.
even with therapy, even with plain rationalisation.

i am downtrodden and trampled on;
smothered even.

i am held against my will.
i was fed benzodiazepines
to calm me down, perhaps to sedate me.
being tied down is a definite possibility.
went under for the electric currents
to pass through my thick head.
12 times in all.
amnesiac, very amnesiac;
both retrograde and anterograde.
i actually doubt it helped.

my progress it seems, depends on
whether i smile or not.
whether i appear cheerful,
or if my brows are tightly knitted.
they notice the lability of my moods.
they keep track of when
i get triggered to the point
of needing help to curb
the monster in me.
or if  my trigger episodes
are lesser and more manageable.

my progress also depends on
my murderousness.
no talk of home as long as
it is present.
also, the impulsivity
and the mad urges.
i need to be rid of them.

they need to know
how to tame the monster in me
because even i
don’t have the solutions.
but nah.
they have no clue too.
even after so long.

i don’t belong here.
this is not where i’m supposed to be.
my future is waiting for me.
yet i think i’m going to be an utter failure
in life and at work.
what if i fall again and again?
this will be the death
of me someday.
and i know it all too well.

i’ve been a really good girl.
but they are not willing at all
to take any chances with me.
especially not after this escalation.

what would it take really?
to liberate me, and to
let go of their tight reins on me?
they won’t give me an answer.
perhaps they don’t even know.

i’ve had enough.

Pressing on

My life is at a standstill (again, and has been for awhile) and admittedly, i do not know if i want to break this sense of stillness and gravity that has taken over since i relapsed. There’s something about it- perhaps it is the order within chaos- that calms me down and soothes me. It may also be because i  have been removed and kept away from the wild, which can be so hostile and unforgiving. 

Honestly, I still have difficulties coping- the melancholy of depression, the fear of anxiety/panic attacks, the all-pervasiveness of my eating disorder and the chronicity of my RA… Most times, i find myself very frustrated, and it builds up very insidiously. I then inevitably turn against myself in my desperate bid to cope, and that’s where trouble starts.

What i fear too, is that even if i do everything i can in my capacity to keep myself sane and well, i may fall prey again to this monstrosity at any given time once i’m out in the wild.

Recovery is that precious and fragile, and i guess the same can be said too, about remissions in RA.

Receiving the last of the electrical currents tomorrow, and i hope things will start to look up from then onwards. Been started on Cymbalta(duloxetine) and Lyrica(pregabalin), and we’re hoping they will have the supposed additional effects on the pain, other than its anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties. Next week, i officially start on psychotherapy.

 

“Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

2 Timothy 2:1