For those of you just tuning in, I have been receiving ElectroConvulsive Therapy (ECT) for a little over a week now, and the experience has been eye opening if nothing else. Firstly, I will say that any treatment should be weighed up with its pros and cons, and should be considered by the individual. I considered ECT to be my solution to a problem that was all too likely to be fatal. Secondly, the person undergoing ECT will need all the love and support those around them can muster, for reasons I will go into in a moment. Finally, I am profoundly thankful for those around me, friends, family, or otherwise, without you I wouldn’t be able to go on this journey.
For those readers who may be faced with ECT as a treatment, or perhaps those who are supporting someone else who has decided to take ECT as an option I offer you these simple pieces of advice. Firstly, they are going to forget almost everything during treatment, and remember the most random. This is not a reflection on the importance they place on that particular thing, or how much they don’t care about the forgotten. The memories lost and retained are unfortunately random. Be patient with them, remind them of the things forgotten, and be there for them. Secondly, they won’t know they have forgotten. Unlike misplaced keys where you know you put them somewhere, ECT memory loss is rather, complete. It is more like dementia memory loss, whereby you don’t even remember having keys. This can be frustrating to person going through the treatment as they can’t trust their own memories anymore, and can be frustrating to those around them as they try and piece together events and memories.
Despite all of this, the alternative to not seeking treatment would most likely have resulted in my own demise. Or at the very least a good attempt at it.
For those who are supporting someone going through ECT, I wish you all the patience and love you can muster. The person going through ECT is already having a hell of a time with memories, emotions, and stigmas. The last thing they are going to need is a cup full of judgement from their support team. I know as I write this, and it is conversely read by my support team, and you guys know who you are, I wish to convey my utmost gratitude and sincerest apologies for forcing you to repeat conversations over and over again. I love you, and without you this journey wouldn’t be possible. A prime example of plain not remembering things, apparently I have had KFC for lunch after each session without even knowing it. I don’t remember it, I don’t remember who it was with, none of it.
And finally, the lovey dovey portion of my post. I wish to sincerely thank each and every friend, family member, acquaintance, or otherwise. Without you, your input, your wisdom, your patience, and your understanding I would not be able to undergo treatment, and hopefully get better. I know at times I am going to be forgetful, dopey, or simply absent minded and for that I apologise. You guys are awesome. In particular, but in no particular order;
Jess – Non kiwi type
Jess – Kiwi type
And everyone else that I have failed to mention that has played their part. You are awesome.
I go into the next week with several more treatments to go, followed by a weekend in Brisbane for the State level Training Awards (follow #QLDTA & #MTR for tweets along the way). For those of you who are separated by distance know that I am well cared for, for those of you who are nearby but feel helpless, know that just by being there and being yourself is all that is required.
Maintain the Rage