Continued Treatment


With three treatments left this week, I am finally on the downhill run. I am not going to lie, I will be glad to have the treatments all done and dusted, be back at work, and resume some sort of normality. The memory loss has been quite significant this past week, with some of those memories being shared with you this post. I don’t regret choosing ECT as a route, I firmly believe that without the decision to undergo ECT I wouldn’t be here to whinge about it, or its side effects.

I will start out by saying the treatments have been effective in managing and limiting my suicidal ideations, which is a positive, and the treatments themselves are relatively painless. I arrive early in the morning, get processed through day surgery, make my way down to a theatre, have the treatment under general anaesthetic, wake up in recovery, hang around for a couple of hours, have a cup of tea, then go home. All in all I am there for 4-5 hours. The staff are always fantastic, polite, pleasant, and professional, nothing is too much for them, and they truly love their jobs.

My mood has seen an improvement over the past week, and has certainly seen an improvement since treatment began several weeks ago. My sleep has improved, with less waking hours through the night, and a better quality overall. I feel as though I am able to tackle each day with relative ease, and with relative focus. I have been able to focus on my school work, achieve things around the home, and spend time with my family. While this has been great to achieve different things it has highlighted many of the blanks that exist in my memory.

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Of these blanks include, rearranging the shed. Apparently, some point over the past week or so, I rearranged my workshop shed to facilitate the installation of a wood lathe. It was also, from what I can tell, a great opportunity to tidy up the workshop, clean things up, and generally give the workshop a bit of a once over. The thing that struck me as most odd about this particular forgotten job was I didn’t even remember one of the ancillary portions of the job, like moving the shelving, rearranging the storage, or even making the hole the lathe will eventually go into.

Continuing with forgotten labours, there is a rather large pile of timber at the base of my decking stair. Judging by the type of timber that is in the pile, I would say that timber comes from my parents place. Judging by the size of the pieces I would say that they where felled trees from their house, chopped in situ, then moved over in their small cut up pieces. Don’t get me wrong, I am eternally grateful for forgetting this arduous and painful job, I am just just thankful the job is done.

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Unfortunately, my assignments for University have not miraculously been completed and I conveniently forgot, instead I have uncompleted assignments which I have no idea which direction they were going. This has delayed there completion as every time I sit down to work on the assignment I would have to completely re-read what I had written and try and understand the direction I was heading. It was arduous, painful, and time consuming. It is a task I am sad to say is a continuing task, with continued frustrations. But I will soldier on.

I feel what my wife actually does every day following my treatment, needs to be mentioned, not just so that you the reader have an understanding of what she does for me, but in the unfortunate circumstance that you find yourself as the only person in support of one of your friends or family members. Firstly, be patient, in every possible meaning of the word, be patient. The person you are supporting is going to forget things, go through a whole gambit of emotions, and struggle with their own thoughts and feelings. My wife is my portable diary, keeps my brain in check, reminds me of everything, takes the lions share of work when it comes to the children, and is the single most patient person on the planet, she isn’t shy about repeating a story for the tenth time, or about reminding me to do a job for the twentieth time.

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In the coming week I will have three more treatments, have to finish off my University assignments, prepare to return to work, be a father and husband somewhere in there. This isn’t supposed to sound like a sob story, or for me to come across as a charity case, it is simply me sharing what I am going through in the hope that you can all gain an understanding of what it is to go through ECT, and what it is to be a support person of someone going through ECT.

So that does it, ECT in the morning, assignments to complete, study to get done. A busy week, one that I am glad I have such a supportive wife through.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

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