so The Good Doctor (we'll call him TGD for short, shall we) (he's been upgraded, from Head Doctor) (only as far as this blog is concerned, mind) (altho I haven't enquired about his career, to be honest) and I have a chat

now, as you may or may not know, I studied neurology at Uni - so when I asked him to explain the procedure and TGD said that ECT is "a little like re-booting your computer", you'll guess that that wasn't enough of an answer for me. . .

. . .I've had a bilateral something or other (you can have ECT unilaterally), the "starter's dose" of 15% (of something of other) didn't cause a seizure - so last week, my first time (ah! I was an ECT virgin!) they gave me the "next level dose up" (whatever %age that is) and I had a 33 second seizure

. . .an electrode was placed on each of my mastoid bones (that's the bit that sticks out just behind your ear, to anyone who didn't study cranial anatomy) and either side of the rather large frown line appearing on my forehead (horizontal centre of forehead, one roughly above middle of each eyebrow)

. . .they did put a paddle in my mouth after all (they wait until you've conked out with the anaesthetic, so you don't get too OFOTC'sN about that), and the fact my teeth hurt (not listed on the side effects sheet, as already pointed out) is due to the muscle clenching the jaw undergoes during the seizure (TGD said apparently you can also end up with aching thighs or backache: my thighs are in pretty good condition for someone of my age, I'll have you know, and I had backache already because this proverbial princess is sleeping not on a pea, people, but a veritable sack of potatoes) (King Edward's or Jersey Royals. . . I wonder) (Maris Pipers?)

. . .I mentioned the purpleness of the poppies, just in passing, because I actually believed it to be a kind of reverse placebo or minor hallucination - and TGD was really chuffed! visual acuity is improved, after ECT, because ECT itself improves the processing capacity of one's brain - which kind of makes sense (even tho "they" don't really understand how or why) and this is why depressed people describe the greyness of their lives. . . the effects wears off in the short term, because ECT itself as a procedure is only theraputic cumulatively, but the improvements will continue to build up until a plateau is reached and sustained (see below)

*note to self: remember "effect is cumulative"*
. . .and on the subject of memory - he asked if I'd forgotten anything

. . .der. . .

. . .how could I remember something I'd forgotten?

ECT effects the way the brain retains information - the actual processing of a memory, so I won't have forgotten long term stuff (altho I did point out I have had a bit of a word retrieval problem this weekend, a little like dave's Nominal Dysphasia of yore) (hope it is yore, dave) but I might have forgotten short term stuff

I couldn't remember anything I'd forgotten; and if I had forgotten it, I couldn't remember what it was

(apparently they keep upping the dose until you start to lose your memory*, and then they know that you've plateaued. . .)

where was I?
oh yes,
I remember

(*I would have thought they'd have to stop at a 100% dose, personally - but these are very clever people!)

anyhow, it's way past my sleeptime, I need some ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs before tomorrow's volts and I haven't even gotten around to checking up on you lovely lot yet
I do hope that
you're behaving yourselves


Mel said...

<--spent seven hours wandering around car dealerships this afternoon

<--woulda rather have been doing a bazillion other things

<--thinks poking her eyes out with a sharp stick woulda been more welcomed!

<--might be lying about that one!

<--had more than one series 'back when'

<--is very much like the Wizard--little person blowing smoke, hiding behind a curtain, pushing buttons and pulling levers.....who just wants to go home

<--not lying about the last two

How's that!

mig bardsley said...

It's probably a good thing about the paddle.
So ECT relieves the bits of depression that cause the greyness of life? That could be good too.

Had to laugh about the remembering what you've forgotten :) (I read up on ECT a bit last night and wondered the same thing)

Hope you got plenty of zzzz.