Good morning friends. I’m here today to tell you that I’m better.
I started writing yesterday again after a long lapse. I wrote for about an hour and then accidentally hit a button that deleted most of what I’d written. It was nowhere to be found, not in past revisions, drafts, or anywhere else. This has happened to me a number of times before, and afterwards I swore I would stop writing in the post editor and only write in Word. But here I am in the post editor anyway, saving after every sentence. I was able to let it go of my lost words, which in and of itself is astronomical. A few weeks ago such an event would have destroyed me for days.
Last Thursday and Friday I had Ketamine infusions at my Doctor’s office. Ketamine is an anesthetic that is used in surgery (and incidentally is also popular on the street as a recreational drug, known as Special K). Ketamine is being used by progressive medical doctors to treat chronic un-retractable pain, depression and PTSD; all of which I happen to have. I’ve had these infusions before; a handful of times, but it had been over a year. I never anticipated that I would go this route again. It’s very costly, and there are no guarantees that it will help. The infusions themselves can be both pleasurable and quite disconcerting due to their sometimes psychedelic nature. My very first infusion over a year ago was very similar to the LSD trips I frequently took as a teenager. There can also be dissociation, the experience of being disconnected from one’s body. The first infusions were alarming to me for these reasons. My partner was with me and I kept blurting things out like, “I’m hallucinating?!” and “I’m think I’m dying… ?” But the results were amazing. My pain was decreased by a considerable amount. My depression virtually disappeared and my anxiety was eliminated. The effects lasted for about twenty days. It felt as if someone had pushed a reset button inside of me. The subsequent infusions were only mildly helpful. It seems there are a lot of variables that determine how an individual will respond.
So far, I am experiencing similar amazing results as I did with the first set of infusions. My depression has completely lifted. Instead of heavy fog, I can say it is mostly clear inside my brain. Anxiety is there, but is more manageable. Before the Ketamine I was in a state of deep depression. I couldn’t complete tasks. I had no energy. I had no life force. My essential being was lost to me. I was drowning in a sea of loss and grief, and weary from fighting chronic illnesses with little to no improvement. I was reeling from receiving an additional diagnosis that would likely require brain surgery. I felt my only choice was to prepare to die, and was only concerned with how my son would survive after my death. It was from this state that I was guided to try Ketamine again, in spite of my mounting credit card balances. It was a desperate last-ditch effort.
In the last several days, I have been able to leave the house. I have dressed in clothing other than my pajamas. The love I have for my son is accessible to me now that the blinds have been lifted. There are moments where I’ve taken pleasure in being alive, something I have been devoid of for so long. My pain has been reduced by at least 70%. My first thought in the morning is no longer, “Where is my Vicodin?” I feel, in this state, as if I have something to give, a purpose, and creative desires I would like to fulfill. The thought of one day returning to work has passed through my head a few times. I am not lost in the self-abusive thought maze that was well established in my brain.
None of my problems have changed. I am still dealing with Lyme, and this Friday I will have a three-hour diagnostic MRI/MRA to assess the effects that the Chiari malformation has had on my brain and spinal cord. After that, there will be more information and decisions to make.
About three weeks after the first successful Ketamine infusion I had, the effects began to wear off. I was horribly disappointed. More than that, I was devastated. I really hadn’t understood that the effects wouldn’t last forever. At least this time I am prepared for that possibility. And I plan to use these days wisely, sucking the juicyness out of each one.