Day Seven: Cranking it up

After a horrible night’s sleep, I went in for my seventh treatment.

The weekend saw no improvement in the depression, so my care team and I decided to switch from unilateral to bilateral on the ECT.

From Wikipedia:

In unilateral ECT, both electrodes are placed on the same side of the patient’s head. Unilateral ECT may be used first to minimize side effects such as memory loss.

In bilateral ECT, the two electrodes are placed on opposite sides of the head. Usually bitemporal placement is used, whereby the electrodes are placed on the temples. Uncommonly bifrontal placement is used; this involves positioning the electrodes on the patient’s forehead, roughly above each eye.

Unilateral ECT is thought to cause fewer cognitive effects than bilateral treatment, but is less effective unless administered at higher doses. Most patients in the US and almost all in the UK receive bilateral ECT.

Wikipedia entry on ECT

The result was a bit more of a headache than usual, and something I wouldn’t describe as confusion, but more like ignorance. Example: When I get home I’m able to take my daily medications. When I went to my pillbox it took a moment to remember what day of the week it was. Not like I had forgotten, but just that I didn’t know. Wife says I’m a bit different today, so she’ll keeping a closer eye on me. Smart girl.

I did come home and sleep for a few hours, which helps the exhaustion but doing normal tasks takes a little more effort. Happily, I’m still able to use the TV remote. 🙂

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