Happy Anniversary

Today is the first anniversary of my suicide attempt. In just this past year alone I have:

  • done an inpatient stay
  • a partial hospitalization
  • an intensive outpatient program
  • started ketamine therapy
  • a full course of ECT
  • had a VNS surgically implanted
  • started DBT
  • applied for disability.
  • Spent 75+ hours in therapy
  • Spent 96+ hours in group therapy
  • Changed medications at least a dozen times

(And a huge thank you and I love you to my wife. She was by my side for all of that.)

Three years ago last week I attended my first PHP, essentially marking this major depressive episode’s official start, though it was growing for months.

I have a wide variety of feelings this weekend. Hope is not high on the list, but I suppose it counts for something that it is on the list.

It’s been a long three years.

A year in review and a trip

I’m traveling. It’s the same trip I took last fall just before my suicide attempt, just in the other direction. It has given me so much to think about from the past nine months. Hospitalization. Semicolon. A second round of electroconvulsive therapy. Ketamine therapy. Surgical implant of a Vagus Nerve Stimulator. Hours of therapy. So many meds and the good and bad that they do.

Bright flashes of forgetting what’s hurting inside me. Long stretches of being mired in those feelings and that despair. So many things I’ve forgotten, and others I’ll never be able to forget. The support my wife gives me with so much love I can’t find any adjectives strong enough to describe it.

When I’m in travel mode I am on a mission and follow a schedule, getting to the right places at the right time and acting and looking like just another passenger. I’m good at it, but when things get quiet I can stop, breathe, and remember myself. 3,000 miles this month so far either driving or being driven. When I got here I was so tired. It was the numb yet also painful tired you feel that shuts everything else down until you sleep. But standing in a train station on a fresh air break, waiting to reboard I fell to my thoughts. It was a difficult time, and I have now decided that I can’t be that tired anymore. It’s the same reason I stopped drinking. The effect is a horrible one, and it pushes me toward unsafe.

I had a perfect night of sleep, and spent the day with my daughter. The evening with my brother, his wife and her parents as well as my toddler-niece. I was social. We are a family of stories, and I told many of my own, making people laugh and smile. I’ve trimmed down a bit, I’m trying to dress well. Fashionably, even. If I can’t feel good I want to look good. But when you peel back the tinfoil on the dish you find the hot mess that’s my mind just beneath the surface.

When I see someone after a long time, they say I’m looking so great, my demeanor and animation show how well I’m doing. For those who know what’s happened in the last year they think how much I’ve improved. I’ll never know what to say to those comments. Because some things have changed, but it’s still pretty bad in here.

It is very nice to see family I don’t get to see often, and to spend time with my daughter. The trip is something I’ve looked forward to for a long time, and it is going well in many respects.

Catch and Release

Yet another post about memory. Some redundant points, possibly. But they’re today’s points just as they were last week or month’s points. And you get movie reviews.

Big Fish

The movie Big Fish used to make me cry. It’s been a while since I’ve cried, though, even when watching that movie. To me the saddest part of the movie is that this person is known for such a great imagination and so many tales. In the end he was loved by all but some of those who loved him the most saw him as a teller of tall tales and nothing else. I can identify with that. Many times in my life I’ve gone on the road less travelled. Or I’ve experienced interesting things. Or even just daily routines that I can write into a grand adventure. I enjoy writing, I enjoy telling stories, and I enjoy having a remarkable spark or angle in those stories.

But I work very hard to be able to tell a great story without lying. My years as a college dropout, my years in the Marine Corps, even my career years working with technology have all contributed to the very large bucket of anecdotes from which I pull when I want to tell a story. Most of them are interesting enough to me that they don’t need embellishment. And when I tell a story that actually happened, I want it to be true so I work hard to make it true. But I often feel like I’m not always believed, that these yarns are my blowing a small situation into a large situation.

So at the end of Big Fish, we see who shows up for this man’s funeral, and without spoiling too much the people who come to the funeral from far and wide are many of the people in the stories. Some of them are exactly as we were shown. Some are normal people, some are a bit more unique. And even more aren’t exactly as they were in the stories, but lie just a few inches from reality. And finally his son and others see that he didn’t make up all the stories of his life. And that he will be remembered for those stories, not just by those he told them to, but also by the actual people in the narrative. This hits me very hard, wanting to be remembered for good things, and for a long time. I am not wont to invent something amazing or write the next Great American Novel. So I would like for the memories of me be for the stories I tell of my life, if my life isn’t memorable enough on it’s own.

So that’s the joy of memory and growing older and passing on memories to others. Not to mention living your life with the ability to use memories to look back and feel the good and bad that has happened in your life.

Little Fish

Not at all as famous or well known, is a movie called Little Fish. A few actors you’ve heard of, most you haven’t. It held a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes in the weeks after it came out, which is no small feat. The pre-COVID plot has to do with a virus hitting the world which makes the victim forget. At first little things, but as it progresses, even the memories of those you love, or are married to, or related to simply drift out of your memory. Many people are left caring for their partners just as a couple would support each other if one of them had Alzheimer’s. The protagonists are a young couple, not so young that they’re crazy 20somethings, but not so old that they have started slowing down. They both have a great, wicked sense of humor, and he is a photographer, constantly taking pictures.

It’s a great COVID-like parallel in that it affects the world but not like a nuclear bomb. A slow, strong, invasive impact. But I watched this couple do their best, use the tools they could to keep his memory intact. The patience she showed was spectacular, and like any human, there were times she was short on patience. But always calmed, connected with him, and did her best to help him be at peace, even while his memory falters.

It’s something I see in my wife. Many of the interactions between the main couple remind me of many of the experiences my wife and I have had recently with my memory. The movie focused on those little interactions, and that’s part of what makes it special. It’s extremely personal, without being too much of anything.

Dory, the Blue Tang

In the last few months, thanks to some moderately intensive physical therapies and a generous cocktail of prescriptions, I have been having memory issues. I’ve gone through something like this before a couple years ago, but it all seemed somehow elastic. I had things to forget, and things to remember. There wasn’t a system to it, it was fairly random.

My current memory issues have been a bit harder. A week or two ago we went to visit some relatives on my wife’s side of the family. I had never met them before, and it was in a suburb very close to my childhood home. We met them and had a nice meal, apparently their coffee was just amazing, and they told us so many family stories. The meeting was on a weekend after one of my physical therapies, so it should have been fine. But it was a week after that someone in my family mentioned the visit. I had no memory of it. Not the people, not the house, not the location, not even the amazing coffee. All gone, like it had never happened, not like I knew it and forgot it, it simply wasn’t there. Even with some memory exercises and discussions about the details, today it is still just a blurry, far away memory.

The assumption is that I’ll be fine, eventually. What strikes me about Little Fish is how well it showed people ignoring, covering up, or facing their missing memories. Some as simple as not remembering a small detail, others as large as a touring musician forgetting how to play an instrument. It’s the look in his wife’s eyes when she asks the typical questions as a test for him. “What is her name? How old is she? What is her favorite color?” She was clear enough, kind enough, but the look in her eyes betrayed the fact that she was worried about, counting on, and sad about the inevitable disconnect between two people. I have seen my wife look at me with eyes asking a normal question but pleading with her look, or even just how she sees me when I’m struggling.

The one that got away

Last night we went to our neighbor’s house and had a few drinks with them and another couple they know from college. We were interested in talking to them about some shared experiences we had with raising a unique child. And just laughing with everyone about the interesting ways being empty nesters has changed our lives. It was nice.

I was tired. It had been a long day, and this was actually a bit more social than I was used to. It was nice to be there, but I like talking, and had a few difficult moments. I would be telling a story, or talking about our experience and perspective with raising children, when out of nowhere it all just went away. That’s what it feels like. Almost as if you have a script or talking notes in front of you all the time, and at some point it disappears. You’re just sitting there and everyone is looking at you expectantly, waiting for the next funny quip or even just the end of an unfinished sentence. But you don’t even have an idea what you were talking about, much less where you were in the story. Sometimes you can fake it, other times you own up to it. But that’s exactly what happened, at least twice. And those are moments that make me feel like absolutely nothing. More.

My wife usually sees it as it’s happening so there’s no fooling her. She helps me as she can, reminding me when I ask. But every time she does, I am grateful and guilty. I can only think of everything she has been through, and how much could be coming down the road. Which sends me just a bit further down my road.

The Point?

That was a long winded way to recommend both Big Fish and Little Fish, and maybe hints that Finding Nemo might be worth a watch. Big Fish is a movie that may make you cry with it’s happy ending. Little Fish gives you a sense of the challenges of memory loss. And could give you a view into some of my own issues.

Who was I?

  • I was middle aged, lightly active and physically average.
  • Which is to say, I could walk five miles around a local lake without any difficulty.
  • Quick to kid, always ready with a joke or a pun.
  • Mind like a steel trap – able to remember the smallest details, people, places and things.
  • Self taught, learning a new profession and trying to grow independent business.
  • Quick with technology, able to suss the functionality behind a new technology, often very quickly.

You know how your dad knows how to do all that? How he can walk you through that task or experience? I was able to do that. And I was quite proud to be able to help my family.

I’ve since had a full run of acute bilateral ECT, three times a week for four weeks. I’m also getting weekly ketamine experiences. I’ve done the ECT before, and in the past found it affected my memory, making it hard to remember things during the acute month. I had TMS with little to no memory impact. I’ve also had countless hours of talk therapy, group therapy at least weekly, and regular appointments with my psychiatrist to discuss physical options. These include a VNS device, MAOI patches, etc. This makes remembering anything tricky. I need to be on point with my note taking abilities, to avoid forgetting something straight away.

In the past, I was able to roll with the punches, just take memory issues in stride. For the most part, this experience has been much the same. Until one day a couple weeks ago in which something changed. Maybe not changed, but became estranged to me. There are times where I have to figure out if I know what’s going on, or am I learning something again? I was okay being in a situation in which I knew I either had to do some catching up, or maybe using memory aids to keep going with a task. I think what happened was that I started having more of these situations, and had to experience the re-discovery of what’s going on – and it was happening more often than not, or at least enough times that it became a normal part of my routine. So it wasn’t an odd happenstance, it was a regular situation to be in.

As a result, things are just generally a little fucked up. I no longer know everything. I am no longer able to just try something out and figure out how and where do it well. I can’t just drive somewhere. I need to drop the destination on my phone and be led that way. Even in a route where I know where I’m going and/or each part of the journey reveals the next leg of the trip – even those routes will provide me with times in which I don’t know where I am, or which direction to head. And actually, I need the track saved so I can look back and understand where and when I have gone before.


I find myself beginning to tell a tale I know well. Or express an opinion. But mid statement, I hear the energy drop out of my voice, and the confidence disappear. I finish what I was saying sheepishly if I can remember what it was. I find myself in situations where I’m not sure why I came to be in that place, or don’t know who or what is going on. I don’t remember people, places, or things. I’m quite good at vague generalizations to cover for these situations, and I use those tools quite often. The simple locations of buttons or controllers for something in the car, or a technology item in the house. I can see it and understand the functionality, but have to rediscover the utility.

I’m still trying to figure out how to highlight these situations, or explain that I don’t remember how to do something I know was used to be able to do, or explain to someone that I know that I’ve forgotten their name or role in my life.

I have begun to employ different tactics and tools to compensate for my failings. If it’s anything I can get support on my phone, I’m all over it. Google maps, or Facebook information, or even my “sent” mail and saved items, and some bookmarks. I transitioned to a professional password/security system a couple years ago, so remembering passwords isn’t an issue. But many of the things I used to use to verify my information, or travel distances and times in order to estimate arrival times. Complementary tools.

What do I expect to have completely lost? Anything during the acute timeframe/month is fair game, I suppose. Or specific appointments – I can use MyChart online to plan for and reconcile my upcoming activities. If it’s important, I work hard to take notes so even forgetting can be worked with. I’d love for all memories to come back, but hope at least the more unique adventures can be retained – or even just have enough information on it that I can recreate the memory in my mind.

There’s really no upside. Or is there? I suppose I can chalk up anything forgotten, and attribute it to the ECT. It’s also making me approach some situations differently. I need to be more open minded, flexible in my tactics and ready to change plans on short notice. My wife is much more attuned to my flaws and foibles. That’s extremely helpful. But there’s no living my life as I used to, not for a while. I’m not sure this time I’ll be able to go back completely to the “old me.”

Finally, in trying to keep in mind simple wins and accomplishments.. In the past week or so I:

  • Drove to Iowa /w Wife to get child
  • Finished a 1000 piece puzzle
  • Continued work on a cross-stitch project

So I am still capable, just in a very different style and in more of a reactionary way. Though I am concerned about the issues, I can also see little things getting better or easier with time passing. And technically I can enjoy things more than once.

But every time I find something missing, that adds just a bit of fuel to the depression fire. I’m hoping it will happen less and less and eventually I’ll forget about the forgetting…

Driving to Distraction

I haven’t been driving, because I’ve been in the acute portion of ECT. That is, until last week. This week I switch to maintenance ECT once a week. And we’re gently re-introducing driving for me.

Our eldest child is a senior in college in Iowa. And she does not drive, so in the past I’ve driven down there, picked her up and driven her back to Minnesota. At the end of the spring break or holiday or whatever it is at that time, we reverse the procedure. Point being I get a ton of driving time, which I love — and I tend to take wandering, meandering detours just for fun.

Since I’ve been finishing up the 3x weekly ECT sessions, I’ve not been driving. The sessions have left me exhausted, disoriented, and have been erasing certain memories. There have been many times where the wife is driving and I’ll have no idea where we are. I’ve just forgotten whole parts of the cities. So that’s why we’ve been cautious. On this trip, however, we eased into it. Wife drove out of the cities, and at the first gas stop we traded places and I took a shift driving.

Parts about driving that are actually hard:

First of all, understanding where I am. If I have the phone guiding me, that’s fine. But modifying the directions or destinations, etc. is well out of my control. This used to be something I managed to do quite well before. For now, though, making any changes require pulling over to do so. The phone is still confusing and takes some serious thinking to be able to figure it out. And I’m doubly no good with distractions. Generally if I have to take focus away from one task to look at another both tasks lost quality.

The physics of driving are fairly simple, but for the first hour or so I felt like I had to work really hard to keep in my lane, not cross over any of the lines. As the day went on I relaxed and could “feel” where I was more clearly. The physics of speed came into play, as well. The phone can clue me in to the actual speed limit and show me my own speed right next to it. So the trick was to get to the right speed, and then set cruise control during the long straight bits. Add in the extra detail of being over the speed limit by X mph, what’s appropriate, what’s too fast, where the speed traps are, etc.

Finally, working the “all around” mechanism of driving, all of the above combined into one ball of driving and being able to spend the right amount of attention on the specific skill that needs it. So it’s a bit more exhausting, always trying to figure out what happens next and how that happens. Even the buttons to open and close and lock doors, or the Bluetooth connection to be able to play something simple and calming in the background, they’re all memories I need to re-make.

Political Elements:

What went wrong that could prevent me from driving? Nothing, so far. The personally imposed driving restrictions are more closely tied to the ECT sessions. During the acute (3 sessions 3x weekly) sessions, it’s overtly stated that I should not drive. But now that we’re starting the “maintenance” ECT sessions, how does that impact my restrictions? What could go wrong? Well obviously if I’m under an influence (ECT, Ketamine, Anesthesia) I shouldn’t be driving. But those days between? This week we went to Iowa to get the oldest child. Normally I would do it, but this time Wife and I both went. I got behind the wheel after a petrol stop, so I could ease myself back into driving on the long and boring straight roads. That went fine. I will say, though, that the learning curve is pretty good, but it’s there.

Openness and honesty is important here. I’m trying to build up trust in my ability to drive. Just how much detail to I have to divulge to the wife? How much does she sense – in fact what does she sense or observe that I don’t even know? Do I need to exclaim at every headspin? Call out any missteps I take trying to put on proper shoes? Do I need to equate all of my emotional hardships? Or can we just suck it up and get back to driving? Somewhere in the middle, I guess, so I can keep Wife informed, but not be too noisy about every little ache and pain.

I enjoy driving alone, and that is sometimes very therapeutic for me. How much truth can I bend to make that happen? I don’t think I need to bend any facts or sugar coat anything. Everything thus far indicates that this slow re-introduction and my driving in the last few days have been useful for reorienting me, and hopefully opening me up to driving anyone.

The future of driving:

Where does this leave us? Unknown. There are a lot of moving objects. Getting the VNS installed, frequency and duration of both Ketamine and ECT, the maoi patches and whatever else I get into this summer. These things will have to keep us re-evaluating my driving abilities and permissions at least all spring.

In the back of my mind an occasional thought pops up before being promptly forgotten: How will this affect my summer scooter riding?

Bottoming Out

This week has been one of the toughest. Ever.

First, the MAOI – the patch isn’t really helping, so we’re likely going to go over to the oral form, which includes the dietary limitations. This includes items with high tyramine. No, I hadn’t heard of it before either. Things included on the no fly list:

  • Aged, cured, pickled, or smoked meats (such as chorizo, sausage, corned beef, salami, and pepperoni)
  • Pickled or smoked fish
  • Some aged and matured cheese (such as cheddar, gouda, and parmesan)
  • Fermented soybean products (such as miso, tofu, soybean curd, and tempeh)
  • Fermented or pickled foods (such as sauerkraut, kimchi, caviar, pickles, and kombucha)
  • Fermented bread, like sourdough
  • Breads with aged cheeses and processed meats
  • Tap beer
  • Any food that has gone bad, or is overripe

With the exception of the last item, this is a list of some of the foods I love the most. It reads a bit like a shopping list.

I have begun ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) again. Three days a week. Monday was only at 30% and it was hard to handle for the rest of the day. Tuesday was ketamine, so I was trashed after that afternoon visit. And Wednesday was at 60% (we’ll end up at 100% eventually) and I felt every bit of it afterward. My memory went from goldfish level to rock. Thoughts that used to come to me long enough to note them or take them on are now fleeting. Leaving me with a feeling of loss, confusion, concern that it was important, and sadness. I’m confused about things I thought were second nature. I can’t remember which pocket I usually use to keep my phone. My appetite has gone completely south, nothing sounds good and more often than not tasted like cardboard once I try it. And a deep sadness has settled in, knowing I’m not at full strength and I have weeks of this to go.

The ECT process is the same as before, with the exception of the waiting. Last time they had a tiny waiting room (10 chairs?) that had to fit the patients in line, plus their family or friend helper. It was fairly loud, though part of that was the 24×7 home improvement shows. Wife hated Mondays because that’s when the new batch came in, and you could feel the anxiety rolling off of them in waves. I just remember feeling like I was with my people. Now the waiting area is down by the TMS area, and there is a nice huge waiting area with comfy couches. The old waiting room as turned into the “wake up” room where they wheel you after you’re awake but before you have any idea who, where, or what you are. And we still get mini blueberry muffins and juice. Which is nice. So the whole process is easier, more comfortable, and well done. Also, there is still the pre-procedure interview to check that you haven’t taken certain meds, take your vitals, and do a quick check in on your mental state. In the old waiting room you would do this in front of the whole crowd, including the “are you safe” questions. Now they have a proper exam room and it feels more professional.

On the mixed bag side: The external review for my VNS (vagus nerve stimulator) has finally approved it, and things are now moving. Have an appointment next week for the surgical consultation with a neurosurgeon, and it sounds like COVID hasn’t gotten in the way of operations at the University, where this will be done.

Again, the VNS has a surgery to implant a little box the size of a matchbox just below my clavicle. They’ll also attach a wire to my Vagus Nerve. After two or a few weeks of healing, I’ll go back to my doc at the treatment resistant depression clinic. He will activate the device and program it for my introduction. An example would be every five minutes the box sends a 30 second impulse to the Vagus Nerve. Forever. No immediate results, it could take weeks if I’m lucky, but more likely months or a year to see benefit. So the VNS update is good news but intimidating and scary.

After much discussion, we have moved the consultation with the Mayo clinic out a month. Not sure if I mentioned it before, but I wanted a different perspective, with their unique patient engagement. Also, my grandfather was a (chief) neurosurgeon there, and my mother was Nurse Ratched the head nurse of the locked psych ware there in the 50’s. (I’m sure she was very nice and not sadistic.) But given the way ECT has done a number on me this week we’re going to wait until I’m a bit more lucid.

It’s a turmoil of therapies and appointments right now. If we keep it up, it’s going to suck. If we stop it’ll suck and I won’t have a method for improvement. But it’s hard nonetheless, and Wife and I are both feeling the strain.

I know the ECT will stabilize, and everything is going as planned. But yesterday I began questioning whether I was actually going to survive this major depressive episode. And that I’m not in control at all. Those are unsettling thoughts. (Yes, I’m safe, and I’m well supported)

Back to ECT

A week from Monday I will be restarting electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT.

It’ll be unilateral this time, which is supposed to keep memory loss lower. That’s how we started last time but went to bilateral because it just wasn’t working. Unilateral means just on one side of the head, bilateral is both sides, which is more effective. I’m not ruling out the possibility that we’ll go to bilateral again.

I’m still processing the reality of it, but this time around it’s got me thinking about what I’m going into. I’m wondering if these moments or days will be erased. Will I lose this month of my daughter being home from college? How will this affect my existing memory issues? How will COVID affect there whole process?

We’re running out of things to try, and this seemed to work a bit last time, so here we are. I’ve recently stopped caring, so I’m just going along with my care team’s recommendations. Not caring actually makes everything a little easier, but certainly not better. I think I swore I wouldn’t go back to ECT, but those were different days.

I will be making an effort to blog more during this series.

First Ketamine Experience

In my program, your first time is with the nasal administration. They (for reasons we still have no clue about) deliver the nasal ketamine to your house. I had to sign for it, etc. It comes in a box that’s about a foot square, like a cube. It also demands that you refrigerate it immediately. So I did, but I have to say taking a square foot of space in our fridge was not convenient. Part of the reason you do the nasal version is that it’s not as intense as the other methods. So if you’re going to have a heart attack, blood pressure spike, or bad freak-out on your trip, they’ll find out with a little bit less intensity.

I’ll be getting intramuscular shots next week. I just realized I don’t know which muscle. I think it’s the arm, but it could be the butt cheek. What a pain in the ass that would be! Also, given that the injected version is more intense, I’m looking forward to see just how more intense it will be. I felt under control, but there were times where I was really disassociating. Not sure how it can get more intense than that. I’ll let you know.

They say time doesn’t move at the same speed, and they were right. Given the fact that I thought I was saying something every few (or ten) minutes, and yet the average time between comments is 28 seconds, I think it’s safe to say I was having some time issues.

You check in at the main desk, but they send you down the hall to a door with a nice big red warning on it. It opened into a mini waiting room, and the nurse then lead us to the actual room. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I had visions of having to sit in that not-so-comfortable chair next to the doctor’s desk for an hour tripping out.

As it happens, it was a large room with great big comfortable recliners in lightly separated bays. If someone was having a bad experience, everyone would hear it. Each area has a few of the things you would expect in a hospital room. The blood pressure stand, emergency button, a visitor’s chair. Wife sat in that chair and I jumped into the recliner.

The nurse gets your vitals, then you take the nasal spray. Three times in each nostril with a minute between snorts. It hurt, actually. Not so much that you would cry out in pain, but enough that you realize you’re happy not to be doing it that way every time. It was a stinging in the nose, and some would go down the back of your throat and tasted horribly bitter. Not tonic water bitter that you want to taste, not cocoa powder bitter that reminds you of chocolate. Bitter like chewing up aspirin. The nurse then pulls a curtain across the opening of the mini bay you’re in, and lets you get to tripping. So there’s some privacy, but I know I heard the nurse laugh once or twice as I was babbling away.

They take your blood pressure every 15 minutes. The cuff just stays on and inflates once in a while automatically. I usually don’t like the pressure of a cuff, but didn’t even notice it. They do this to make sure your blood pressure isn’t going high, which is a side effect that’s particularly dangerous. Mine was low going in, and even lower when testing after I started the experience. Go figure.

I’ve done my share of research, so I had read some other experiences and was super curious about how it would affect me. A neighbor had Ketamine and described his experiences. He watched a mindfulness video and was convinced it was written by him especially for him. That’s why I want to watch a movie or videos next time. I should seek out my favorite albums and see how many videos I can string together.

Being the nerd that I am, I was recording the session (on a phone with a case that makes the microphone suck) and letting it attempt to transcribe as it recorded. Due to the microphone suckage, the audio was very quiet, and hard to transcribe. I even had to go with both sides of earphones and use my military training in transcription in order to make out many of the phrases.

I was indeed tripping, but in going over the log that I recorded, I remembered everything. It’s not like ECT where you come out of it not remembering going into it. I’m hoping the log is clear enough for you. There are some text styles that show something I did, something someone else said, and comments every few lines. The transcriptions are italicized, and the log entries are bold.


3:42:17 PM Testing

This is the beginning, I was setting up the voice recorder on my phone. I hadn’t really used it before, and it’s pretty limited. I can’t adjust the scale of the visualization, so when it’s working in a quiet area it’s almost impossible to see if it caught it. Also, my phone case makes the bad microphone work even more poorly. But I worked with what I had. An idea was to video it, as that’s unlimited in length, except it’s much harder to transcribe.

3:43:34 PM I know this sounds weird, but I can feel all of my clothing

I think your senses get boosted a bit. So all of the different fabrics on my skin were very pronounced. It was fun, and it was pretty cool to have that much knowledge of how my clothes feel.

3:44:22 PM <???> made my nose stop running

I had been having an incredibly frustrating day or two of allergies. At first I thought it might be COVID, and how funny that would be. After months and months of hoping to catch COVID and die, now that I’m in a much better place it would be like an Alanis Morissette song. Isn’t it ironic? Also, the <???> indicates I couldn’t make out a word or phrase. You’ll see it a bit in the rest of the transcription.

3:44:37 PM I can taste it

This is where the ketamine was running down the back of my throat. I was starting to feel the effects, but it didn’t take any of the bitterness away.

3:44:45 PM Yeah I would not be able to walk right now
3:45:20 PM {speed slowed to .7}

So the first line was so hard to transcribe, I had to turn the speed down to 7/10ths, which helped quite a bit, but it was still a trial to understand some of the lines. Mostly due to the low volume, but I thought I sounded like I was slurring and speaking more softly than usual. I left it at that speed for the rest of the transcription and it helped immensely, even though it made my voice even deeper than it already is.

3:45:33 PM The flags look like fire
3:46:10 PM <Wife asks which flags> Those banner things

There was a farmer’s market in the parking lot, and we were on the second floor. I could see the tents and the banner flags of the market, as well as the street, with cars driving by. Because the wind was fairly strong, the flags were waving quite a bit, and seemed to be flapping from the bottom to the top. So it looked a bit like a candle flickering.

It’s funny how you perceive things differently when in a different mind state. If I had tried consuming recreational drugs in college, but stopped after a month because I felt like I was stupid for a day or two after I came down, it could be like this. Once, when I was surely not under the influence of something we had taken inside peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I might have seen someone in a tie-dyed shirt and realized why people might wear them. To me it would have looked like feathers, and it might have been quite a revelation. But of course I didn’t, so I must be making that all up.

This is what the banner flags look like. (Thank you street view!)

3:46:17 PM So I'm going to be saying things because I want to be able to describe it later

There were more thoughts in my head than usual, and many of them were bizarre. Mostly just visual twists on what I see, but there were a few times when it was more contextual and perceptive. Like the flags turning into flames, or the clouds turning into water towers.

3:46:46 PM My hands feel like they're upside down

Wife asked about this the next day. It felt like my arms were oriented correctly, but my hands were facing palms up instead of the reality, which was down. It didn’t feel bad or anything, just curious. It went away as I headed toward the peak, and lost contact with my body.

3:46:56 PM I'm kinda floaty
3:47:05 PM But very relaxed
3:47:11 PM I feel like I can breathe more than usual

This was kinda cool. I’ve done a lot of breathing exercises, like 4×4 or 4×8 or in through the nose, out through the mouth, etc. 4×4 shown below, but the concept applies to many of these methods. Sometimes I take the biggest breath I can, and slowly exhale. I did this during the experience, and it felt like I was inhaling for a very long time, due to the time distortion. But it really did feel like I was breathing in a ton of air, more than usual.

Thank you Monticello Trails
Middle School
(Home of the Timberwolves) please don’t sue me.
3:47:31 PM Yeah I would define this as tripping balls
3:47:54 PM I don't know how to describe this but everything's inside out

Like the upside down hands, this happened twice. Once on the way up to the peak, and again on the way down. I found it interesting that I had the same experiences on both ends of the time I was treated. In this case, everything being inside out was a bit like when you do the magic eye pictures, but instead of letting your eyes relax and widen the parallax, you cross them. It’s a great way to be able to guess at the image without standing there for 15 minutes trying to relax your eyes. And during that 15 minutes you stress out because you can’t do it, which just spirals into frustration. You try it here:

Hint: It’s a boat.

Anyhoo, it felt like convex things were concave. It should have been very confusing and very disorienting, but again, it was just a curious phenomenon. By the way, you can cheat at “find the differences” pictures by doing the same thing with the crossed eyes. Where there are differences will seem to be standing out a bit. Easy Peasy.

3:48:21 PM I feel like I'm at sea
3:49:18 PM I can hear my Tinnitus
3:49:34 PM Kinda want to take a drink of water but don't think I can

I have some wicked vertigo these days. Describing it like being on a ship in a wavy ocean is exactly correct. Except sometimes there are bigger waves, and I have to stop and just hold on for a few moments. It’s okay, as I like boats.

3:49:54 PM Everything is happening around me

This was a strange one. You know in movies and TV shows where they show the protagonist standing somewhere, while the world moves hyperfast around them? IT felt a bit like that, but not as fast. Maybe you could describe it like an out of body experience might feel like. Or maybe even a ghost, and the world is happening around it without seeing the ghost.

3:50:08 PM When I move my head back and forth I have vertical vertigo

Back to the vertigo. It’s possible it has something to do with all the meds I’m on that have the side effect of lowering your blood pressure. Rather, your blood pressure lags by a few seconds. So when I stand up quickly, I get lightheaded and dizzy for just a few moments, but longer than usual.

Sitting helps a ton, but in this case it seemed stronger than usual when I looked straight up. It produces the effect of feeling like you’re on an unstable deck, but instead of wobbling side to side, you’re wobbling up and down. This might be the most difficult effect to explain.

3:51:14 PM I'm not connected (to the BP monitor)
3:51:23 PM So that (blood pressure) probably registers fairly low
3:51:31 PM {wife's name} can you hear me?

She was probably mentally preparing for a lot more of this. I tend to go on sometimes, and she’s good at putting me on mute with an alert – if she hears something that might pertain to her, she automatically unmutes. And then asks me to repeat what I just said. It works. And yes, she was hearing me and acknowledged as much.

3:51:37 PM [Wife: Do you want help with the water?] That was a long time ago
3:51:45 PM I'm fine
3:51:53 PM I'm not, like, in my body
3:52:14 PM My palms are sweating. I can still feel the tremor in my right hand but I can't - no I can see the tremor in my right hand but I can't feel it
transcription:  Yeah it's my answer for it I am still feeling my trouble in my right hand but I can't

Was this the first automatic transcription? Might have been, too lazy to scroll up, but if you want to scroll up, go ahead. If I’m wrong here please send a message to donttellme@thismessagewillnotgettome.com and someone will get back to you never.

Another awesome side effect I have is the tremor. It’s worse in my right hand, which if I hold it out shakes like a cartoon character who has just seen a cartoon ghost. But not Casper the Ghost, who is the ghost of Richie Rich. Look it up. It goes from ok to worse, but the worst part is that I have it all over, just in varying degrees. Left hand much better than right, legs are subtle when I’m sitting and hold one up. Going up or down stairs, however, I can feel it in my legs, and it makes me less stable than just standing.

I had sweaty palms, and when I held my hands up to see the tremors, I could see the tremor, but couldn’t feel it. I could still feel my hand, just not the shaking.

And finally, “a long time ago” was actually two minutes. Time dilation again.

3:52:28 PM Right hand. Right is always worse than left
3:52:50 PM Cool. What color is my mood ring
3:52:58 PM What color is my mood ring? [wife: dark] It's like a yellow green or something? [wife: I'm colorblind] Oh. Great.
3:53:03 PM Oh, ok. When I had ECT I asked them to watch my ring and the nurse said it was like it was plaid. And I kinda get that now.
3:53:14 PM That stuff.
3:53:36 PM It's like the Family tartan. Like purple and yellow.

Ever since the beginning of this episode, in summer of 2019, I’ve done a lot of programs (PHP, IOT, DBT, TMS, ECT, ETC) and many of them talk about your physical state when anxious or depressed. It occurred to me that I had a mood ring sitting on my nightstand. It was just a little too small, and I discovered a plethora of different styles on Amazon. I settled on a ring that appeared black until it colored up.

It’s not the actual family tartan, but somewhat close-ish, and had the colors I saw.

It’s like any other mood ring. Not saying it doesn’t work, but it pretty much stays the same color all the time, with subtle changes. It works by body temperature. So if you’re mad in the summer sun, it should turn red. If you’re super mellow and calm in your igloo, it would be blue, etc. When I was taking ECT, I asked the nurse to watch the ring and tell me the next day what it looked like. She did, and she said it was weird. Like it was plaid.

I asked Wife what color she thought it was, and she reminded me that she was color blind and maybe not too happy I could forget something like that. I’m going to say it was the super memory eraser – ECT. *My experience is not typical, but erased parts of memory can happen.

It just seemed like a couple different colors, but in a jagged pattern, not solid. It reminded me of the family Tartan. But a bit brighter, as our colors aren’t yellow, it’s more orange with thinner lines, etc.

3:53:53 PM <deep sigh>

I don’t remember doing these but there are a few on the recording. Since the audio was so quiet I had to turn it up quite a bit, and there was all sorts of random noises. From static to something that sounded like I moved and so forth. I was also listening for any ghost voices, or EVP for the experts who watch ghost hunter tv shows. Happily? Sadly? I didn’t hear anything that sounded spooky.

3:54:02 PM Alright I'm gonna try water
3:54:13 PM I feel like one of those giant house sized marionettes that they run down the streets in France.
3:54:33 PM I know that's gonna sound insane but I can look it up later and tell you about it
Transcription:  I know that's gonna sound insane but I can look it up later and tell you about it

Royal de Luxe is a French mechanical marionette street theatre company. It’s really incredible, and the people in the red outfits with gold highlights are pulling on ropes to make various movements. I highly encourage you to search YouTube for the company because those people aren’t just pulling on ropes, they’re pulling on ropes. Jumping high to get more rope, being pulled into the air for a bit of time, and so forth. I particularly liked Sea Odyssey, where the girl above and other giants end up getting on a ship leaving Liverpool. They look like they’re in a rowboat. Seriously, go to YouTube right now. I’ll wait.

3:54:45 PM My glasses make me feel like a Picasso painting
If you search enough you could buy this for me as a memento. Last time it sold it was only $9,500…

I can normally see my glasses from the corners of my eyes, but this time it was highly asymmetrical and everything felt out of whack. I seriously felt as if I were the subject in Picasso’s “Drawing of Harold Robbins” only in color and everything is squares or circles.

Might have had a bit of Mondrian in it as well, thus the squares and colors. There were so many thoughts going through my head that these thoughts at the front of my mind mixed together. Meanwhile in the back of my mind I’m thinking that curtain looks like the scales on a white ghost version of Rainbow Fish. You know, just normal thoughts.

3:55:09 PM There was a car driving by and again now and it looked like a stormtrooper helmet. But then my eyes get all tangled and I can't really see it that well anymore

For a long time I have known about the fact that many white cars and SUVs look like a stormtrooper from the front. For some reason, every time a white car passed by on the road in front of the building, I saw them more and more as actual stormtrooper helmets. I think the first one was one of the cars that actually looks quite a bit like the helmet, and every white car after that was helped along ever so much by the image.

I would watch them go from left to right in the window, but had to turn my head to keep watching. The further to the right I turned my head the more “tangled” my vision got. Like it had turned into ropes and they were poorly braided the further I go.

3:55:56 PM My sweater [on my lap] is expanding

I had worn my favorite mustard colored cable knit sweater over a long sleeved t-shirt. I had to take it off for the blood pressure readings, so I put it in my lap with the design facing up. I figured it could be fun to see if it moved at all. And it did. At first it just looked like it was blowing up like a balloon. Later it only blew up enough to deflate, like it was breathing. I don’t remember if I saw the patterns moving like snakes, but I might have.

3:56:29 PM I wish I had tried special K before this so I could tell the difference between the street drug and the [brain working hard here] legal therapy
3:56:59 PM Did that make any sense?
3:57:11 PM There's something about the flags and the tent and the gray sky that makes me think of {local amusement park}. I think it was because we went there when it was fall.
Not the actual park, but imagine this in the autumn cold with gray skies.

We have had a local (~20 miles away) amusement park since the 70’s. I can still smell the fresh tar paths in the park. My sister and a neighbor went on the scary rollercoaster 20 times or so once. Since then there have been 8 or so new rollercoasters added, all making the original look like a kiddie ride. We went every year for a while as an agreement that if we didn’t go on the (actual dangerous) rides in the Midway at the State Fair, our parents would fork over tickets to the amusement park. And it worked! Our park was way more fun and safer than the sketchy midway. Now that I’m older I realize some of the fun of the Midway is simply not dying because you’re on a 30 year old ride that’s been taken apart and put back together every week during that time. By carnies.

What? Another aside? Sure. Was on a trip with friends and there was a county fair that we stopped by. One of the friends mentioned knowing someone who owned a bunch of amusement park games (miss the basketball hoop, don’t knock the bottles over, the giant stuffed prizes will fall apart in a week, etc.) He asked the owner about the carnies working for him and I think he asked where someone could find those scary people to hire. Turns out they were all college kids on a summer job, many of whom he knew. They let their hair grow out, wear grubby clothes and don’t shave every day. I think it’s so they look like scary carnies that you wouldn’t want to mess with. As he left the midway he recognized some of the carnies and couldn’t believe he didn’t recognize them before. So go ahead and pick a fight with a carnie, they’re probably college kids responsible enough to have summer jobs. You can probably take them in a fight. Unless they’re actually scary just-out-of-jail, carrying a knife that they would know how to puncture you with carnies. Good luck!

3:57:53 PM I feel like I could write volumes about this if I could remember.
3:58:12 PM [Wife suggests I should record it] I am.
3:58:19 PM I think I'd be okay doing it alone. [Wife asks a question] The treatment. [Wife asks a question] Nonono I mean, in here. Doing it. So in future treatments if you off somewhere on your computer..

You have to have a close family member or friend bring you and take you home. Dear Wife has been through so much with me, and is my biggest support and cheerleader. When I had ECT there was a 2 (or 3?) hour gap between my going in for the procedure and being cleared to leave. Most of that time was spent coming out of the anesthesia. So she would take her laptop and go down to the “healthier” fast food place and snack and work from there. The irony is that she worked for the hospital system in an office a block away. So she was working closer to her client than she did at work!

So I was hoping she could be released while I did my doctor approved hallucinations, so she could at least get a little work done. Here I was saying I could do the treatment all by myself, so she could work for the hour between drives.

3:59:04 PM I can still breathe bigger than I normally would but it feels more normal than last time
3:59:53 PM I'm getting a sore neck from looking out the window

My chair was parallel to the windows, so the most interesting thing to look at, outside, was to my right. And I was getting a stiff neck just for looking right. I don’t know if that’s a side effect of the treatment or my new meds, but it was the most uncomfortable part of the therapy. Worse than the nose snuffling taking the meds, since I only have to do that once.

4:00:10 PM Which doesn't make any sense because.. why would I?
4:00:18 PM I think next time I want to watch a movie.
4:00:36 PM Now my sweater is just breathing.
4:00:47 PM I'm going to forget to ask -- I'm. Going. To. Forget. To. Ask. This. Later, but can I do this with my earbuds in?

I’m thankful I said this, as it reminds me to bring my earbuds, and yes, I can wear them during the procedure. And I would have forgotten that immediately. All of those periods are (hopefully) expressing that I was talking in a stilted manner, trying to remember all the right words to say.

4:01:19 PM I kinda want one of those facemask things that court reporters have so I can just babble so nobody can hear me. It's a thing they put over their face that records their voice and I think it might do a speech to text translation. But it would be fun to have one of those.
Here we have a Lance Corporal, likely a Marine Corps Legal Services Reporter, aka MOS 4429. Semper Fi!

I was talking about a steno mask, which looks like a CPAP mask with no straps. If you don’t know what a CPAP mask is, do your own damn google search.

They use it in addition to automatic voice transcription to augment the record with things like descriptions, clarifications, etc.

4:03:10 PM My recording will only do it for ten minutes. So by this I feel like I've done 20 minutes so far, is that right?
My recording is only doing it for 10 minutes I feel like I've done 20 minutes so long ago
4:03:20 PM I'll have to figure out a better thing for next time
I want to figure out what to do better thanks for letting me
4:03:35 PM <deep sigh>
4:04:02 PM My allergies are completely clear.

Hey the transcription wasn’t completely off! It got the “spirit” of the audio. On one line only..

4:04:05 PM I don't suppose they'll let me take it home and do it every day
IIIIIIIII don't don't don't don't don't don't don't don't don't don't suppose suppose suppose suppose suppose suppose suppose suppose suppose you'll
4:04:10 PM I haven't had allergies in a really long time.
4:04:17 PM Is there a cub out here?
4:04:32 PM [clearer, faster] What do you want to do for dinner
4:04:43 PM [Wife talking] k. [Wife talking] k. [Wife talking] k. [Felt like saying k one more time so it didn't sound like I just said KKK, but I had lost count and thought I had done 4]

Ok, I have no idea what the automatic transcription is doing here. I did have bad cell reception, so it might have been retrying and getting multiple answers. Still doesn’t help much, as it only got one line out of five.

4:04:48 PM Can you see my blood pressure numbers from there? [initial reading was slightly low, procedure could make it go high] [Wife -Yes, they're low] Oh. Weird.
4:05:04 PM [nurse asking me if I'm ok] Yep. My neck is sore from looking out the window. I don't know why. [nurse: Are you feeling all the things?] Less all the things than when I peaked but yeah I'm feeling a whole lot of stuff. I feel like I'm coherent though, like you're understanding me

The nurse came in and asked if I was feeling “all the things” because that’s what the kids nowadays say. I wasn’t so much feeling emotions, as feeling tactile and visual things. Nothing audio related, either.

4:05:15 PM [Wife? question re: cars and stormtroopers] White cars do, they're white with the black windows which are the eyes
4:05:56 PM But when I was describing that, I could see them until they were about per-pen-dic-ular from me and then it would feel like my eyes got all tangled up

Again, failing to describe the cars well enough, but she’ll read this and understand.

4:06:04 PM It's a little exhausting not being here
4:06:25 PM Am I saying every word <?> time? It thinks it's transcribing but it isn't doing a very good job cuz most of the - wha? - Ok.
4:06:50 PM I want to be a writer
4:07:17 PM I feel like taking a drink is easier but it still take a confusingly long time
4:08:38 PM I tend to zone out a lot naturally and this is just exacerbating it. 
4:09:22 PM Like I've just been yammering the whole time [Wife:yep]
4:09:38 PM I was at a happy hour with {company I worked for 10 years ago}. {name} was there, {name} was there, we were talking to some people and one of them said can't you just shut the f*** up for 5 F****** minutes? And that became a company quote. And I don't think I can.

I do want to be a writer, and taking a drink of water was much easier now that I was almost inside my body. The fact that I said “exacerbating” should mean I’m coming down. And no, I can’t shut the f*** up for five f****** minutes.

4:09:49 PM <deep sigh>
4:10:59 PM I can feel my feet now but they still don't feel like mine. And my hands are upside down again.
4:11:10 PM What are you reading? [Wife: Facebook] I have been unsubscribing from things and unfollowing things a lot lately
4:11:26 PM I didn't miss the electronics when I was without them for four days. So I'm trying to maintain less use of them.
4:14:04 PM Do you think those flowers are real? [Wife: no]
Do they go flowers in real

I seriously did not miss electronics during my hospital stay. (They weren’t allowed, along with sharp things or ropes/cords.) Having come back I’ve slipped a bit back into Facebook because that’s where you get the best “25 celebrities whose left toe is bigger than their right” or “10 things you incorrectly knew the name for”. But I’ve been reading dead trees actual books, practicing y musical instrument, and spent more time in the real world than the virtual. My Animal Crossing town is likely choked with weeds and angry villagers, and my obsession for digging systems of tunnels in Terraria is no longer something I’m driven to do.

4:15:08 PM When I'm reading my book at night the light is just a little too dim I'm reading words wrong and so like the Full there on that box just reminded me that I would probably read that as Pull
4:15:42 PM Is this as boring as hanging out with a drunk person? [Wife: it's about the same] Ok. <laugh> Alright.
4:16:00 PM Once again it's nice having masks, so you can't see my mouth hanging open. No drooling though, so that's good.
4:16:56 PM That's some beautiful light coming in the window [a cloud had just passed]

Part of the electronics minimization and sleep hygiene effort is reading before going to sleep, and not even on an e-reader. I think it’s helped quite a bit. I will admit I watch fewer movies and that bums me out a bit. And I’m feeling my age in the fact that low light makes things blurry. Maybe I’ll start using a magnifying glass. And sit on the front lawn in a lawn chair. And go to buffets at 4pm. Yeah, no.

4:17:31 PM <chuckle> Now the clouds look like water towers.

To be clear, these visual distortions or concepts aren’t replacing what’s there with a zany cartoon image, they’re just making different connections. So while I interpreted the puffy clouds as the tops of ]water towers, I was still seeing them, and (albeit quieter than usual) still knew they were clouds.

4:17:44 PM <deep breath>
4:17:49 PM Everything is inside out again
4:18:25 PM Wow. I was thinking the tinnitus is still there but
real Oh
4:18:54 PM That's, uh, one of the <sigh> One of the side effects of the VNS is it can take away your tinnitus
4:19:02 PM It can also control your bowels, but, we'll hope for the best

I’m sure my Vagus Nerve Stimulator will be many long blog entries. So subscribe so you can get notified when I post something new.

4:19:18 PM [nurse asking me if I was able to stand up yet] Not quite there
4:20:57 PM That silver thing says {iowa college} on it
4:21:09 PM I got a {iowa college} newsletter and I was reading it and confused {iowa college} with {east coast college}, maybe it's the other way around. anyway I'm seeing all these things like {Daughter} should try and, {Daughter} would like that, {Daughter} <mumbles> yet it turned out to be {iowa college}. So it turned it into {Son} wouldn't do that.
4:21:16 PM [Looking at my cup] When we were little we auditioned for a local science tv show and I dunno I felt like I did well but neither my sister or i got a part but um I'll be able to remember what the name of it is at some point. One of the last things they did was gave us a cup, and they said, make up something about the cup and I so I decided a spaceship with fleas. And I dunno what the inspiration about that but apparently they didn't appreciate my imagination
Well Well but but you you might might at least least arrive arrive at at home home one laugh laugh and a a big big head which was bigger bigger then then a couple couple and and a a tiger tiger n***** n***** and and I I also also feel feel pretty pretty sure sure about about bad bad thing things currently currently late late

Daughter is at east coast college, Son is at Iowa college. Both liberal arts, but those two are experiencing college completely differently. Son was the first to go and he’s mastered the art of doing as little of the college extras as possible. Not likely he even knows the sports his college plays. Daughter is working hard to make friends, and actually participating in optional new student events, evening talks, and even attending a sporting event! (Volleyball)

I realize now I can’t really anonymize the kids show, because we’re not sure it was ever produced. I also didn’t get the part of “child movie reviewer” on a local morning show (which at one point had the most viewers in the nation – of morning shows) but I did send in a “helpful hint” and won a t-shirt and they performed it on the show! Yeah, except the idea came to me because I had to take the (very large) trash bag out to the trash cans. One day I saw a skateboard and thought I could just put the bag on that, roll it down the ever-so-slight downward pitch in our sidewalk, and voila! I’m at the trash cans. Except the happy couple hosting the show didn’t understand, and took a tiny little garbage bag, like a foot square, and tried to demonstrate it. They made an awkward bending over show of it and politely brushed it off. The fact that someone at the network selected it means someone understood what a trash bag was.

And hey, transcription? Now it’s not only getting it wrong, and repeating words, but now it’s accusing me of using possibly the most horrible word ever! I verified with the wife that I did not say it, BTW.

4:22:28 PM the transcription on this is far more confusing than anything I could say
4:23:29 PM <deep sigh>
4:23:22 PM Are my pupils dilated or anything?
I'd I'd I'd I'd I'd I'd like like like like like like people people people people people people to to to to to to die die die die die die later later later later later later this this this this this this afternoon afternoon afternoon afternoon afternoon afternoon
4:23:44 PM [Wife: no] I'm not sensitive to light so probably not.
4:23:44 PM Another ticket? [Wife: no]

Apparently I’d like people to die later this afternoon. Nope, didn’t say that either! The reference to “another ticket” is that my wife’s job used a ticketing system, like a help desk does, to send out little missions. She’s been so wonderful about taking me to appointments and things like these when I can’t drive, that it breaks my heart to see her having to work in uncomfortable exam or waiting rooms with crappy wifi.

4:24:30 PM I feel like the person at the party who hasn't had beer before and after half a beer they're like "Oh I'm so drunk!" like maybe this is all just my imagination
I'm beautiful before and after half beautiful girl
4:27:44 PM What? The transcription says I'd like people to die later this afternoon
to die later this afternoon
4:28:26 PM I didn't say that did I? [Wife: no] k
I just

I was very self conscious about the trip. Was I being obnoxious (no!)? Was I wackier than any other patient has been (no!)? Was I acting like a freshman at a kegger (no!)?

4:28:37 PM I feel like I'm slowly coming down but then I realize I can't feel my legs
4:30:02 PM Not like I'm paralyzed, but just like I'm high
4:30:11 PM I haven't felt anxious or depressed or freaking out or sad I'm mostly just curious
Bad I'm looking for Victoria

I have no idea who Victoria is! Honest! Again, not an emotional experience, just that I was watching this crazy movie as it unfurled itself.

4:30:45 PM [nurse asks if I can stand up yet] Yeah I really try though
4:31:11 PM Could you get me more water? Thank you
4:31:22 PM My sweater isn't moving as much as before but it's still doing something
4:32:35 PM Oh that's cold! Thank you.

They did indeed bring more water, and it was super cold, and that hit the proverbial spot. I felt like I was recovering slower than most people, but then I’m sure the ketamine and the meds I had on board had a little party in my brain. And it’s hard to leave a party early.

4:32:15 PM Like, coffee.
4:32:45 PM There's nothing going on with my head that would prevent me from putting on my sweater, is there?

I wasn’t sure if I had some apparatus on my head, but I didn’t. When the sweater was coming on I was looking through it channeling Linda Evangelista in George Michael’s Freedom 90! video. You should check it out, it’s awesome. The song is good too, I suppose.

4:33:30 PM <blood pressure cuff being taken off>

And that’s it. I finally was able to stand up, and Wife took me out to the car, and we headed right up to the cabin. She drove. Not sure if I slept better that night, but I slept well. No after effects that evening or the next day. My second treatment is tomorrow, and that’s the shot, so it should be a fun ride. I’m sure I’ll post about that, too. Because we all know I can’t shut the f*** up for five f****** minutes!

Oh I meant to say if anyone has any questions, issues, or advice, just drop me a note. Presumably you can do that from the ‘contact’ page?