I’m pretty sure that anyone who is diagnosed to treatment resistant depression is probably willing to try just about anything to feel better. That includes paying out of pocket for a ketamine infusion after we have used up all of the donations for previous infusions.
Danielle was able to fit me in for an infusion late Friday. I think she has figured out the best dosing for me because I am able to dissociate right away which is a key indication of its efficacy. Dissociation is a temporary state in which a person is able to detach / become less aware of their surroundings in a controlled environment. It can feel like a floating sensation, euphoria, losing track of time, feeling separated from reality.
It was probably my most intense infusion so far and, though it feels kind of impossible to explain, I want to try.
Usually I close my eyes for the duration of the infusion but this time was different. I opened my eyes multiple times to look at Woody because I needed to see his face to confirm that he was there – that he was my rock that I could hold onto as I went to some dark places in my mind. The lyric from Hamilton replayed in my head over and over:
I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory.Hamilton
Holding onto Woody’s hand, opening my eyes, and seeing him next to me allowed me to access the place in my mind that wants to die and explore it, which felt necessary. I felt like I got to experience dying without dying. I don’t know for how much of the infusion I was in that headspace. I visited other places in my mind but that one was the most memorable.
The experience was so confusing and scary that I was worried about not feeling immediate relief, but I did, and I was able to have an enjoyable weekend. My older sister Kat took Wren camping, and my little sister Cindy took Tucker for a sleepover at her house, so I had zero responsibilities and could do tasks at my own pace and rest when necessary.
Hiking is one of my favorite hobbies but being this severely depressed makes it extremely difficult to do. Yesterday I was able to go for a 20 minute hike at Silverwood Park with Woody and River. This felt like a victory.
My first week of TMS is complete, and while it’s annoying to drive an hour 5 times a week to sit in a chair and feel like I’m being repeatedly being knocked/tapped in the head, I’m committed to sticking to it because I’m desperate for this depressive episode to go away.
Taylor is a new TMS assistant who helps set me up and talks with me (as best as possible since we are both wearing ear plugs) about how I’m doing, if I am experiencing any side effects, going though goals and what I’m learning in the TMS workbook. She is lovely, and I look forward to seeing her.
I’m feeling anxious about another school week with Wren and keeping her on task, dealing with Tucker’s new way of communicating which is screaming and yelling. Dealing with my own (unrealistic) expectations about how I should be progressing.
I received some happy mail this weekend too: