- 2 years ago
- Wedding: City, State
Thanks to our dear <u>pantsapocalypse:</u>, I decided to try Ketamine infusion myself. It’s mostly discussed in regards to depression, but it can also help with neuropathic pain. Thus, I decided to give it a bash for my wretched neuropathic itching.
My depression is fairly well controlled with Celexa, but there is plenty of room to improve. I have been especially snappy and irritable with Dh lately.
Luckily, we have clinic within rock throwing distance of home. It’s run by two Certified Nurse Anesthetists. And, I am perfectly fine with that. Ketamine infusion in my state is currently unregulated. The two CNAs at the clinic are working very closely with the state legislature to draft laws that make sense.
Ketamine, if you’re not familiar, is an anesthetic used on humans and animals. It’s been around for fifty years, so it’s actions are well known. It’s very safe at the doses used for infusion and it’s predictable.
Dh went with me to the initial consultation. The minute I walked in the door, I felt such peace. There was no doubt this was where I needed to be.
We spent about an hour and the CNA told us that for neuropathic itching, she recommended six two-hour infusions, on consecutive days.
That is not the typical protocol for depression. The clinic generally does four forty-minute sessions twice a week for depression.
Dh was totally on board and we set up a schedule whereby I would start the next day. At each session, we do a Beck Depression Inventory and PTSD screening test. We also talk about what’s going on.
The treatment room is lovely, very serene and comfy, with a big, adjustable recliner. The CNA gives a small numbing injection into my hand, to prevent any pain from the IV needle insertion.
This afternoon is my last treatment.
My first session, I wanted to be alone. I thought Dh might be a distraction or source of annoyance. It was weird, but not unpleasant. I watched as a true battle of the wills went on. My thinking, chattering, noisy mind vs the process. For the record, it was a tie. The staff pops in to check on you every few minutes and you’re hooked up to monitors.
After that, Dh has been staying, so I have someone to talk to as stuff comes up. And it does. It does.
One of the first, and possibly my favorite insight that I shared with Dh—not all of these memories are going to be heavy duty serious. Some are just for fun. I talked quite a lot about my sense of humor, and came to the recognition that who I am at the core is—funny.
But, my humor tends to be sardonic and dry, which doesn’t translate well on message boards. (Although SloMo seems to have mastered it).
If I suffered from self esteem issues in the past, we can declare that over. A number of times I said, “gawd, I love me! I am so cool!”
Keeping in mind that my early childhood was a lot longer ago than most of yours, it seemed like 300 years in the past. Stuff came up of which I had conscious memories, but had not emotionally processed. I’ll just share a little.
This one took me by surprise. I do recall the event, although I was very, very young. Whatever age it is you’re just learning to walk, two or three?
We had a German Shepherd, Prince. I can recall my father griping about Prince knocking me down a lot. I seem to recall him running away once. He was a nice dog.
Neither our front or back yards were fenced. My mother and I were sitting on the front porch with Prince. Suddenly, he just took off. I remember calling to him and crying, “Prince ran away!” To which my dear mother said, “Good,” and refused to try to get him back.
We lived on a busy four-lane boulevard, which didn’t mean anything to me then, but does now.
That story tells you pretty much all you need to know about good old mom. My parents would later find other ways to hurt me using pets.
Now I understand my lifelong passion for German Shepherds. Even thinking about getting a different breed always felt wrong somehow.
The good part of this is that I was able to process the emotions that went with this terrible incident, but in a detached way. It’s impossible to explain. You can feel the feelings, but it’s totally ok. I was surprised at how much rage I had about Prince. And, overall, I really was amazed that this incident had had such a big impact. I still can’t stop thinking about poor Prince.
I also had a lot of accurate insights about Dh and why he does what he does, and I listened to stories of his childhood.
There were lots of abuse memories that surfaced, including sexual abuse, but those were not really surprising and the emotions were not as strong as they were for Prince. But, I was really able to put a lot of pieces together. Of course, I’m getting a lot more fluid than you would in a 40 minute session.
The negatives: six two-hour infusions is exhausting. Don’t plan on doing anything else during that time. I declared a six day holiday.
I got headaches, but now they’re putting Toradol in my IV along with anti nausea meds. The headaches are from increased intercranial pressure. The nausea has to do with how much and the speed at which you move your eyes.
The cost, it’s not a huge negative to me, but it could be prohibitive for many. I paid $2100 for six, two-hour infusions, that was with a 10% discount for prepaying.
I did have some bad moments, but the CNAs were super fast to respond. Turns out it wasn’t the dose giving me trouble, it was the drip rate.
And for the inevitable naysayers—no you cannot become addicted at these doses. It’s also not the preferred mode of ingestion for drug abusers. Once you’ve done it, you will be very clear that it’s not something anyone would do recreationally. They have never had anyone remotely questionable show up at the clinic thus far. They also drug test you, blood and pee.
It’ll be a few days before the Ketamine is out of my system completely, so I won’t be driving. The changes are subtle, but they are happening. Time has slowed down. I’ve been in such a dither lately about time getting away from me too fast (age is a big part of that), and not being able to complete my work. Now, it’s so slow, no pressure. Very strange.
The two women who run the clinic are priceless. They are genuinely excited about what they’re doing and very conscientious. Sometimes people get lucky and end up exactly where they’re supposed to be. Definitely the case with the two CNAs.