Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Round One: The First Ketamine Treatment

My first ketamine treatment took a little over three hours. 

We were emotionally pretty flat, still reeling from the sudden loss of a pet the day before.  Physically tired, too, from insufficient rest and sleep.

My pain score (a ridiculous way to measure it, but whaddaya gonna do?) was a solid seven before the infusion and a lie of a six afterward.  It was really unchanged but the nurse looked so expectant...

I only received 70 mg. and will be bumped up toward 100 over the next two treatments.

The thing most people want to know is whether or not I hallucinated, and, if so, what did I see/hear/do?

Sorry, folks, but beyond altered perceptions that Fred effectively helped me process on the spot, there were no fireworks, no Elvis, no trips to the moon.

Music failed me, though, and might have morphed into an hallucinogenic experience had I not ripped the plugs out of my bleeding ears...

Just kidding. 

Bruce Springsteen happened to be singing when the ketamine first hit me... and he quickly began to sound just like Alvin, of The Chipmunks fame.  I tried to listen a few more times, choosing different  genres, different artists, messing with the equalizer, the volume, and there was no relief from the cartoonization of music.

There was some difficulty getting the i.v. in, so proceeding with the port continues to make sense. 

The doctor over there rubbed Fred the wrong way, something I've been worried about, but so long as we remember why we are there and that this is a momentous service, they WILL get along.  THEY *WILL*, I say...

The guy has, I think, a fractured foot -- He's wearing one of those heavy walking boot/cast thingies (I have at least four of them stashed in my office closet), so when Fred accused him of that horrid moral failure of "lurching about like Frankenstein," I was able to defend his gait.

It was hard to defend him when he snapped at a nice, worried elderly lady who had a question that she wanted answered.  She had travelled here with her husband, who is a quad and in terrible pain, and they were living in a motel while he received three weeks of ketamine treatments.  She had no one with her and was clearly doing her best to be cheerful.  I wanted to shoot her.

Anyway, as the doctor lurched about like Frankenstein, she called out to him, "May I ask you a quick question, Doctor?"

First, he gave her a fine view of his back.  Then he lurched like Frankensteing a few steps.  Then, we all thought, he thought better of being such an ass, and turned back around.

"No," he fairly snarled, "You may not ask me a quick question."


That would be roughly the moment when Fred decided he was a Lurching TurdMonster. 

I already knew there was something off about his personality from my initial meeting, though I chalked it up to fatigue, a strong science interest (versus "people" focus), and... yes, pain from his foot.  He could have been the reincarnation of Josef Mengele for all I cared about his freaking personality.  But then, I wasn't the one, this time, who needed a "quick question" answered.

Maybe he had a history with this little old "country" lady.  Would that matter?  It shouldn't, but I had found, after a minimal amount of exposure to her chatter, that I -- oh, what was it?  Oh yeah, I wanted to shoot her.
[With a water gun.  With soft water.]

The worst thing about him is his concentration on... worst things.  No one -- except perhaps for my neurologist, but he is a special fellow -- has ever painted so bleak a picture of my life.  Not that it was a surprise to me, of course, but it was a disappointment to know that my [physical] misery was so obvious.  Psychically, of course, no one has a clue because I am relentlessly funny, smiling, and murderous of any challenge to my evident good will and bright outlook.  It's top secret, my depression.

Beyond that... Monday was okay.  My vision took a real hit but seemed to recover to its usual bad status within a few minutes of stopping the drug.  I was dizzy.  I had more problems with sound than anything.  For instance, I was convinced that I was speaking too loudly, though Fred assured me that I was actually whispering and that if I did not stop, he was going to start yelling questions out to the Lurching TurdMonster, and then I would know what LOUD really was...

No, Fred was marvelous.  He had a book and hoped to read it.  Until the ketamine kicked in, he was able to.  From the first drop, though, I was overcome with if-I-think-it-I-speak-it-itis.  Apparently, one loses the edit function, or at least I do.  Good thing I don't have any currently active secrets.

We made the startling discovery that we each wanted to get another cat, immediately.  This is very strange, as we are reasonable people who understand that making a decision so quickly is likely not a great notion.  But under ketamine, I fessed up that I was worried about the The Remnant, our two remaining felines, mother and son.  To say that Dobby is upset is a wild understatement.  Even Marmy has been crying during the night.

We simply know that it will be fine to go ahead and adopt another.  I gave Fred full authority, as I still feel like Uncle Kitty Big Balls was mostly "his," as much as a cat can belong to a human.

He has fallen for a young cat featured at an online service representing a local no-kill shelter.  Called Tyler, he looks not unlike "one of the family," but his biggest selling points are his small size, young age, and mischieveous air.  We'll see... but as this was the first thing Fred spoke of this morning, as we are getting ready to go to the hospital for pre-op stuff relating to tomorrow's minor surgery, I may well be taking care of a third cat this evening.  I can imagine us "just swinging by to take a look..."

I wish I could report pain relief.  But I can't, yet.

Next week, a stronger dosage, and maybe a better result.  Eh?

Thanks for pulling for me, as I insist on imagining that anyone dropping in here must be doing... midst worries about the Japanese disasters, the Libyan crisis, and whatever is happening in your own lives. 

And yes, I am *slightly* disappointed not to have a tale to tell about some derring-do exploits under the influence of Special K... Again, maybe next week!

If I don't get myself in gear, I won't make this appointment at the hospital.  To say I have anxieties about running into doctors, nurses, and/or administrators who actively helped me get and then suffer (perhaps needlessly) CRPS in the first place... is to put it mildly.  I HATE that hospital.

1 comment:

  1. I am pulling for you!
    I'm hanging on to the blogosphere by a thread these days, just to follow a few of my fellow adventurers, like you.
    Keep Bianca from bursting into song during ketamine treatments.

    I am so sorry for your loss of UKBB.
    Best, best, best wishes from


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