Saturday, March 22, 2014

3 years ago today: Subanesthetic Ketamine Infusion #2

originally published 3/22/2011 -- republished to honor fred

I'm pretty blue, pretty exhausted.  Can't think of a reason why yesterday's treatment should be behind either of those states, but heck... who knows?

They upped the dose to 90 mg and infused it in about 2.5 hours.  It was not pleasant but I apparently did a good job hiding that from Fred.  The nurse somehow knew I wasn't having the time of my life, and gave me a pep talk at discharge about how finding the right dose takes time and then several treatments at that dose, or higher.  Monique, her name was Monique.

Without saying much, she said a lot.  Like how this may be pissing into the wind because I am starting so long after onset.  Nine years.  Nine years.  Nine years of this.

She wouldn't use the port (that's right -- after all we went through to get it in before the second infusion -- the doctor having said he would refuse to treat me if I showed up without one...) because it was so new, the site very... raw.  It's swollen, bruised, and just not healed at the "edges."  I could see Fred eating his outrage before bending to his book.

Instead of sitting by my side, he sat in the wheelchair at the foot of the guerny, so as to stay out of the way of the nurse and tech, who do vital signs frequently -- like every 15 minutes.  He was beautiful to behold, at least in my tripping mind -- standing out against the bleak fluorescence of the hallway, a silhouette I've come to love, a faithfulness I surely do not merit.

I remember crying. My legs spasming, relentless.  The i.v. tubing, the blood pressure cuff, the oxygen monitor --each thing assumed terrible proportions just by tapping against my skin, each tap scathingly painful. I remember thinking that so long as I didn't open my eyes, I'd be fine.  That's probably why Fred thought all was well, thought I was sleeping through it.  Not so.  Not even close.

I asked for my purse there toward the end.  I had wanted to take a clip of the statue in front of the hospital.  Instead, while completely out of my mind on ketamine, I took a video of the ceiling in my cubicle, the curtains surrounding my cubicle, the empty hall near my cubicle, and...

...the most comforting of comforts, perched in the wheelchair there at the end of everything, my sentinel, my guard -- the best argument, the best reason I know for opening the eyes...

Next week, an even higher dose.  Then, the following Monday, an assessment and decisions.

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