The doctor jacked up the dosage on the last three infusions, which was a surprise. They were challenging. In the middle of each one, I lost my way: I did not know who I was, exactly, or where, and definitely was clueless as to the "why" of things.
Every stray thought promises profundity, begs to be preserved for sober discussions. Within five minutes of shutting off the drug, that self-importance also drains away.
No one really cares that the ceiling tiles turned into roses or that pain should be compacted and balled up like so much tin foil, then stuffed in a can. Apparently, I pretty much did a power point presentation of my Pain Ball theorem. Somewhere in there, I decided that "I don't matter," which was not such a bad thing to learn.
I learned that Ketamine causes Nanci Griffith to sound like The Chipmunks on nitrous oxide, but that Mary Black was well suited to it, even enhanced. Nina Simone ruled.
Although changes can still occur post-infusion, it's clear that Ketamine, even given under the Schwartzman protocol, doesn't help me. Plus, I've come away with a symptom that has been greatly aggravated by the treatments -- awful and distressing spasticity in my left leg, primarily. When in full force, I scream as my foot bends upward, causing unseen red hot stressors all the way to my hamstring.
The "up" side is equally simple: I have psychological relief for having tried, for having risked it, no matter the outcome; I also have learned a few things about communication.
I cannot help but wonder how different my life would have turned out had Ketamine infusions been available within the first few months of CRPS onset. I've encountered people for whom Ketamine was the first treatment -- not an oddity, not weird, not excessive.
It will take me a few days to regain that razor's edge incisiveness for which I am so well known.
July 5, I am supposed to go back for some grand summation. Rather, that's when I'm expected to beg for Prialt. I can't face that right now.
Thanks for your kind thoughts and good wishes.
I've written and deleted several paragraphs about Fred and what a blessing he is... who else could crack jokes during Ketamine hallucinations, who else could shine through the darkness?
Ceiling tiles swirled and became roses, monochrome, white, flat, and thick black lines. Various bands crowded together, skinny-legged and tight-panted, plugged and unplugged. A black-haired Madonna whimpered in pain behind the curtain on my right, though "right" and "left," never my strong suits, were meaningless.
Like an anchor, immutable but still surprising, Fred guarded my feet, told me how much longer I had to go, made logic of the illogic, evened the rocky keel.