Jump Starting a Brain in ECT

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“Ready for a time out?” She could faintly hear him talking into his recorder.”Now relax your arm and start counting backwards from ten”, the nurse said as she began to inject her veins with the Brevital and Succinylcholine. Her symptoms had been worsening for quite some time. This was one of the last options her and her doctor had agreed upon as a treatment method. She took one last deep breath, squeezed the nurses hand and shut her eyes.She started reciting her prayer she created, and asked whoever was in charge of her life to not let her wake up.”Ten…nine…”The voices went silent and her mind went blank.

She had been here before. The familiar smell of latex, sterile equipment and aftershave made her gag but after the forth round she kind of got used to it. Every other morning for four weeks she got out of bed on an empty stomach from the night before and made her way over to the hospital. They didnt let her eat or drink for 12 hours so the medication didn’t make her nauseous and vomit all over herself while they were inducing a seizure on her.
The elevator stopped on the 5th floor, a floor that was also too familiar to her. She stepped into the hall and lethargically maneuvered herself into the waiting area. Diligently, she put her John Hancock on the notebook atop the only table in the room and sat down, waiting for her name to be called. She liked to arrive first, because she liked to get it over with in order to go home and crawl back under the sheets for the day. The nurses stood around talking among themselves comparing scrubs and discussing their weight losses from the Keto Fab. Waiting for Dr. T every treatment day was monotonous. She looked up at the clock which read 6:33.
“Lynsey” one of the female nurses shouted from the other room. It was her time to get checked in. The nurse checked her heart rate and her blood pressure, temperature and asked her if her allergies had changed since the day before yesterday. Her vitals were charted into a computer and she was seen to a room with an empty bed.
“Do you have an arm preference?” the anesthesiologist asked.”No preference. I think it will be hard to find one though. My veins are tiny and they roll.””Lets try the right one.”Three nurses and six attempts later the IV was started. All there was left to do was wait for Dr. T. “Sarah” a nursed called from the other room to get more vitals and keep the line going. There were 20 patients to get to. She looked up at the clock. It was 6:45 and at that moment he walked through the doorway.”Lets get this started today”, he professed to his colleagues. She was escorted in her bed into the middle of the procedure room. A goop of gel was placed on each side of her head, so when the shock hit her, it would make direct contact. One of the assisting doctors held the paddles in her hand, awaiting for the anesthesiologist to insert the injection and Dr T to fire up the machine. Her breathing got heavy and an oxygen mask was placed over her face but not directly, she specifically asked for it to be hoovered over her. The result was the same every time but right before the lights in her head would go out, a stream of panic flowed through her body and settled in the middle of her chest. She felt like ripping her IV out and jumping off the bed, running through the door and down the hall to the elevators. What if the medicine put her to sleep and she couldnt wake up; But that was a risk she was willing to take. “If I die, I die”.

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