The most important thing I can tell you about my ketamine treatment is that it worked!
I was in the hospital from Tuesday – Friday,(May 3-6) not as long as I expected after reading about someone else’s experience. She said she’s in about 11 days, I don’t remember if that was just her first time or if she’s in that long every time. I just wonder why she’s in so long. Perhaps they ramp up and taper down her dosage slower than mine
I was given at least three neurological exams, there could have been more, I don’t remember..
They warn you that you can loose time and place, that you could hallucinate….
When they started the treatment on Friday night I told S that I wasn’t sure about this, because I felt nothing, and my head hurt.. What was really happening was they were increasing the dose very slowly. By midday the next day I was having double vision, which wasn’t bad, if I closed one eye I could see just fine. Then I was all giggly for a bit, I entertained the staff, and then I slept, a lot!
Every time I woke up I asked S if we’d changed rooms. I kept feeling like they were taking me places but I always woke up in the same place, weird huh? I was always hungry when I’d wake up, so it must not have curbed my appetite, however I admit I didn’t eat a lot there, I was really hungry when I’d wake but after eating just a little I didn’t want any more. Too bad that didn’t stay!
Once a nurse, or doctor…I don’t remember which, asked me what my pain level was and I answered, “what’s pain?” So she touched my forehead and said, “Does it hurt in here?” I can’t remember my answer. Heck I don’t think I’d remember this at all if S hadn’t told me.
When I read the other person’s experience with this, she said to make sure you stretch and walk the halls with help each day, she even said she would do some yoga. I could barely walk to the bathroom, with S helping me. The day before the higher dose I did some bed yoga and meditated….but then it kicked in. I started to feel really high. I wasn’t scared, that may be because I knew a little of what to expect since I have Spravato (esketamine) every week. Spravato isn’t anything like this, but it got me used to feeling wonky. I learned early on with Spravato to not fight the feeling, just relax and go with it. So that’s what I did with this, I can honestly say this treatment was very easy, and very well monitored. I liked that although I was hooked up to a heart and oxygen monitor, the machine for it was in a different room. I never heard a beep, if you’ve ever been in the hospital you know what I’m talking about, I think that would have driven me crazy. Of course I did get my BP monitored, but after the first day they didn’t do it much. At least I don’t remember if they did or not. I know when it first started they had to check my BP every 30 minutes, then she left me alone for 6 hours. My mind was racing so much I couldn’t sleep, so I read. Reading was so much fun for me there. (Luckily I can blow the words up big on my Kindle so I could still read.)
The one really cool thing I remember is reading. I was reading a book that has a lot of moodiness to it. It often took place outside. When I was reading I was transported to the area. Not as a character, but all around my Kindle and throughout the room I felt like I was in the place I was reading about. I actually miss that part, it was just so cool, like visiting a different land.
Most of the time I slept. It was a great time to catch up on some serious Zzzzzzs. And Stuart was able to work right there, he got in a lot of work when I was zonked out. We thought they’d kick him out after visiting hours, but nope. He stayed there every night. Really we wasted money on a hotel room, we only slept there the night I got discharged.
Okay funny thing, I wrote this right after I got home. but I forgot to hit publish, so I can update you now (May 24) that my migraines are So Much Better! Today I woke with one that was a bit higher than they’ve been lately, but I treated it and now I’m fine. I am in the middle of a Spravato treatment, so I haven’t really read over this or edited it, so it might be weird. a bit like me.
My doctor said to treat my migraines aggressively, so when it hits a 5 I take meds. (before my treatment I was always an 8 or greater), I a variety of different medications so even if I have a migraine start every day I always have something I can take. There’s only one medication that I take that can cause medication overuse headaches, so I only use that twice a week (if needed. So far I’ve only used that medication (Migranal, a DHE nasal spray) once since I’ve been back. It was the only medication that would help my very severe headaches, even then I had to take it with another medication (Keterolac). I guess that’s two medications that can cause medication over use headaches, but I always use them together.
I’m so thrilled that I am so much better. I’ve actually been opening the curtains in my house, I no longer have to live in the dark!!
I don’t know how long this treatment will last,, for some 3 months, for others a year. I’m hoping I’m one of the year, or longer, people. I’m very lucky that I found a place that does this treatment, there are very few places that do. Jefferson Hospital in Pennsylvania was one of the first to do it, they’ve done a lot of research on it.
My doctor works at the Lewis Headache Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute in St Joseph’s hospital in Phoenix Arizona.
Overall I am very happy I went through this treatment, and I’m over the moon that I now have a doctor who is so knowledgeable and cares, and she understands complex cases. S picked on her because she said I am complex, so she changed what she said to say, “No, She’s not complex, her symptoms are” I think that’s the way we should always thing of it. We are not our symptoms!!
With that I’ll close today.
If anyone reads this who has had Ketamine treatments, or are thinking of it, please comment or contact me. I’d really like to compare experiences, and feelings.
If you are interested in reading about another person’s experience this is what I’ve been reading https://migraine.com/blog/headache-camp-round-2