Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Survey Says...

Each Electroconvulsive Therapy procedure has Shawn and me arriving at the institute at the hospital. He sets himself up to either work on work, read, or just goof around on his phone. I start the process of checking in by filling out the Beck Depression Inventory (similar to this). Then, whichever nurse assigned to me comes with my three pre-ECT drugs. After that, I sit and wait to be called back when a bed came available.

Once I head to the back, I get my last chance to use the bathroom and my hospital gown. After leaving the bathroom, I head to my assigned bed. This is when my mini mental exam happens. Something so easy which can be so stressful. When I was learning about ECT, short-term memory loss was explained as a side effect. These mini mental exams are a way of accessing memory loss. The nurse kicks it off asking me for "the date; day of the week; season of the year?" Then, "what building; floor; city; state; country;?" Next the nurse says three words for me to repeat back. After that, I'm given a word to spell backwards. This causes me the most anxiety. I'm not a great speller forwards, so backwards is not fun. The spelling is done and then I'm asked to repeat those three words from before. Ugh! Lately, I manage to only remember two of them. That's a wrap on that little exam.

I've been able to pass the little memory exam except for a struggle with the last part with the three words. But, I can tell my memory is suffering. The other day, in the car, I asked Shawn where the park we take Jarvis to was located. Then, I had a picture on Facebook of me at Denver Comic Con in which I'm sitting in a replica of the throne from "Game of Thrones". I have absolutely no memory of doing this. Other memory things, too, like leaving the oven or stove burners on. So, the memory loss is no joke. 

1 comment:

  1. FWIW--the spelling a word backwards is often a difficult part for everyone. When I do a MMSE I always do that last and don't worry about it too much if they can't spell it, especially if the person is known to have anxiety. Anxiety locks up my smart bits.

    I'm sorry about the short-term memory loss. I wish there was something more concrete we could do to help.