Entry #10:  ECT’s Adverse Effects

It’s been weeks since I did ECT and I’m still regretting it. I’m still having difficulties in memory, disorientation and still suicidal. After some advice from my nephew’s paediatrician, I went to see a neurologist to seek some advice just to make sure there is nothing wrong with my brain. Mostly, to comfort my family, who’s really worried about me.

The neurologist was a very nice and polite person. He did asked about my mental illness, my medical history and my medications that I’m currently on. He then did some physical testes. I think he noticed my disorientation. Then he did a memory test on me. It’s a standardised memory test I guess.

I managed to aced few questions (although he did gave me few hints, I still count that as a success). I can’t remember my own birthday, which is a huge blow for me. I always remember the birthdays of my family members and friends. Then he asked me whether I’m OK in math. Proudly I said, I’m good in applied math and I’m currently doing my PhD is in Mechanical Engineering. Then he asked me some simple arithmetic questions. I didn’t remember the exact questions but it’s something like 7 plus 6 and 100 minus 9. I was stunned. My tears started to fall. I can’t believe I dont know the answers. I used to able do multiplication or division a number up to 5-7 digits to a few digits number mentally. And yet, I can’t do arithmetic. I can’t stop crying. I’m broken. Math is my pride and joy. I love math more than I love myself. But, I have failed!!!

Only God knows what I felt at that moment. The doctor tried to console me. After the session, he said the memory will come back, but he doesn’t know when exactly. I need to rest more and do more enjoyable things so my brain will heal faster and I won’t be too depressed. If not, I may need another round of ECTs. 

I may take a longer leave of absent from my studies, but my supervisor will leave this country end of this year. I don’t have the luxury of time at this moment. I did express my concern to my supervisor last week, but he was extremely supportive. He said take as much time to heal as needed as health comes first. Once I’m OK, then my dream to be successful will come true. I’m blessed to have them as my PhD supervisor. And I’m blessed to have my family and friends. Only God can repay what they have done for me. If any of you are reading this, thank you!

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