I have lost many of my memories. I cannot remember many things day to day. Words to complete sentences. Words to describe something. My address.
And when I say forget, this isn't a brief lapse where I stutter for a moment and come up with the right answer. There is no right answer, it is lost in the fog of my mind.
Then there is my longer term memory. My childhood is gone. I can't remember it at all, but brief and blurry glimpses, things that I know more from stories my parents tell me, then actually remembering it myself. My twenties are a similar blur, with even things like my wedding and buying our first house having fallen away like dried scattered leaves. I know I did these things. I just don't remember doing them.
The biggest side effect of ECT is memory loss. I am trying to prepare to lose even more of my memories; possibly chunks of time around when I get the procedures done. That's also part of why I want to post here. It will help me remember this part of my life.
It is also possible that my memory can improve with time. Depression causes memory problems, so as I am less depressed, it is possible that it might be easier to remember things and not embarrass myself at the pharmacy when I can't remember my own address. That would be nice.
Yesterday, I went to the doctor for a pre-op clearance appointment. They won't do ECT without making sure you are physically fit enough for the procedure. I had an EKG (normal), brief exam (normal), and some bloodwork (I assume it will be normal, but I don't actually have the results yet). Once they have all of that, they send it on to the new psychiatrist. I also have to get a letter from my neurologist, saying that he is okay with the ECT. After I have those things done, we can go ahead and schedule the procedures.
My doctor's nurse was funny yesterday. She kept telling me that I was "so brave". I don't feel brave. I feel like a coward; I feel like a braver, stronger person would be able to pull themselves up and get back to the living of life without needing to turn their lives upside down and get their brain shocked! Logically, I know that depression doesn't work that way. But emotionally, it's a whole other ball game. I feel a lot of guilt for how much my depression takes over our lives and impacts my children. I try hard to protect them, but it's getting harder and harder to hide the way I am feeling.
I think the thing that scares me the most about ECT is that it won't work. That I'll be the 10% it doesn't work for. But I have to be positive. Also, I am the ideal candidate for ECT, with a fairly "straightforward" depression (their words, not mine). I just have to focus on that 90%.