For those of you who don't know this: I have been working on a book manuscript by the same title as this blog (at least that is the working title). And it is at last, finished! (At least as finished as it can be before an Editor gets a hold of it ...lol) And it is my intent to try to find a publishing house that is willing to take this book on as a project and put it into print. Why am I telling you this? To ask you to please pray that this endeavor to be published will be successful...
I'm even going to give you a sneak preview of the prologue....so hang onto your seats...here it is:
“What do you call ECT for someone who's bananas?”
“I don' t know. What??” Said the tall, stern but very handsome man who held the keys with one hand and my elbow with the other as he guided me through a seemingly endless maze of corridors and offices.
“Shock the monkey”
I spoke these unlikely words and got the result I wanted. The young man burst out into laughter and said, “Well, Cynthia , you certainly haven't lost your sense of humor.”
My words were unlikely because - not only were they a bit 'unusual' – they were completely not in the range of what one would anticipate a depressed and extremely psychotic woman to say. I rarely interacted in any meaningful way with the staff, being much more likely to hurl a chair at their heads (yes, I really did that), than to converse with them.
Truth was, I was scared.
I was on my way to my first session of ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) – a treatment which used to be referred to as “shock therapy” had now been given a much more civilized nomenclature to mask the violence of what my brain was about to undergo.
When I arrived at the treatment room I was instructed to take a paper bag and to write my name on it; then to place my slippers into it. I then sat for an agonizing wait of several minutes while the nurse took my vital signs and explained to me what was about to happen to me. Finally I was ushered into a room and placed on a stretcher. Restraining bands were secured over me “For your safety” - but this didn't bother me much; by then I was pretty used to being restrained. I then was wheeled into an operating room, unlike any I'd ever been in before. There were maybe ten cubicles, each completely curtained to shield the inhabitants from my curious and worried eyes. Occasionally there would be a loud buzzing sound which lasted a minute or so...a sound that sent chills down my spine....
The nurse kindly explained what they were about to do to me. She told me that they were going to put me to sleep for the procedure. And that when I woke, I would likely be disoriented and have trouble recalling things..but that “Those memories will return in a short while following the treatment.” On the table in the procedure room was a bite plate, made of rubber like that used by boxers to keep their teeth from being knocked from their head. And then the nurse rubbed some gel onto my scalp close to my temples and attached the leads to it. Then a doctor entered the room, and with a foreign accent explained to me that I was about to be put to sleep. The doctor injected a clear fluid into the IV that had been placed in my hand and the next thing I knew....*********************
I opened my eyes to find that I had not a single idea where I was or even WHO I was. This lack of personhood was to me, the most terrifying thing of all. I had no identity...No knowledge of past or present other than what I saw before my eyes...which was women and men in OR garb leaning over the place where I laid ...Panicked, I leaped from the gurney only to find myself being held back and laid down again by gentle but firm hands.
“Cynthia, You just had a treatment called ECT, You are in a psychiatric hospital and we are trying to make you feel better. Just wait a little while and it will all come back to you. Would you like some juice or coffee and a roll?”
Just then my desire for exactly that had hit me as I had not been allowed to eat since dinner the night before...and it was now....2:00!! How had it gotten so late in the day? What had happened before?
I laid back sipping my coffee, for once passive and cooperative, and still terribly confused about...well, : everything. As I laid for the mandatory recovery period of time I wracked my befuddled brain ...Where did I live? Why was I here? Who did I live with?
Those memories and answers were very slow in returning ..and I found that many of them never would return. As my husband and daughter walked toward me later in the day, a faint sense of familiarity stirred in me. I knew I should know them...but who the heck were they? As it became apparent to them that I did not recall their names, my daughter's face became crestfallen: sad, and a bit angry. How could I , her mom, not know who she was? Somehow, in her teenage mind, this was my fault...and not the fault of the doctors who had zapped my brain into this oblivion.....
That's it. That's all you're getting...If I'm successful at my project and this manuscript becomes a book, I will certainly provide you with the necessary information so that you may purchase a copy and find out WHAT HAPPENS NEXT???