ECT will definitely alleviate depression, I'm here to tell you. It works. Unfortunately, as with just about anything medical, it has side effects.
It's Saturday morning, and my husband and I are lounging on the bed reviewing the week. He says, "Yesterday, Emma called me at work--I guess you weren't home--and said that Sophie had logged off the computer and that Aunt Nonny needed the password. I don't know where you were."
"Yeah," I said, wondering the same thing. "Sophie turned off the computer by mistake. Emma told me about it when I got home." And all the time, I'm thinking: where was I? where was I?
"I was pretty sure I had already told Nonny what the password was once already," David said. "But I told her again. No big deal. I guess you were at the grocery store."
"That's it!" I cried. "I was lying here trying to figure it out."
Imagine you have this killer headache and there's a cure for it, but the price is you lose little pieces of your vision. So you take the cure and the headache goes away, but from now on when you look out your front window there are big blank spots in your field of vision. Which is worse? Yesterday I was invited to a book party at the Chevy Chase Club for Manic Depressive Illness, a re-issue of the definitive text by Fred Goodwin and Kay Redfield Jamison. (Hey, I only go to the most fun parties.) I got downtown early and spent a profitable hour and a half at Filene's Basement on Wisconsin, and then took Military Road over to Connecticut, and as I'm driving through northwest Washington I am passing roads that I am pretty sure I used to be intimately familiar with--but honey, they are gone now. Pfffft! 41st Street. Reno Road. 39th Street. Didn't I once live on 39th Street? I may never know.
It seems the deal, as I told my husband, is that I can have a sick brain, a brain that is oozing dysfunction, but which fundamentally holds information--or I can feel happy, at home in my skin, and not have a clue about things like the name of the eye doctor I've been seeing for the past 18 years, or what I was doing this time yesterday. It doesn't seem like a fair bargain, but that's the way it is. My kids are happy with the new me--they've stopped imploring me to not have the treatments, and they seem to like the fact that I'm happier, more energetic, not wanting to sleep all the time; I'm interesting in playing tennis with them, building pillow forts in the living room, I'm generally a hell of a lot more fun to be around......but. But. BUT. My husband keeps trying to reassure me. "It'll come back," he says, and in the meantime he finds my lapses funny. And so do I, I guess. I mean, you gotta laugh or cry, right?
Okay. What was I talking about again?