How is everyone? I’m high!
For those not religiously stalking my online presence (and why NOT?), you might not know I’m around twenty-four hours into a five-day stint in hospital. While here I’m being stuck, prodded, and infused full of drugs to help deal with my ever-reliable buddy ol’ pal ol’ mate, chronic pain.
This involves a few fun procedures but the one I want to talk about today is the Ketamine infusion. Because those are the medicinal waves I’m riding right now, my dudes.
For those that don’t hail from the 1970s rave scene, Ketamine is what’s called a dissociative anaesthetic, meaning in moderate doses it can cause fun things like sensory dissociation, hallucinations, and memory loss. It’s used mainly to start and sustain anaesthesia but has more recently lent its powers to the treatment of chronic pain.
This hospital stay of mine was one of three treatment routes my pain specialist recommended to deal with my ongoing pain issues caused by endometriosis. It was my first choice for a couple of reasons:
- I’d already tried most other non-aggressive measures including physiotherapy and medication
- I just wanted three goddamn pain-free seconds in my life for thE LOVE OF GOD
So here I am.
A Ketamine infusion can be administered either intravenously (into a vein) or subcutaneously (under the skin). I’m getting the latter, which means I’m hooked up to one of these science-project-looking things:
This is my constant companion. I pee, shower, and whisper sweet nothings to it as I go to sleep. I’d say we have a good relationship but it woke me up beeping at 12:20 am last night because its batteries were low so we’re going through a bit of a rough patch.
As of my writing this, my pain levels are unchanged, but this is entirely normal according to all the poor nurses who’ve had to keep me in heat pads the last few hours because I’m not allowed my normal pain meds.
See, they start you on a super low dose of Ketamine to begin with and then raise it gradually until it achieves the desired effect. Or you start seeing pink elephants. Whatever comes first.
I am not seeing pink elephants in case that wasn’t apparent. What I am is feeling a little floaty, rather like a mild version of how Jack Sparrow looks. Last night I had fun making the inside of my eyelids all swirly with patterns while I lay awake in pain. It was fun, but I’d have preferred sleep, to be honest.
Today I was a little absent-minded while having a discussion with my mother (my point was FUNNY dammit, if only I could remember it) and I’m just like, super into my Spotify playlists. I get rave music now, you guys. IT SUDDENLY ALL MAKES SENSE.
Otherwise, I’m reading comics (Rat Queens is my liiiiffeeee), planning ways to sabotage the nurses’ station alert DING DONG thing that the universe decided should be right outside my room for some reason, and arguing with people on the internet about the Marriage Equality Plebiscite.
All in all, a normal-ish day.
Tomorrow I get a needle to the spine and apparently start to feel the extra 100mg of Ketamine they bumped me up by earlier, so that should make things interesting! I’ll check back in for part 2 then provided I’m not stuck staring at a wall all day.
This is Stacey, reporting from Mount Olympus. Signing off for now.