My TMS Experience: Day 6

Today I met with Dr Baer before the treatment.  I asked about rebound headaches.  He agreed they were a concern.  He suggested ibuprofen* before a treatment, and also gatorade for hydration.  I mentioned my feelings on TMS, namely that I hate it.  He said that people don;t see results until two or three weeks.  So basically I have no answers but I felt heard.  Sigh.

Today’s session was led by Bridget.  I once again used my own earplugs.  It was loud and unfun and it hurt.  Also, Bridget pulled my hair a lot putting on the cap, making my theory that product increases the pain more likely.

See all of my TMS experience posts.

Book of the Session: White Working Class by Joan C. Williams

*Ibuprofen gives me nosebleeds.  This should be fun!

I told my family….

For a deeply private person, I decided to open up to my family about having TMS. I’m the youngest of seven, so when I say “my family” I mean brothers 1-3, sisters-in-law 1-3, 2 nephews and 1 niece.  i emailed them:

Hey gang,

As you may or may not know, I have depression.  It’s gotten pretty bad over the last year and a half.  As such, I’m currently undergoing Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) at (hospital) 5x a week for it for the next six ish weeks.
I just wanted you to be aware of this, as I had my first session yesterday.  Please keep this within the email recipients for now. 
Please feel free to ask me anything.  I love you all 
The response was overwhelmingly positive.  However, the sweetest was probably my conversation with Nephew1, where he asked about it today.

 

End of the First Week Rant

I have completed the first week of TMS treatment.  And I am going to be honest:  I think I hate it.  I hate the noise, even with earplugs.  I hate the pain (it’s peak migraine season for me, so I can;t just safely take a daily tylenol).  I hate having my eyes water the while time.  I hate how it has fucked up my sleep.  I hate having my mom drive me to clinic every day.  I hate how it’s making me put my life on hold.  Furthermore, I’ve been depressed since I was 17.  What if I hate who I am without depression?

And I’m frustrated because for the past year, I have tried to be grateful, figuring even if I can’t be hopeful, I can be grateful.  And I have great medical care, family, insurance.

I don;t know.  Maybe this will pass.

My TMS experience: Days 2 and 3

woman in a white turtleneck cluthing her head.

On Day 2, I had Anna, rather than Bridget.  We were also in a smaller room, which had a softer chair.  Putting my cap on hurt less, I don;t know if it was because I skipped hair product or not.  We did the daily evaluation where you get to put your mood, your caffeine and alcohol intakes.  This session was better:  slightly less painful, no sneezing.  I still don;t like it though.

Day 3 Anna and I were back in the first room.  Went through the daily check in.  It started.  And then the sneezes started.  Then the watering eye (on the side receiving treatment).  I was also dozing off because I barely slept last night.  So I was just in a bad mood:  I still feel depressed.  I am so tired of this feeling.

See all My TMS Experience posts.

My TMS experience: Day 1

confused-muddled-illogical-disorientedI checked into the clinic.  I met Bridget, one of many BA level clinicians who do the treatments.  She gave me a long check in, then a Beck depression inventory.  I asked about things to do:  I’m wearing earplugs, so no headphones (I’d seen Neal Brennan mention he watched the Daily Show.  I read a book on my Kindle instead.  She fitted me with a white lycra swim cap-this hurt as I have a big head and she pulled my hair a couple of times.  She does sharpie marks while giving pulses.

Then the TMS statrted.  I found it painful, and also the vibrating in my skull made me sneeze (this also happened when I had microneedleing on my face last year). I wonder if part of the pain is just my scalp being sore from years of trichtillomania, though. Also the magnetic pulses make your hand twitch and I don’t like that.
I was giving myself the “ok, I’ll try this for a week.  Sigh.” treatment during my  session to be honest.

The neurologist (Dr Baer) spoke with me before I left.  He said this happens to 20% of patients.

TMS in the news: The Bloggess is considering TMS

I read Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, AKA The Bloggess about a year and a half ago.  I thought it was hysterical, so I followed her on Twitter.  Today, I noticed that she had posted on her blog about how her increasing depression and that she was considering looking into TMS to treat it.  She says she’s going to see the results of some bloodwork and then proceed from there.  If she decided to do it, it will be interested to see a public figure go through TMS.

 

 

TMS in the news: Neal Brennan has had TMS treatment

man-coffee-cup-penAs I obsessively google do my research about TMS, I have found a number of news articles about it. One which caught my eye was the fact that comedian and former Chapelle Show writer Neal Brennan had come out in 2016 as having undergone Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). He discusses the treatment he received at SoCAL TMS.  Here he is talking about it on the Daily Show.  What was most interesting to me in this clip was him saying he watching the Daily Show while having TMS:  the noise level during treatment is a large source of worry for me, the fact he could watch a TV show reassured me.

Sources linked to in the TMS in the News series are not endorsements.

IT WAS APPROVED!

pexels-photo-207480So the landline rings this morning and it’s Lizzie from the TMS clinic.  I was approved and she was calling to schedule a start date.  We schedule May 1, then she called back an hour later with a cancellation:  so I start on Tuesday.  I am terrified, excited, and a mess,

I had finally decided what to do about work, which is/was cemented by my session times being all over the place.  I’m asking them to let me work Sundays because of a “medical treatment.”  Hopefully it will be ok.

I emailed Hope and asked her to speak with the doctors at the TMS clinic.