Long exposure blue lights in the shape of sound waves against darkness

Sound Sensitivity: The Ketamine Chronicles (Part 36)

I have found that my most vivid experiences with ketamine treatments for depression happen when I’m listening to classical music. At my appointment this week, I popped both earbuds into my ears and started listening to a classical playlist while the infusion pump started to whir. The piano in the first song was soothing, and I settled back, holding my phone in my left hand and a worry stone in my right.

Music During Ketamine Infusions for Depression

The next song was heavy on the cello, and while I love cello music, this song gave me a decidedly creepy feeling. It brought to mind lots of puffy, white items in creamy white rooms that made me feel suffocated. It reminded me of a funeral home. I thought about changing the song, but that would have required control over more muscles than just my fingers, so I just waited it out, circling my thumb around the stone in my right hand.

The Worry Stone and a Mild K-Hole

The worry stone has proven to be a useful addition to my IV ketamine treatments. Even though it’s just my thumb that I can feel, that one little point of contact helps anchor me to the real world when I start to dissolve into nothingness.

During my previous ketamine infusion, in which I did not have my stone, I had found myself unable to move. I was probably experiencing what people call a “K-hole.” At times, I was aware enough to know that I only had one earbud in and wanted to grab the other one from my lap. I just could not force my arm and hand to move toward it. I’d try for some undetermined amount of time before giving up and being whisked away from my body once again, only to repeat the whole thing a little while later.

It wasn’t scary so much as it was frustrating. There was something I wanted, and not only could I not do it myself, but I was incapable of communicating my request in any way. We lowered the dose a little for this infusion, and I think that combined with the itty bitty scrap of control I maintained through the worry stone made for a much more comfortable ketamine infusion.

Controlling My Thoughts During a Ketamine Infusion

When the next song came on, I decided that I did not like all of the white imagery I was seeing, so I changed it to a more tan color and was immediately more comfortable. I don’t think that I’ve ever been able to just decide to change something about my experience of IV ketamine, so this was an interesting development.

I’ve contemplated the connection that happens between my recent experiences and IV ketamine that occurs in the form of bizarre, distorted versions of real-life items or events. I often start to see things during a ketamine infusion that I remember having a passing thought about a couple hours earlier. For instance, the oceans of corn I witnessed after briefly thinking about movie theater popcorn before one of my early ketamine infusions.

I’ve been mostly unsuccessful in doing this on purpose by seeding my mind with ideas. I had thought that my brain simply has its own agenda, but if I can change details like color while the infusion is happening, maybe I could learn to guide myself more reliably over time.

Machinery Noises

The infusion pump next to me whirred and chugged away, and although sometimes it faded into the background, at other times, it was extremely loud and menacing. It started to sound like a deep growl, and I felt as though I were trapped in a small space with a sinister beast and a red glow all around me. This occurred for only a few seconds, as I quickly tried to ground myself using the worry stone in my right hand. I remember thinking to myself, “This isn’t real. You’re sitting upright. You can feel the stone in your hand. This isn’t real.”

Abstract red painting with black shadows and gold splatters
Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

Forcing myself back to the room felt like dragging myself up, up, up through a dark corridor to the surface. I turned up my music to drown out the sound of the pump and found myself floating into another feeling entirely.

What Am I?

At times during this ketamine infusion, I felt like I was a thin layer of ice spreading across a pane of glass. I watched the methodical movement of tiny ice crystals marching across the pane, like an army moving to claim new territory.

Closeup of ice crystals covering one half of a pane of glass with a view of trees outside
Photo by Sydney Rae on Unsplash

I watched it and I felt like I was it. It’s difficult to explain how disconnected I feel from my own body during a ketamine infusion. In fact, it’s difficult for me to fully comprehend after the fact, despite having experienced it many times. I still feel like myself, I’m just lacking a physical body. I’m free to move around as what feels like my pure essence, observing and sometimes participating in events that sound nonsensical to my rational mind. Although I seem not to have much control over what I see or become, it’s a somewhat pleasant experience to not feel constrained by my human identity.

Real-World Distortions

I rebelliously opened my eyes once to see the room coated in a gently moving, gauzy film. The walls seemed to shift as the film moved, creating odd, geometric patterns over everything. The photo on the wall suddenly had an ornate frame that stood out to me as being different than the understated one that had existed before.

My mom sat in the corner, typing quietly on her laptop. I tried to focus my eyes on her, but ketamine messes with my depth perception and I couldn’t even manage to keep my gaze on her face without my eyes jumping around the room and then back again. Finding the effort of this to be tiring, I closed my eyes again.

As usual, I was underwater for a time, but I don’t remember any specifics. I don’t know if it was the ocean, a lake, a river, or a stream. All I remember is that it felt somewhat healing.

Going Home After IV Ketamine for Depression

I have vague memories of getting home from my ketamine appointment and walking Stella through the park. I must have hung up my laundry at some point. I definitely remember lamenting my poor timing before leaving them to sit in the washing machine during my ketamine infusion, but now they’re on the drying rack. I may also have filled up the dishwasher, but again – it’s a blur. Maybe I should save some truly unpleasant task for post-ketamine productivity time. That way, I wouldn’t have to remember actually doing it!

I napped from 5:30 to 7:00 PM, then ate dinner and promptly went back to bed. I woke up later on at 11:00 PM and had a snack before getting back into bed. My face felt strange – like there was something weighty resting on my cheekbone and the right side of my scalp.

My tremor was bad the next day, and I struggled for minutes on end just trying to clasp a necklace around my neck. I felt spacey for two days following my infusion, and time had an odd quality to it. I tend to sleep poorly for a few days after a ketamine treatment, but mostly because I have a burst of energy that leaves me wanting to accomplish things instead of going to bed. Forcing myself to get in bed before I’m really ready results in extreme restlessness – it’s difficult to stop moving and I have to constantly remind myself that there is no reason whatsoever why I should be tensing every muscle in my body. Besides, I spend so much time sleeping when I’m depressed that finding myself actually wanting to do things is a refreshing change.

The side effects of ketamine typically go away very quickly after an infusion, but I have the added factors of multiple anti-nausea medicines and the MAOI antidepressant I take, Emsam. In my experience, the combination of all this makes for a more intense experience of IV ketamine and slower recovery from its acute effects.

My previous ketamine infusion felt more effective than recent ones felt. I didn’t start napping again until a few days before this infusion, I’ve been fairly motivated, and my general level of hopelessness hasn’t been too bad. Hopefully, this one will have the same effect on my depression.

If you’d like to read more about my experience with ketamine for depression, start from the beginning of The Ketamine Chronicles or visit the archives. Click here for mobile-optimized archives of The Ketamine Chronicles.

marbled-swirl-blue-and-white-with-brown-center-of-spiral

Some Benefits of Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression (for me)

My last ketamine infusion was much less trippy than the previous one, so I’m relieved to say that I remember absolutely none of it. Much less fun to describe, but also less persistently, somewhat threateningly bizarre. We skipped the magnesium this time, and I did not have any sudden, limb-jerking spasms. It’s good to know that was likely the culprit. When I can’t remember an infusion, I feel pretty curious about the off-putting gap in my memory. I always think it’s interesting to know what I experienced during a ketamine infusion, and when I can’t, I feel like I’m missing out on something that I just can’t access. Thankfully, the benefits of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression remain even when I can’t remember them.

Eating Food

I’ve been having some problems with nausea and appetite since starting Wellbutrin. They mimic what I feel when I’m really depressed, just amplified. Food is not appealing, neither in my imagination nor my mouth. When it’s time to eat, my goal is to find something that’s least unappetizing. Eating it is a strangely empty experience, as if I can recognize the flavors but can’t assemble them into something I like. The closest analogy I can think of is that it’s like the difference between sound and music. For a few days following a ketamine infusion, that problem is gone. It’s easy to pick something to eat, and not only does it register as, say, a grilled cheese sandwich, but my brain is also willing to exchange it for dopamine. Things taste like how food should taste, and it’s great.

Making Decisions

Ketamine makes the days following an infusion feel remarkably lighter. The difficulty I have with making even small decisions is much improved. I just go about my days without getting stuck at every turn. Speaking of turns, I’ve really been enjoying my morning walks with Stella. When we come to an intersection, I let her choose, and we amble around a ridiculously inefficient route that’s different each day. I am typically a very routine-driven person, so this microscopic spontaneity is a teeny, tiny sign that says
“ketamine helped!” If the ketamine wears off or some other factor occurs and my depression gets worse, I tend to become more rigid in the route we take. I’m sure Stella prefers our ketamine-lightened walks, and so do I.

Thinking about the Future

The bigger benefits of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression, for me, are centered around my attitudes about the future. Depression makes me feel hopeless, and ketamine lifts that – sometimes just a little, but sometimes a lot. I’m not sure what determines the degree of helpfulness, but it’s always a welcome effect. It makes it easier to imagine myself making changes and taking big steps.

Other benefits of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression that I notice include:

  • Sleeping less
  • Feeling more social
  • Experiencing something called “fun”
  • Feeling satisfied about completing a task
  • Noticing little things that I appreciate or find interesting
  • Reduced suicidal thoughts (hasn’t been much of a problem recently, but I’ve definitely noticed that in the past)

Lately, I’ve noticed that the most noticeable changes stick around for a few days or a week, then things level off to a pretty neutral place where I’m neither jazzed about life nor am I in the pits of despair. By three weeks, I’m in something like the salt marshes of despondency; not inescapable, but pretty unpleasant.

That is a completely individualized timeline. Everyone is different, and I get the feeling from the forum I’m on that there are a lot of people who go much longer between needing ketamine infusions. I kind of try not to think about it because of what they say about comparison, I guess. (They = various quotes)

Musings about Medication

hand-holding-stack-of-smarties-candy-in-palm
This was tagged “medication” on Unsplash, and I thought, “that’s a weird swap of the typical ‘pills aren’t candy, kids!’ warning.” (Photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon)

My medications may change again sometime soon, and although I just said that getting ketamine infusions for depression makes making decisions easier for me, I’m setting that choice aside for now. It’s harder to decide soon after an infusion because I feel like I don’t need to change anything. I feel better, therefore, I should keep things the same. But, ketamine wears off at some point, and even though I feel “better,” should I stop at that point? Maybe I only feel a fraction of my potential “better” but it seems like a lot because it’s better than abysmal. These choices are always hard. I don’t want to settle for just ok, but I worry that I’m expecting too much. Maybe this is exactly how happy people feel – they’re just more grateful for it.

But then a couple of weeks pass and I slowly start sliding backwards into napping and apathy and isolation, and I realize that there was no in-between. It was mildly happy and then increasingly depressed. There must be something more than that. I habitually blame myself for depression in the short term. A bad day or week makes me think that I let myself wallow and didn’t try to change things. I think that I’m lazy and burdensome and why can’t I just be cheerful? But when I look at the long-term – the years I’ve spent with depression – I feel kind of robbed. It’s easier to see the trends of it and the forks in the road where I didn’t pick the option the non-depressed me would have chosen. I may try to blame myself for all of that too, but the more reasonable answer is that depression has been in my way. Sometimes, that perspective makes me determined, and all of the other times, it makes me tired.

My last few months have been saturated with medication changes and mood fluctuations. I go up and down, up and down, and I’m thankful for the ups, but there’s something about the downs that feels so much more impactful. Despite the incremental progress I’m making after starting Wellbutrin, I feel completely insecure in that success, like it’s just visiting and will have to leave soon. A large part of me says that would be disastrous and I’ll just have to claw my way forward from here on out because losing ground would be unacceptable. I guess we’ll find out.

A stretch of straight open road with a body of water to the left and blue sky above

The Day 2 Mystery of Depression Treatment: The Ketamine Chronicles (Part 17)

It’s been two days since my most recent ketamine infusion, which I have administered by my doctor to treat my depression. Usually, I write these posts in The Ketamine Chronicles as soon as I’m able so as to not forget too much of the bizarre experience. This time, I found that I didn’t have much to say immediately following my ketamine infusion.

Ketamine for Depression Has Not Been a Straight Line

For transparency’s sake in my attempt to document my experience with ketamine treatment for depression, I’ll just say it. My mental health has been in decline over the last few weeks, to the point of struggling once again with self-harm, something I thought I had kicked over a year ago. The previous ketamine infusion seemed not to do much for me in terms of mood, but gave me more energy and motivation, a mismatch that left me restless and confused. I felt the drive to do something but had no desire to follow through. Perhaps this is what led me back to self-harm. Multiple stressors, not exercising as frequently, and a strange mix of motivation and hopelessness led me back to an old, unhealthy coping mechanism.

A dense forest with thick fog and a path extending down the middle.
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

No Memory of Higher Ketamine Doses

I had my most recent ketamine infusion on Friday. Like last time, it was relatively empty of bizarre images, at least that I can remember. At this point, my dose is pretty much at the upper limit of ketamine for my body, so Dr. G has been giving me propofol to make the experience less trippy. In my last ketamine infusion, I stubbornly kept my eyes open for a lot of the infusion and seemed not to care about breathing. This time, I don’t think I could have opened my eyes if I’d tried. I remember chatting with Erin, the PA, while she got the I.V. set up. I know we talked about haircuts, but I’m not sure what else. The propofol hit me way before the ketamine did, and the last thing I remember is Dr. G taking an exaggerated deep breath and wagging his finger at me sternly before leaving me in Erin’s capable hands.

Breaking the Speed Limit

When I closed my eyes, the world disappeared above me as I sank down into peaceful nothingness. At some point, I remember feeling as though I were a passenger in a car on a highway, open road stretching ahead of me. We began to go a little too fast for my liking, but I was stuck– carried along by the seat beneath me. This is the only image I remember with clarity from this infusion. I also remember that, because I couldn’t feel my face, I was occasionally concerned that I may have taken my mask off. Laughable in hindsight that I thought I could have moved with enough coordination to do that.

Ketamine on the Second Day

Yesterday, the day after my ketamine infusion, I felt no different than I have for the past few weeks. Actually, I think I may have felt worse. But today, I awoke with a wonderful sense of relief from my symptoms. Whether this lasts remains to be seen, but it follows an interesting pattern. The day immediately following an infusion is often disappointing for me. I’ve learned to not put too much stock into whether or not a ketamine infusion has helped based on the day after. The second day, however, is usually when I notice the changes that ketamine creates. I don’t know how common this is, but I think it’s interesting.

I have already put on my exercise clothes, anticipating a long run later in the day. I’m looking forward to today’s project of re-painting the grape arbors. I have mental plans to clean the kitchen and change my sheets, and maybe even vacuum. It’s great to feel better, but the previous few weeks have me apprehensive about this infusion; will it last? Will I need to adjust my medication or have more ketamine infusions to stabilize my depression?

We shall see. But for now, it’s nice to feel a bit better.

If you’d like to read more about my experience with ketamine for depression, start from the beginning of The Ketamine Chronicles or visit the archives. Click here for mobile-optimized archives of The Ketamine Chronicles.

A brown fuzzy moth with its wings outspread

Moth Wings: The Ketamine Chronicles (Part 15)

As I was pulled into mesmerizing moving images of purple and white half-circles, I remember pouring the words “please fix me” over and over into my mental space. Maybe if I asked it nicely, it would last longer. In a strange mixture of thought and vision, the words became part of the image, and they fanned out and seeped into the fabric of my mind. Ketamine infusions continue to be the best treatment for my treatment-resistant depression I’ve tried, but like anything else, it’s not perfect. Arriving at each appointment feeling depressed once again gives me a sense of hopelessness all its own. I know the ketamine infusion will help, but it may not last. We’re still trying to arrange the best combination of dose, timing, and medications that could help things remain more stable. 


Puzzles, Puddles, and Skyscrapers

I closed my eyes and settled back, listening to the “atmospheric piano” playlist I had chosen for yesterday’s ketamine infusion. Eventually, my awareness of my hands and arms disappeared, and I spent some time wondering where they had gotten to. The gentle piano music was relaxing, and tucked under my blanket and weighted lap pad, I began to feel like I was being enveloped in something. I imagined myself being zipped into a giant pea pod, and the image was comforting. “Nothing can get me in my pea pod,” I thought. There were times during the infusion when noise outside the room intruded on me, so I just imagined my soft pea pod and retreated within it again.

There were at least two scenes involving puzzle pieces and building skyscrapers in this ketamine infusion. We’ve been working on a 2,000 piece puzzle of Monet’s garden, and the pink, purple, and white pieces are haunting my subconscious. The puzzle pieces came together to form an endlessly tall building; I craned my neck back to see it disappear into the clouds.

At some point, everything dissolved. I was “looking” at a computer screen, and as I tried to read it, the contents of the page began to melt. The lines ran together, words sagged under the force of gravity, and eventually, the entire laptop softened and melted into a puddle. I began to melt, too. I slipped into the puddle of digital sludge – it looked like an oil slick – and soon accepted my new form. I was too tired and heavy to do anything.

I was far, far, far away when I heard the PA, Erin, ask if I was ok. Finding my mouth and giving it words to say was too difficult, so I nodded and hoped that my head was actually moving. It must have been, since she seemed to accept that as an answer. A little later, she sneezed, which startled me. At the sudden noise, I instantly saw moths with shattered wings, like glass with spiderweb cracks. They fluttered around and came closer until their soft, broken wings were all I could see.

Post-Ketamine Infusion Confusion

Coming back to the room was much harder than usual. I felt a little like I was wearing 3D glasses; everything was in relief with subtle red and blue auras. When asked, I said I felt like “someone else is talking,” meaning the words were mine but the sensation of talking seemed foreign. This is something I experience every time I have an infusion of ketamine for my depression. Erin said I seemed pretty lucid, to which, in relief, I said, “Great – I’m pulling it off.”

Walking down the steps to the first level of the parking garage was challenging. I clung to the railing and stepped carefully, feeling like I was walking on pillows. I’m usually fine to walk after a ketamine infusion; I could fall asleep at any second, but I generally feel pretty with it. This time, though, I felt a lot like this:

stoned fox

Tracking Adjustments to My Ketamine Infusions

In an effort to make the effects of the ketamine infusion last longer, I took some Tagamet before yesterday’s infusion. It’s an H2 blocker used to treat heartburn, but it might also slow the metabolism of ketamine and give patients more time between infusions. I’m usually tired after ketamine infusions, but this was different. I got home around 4 (I think) and by 6:30, I still felt like I was periodically dissociating and then coming back to the room and remembering I was in the middle of something. Walking was hard for a couple of hours. I was off balance and wobbly and had mild vertigo. I think it’s safe to say that the Tagamet is doing something. This morning, I woke up with a mild headache and am still incredibly tired, but the sun is out and our near-impossible puzzle will provide hours more entertainment.

P.S. I remember making a mental note that Shrek appeared briefly during my infusion, but I cannot for the life of me remember how/when. It’s such a bizarre thing to remember, though, that I am sure it really happened.

If you’d like to read more about my experience with ketamine for depression, start from the beginning of The Ketamine Chronicles or visit the archives. Click here for mobile-optimized archives of The Ketamine Chronicles.

An abstract blue and red painting with wide brush strokes and vertical red lines

What Noise Sounds Like in IV Ketamine Treatment: The Ketamine Chronicles (Part 14)

Yesterday, I had another ketamine infusion for my treatment-resistant depression. It had been almost five weeks since my previous infusion, and while three weeks was our best guess for my interval, it seems like now I can actually go something like four weeks before really noticing it wearing off. I’m hoping that if I keep doing the behavioral things that help my depression (running, volunteering, therapy, etc.), I can at least maintain this amount of time between IV ketamine treatment appointments.

Linguistic Confusion During IV Ketamine Treatment for Depression

Most of my ketamine infusions have been visually focused, and usually what stands out to me are snapshots of images and colors. However, some of my ketamine infusions are much more auditory-heavy. Throughout it, conversations in the hallway and the other room sounded loud and close, and I felt as if I were being crowded around in the room I was in. Strangely, conversations outside the room sounded loud but were completely unintelligible. The boundaries of words and sentences disappeared and I was washed in streams of unending verbal noise. Nothing made sense, but I still strained to understand. The sounds of English words were familiar, but I just couldn’t parse them enough to grasp their meaning.

A messy spread of wooden typography letters in dark and light wood.
Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash

This theme of linguistic confusion stretched throughout the infusion. I remember a filing cabinet stuffed with folders that I couldn’t read. The letters were there; I could pick them out, but putting them together and reading them as words eluded me. Later, messy papers with gibberish words filled my internal vision. I felt confused, I was upsidedown, my arm with the IV ached. The room seemed loud, and I saw stampedes of paper animals, painted with pastel watercolors. They piled up and tumbled around me, threatening to knock me over and crush me. The fan in the room added noise that pushed it all to an intolerable volume, so I asked Erin to turn it off. I got ready to speak, opened my mouth, and seemed to just think the words out loud.

Did I Say That?

I notice this feeling often during my IV ketamine treatments, and it’s interesting to note how little deliberate control over our mouths’ movements we need in order to make coherent sounds. All I do is form an intention to say something, and it just…happens. It feels a little like I’m inhabiting my body separately from its direct controls.

A distorted glass with yellow and blue fractals approximating the experience of ketamine for depression
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, meaning it creates a state of perceived separation from the self. Altered senses and seemingly “out-of-body” experiences are common when receiving treatments of ketamine for mental health conditions like depression and PTSD. In my experience, I can still talk during a ketamine infusion, but it feels like someone else is doing the talking.

In any case, my request apparently worked, as Erin then got up and switched the fan off. That lowered the ambient volume enough that I could focus again on my music.

I remember there being more visual scenes after that, but I don’t recall them very well. The only one I have much memory of is a scene set in a grocery store with a broken jam jar, shards of glass glinting under the fluorescent lights, and wine-red jam splattered on the linoleum.

IV Ketamine Treatment for Depression in Combination with Other Strategies

The rest of the day is a blur. I slept off and on, interrupted by Stella periodically. It wasn’t until about 6 P.M. that I started to feel more like a person, but I was still glad to crawl into bed at night and sink into sleep. This morning, I’m tired. I’d like nothing more than to go back to bed for the rest of the day, but I know it’s important to get myself up and moving. I do best with routine, so in the interest of helping my brain repair itself through the effects of ketamine therapy, I’ve already had coffee and been to the dog park. So far, so good.

If you’d like to read more about my experience with ketamine for depression, start from the beginning of The Ketamine Chronicles or visit the archives. Click here for mobile-optimized archives of The Ketamine Chronicles.

A male lion stretching in the downward dog pose in a field of tall grass

Backyard Lion: The Ketamine Chronicles (Part 11)

I awoke to darkness. And barking. Whipping the blanket off of me, I thought what I always think in this situation, which is: Stella, don’t wake the neighbors up! And then I thought:

Wait a minute, I didn’t let her out this morning, followed by, wAiT a minute, IS it morning? 

It was not. It was 5:30 P.M., the same day as my latest ketamine infusion. I napped hard after this infusion, which was a higher dose than normal. I went in earlier than scheduled because a change in my birth control threw things out of whack (see Part 10 of The Ketamine Chronicles) and my depression made an appearance sooner than we had hoped. This ketamine infusion was longer and felt pretty different compared to my normal dose. I still saw vivid images and scenes, but they felt more immersive, somehow. They were more like realistic, sometimes-lucid dreams rather than IMAX movies.

There always seems to be a lot of water in my ketamine imagery, but this one was especially saturated (pun intended). I remember a lot of ocean waves, people walking on mostly-empty beaches, and the gentle rocking of the tide. It’s odd to have a relaxing experience of being on water. One aspect of my Sensory Processing Disorder means I get motion sickness so easily that escalators can set it off, so I usually dislike any tilting or bobbing motions. The movement of water during this ketamine infusion, however, was very calming. At one point, I was on a boat where I watched water come up through a square hole in the deck, then recede, then repeat. At a different time, I saw foamy waves that I could stop at will, perfect dollops of whipped-cream water, frozen in place.

There were several dream-like plots this time, but I only remember one.

Why is This in My Brain?

This is the “We Bought a Zoo” bootleg knockoff of ketamine dreams. In the actual movie, Matt Damon plays a recently widowed father who purchases a defunct zoo and moves in with his children. They have to earn the trust of the animals and the people who work there in order to save the zoo and reconnect with each other. It’s heartwarming, at times dramatic, and funny. The bootleg ketamine version was like putting the whole script through several layers of Google Translate and getting rid of 90% of the characters.

In a mundane twist of fantasy, my ketamine protagonist buys a house. He moves in, but later learns that there’s a lion living in the backyard (seems like something the inspection should have caught, but oh, well.) At first, he throws food into the far corner of the yard to keep it away. Over time, though, he and the lion start to trust each other, eventually becoming friends. The man even goes so far as to buy a puppy for the lion to bond with (à la cheetahs with emotional support dogs). This seems like a supremely bad idea, as the lion is already fully grown, but the protagonist is confident.

(Un)fortunately, I will never know how that turned out because I either “woke up” or simply moved on to some other surreal, mental drama. By “woke up” I mean that some change around me brought my attention back to the real world, not that I opened my eyes and was back to normal. What pulled me back may have been movement in the room, a new song in my earbuds, or the sudden realization that I wasn’t actually in a bizarre plot about a backyard lion (which is, of course, horribly cruel and irresponsible.)

Illusions of Ketamine Infusions

I prefer to not wear an eye mask during ketamine infusions, just because I like to have the option to open my eyes and I’m not a fan of having stuff on my face. However, there are times when I think an eye mask would come in handy. You know that feeling when you’re falling asleep on an airplane and you keep waking up because you feel like your mouth might be open? That’s the kind of sensation I get during ketamine infusions, except instead of my mouth, it’s my eyes. They’re not actually open during ketamine infusions, it’s just that the feeling of “seeing” in my mind is so realistic that sometimes I can’t tell. I used to sleep with my eyes a little bit open, and apparently, it was really creepy. I’d like to spare the occupants of the room my unsettling zombie eyes.

Lately, I have been dreading the morning. Stella’s enthusiasm and relentless needling get me out of the house to tire her out, but depression has made it a slog. I’m hoping that this ketamine treatment will bump me back into feeling good about the day ahead.

Note: this blog recently hit 100 subscribers! Thank you all for reading my ramblings and thoughts about depression and mental health. Just before the new year, too! I hope you’ll stick around in 2020. 

If you’d like to read more about my experience with ketamine for depression, start from the beginning of The Ketamine Chronicles or visit the archives. Click here for mobile-optimized archives of The Ketamine Chronicles.