We sat across from each other like we always did when we met up in his majestic all-windows-over-the-city office space impeccably decorated in an upscale Tex-mex motif–he, his usual chipper compassionate cute as a baby bunny self, me, my usual suicidally sarcastic funny girl with a side of big bouncy tits and velvety red puffed up lips. The usual. Yet upon closer inspection from a very keen eye, a stupid eye even, you could see something was gravely amiss—comatose even, about the whole exchange. No. Not even as good as comatose. For me personally that is, my doc is always a breath of fresh air, nothin’ was his fault, in fact, if it weren’t for him, Lisa and my kids, I’d be deeper than six feet under…It’d be at least 12. At least comatose means you still got a chance of coming around at some point and everyone’s still goin ape-shit praying at your bedside and bringing flowers n’ balloons n’ all that ‘get well soon’ horseshit, right? Well, Not this time. This time there wasn’t gonna be flowers or balloons, no praying to lord baby Jesus, no cheering section to whisper in your ear “Hey, keep fighting ya’ hear?” No more horseshit. Not this time.
We sat, my psychiatrist and I, in what could only be called, after all our successful sessions together, an uproariously uncomfortable exchange that consisted of half strained silences interlaced with clinical banter—strained clinical banter then dead silence, all my fault–we had run out of conventional drug cocktails and shock therapy was off the mental health menu 192%. Yeah yeah, I know…I know how new research says ECT is all the fuckin’ rage again, like how it’s so simple and effective, kinda like getting your pussy waxed, but I’ve also heard one can lose considerable memory. Understand something about a writer and her memories: that’s all we have, good one’s, bad one’s, extremely disturbing one’s, it’s those memories that make us interesting and soulful.
“Like what do they do? Tie you down n’ zap the shit outta you till your ears bleed? And you need a series of these things? Like 9? Can I get a punch card maybe? Like, if I do 9 the 10th is free, kinda like a complimentary green juice at Robeks?” The minute it left my red lips I had decided against the barbaric practice even if it wasn’t so barbaric anymore. Not to take away how effective it has been for so many who are deemed ‘untreatable’, for them, this procedure is life saving even if you come out like ‘warren’ from Something about Mary.
“Doc what’s left? I feel utterly terrified by my trajectory here? I mean, I kinda feel like I don’t have that much time…not being dramatic, but I’m getting kinda desperate, n’ me desperate is something no one wants to see unless you love movies about concentration camps.”
My wonderfully patient doc just took me in, he pondered my worries, he thought about my pain, he knew I was in trouble and finally ‘saying so’ and above all else, he knew how much I hated feeling vulnerable. I could be vulnerable with him cause he always had my highest good in the highest regard, but man, in general– vulnerability is pretty much a state of being that bites you in the dick. Especially if it’s cast before swine, you know? I’ll cast nuggets of shit-balls in front of swine all day long, but no fuckin’ pearls. That’s a mistake I’ll never make again, not even with my beloved dog Jack. Sometimes when I’m so down and out n’ telling him, my boxer Jack, all my problems, he takes a deeeeeep breath, let’s out this fantastic sigh which makes me feel he’s really there for me, then gets up and goes into another room and doesn’t come back.
Nothing can make you feel worse than mans best friend being a dick. So I’ve decided, you know, being vulnerable is stupid and dumb and anyone who engages in it either has an incredibly low emotional IQ or was dropped on their head as a baby.
The best part about my doctor aside from his great bedside manner? No matter how awful I feel, he always laughs his ass off at my ill but perfectly timed jokes. It’s really the best medicine n’ I can be funnier than shit, already told you that. My humor is at it’s peak when in the active throws of suicidality, and why not? Makes total sense. Got nothin’ to lose but laughs at such a point, and I really work it for those laughs. I can’t tell you how much. Always lookin’ for a smirk outta someone even when I’m planning on being dead at some point soon.
Didn’t matter though. Nothing mattered much that day. My doc was almost gonna call me in a bed at the psych hospital, but I made him an official promise I would’t hurt myself and I would never let him down. My Doc and I, I’m really grateful for his active HUMAN concern, not just doin’ his job, ya know? So we sat across from each other, Me, being sarcastic and fatalistically hilarious, him, trying to figure out our next course of action.
Couldn’t escape it though–the sense of hope oozing away out my ass, down my slinky thigh, then past my toned calf and ending in a very muddy puddle of shit on the floor next to my super sexy high heeled suede boot. I dressed for today, I felt I had to, it would be the last thing I could offer this cruel world–to look good goddammit.
And the light went on. For reals.
“Yaaassss…special K! It’s my last hope on earth!”
“Well, NO it’s not, Kelly, there are plenty of options still, (2 options actually, and the one that included electricity was 192% off the table).”
“Ok then…I’m fuckin’ in. How much does it cost?”
“Not too sure, but the clinic I’ve referred patients to does not take insurance and I think it runs at least a few thousand for a series of 6? But don’t quote me, I’ll give you the number.”
That right there I could not process no matter how depressed I was in the moment.
“Wait what? No. Noway. What? Really? For Ketamine? As in Special K? The ol’ dreaded K-hole? The EDM dance party drug everyone sniffs then chases with ecstasy? Thousands of dollars? We’re not talking china white here, Doc.”
“I’m afraid so, but it’s been very effective for treating your type of depression, the research is incredibly promising in fact.”
“Well so is going vegan to lose weight, but I’m not paying 50 grand to feed myself nothin’ but smashed beans, rice, and kale dust in place of a real turkey sausage.” I said something lame like that anyway, in fact, I don’t recall anything exactly from our sessions, but you get the picture. But I’m pretty sure he laughed hard at my vegan comment, and I’m pretty sure it made me feel comically validated.
“Ok then. I’m gonna do it. I have to.”
My sweet smart doc agreed with me, even saying he would call the clinic and talk to the head guy himself or something, or maybe it was the other way around, but all you need to know was I was in good hands, and that, if anything, gave me some hope. Plus I really love drugs, so this could be a total win win situation for me.
“Alright, Ketamine…gonna do it. You sure you can’t superscribe me extra long acting opiates though? Seriously, opiates are the only things that take away my depression and morbid rumination on contact, as in immediately? In fact, it never fails. Why the fuck is that? There has to be something in the brain pleasure receptors that gets activated in severe depression with this class of drugs, right? I mean, I’m not crazy. Well, I kinda am, but you know what I mean. Maybe that’s why I’m obsessed with’em…oxy, norco, even a little time released dilaudid–feel fuckin’ great and problem free within 15 minutes every single damn time and it lasts for days…you know I have interstitial cystitis, right? Like I lived in pain management for years, how you think I’m so incredibly educated on the molecular struture of pharmaceuticles? I know some things.” I musta sounded either super smart or super retarded cause it garnered me a good hardy chuckle.
“No Kelly, I don’t think that’s a great alternative.” He said something like that. Then probably laughed. A lot.
He didn’t shoot me down as fast as you might think, however, for I am insanely academic (community college smart) and intelligent. So he thought for a second about this very touchy topic, for it actually holds some medical journal merit—even read about a doctor/author who touts a book called the “opiate cure” out of Canada n’ it’s all about opiates and the brain in pain.
Dr. Ashton, my shrink (finally gave you his fake name) thought about it for a while longer, he always gave me the benefit of the doubt cause I get straight A’s in all my social and behavioural science college classes like I just mentioned (I’m an adult return student, and yes, it’s the most humiliating thing in the whole wide world), then he spoke.
OF COURSE HE OPTED OUT! He’s not fuckin’ stupid. I figured as much, if I were him, I’d of unsubscribed too.
Ketamine it was.