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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Other · #1899032
Phoenix gets his monthly ECT treatment, which fixes things immediately, as usual...
Phoenix watched as the new nurse put the IV in his left hand.  She was being supervised by another nurse.  When the new nurse found out what Phoenix was there for - an ECT treatment - both she and the supervising nurse asked if they could watch.  Phoenix told them they could, as he thought it was important to educate people on the procedure.  It was not at all like the movies had made it out to be.  Phoenix requested Brevitol and Toritol of the anesthesiologist in the Nemo Room and waited for his doctor to get there.  After the treatment, Phoenix woke up and went home sore, but that was all.  He slept for 18 hours and woke up feeling great, with the exception of his jaw and temple muscles, but that was normal.  He had an appointment with his doctor in just a couple of hours and was looking forward to it.

"Ready for Phoenix," his doctor said as Phoenix sat in the waiting room.  He followed his doctor back to his office and gave him the good report - no nightmares, plenty of sleep, no depression, no suicide feelings.  "Sounds like it was a pretty good treatment.  Do you think you're having them often enough?"  Phoenix answered that he did not.  Things were always good for about two weeks and then he fell off the edge for two more weeks again before the next ECT treatment.  His doctor's idea was to have the ECT treatments every two weeks and get him off of all of the medications, because ECT does not cause weight gain and the ECT was working better than the medications were.  The medications never did work very well.  Phoenix was up for the idea.  His doctor would have to get the VA to authorize the ECT treatments twice a month.  He asked Phoenix for the VA social worker's number, which Phoenix gladly gave him, and wrote instructions for Phoenix to start tapering down on various medications.  He told Phoenix that if it was too much, then he could go back up on the medications, but to try to start doing it while he worked on the authorization.  Phoenix smiled a lot during the session, as did his doctor, and they parted with a handshake.  Phoenix's doctor would be gone hunting the next week.

Phoenix was enthusiastic about the possibility of ECT treatments once every two weeks and getting off all the medication, but he was also scared.  The last time he had tried to get off of all the medication, it was horrific for him.  Needless to say, it did not go well.  He was not having ECT treatments once every two weeks at that time, either, though.  He hoped that the ECT treatments would take over for the medications and that it would be better this time.  Phoenix was certainly willing to try...
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