I got an early start at 7:30 am with a shower and by 8 am was arranging my room. Old hat by now. Just told my husband the gist of being a Peer Treatment Monitor (a/k/a “sitter”) and off I went with three yellow dissolvable tablets of ketamine under my tongue this time. 525 mg up from initial 400mg.
I sat with the bitter mouthful of ketamine spit for the required seven minutes while leaning forward slightly so I didn’t swallow the medicine. The intro soundtrack on Soundcloud came from Oprah about Supreme Destiny and how we always feel like we get off track or scramble to get on track, but there’s no need to scramble because we have this supreme destiny.
There is no track, as it were.
I took that one in for a moment, considering I’d just written about FOMO and wanting to be on the leading edge of something. Who cares⏤if it’s just my supreme destiny unfolding, right?
I spit out out the medicine in a paper cup, swished with fruit drink, spit again, arranged my eye mask and leaned back into the pillows as the deep shamanic track began to play.
I remembered what Katherine, my psych nurse for ketamine therapy, said about not feeling your legs. I was already noticing a slight disconnect between me and my lower half, but soon thereafter I became aware of my legs and blanket again.
I wondered if three tablets was enough to get this K-train going?
At first I enjoyed a blank dark canvas; in fact, this time there seemed to be a lot of nothingness, although I’m sure there was “something.”
I watched a dark, gray-blue canvas scroll by accompanied by the Native American flute music. Periodically, a note would scoop into my brain and pluck me out into something more visual. I walked a narrow mud path for a few seconds, then that dimmed and left. I remembered my intention:
Why am I even doing this? Tease it out. Get something, I told myself.
Neuroplasticity. Remembering that article I wrote about travel and neuroplasticity, how traveling to new places forms new brain patterns and expands the brain. In this moment, I was traveling, for sure.
I thought of a few people. Recent visits with my friend Lori. I thought of my friend Trish and depression shared, wanting to tell her of ketamine therapy. Maybe Costa Rica, too.
She and I were driving in the car together last year when she was on the East Coast. We spoke of someone our age who had died, I can’t remember the conversation, but in unison, we both said, “Good for her!” Then looked at each other like, Holy Shit, you too? Then we talked existential depression and having to endure living.
During my second ketamine session, I did have a longing to leave my body, to in fact escape it to be free of its confines and to experience freedom beyond the aches and pains as well as the neurons incessantly firing, beyond the patterns of behavior and life that entrap me moment by moment. I watched in my mind’s eye what it would be like to see myself “seeing myself” from above or separate—but I wasn’t able to actually go there.
And then, it seemed, my husband was touching my shoulder and my hour was up.
There was no intensity or intensifying as there had been on my first ketamine therapy session, and I didn’t feel all that different from the first session.
Or did I?