Page Three

Publisher’s Note: The names and places have been changed to protect those involved. While the story is based on true events, parts of the story have been fictionalized.

Christa could tell that Joe did not recognize her.  Tears came to her eyes.  Her son sat there like a vegetable. 

The nurse looked at Christa sympathetically and told her that this can sometimes happen after treatment.  The nurse reassured her that it wasn’t uncommon to have short term memory loss, and usually most of the memory would come back within a day or two.  

How could he not recognize his own mother?  How could that be, Christa wondered.  Nonetheless, she trusted what the nurse had told her.  

This was, after all, the only option for helping Joe.  Joe had become so despondent in recent weeks.  He wasn’t eating, wasn’t sleeping, his life had become, in his words, hopeless.  There were so many things that could have contributed to his feeling this way.

His family finally took him to a psychologist at the county clinic, and living close to the Mayo Clinic, he immediately referred Joe there for treatment.  “There’s no where in the world that he can get better care,” the psychologist had said.

Joe underwent a series of psychiatric tests at the Mayo Clinic. The diagnosis?  Severe depression.  The best treatment, and the treatment with the most success, would be electroconvulsive therapy, otherwise known as ECT or “shock treatments.”

“Shock treatments?”  Christa was astounded.  She remembered watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and was mortified!  They wanted to do this to her son?

“Oh, it’s not like that anymore,” the psychiatrist reassured her.  “The technology has improved so much, and the success rate far outweighs the risks.  There are many articles and reports on how safe and effective ECT really is.”

“What about medication?  Aren’t there…I don’t know what you call them…some type of pills for depression?”  Christa wondered.

“Anti-depressants?”  the psychiatrist asked.  “Yes, but there are many unpleasant side effects with medication.  Plus, anti-depressants typically do not help with depression this severe.  If you want a treatment that is going to help Joe regain his quality of life, then electroconvulsive therapy is what I would recommend.”

They had no choice.  This was the best option.  They loved Joe, and they hated seeing how he had become.  So sad, so lonely, so depressed.  So, they agreed.  Ten shock treatments within a period of two weeks.  He would have to be hospitalized during the course of the treatments at Mayo Clinic’s psychiatric unit.

One Response to Page Three

  1. Anonymous says:

    very interesting story, is this your first book or do you have others ?

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