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First time ECT by scrabbling

Community Member

Hi to all especially mmMeKitty, the  Pages here have  changed and I can no longer find our thread and I haven't got the tolerance to spend  hours on my phone, so I hope you see this.  as I said before the roller coaster has been at Full Speed and it finally came into the station which  is Ward and I had to make a decision. I cannot keep going the way I am and  the doctors have mentioned a few times in the last 6 months about ECT to be honest it absolutely bloody terrified me, I know we shouldn't assume but I think everyone  has seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest!!! certainly didn't help people's perception. I have been drowning for a long time it's been like walking in a thick fog I was desensitized totally to life and unbearably sad and just wanted it all to stop, the staff here on ward have been fantastic and I had my first ECT yesterday I will be honest it wasn't a perfect run, my anxiety exploded as I am awful to cannulate at the best at times but when I'm stressed my veins disappear, so I think I was a bit like "when you give a pill to a cat" and you retrieve it off the curtains and off the back of the couch and from under the bed !!!! that was me, the staff were very patient and finally they managed to get a vein, I woke up with a minor headache and a little bit of shoulder blade soreness none that really wasn't sorted with some Panadol, I did have a sore neck later that night again that went away with just the hot shower, I can't speak for everybody and possibly may even sound stupid but after the treatment I had a snooze for a few hours and  I did feel clearer and even if it was  briefly a spark (excuse the pun) the old me made a breif appearance, yes the sadness came back in the afternoon and I'm sure I will be having a few more treatments but I had nearly forgotten the old me. So will see how things pan out,

43 Replies 43

Hi Helen

Lately, I've realised, while I am thinking how thing could be worse - like I could be diagnosed with more cancer, & maybe it would involve more difficult treatments ahead, there is something I can do now. I was in not so good health. Good I wasn't smoking & drinking, but that's not all there is to being healthy. I didn't make as many adjustments to my eating habits, & neglected to exercise. So Iwasn't in as good health as I could have been, & so I have the problems I am havinb now. I now have to do what I can to become healthier, to lose weight & get fitter/stronger, which, in the event, I am ever diagnosed with another cancer, I will be in a better body before starting any treatment.

I feel like I could kick myself for not getting onto my own health before. Of-course my mental health didn't help me, how I feel about myself tends to have me thinking it's no use, & I'm not worth it - but I'm almost not sure what that has to do with it anymore! I intend to do this in spite of how I feel now, with the hope of feeling better, later. All the great research there is tells us good eating & regular exercise makes people feel better, both physically & psychologically. I have to trust that, or I am sunk.

This is something I can do. Something I can take a lot more control of than I've been doing before, too. Having some control over what might happen does give me a little sense of empowermentt. I've been slow to admit to this sort of stuff.

Like I also realise, when I don't feel like getting up & moving, is precisely when I need to do that the most, because before long, I feel better & I have begun to enjoy the physical activity.

I know it sounds wonky, given that at those time, I feel I have no energy, no motivation, may be feeling down & may be upset about something, so I don't know how to push myself to do anything. When I remember, make the decision up in my head, give that a push, I can do it. I'mnot doing it for anyone but myself.

Oh, sometimes, some energy might be directed harmlessly at someone I'm angry or frustrated with. Just imagining, you know, getting physical, while using my dumbbells. Just releasing some of those feelings.

If you do eventually have to have the metal work removed, getting as physically fit as you will help a lot in your recovery.

Even though so much seems out of your hands, I think you can do some things to improve how you feel.



I took a deep breath today and went down to the fire station the guys were extremely welcoming  and the new tanker has far better accessibility and all my gear is still hanging on my hook, obviously I have to get a clearance from my surgeon and I have a long way off getting back out on the fire ground but I do have 20 years experience so I suppose that's worth fighting for.

I always hated being a pump operator and liked to  be putting the wet stuff on the red stuff, but now common sense tells me I'm getting to get to old for that shit and I can have just as much excitement being on the fire ground and in a far more comfortable position of delivering the  water to the crew on the end of the hose.

And there is a new  craft shop opened in our town that wants to sell my hand painted cards and my homemade anklet jewellery.

  1. both of these get done on a hit and miss schedule as I still have the days I can't be bothered doing anything and I certainly have torn a lot of the Cards up that I haven't been happy with and think they are not  good enough, anyway it's nice to post something positive.

On a very high dose of antibiotics for another 5 months then re-evaluated potential will have to be on them for life?  I never got my right knee replaced as i became unwell just when it was due so dealing with the pain of that and the infection destroyed the left knee replacement and that was a botched emergency fix up so that also hurts like hell and the right ankle looks like a shark got it!!  and it continues to give me constant grief. On a funny side i cannot wait to go to an airport!! I'm on the rollercoaster of moods that can change at a drop of the hat and dealing with not wanting to be here. It's been a real struggle and I know I'm walking a fine line.

I attended the fire station yesterday and that was a real positive but in the same breath if I cannot return to active duty It will be devastating. I just don't do failure. The royal commission has gone quiet and I returned my written statement and have avoided getting further involved.My job is finished but I'm awaiting the final fight and that will be the trigger that will decide my existence, and I think that closure is all I'm waiting for.

Hey scrabbling,

Thank you for sharing this update. We're sorry to hear of the pain and rollercoaster of moods you're dealing with. We hope you don't mind us popping in on your thread, we just wanted to let you know that our Support Service is here 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 if you'd like to talk through any of this and want some more immediate support at any point.

You mentioned some of the thoughts around not wanting to be here - we're really glad you're here, sharing this to your thread and contributing to a powerful discussion. Thank you for the kindness and bravery you're sharing in doing so. If you're ever feeling unsafe because of these type of thoughts, please remember that 000 is the number to call, and Lifeline are another great option as a crisis service.

Kind regards,

Sophie M

Helen, working for twenty years in the service, so vital to the community, is not failure, even if you cannot return as you hope. I admire & appreciate all the time & effort you have put in, in training, in hours, going to difficult & dangerous situations, for so long - I don't quite understand how, if you cannot return because of these problems with your knees & the infections all taking a toll on you, you see this as a personal failure?

Shit happens, I'm sure you know. I'm sorry, this may be what it is. Arbitrary & unfair shit that has happened to you.

Here's a thought, one which I'm not sure how you will take. What if, after twenty years of service, it's time to 'settle down' to a more relaxed life? Or, if you can continue in some capacity, what about mentoring the young, inexperienced people joining the service?

I can hear a siren wailing, from the nearby main road. We've had buckets of rain for the last ten minutes, with a little thunder, too, so I'm thinking of the difficult driving conditions for the driver responding to the call. I'm not sure if it's fire, ambulance or police, but I think how someone is receiving help every time I hear the sirens.


Please, don't write yourself off just yet - I think you've got a whole lot to offer & do in your life. Call BB's counsellers, or Lifeline, or anyone you think you can talk to at all, about anything - as a sounding board, perhaps, or as an ear. That's okay to do too.

Cards & jewelry - why didn't you tell me that before? I used to make cards for people I knew. I never tried to sell them - would have thought they weren't good enough, either.  I remember a few I really liked & those could have actually been good enough. I think that now, but not so much at the time. & doing fine fiddly work making jewerely - that's cool. I know there is no chance of me being able to find & buy one of your anklets, but I'd love to have one. Wearing an anklet, I know wouldn't get tangled in my hair.



Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Helen. With my best wishes for a joyful & peaceful Christtmas, & for the New Year to bring better health & more happiness to you.  

Big purring hugzies to you,


Thank you for your new years wishes and hoping 2023 is going to be kind to you.  I'm still like a mouse on a wheel and having some really  erratic moods my fill in case worker rang  today but t I couldn't bring myself to be honest with her.   I went to one of my residents funeral and his family we're incredibly kind and  kept thanking me for all the work I did with him and how I was the main person who could work him out and  brought him happiness.  It just made me cry even more that I no longer have that ability. I'm still working out if I can get back to active CFA duties I must be a  glutton for punishment.  Sorry for not replying sooner 

... & so the struggle goes on, eh, Helen.

I find it hard to accept what is current, for thinking of what I want, wish for, can't have, can't do anymore, getting too old for, even when people let me down, although that is one constant in my life.

I want & hope, even trust, then something happens & I question myself for relying on them, as with my support worker, who I like so much, but I know I can't always rely on her to be able to keep the carefully scheduled times for her to come & get me to appointments which are very important to me. This time it is because she was socialising with friends & family, & her hubby comes down with COVID-19, & so she is now a 'close contact', & they both do not do everything they could to keep her from being infected. I've cancelled two hospital appointments & may have to cancel the one at the NDIA office, for my NDIS plan review.

Feels like being derailed, & now these things & what I hope will follow, are all 'on hold' because she was too casual about the possibility of getting COVID-19, like everyone else around me seems to be.

I'm telling myself, this is not actually any sort of disaster, but a bump in the road, not enough to totally derail my progress, (to better health & to being able to access more support people). It's a delay, like, yes, the driver has taken ill, so the train has to unexpectedly stop at a station so the driver can care for themselves, & then the train can continue, later.

It's not all ruined, is what I'm doing my best to not sink down into thinking. I know the 'catastrophic thoughts' are all lining up, ready to take over my thinking, ready to drag my mood into the mud. I'm thinking, since I recognise these thoughts, I can say to myself, '"I know you are there". I can refuse to allow these thoughts to have any more prominence in my mind than my acknowledgement that they are there.

I have been upset with her, because I rely so much on her. That's got to change. That's one thing I hope to do with more funding from NDIS -- have another support worker for appointments, & a back-up as well. I can 'get over' the missed social outings, when she's been sick, or some family issue must be dealt with, but these appointments are too important to delay. I already feel too much time is passing, waiting, doing what I can, although it doesn't feel enough.

I apologise for, not being on BB so often now & letting you down.



Hi mmMekitty I've been off the radar for a long time. I've had  lots of battle's with my infection  but  I can now say there is sunshine at the end of the tunnel I don't know for how long for but going  in the right direction and hopefully it continues It's nice to smile again.  Thankyou for your support. 

Hey. that's great news, Helen. You are one hell of a fighter! 😸 I am proud of you!

I haven't been able to do as much as I want on my own. I've got some more funding into my NDIS plan so can have more support hours.  

I've been out with a second support worker, doing more exercise. I'm going to Sporting Wheelies, where I can have help from people who have training & understanding about working with people with disabilities. I'd like to join the gym there & go at least twice a week.

So, I feel I am going in the right direction, too. My better well-being isn't happening as quickly as I have wanted, but I'm coming to accept it will take longer. I felt good to think I am at least moving in the right direction & what I am doing is helpful not harmful, & I'm not stagnating.

I'm sure having the infections for so long has taken a toll on your overall physical health. Have you begun to think about how you can regain your physical well-being? What are the things you are able to do now?

Thank you for your update. It really is good news. Smiling again - what a joy that is?! You deserve to smile, to have hope & the confidence in yourself.

Hugzies ❤️