Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Post #4

Day 4: The treatments are only conducted on business days and so I had the weekend off to recover from the first three rounds. It wasn’t long enough. I’ve noticed that I exert a great deal of energy keeping the headache at bay. The more tired I am at the end of the day the worse it hurts because it seems like I don’t have the energy to fight it off.

It’s not all bad. There have been several days that I honestly feel some changes. I don’t know if it’s just a series of good days as far as mood goes but I have had some very positive feelings and experiences over the past week. There’s a certain lightness in my mood that I haven’t felt in a while. I don’t want to discount the possibility that it’s simply positive feelings related to attempting to do something about my depression.

Just prior to starting TMS, I began focusing on practicing mindfulness. This was done in conjunction with therapy, a focus by Salesforce (my company) on mindfulness and mental well-being, and some personal reading on how to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life. This enhanced focus allows me to reflect on how I’m feeling in the space of the treatment.

Pain: How badly did the treatment hurt? Headaches after? Other issues?

4.5/5 –Very Intense, but bearable. Rough.

The magnitude of the electromagnetic pulse was increased again to 110. This increase came with an intense amount of pain during the pulses. As in previous days, the tension releases immediately after the last pulse. However, I can feel the muscles in my head tensing across my jaw and the base of my skull. Ultimately, it feels this tension is contributing to the headaches I feel later in the day. The base of my skull being the root of all evil as the pain takes hold.

Last evening, I attempted to take ibuprofen and eventually even tried a THC edible to relieve the pain. Legality note: I live in Massachusetts. Neither was effective. It constantly feels like the weakest migraine I’ve ever had with a strong sense of pressure behind my eyes and near the base of my skull.

Sleep: How’d I sleep? How many hours? Quality?

3/5 – I slept. It wasn’t the best sleep ever.

I slept for about 7 hours. I felt groggy and grumpy when I woke up. I think I slept poorly and would very much like a nap.

Appetite: How’d I feel about eating? What did I eat?

4/5 – My friend Edmund invited me to lunch at a Korean/Japanese fusion restaurant for Bulgogi and sushi. My appetite for this food was ravenous. However, the rest of the day’s appetite was pretty blase.

Physical Activity: What did I feel capable of doing? What did I ultimately do? How did I feel after?

2/5 – I wasn’t motivated to conduct any physical activity but I wasn’t unmotivated either. This weather is dark and oppressive and makes it difficult to desire any interaction with the elements.

Motivation: How much proactive motivation did I have? What motivated me? What were my goals? Did I hit them?

2/5 – I ultimately took the day off of work due to the level of headache. I was very unmotivated and the only time I left the house was when my friend took me to eat lunch.

Baseline Mood: What am I feeling as a baseline.

2/5 – Depressed. Anxious. There’s a number of problems with my daily life and there are many considerations about the future. Today, these items were at the forefront of the mind. This drove a large portion of my mood.

Happenings: What’s happened today that may impact my baseline?

A rough day with headaches. A gentle reprieve from work. It was otherwise uneventful.

Reactions: What were my reactions to the happenings?


Learnings: What did I learn, observe, etc?

Doing nothing is actually worse than doing everything you’re supposed to be doing. I don’t like standing still and doing so contributes greatly to the decrease of mood.

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