I am a provider for the Guerra Fisher Institue which provides ECT services for Boulder Community Hospital. I specialize in providing support to patients and caregivers who are undergoing Electro Convulsive Therapy, ECT.
ECT is a life changing experience and as a patient, once you have completed the acute phase of treatment, it is extremely helpful to have someone to talk with about what has been happening. Often it is in maintenance that you become aware and really start to experience the temporary memory side effects of treatment. This can be anxiety provoking. Even thought you are being told it is a temporary situation it can be hard to believe that you will get you full cognitive functioning back. I can help you to ride this phase out by providing support to you and continuing to assure you that this is normal. Toward the end of the maintenance phase you will begin to reenter your life. You will be different and may be more able to tackle life than you were before. I can help you navigate who you are are becoming and what kind of life you want to create.
I have had one of my loved ones go through ECT and have been a caregiver myself. As we began this journey I was surprised to find that there is very little information available for caregivers as to how best support our loved ones and ourselves.
I know for myself there were many important logistical details that needed to be tended to prior to my loved one beginning treatment. There are many different phases during the ECT journey that present their own unique challenges for caregivers. We had the best doctors and treatment team I could have imagined, and I researched everything I could find about how to provide the best support for my loved one. I still found myself under-supported and somewhat misunderstood as to the intensity and challenges being a caregiver can present.
I decided to add caregiver support to my practice with the hope that I can provide basic, yet necessary information that will improve your experience. I also strongly recommend that as a caregiver you have a support system your self to help you cope with what may be the most challenging time of your life. Caring for someone undergoing ECT is like no other caregiver experience and is difficult to explain to someone who has not been through it. You have to take care of yourself. I believe the better you are able to manage life and take care of yourself during this stressful time, the better the clinical outcomes of the treatment can be.