Well, it’s been 9 months since I finished TMS treatment. It didn’t help. Actually, I think it helped with the anxiety for a bit, for a while – I was able to search for an apartment without being reduced to a quivering ball of sobbing tissue. Most of the time. But now I’m back to where I was before treatment. I never heard back about the research study I participated in. But I still think the MRI pics are cool!
I have my own apartment now. My sisters both give me money every month to supplement welfare (called Ontario Works) so that I can afford to live here. (Taking money from family feels so humiliating, even though they both have been wonderful about it. But it’s better than renting a room. Thank god for siblings!) It’s a small one-bedroom in a modest complex. I took custody of my older sister’s two cats when she moved out west to be closer to her little grandson. So: my own place (HALLELUJAH!) and I have company. Both of those things contribute greatly to my sanity! I didn’t realize how much I missed my privacy and my belongings until I was here. And it was time for cats. I’ve known these cats for a couple years and it would have broken my heart to see them go to a shelter. We make a good family now. They do make me laugh! And feel needed.
I am waiting to find out the final ruling on my ODSP benefits (Ontario Disability Support Program). I was denied, we appealed, denied again, it went to a hearing and I should hear about the adjudicator’s decision within 60 days. Fingers crossed. If you are applying for ODSP, or any other type of government support, please, please, PLEASE, get legal assistance! If you can’t afford to hire someone, go to a legal clinic or try your province’s legal aid program. Most cities have community legal aid clinics, and any university or college with a law program usually will as well. I am intelligent and have navigated government applications and bureaucracies throughout my career, and there is NO WAY I would have got this far on my own! Now I have a good chance of winning. The woman I have been working with at the city legal clinic is a paralegal and disability support benefits is all she does, so she knows what works, what is needed, and how to get it. Do it!
I have also expressed interest in joining a study into the effects of Ketamine on depression. The researcher is reviewing my file, and if I’m not disqualified for some reason, she will call me for further screening. Ketamine has proven extremely effective in the short term and especially in hospital emergency rooms with people who are suicidal. The only concern is that there is an experimental group that receives the medication, and a control group that does not. It is a double blind study, so the participants and even the researchers do not know who is in which group. The good thing is if I get in the control group, after the research is finished, I can try the medication to see if it works for me. Here’s the link to the details of the study: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02417064. Again fingers crossed!