TNS (post #5)

It has been a total of 4 months now which includes the initial 8-week trial period. 4 months. It seems as though this treatment would have worked by now. At least that's my perspective. I've grown disenchanted with the routine of wearing this contraption to bed every night. I can't help but to think that the time I've invested at this point has been keeping me from trying something else. I've chosen to continue with the 6-month additional option but am now having second thoughts.

I recently visited the trial coordinator for the 4-month follow up. I had all but decided that I was done with this. I packed all the equipment and supplies to return them.

Each appointment is basically the same. Questionnaires to fill out, an interview with the same questions, weight and blood pressure check, and a visit and/or phone call from the chief psychiatrist running the show. None of the people involved in this treatment have ever pressured me to do anything. It's all been up to me. When the subject of continuing approached, I told him I was reluctantly going to quit. Of course, he asked why and we discussed it for a while. He then said something very sobering.

If I quit now, I'll never know. If I continue, at least there's a chance.

My wheels began to turn. Apparently most of the other subjects in my trial reported some sort of positive effect. I might have sunk in my chair upon hearing that. I've heard it so many times before with other treatments. He pointed out that I was the only one in the group who has had such a long and chronic case so that may have been the substantial reason. There are just simply too many unknowns this early on.

He had told me in a previous appointment that people who had elected to go with the VNS treatment which is a surgical implant in the chest that stimulates the Vagus nerve hadn't felt any benefit for up to 24 months in some cases. Though TNS and VNS are not the same, they are cousins in that they stimulate nerves that run into the brain with an electric current.

I'm only being allotted a total of 8 months for this treatment. At the halfway point, I began to think how petty it was to quit at only 4 months when others went the dramatic route with surgery and patiently waited 2 years for changes with another treatment. What started out as a reluctant decision to quit suddenly became a reluctant decision to continue. So now I enter my 5th month of TNS. I know deep down it will fail but I need to see it to the end or I'll never know.

1 comment:

  1. Times flies, doesn't it? Regardless of whether we are having fun or just gritting our teeth and getting through things as best we can.

    I'm glad that what the researcher said gave you pause. And I hope that the treatment will show some results. But even if it doesn't, I really think that continuing this treatment, or trying another one if this one doesn't pan out, is the best thing you can do. We have to keep fighting.