It's now the next day and I've received a call from the doctor himself who is spearheading the study. He wants to get me in quickly because he will be vacationing out of the country. If I don't schedule now, I'll have to wait several months. We worked out a tentative appointment for Monday of the next week. When Monday arrived I made the drive to the facility which is a lengthy, trafficy, mind-numbing venture both to and from.
I have to say, all the people that I dealt with that day were extremely kind and informative. The doctor was pleasant if not a bit mechanical. He had me fill out the necessary paperwork and consent forms. An interview ensued for a good amount of time with the usual questions. Then two young assistants took me on a long walk through the medical center's various buildings to get blood work and an EKG done. After that, we ventured to another building to get an MRI scan of my troubled brain. This would be the first of three scans, each of which would take almost an hour. Luckily I don't have any claustrophobic issues. I learned there were ten people in this study and I was #10. I was there for about four hours just in time to rejoin the snarled freeways during the early evening rush hour for the long, congested commute home.
Three days later I received a call from the other doctor in charge informing me that all the tests looked fine and I qualified for the infusion. I was scheduled to be there the following Thursday at 6:00am for an all-day visit which would include additional brain scans and more blood work in addition to the infusion. I'm not allowed to drive home that day so my amazing wife will be joining me for support and to chauffeur me home.
At this point I just feel numbness. I can't allow my hopes to heighten. I don't want to be set up for another fall. It's quite a literally a "one shot" opportunity with this drug. I've been reading about it and relying on its promise for several years. Now, suddenly, I'm a qualified candidate. It's a bit surreal. Even if it should transform me for a few days or hours, it's not FDA approved for depression and may not be for years so I won't be leaving with a long-term prescription. I won't be leaving with anything— except the experience. The only thing to look forward to is an ever so brief and possible taste of what relief might be like if it does what it's supposed to do, but I must be cautious and realistic. This could go either way as all other options have.
At this writing, it's exactly four days before the Ketamine infusion. I'm compelled to put my thoughts in writing having mixed emotions about the whole thing. Of course, I fear it won't work and will be another dismal disappointment. I'm trying to prepare for this so as not to be so devastated. Then again, I fear it will work but I won't have any access to the medication so it will be a futile tease. I'm questioning why I'm even taking part in this at all because it will be so open ended.