I had my first (of six) ketamine infusions yesterday. It was at a lower dose, mostly to see how I respond to it.
The actual experience was very interesting. Because of the combination of sensory deprivation and the ketamine itself, my sensory experience was limited to what I could directly feel around me, which mostly meant feeling the inside of my mouth with my tongue, and to a much lesser extent feeling the chair I was pressed into. So I sort of felt like my “universe” was the inside of my body, but also a void of nothingness.
I felt like my body was dissolving away and was everything and nothing at the same time, and that my self in the “real world” had ceased to be and that was also okay.
The music I chose had a very strange effect. Many of the sounds were very vocal-adjacent and I felt like they were literally speaking to me, with words I couldn’t understand. For my next session I’m going to use something more abstract and ambient, probably Ambienteer’s work.
During the experience I felt like the universe was infinite and infinitesimal at the same time, like everything is nothing and vice-versa. I kept bringing back my litany to stay grounded and intentional: “I am here to reduce pain, reduce agony, and increase comfort.”
Much of it reminded me of one of my early experiences with cannabis.
At the time I felt like I experienced something extremely profound, and that it would give me plenty to think about. But my cynicism has set in and I’m not feeling like it was life-altering, just that it’s the random nerve firings that happen when a big chunk of the brain is shut off. Ketamine treatments are supposed to work by “helping to create new neural pathways” and I’m still optimistic that repeated treatments and increased dosages will maybe have a beneficial effect.
When I woke up today I had the lowest level of pain I’d had in decades. But as soon as I started working, the flare came right back.
But the lowest level of pain in decades is nothing to sneeze at, and maybe it’s a preview of things to come.
I just hope it’ll all be worth it. This is taking both a lot of time and money, and so far feels like it’s just an excuse to trip balls while calling it “medicine.”
But if this doesn’t work I have no idea what the fuck I’m gonna do.