Ketamine Trial

“Well, that was different!”  I’m not quite sure how to classify this experience.

I’d say the ketamine trial went well.  I didn’t have any serious reactions, and it didn’t trigger hallucinations (hallelujah on that point!), for which I’m happy.

It seemed to decrease the “someone is breaking my bone” pain and it made my burning pain turn cold rather than hot – still quite painful but I guess nice to have a change instead of just having hot pain all the time?  I still felt like I was walking on marbles and the hypersensitivity to touch hasn’t changed.  Dr. Z told me that using the ketamine may have a cumulative effect.  I guess I was hoping it would do a little more, especially given the side effects.  I REALLY wanted it to decrease the hypersensitivity and the burning, and it didn’t live up to that.

alice in wonderlandThe taste of the nasal spray was pretty awful but not a deal breaker; I just took a few swigs of water to wash it down my throat.  After the second sniff/snort/huff…whatever you want to call it…I started noticing some vision changes but wasn’t sure if it was just because I was tired or if it was the ketamine.  On the third dose, I definitely noticed the world was changing.  I wasn’t especially concerned about it, it didn’t make me anxious, but my vision started looking choppy kinda like a movie reel moving too slow.  After a few more minutes, I felt mentally slow and found it hard to keep my train of thought.  Then I felt like I couldn’t figure out where I was in space.  When I talked, my voice was inside my body but I didn’t feel like I was in the same place my voice was – we had mysteriously gone our separate ways.  As I watched nurses walk by, they moved like characters in a flip book, and when I moved, I couldn’t tell which way was up.  It wasn’t dizziness the way I normally think of being dizzy…it was weird.

I felt like my head was 2 inches from the floor and I’d shrunk.  Alice In Wonderland meets Honey I Shrunk The Kids.  Each one of those taken in and of its own is odd enough, but add them together, and that’s what it felt like.  Gratefully, there were no mad hatters nor other fictitious and eccentric creatures paying a visit.

honey I shrunk the kidsAfter about an hour, the weirdness left almost as quickly as it came on.  I was glad to feel like myself again!  I wouldn’t say the experience or side effects with the ketamine were especially negative, but they definitely don’t make me feel positive either.  Neutral?  Maybe.  I know I cannot drive if I take 3 doses at a time; my vision is too wonky and I wouldn’t be able to judge distance, I may not even be able to drive straight.  But if I needed 3 doses during the day then I would have to wait an hour or an hour and a half until I could drive.  So the ketamine may be an ok “rescue medication” for when the pain is just so high I can’t take it anymore.  If I do start using it regularly, I will start with 1 spray and move up from there in time if I feel I need to.  I felt like I’d be unable to do housework at home without falling over if I took three sprays, so I’d be doing something very sedentary for an hour until the side effects died down.  Perhaps my body will get used to it a little and in time, 3 sprays won’t be as big of a deal.

So I have a tool in my CRPS tool belt to use as needed.  I was very glad that I did the trial at my doctor’s practice rather than trying it out at home.  I think if I’d tried it out at home, I might have been a bit freaked out.  But she explained that what I was experiencing was pretty normal for the way I was using ketamine, so I wasn’t concerned and felt safe to try it in that environment.

Going to try for a nap now.  I’m wiped out.


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