16 Oct Letter to Dr. Hutton – by Sharon Bison
Dr. Todd M. Hutton
Southern California TMS Center
Community Hospital Long Beach
1760 Termino Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90804
Subject: TMS Therapy
Dear Dr. Hutton:
I wanted to follow up with you on my status after completing my last of 36 TMS treatments late in February. I initially thought about sending this letter right away, but felt that it was important for me to let some time pass and see if the positive results that I was experiencing were sustainable.
By way of a brief history, I have battled depression for many years. Episodes that occurred early in my life (loss of both parents as a pre-teen, a violent rape, horrible experiences in foster care to name just a few) set the stage for some difficult adjustments as a young adult, and traumatic experiences continued later in life (ugly divorce, raising 4 kids on my own, remarrying and then having second husband commit suicide, loss of my home a few years ago). Over the past 6 or 7 years, my ability to bounce back from some of these episodes has diminished to a large degree and I found myself trying to find an antidepressant that worked for me and didn’t cause numerous and difficult side effects.
I asked my GP several times if there was anything new in the way of depression treatment that I could look at and was told that I could augment the drugs already prescribed with an “abilify-type” prescription, but nothing else was offered in the way of treatment.
I went online and drilled down into several websites dealing with depression until I found the So. Cal TMS Center site. It stopped me in my tracks…mainly because it indicated remission was a possibility and that is contrary to everything my GP had told me about depression.
I made the decision to look into it and was so pleased to have Joanne Gadsky as an advocate to help me get through the application and initial process and I cannot tell you what a difference the TMS treatment has made in my life.
I have a better outlook, more energy, and a sense of self that I haven’t experienced for years. The following changes (just to name a few) have occurred in the past few weeks:
- I have found myself singing out loud in the car where in the past, I’d turn the radio off because it was too overwhelming;
- I am enjoying cooking again, am eating better, and not wasting food like I was (I would shop on the weekend with the intent of cooking during the week but become too overwhelmed when I got home from work to make a decision on what to fix or be too tired to fix anything, so food would spoil);
- At work, I was having a very hard time focusing on my job and the day-to-day deadlines, responsibilities, and drudgery were dragging me down; I am more productive, working more efficiently, and am not so exhausted when I get home.
- My exercise levels had decreased significantly because I always felt so tired, overwhelmed, or just didn’t care enough to move…I have done some sort of exercise every day for the past 3 weeks and it feels great!
- Reading…I am an avid reader but had all but given pleasure reading up because it was so hard to concentrate. I’ve read several books in the past few weeks!
- Time with my kids and grandkids—my family is very important to me but I would find myself saying “no” to invitations from family because I just didn’t have the strength, interest or stamina. I’ve talked with them all about the depression and the treatment and am seeing them on a regular basis again.
- Hope for the future…I actually feel more like myself than I have in years and feel like there is more out there for me to do, explore and enjoy, a feeling I haven’t had for years.
I am very hopeful that these changes are sustainable and am glad that there is the potential for “maintenance” treatments down the road and will keep you appraised of my status.
Thank you both for all of your support and assistance—I think TMS treatment, as difficult as it is to get through, is miraculous!
CC: Joanne Gadsky