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My experience with ketamine infusions for chronic pain

I recently underwent ketamine infusion for chronic pain. I thought I would share my experience for those who are considering this procedure to manage their symptoms of chronic pain and fibromyalgia.

There is plenty of information about ketamine infusions on the web. For those who are new to this, here is a link that may be beneficial.

Personally, I was motivated by this blog post. Unfortunately, the ketamine infusion did not help me but at the same time, I must state that I did only to sessions and the doctor discontinued because he thought that it would not help. I'm still hopeful that may be it may help if the doctor agrees to continue the entire course of 4 to 6 sessions.

The infusions were done for me as an outpatient procedure. This meant that every day I had to be at the hospital at 9 AM to complete the paperwork and all formalities. The breakfast had to be light. The procedure actually started around 10 AM and lasted for about 4 hours. After that, there was one hour of rest and observation. Which means that I had a late lunch at about 4 PM after returning home. The main point to note here is that one should plan for about 6 hours of having no meals. Also considering that the breakfast had to be light, you should probably consider almost half a day of having minimal meals.

The procedure essentially involves intravenous infusion. Since it was an outpatient procedure for me, every day I was given an IV at a new place on the hand. So with 6 sessions, the hand can get pretty painful. I was later told that the infusion can also be given via the feet. Fortunately, I had one day between the sessions so there was some time for the hand to heal.

The rest of the procedure is painless. The doctor said that I may experience hallucination or vomiting but I did not have either of these symptoms. I also did not sleep through the procedure as is mentioned at some sites on the Internet. I felt as if I was in a slow motion movie. I could hear people speaking around me but it was as if they were speaking very slowly in a drawl. My vision was affected and I could only make out the outline of the hospital personnel around me. Some of the minor pain that I was experiencing earlier disappeared but the main abdominal pain continued. It did reduce a little bit. Most of the time I felt I was if I was floating. When the doctor pressed on the abdominal pain site, I experience quite a bit of pain. The doctor was surprised because he said that most people do not experience any pain during the procedure. That was part of the reason why he said ketamine infusion will not be useful for me. For the record, the dosage of ketamine was 20 mL per hour and I was given 60 mL the first day and 80 mL the next.

But with the lack of options and the growing list of success stories from patients, I'm discussing with the Dr of having a go at it again.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or leave a comment in the comments section below.


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