I found his email online and wrote to him.  Here is my email and his reply.  He called, and just basically reiterated his reply:

Dear Dr. S--,
My apologies for my abrupt cancellation this morning.  I'm anticipating your call, but seeing as I am a much better writer than speaker, I thought I might get a few words out this way.
I have given this a lot of thought and research, as my psychotherapist can confirm.  While I believe ECT has done me a world of good, I feel I've reached a point where I am suffering more from the side effects than benefitting from the treatments.
I have a lot of interests.  I read, I write, I do a lot of artwork.  Right now, I am unable to sustain focus long enough to do much of any of these things without forcing myself.  My energy level has sunk.  Just this week, I have started, again, forcing myself to make a daily mile walk -- where as I used to walk six miles without a thought.  As you heard on my voicemail, I have a lot of trouble with just getting words out.  As a writer, this is particularly frustrating.
As for benefits, I believe there have been many.  I spent hours on the phone with Medicaid one day this week, which is something I could not have had the ability to do before.  As my therapist pointed out, I am more engaged in my own treatment, I am taking better care of myself, I am just generally more present.
I took a moment this morning to try and figure out how many treatments I've had.  It's got to be at least pushing 40, if not more.  All the research I have done makes this seem about four times the average.  I realize everyone is different, but it's been, if I am correct, about nine months as opposed to the average nine treatments.
I also feel that this does not have to be a permanent decision.  If I feel myself backsliding, I can always return.
I apologize again for this morning.  I had wanted to have this conversation with you in person, but I did not want to go through with another treatment.
I have copied my therapist on this email, and you are welcome to be in touch with her.
I cannot thank you enough for what ECT has done for me.  I consider myself a fairly self-aware person, and, if I start to feel that I am falling back, you and your wonderful team will be the first to know.
All best to you,
Rose E.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Steve J.
Date: Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM
Subject: RE:
To: "Rose E.
Cc: Phyllis


This sounds like a very reasonable, well thought out decision.  I am fine with it, and certainly you can return if you feel yourself backsliding and are unable to counter it with your skills, therapy, and medication.

I will give you a call today, when I get a break.

All the Best,
Steve S---, MD


Saint Swinthin's Day...

Today is Dad's 69th. It is also Saint Swithin's Feast Day. I don't know why we always knew that it was Saint Swithin's Feast Day and never knew anyone else's.  A quick look at Wikipedia tells me that my birthday is Oscar Romero's feast day.

Guess which one is my father?  (He said to me the other day, "I never met a camera I didn't like...")

His older sister, my Aunt Kathy, to his left, and the other two are cousins...  But I have cropped his face and made it my FB profile pic for the day...

Cannot dislodge from my head:
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(no subject)

So this was my mother's birthday present:

See the black winged figure just to the left of the cake?  Everyone asked what that was.  It was supposed to a Fred Astaire fairy, tuxedo wings and all -TOP HAT, for goodness sake.

But Mum decided who it really is -- Black Max
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Written (with a few clarifications) as an email to Mum:

I had a bad night's sleep last night and whenever I drifted off, I'd get involved in some whacked out dream.  The one I remember most clearly:

I was sitting in St. Andrew's next Anne.  There was a service going on, but Anne was misbehaving.  She was pissed off because we were waiting for Uncle Blodgie to show up and he was late.

Finally, this version of Uncle Blodgie came walking in the back door.  Anne turned around and jangling all her jewelry and waving both arms yelled, "Over here, Jim!"

Well, Father Paul had had it.  He asked Anne to settle down and stop disrupting the service.  As you can imagine, this did not sit well with Mrs. Pascone.  So the three of us (me, Anne, Uncle Blodgie) got up and left.  We got into some huge boat of a car belonging to Blodgie.  Anne was in the front passenger seat, I was in the back.  Father Paul came out for a smoke, and, as Blodgie's enormous car drove by him, Anne rolled down the window and yelled, "ASSHOLE!!!"

And that is all I remember of the dream.

Or did that actually happen?

(no subject)

Yesterday, I got so sick of working that I stopped.  I knew I was very close to finishing the project, but just couldn't go on.  This morning, after much farting around and procrastinating, I finally settled in to finish the project.  Five minutes.  It took me five minutes, if that, to finish.

I will (hopefully) dedicate the rest of the afternoon to the manuscript, and then watch Dreamchild tonight.  Oh I do hope it's as wonderful as I remember.

I talked to Eva last night.  I called her and left a message.  Then my mother called.  Eva called back while I was talking to my mother.  Turns out, when I called her, she was talking to her mother.  We didn't have much to say to each other.  She loves to recount the dramas of her sister's family.  The adventures are entertaining, though I have no idea how exaggerated they are.  Her mother went to Hungary for less than a week and left Eva in charge of the daycare, with the help of the two hired assistants.  You'd never think it, but Eva is great with small children.  There are lots of people I know like that -- both of my stepparents, in fact.  You'd never expect it from either of them.  I think it's because none of these three people -- Eva, Ith, my stepfather -- has the inclination to be condescending.  So they speak to children as if they are adults.  And, if I recall correctly from my own childhood, those were the people I was drawn to.

I had a long conversation about grammar with Phyllis on Thursday.  Way to spend my psychotherapy.  We talked about commas.  I told her about the time, after Eva had read a couple of my stories, she said to me, "you know, you italicize a lot."  She's right.  I write as if I am speaking, and I italicize a lot in my speech.  Ever since, I've been hyper-aware of my tendency.

It was another fucked up night.  I took the melatonin, and was very very tired, but just could not fall asleep.  At three, I gave up and took the last of my OTC "sleep aid".  I don't know when I fell asleep.  I woke up at ten and considered rolling over and going back to sleep, but remembered I had work to do and that I fully intended to procrastinate.  So I got up.
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