Surviving the Aftershock

Today marks one week since I was released from the hospital following my 5-day Ketamine treatment. I owe an overwhelming amount of people extraordinary thanks for the way my family and I have been cared for, prayed for, supported, embraced, encouraged, and unconditionally loved throughout this experience. All I can do at this point is offer my humblest and profoundest appreciation to everyone who has reached out in any capacity. This is perhaps the hardest blog-post I have ever attempted to compose due to how inadequate any expression of gratitude feels. 

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I pray my thankfulness rings through the short message I am about to share. 

Thank you to Mark for not only giving up as much of his Fall Break as he did to spend time with me throughout the week in the hospital, but for so graciously taking the time and energy to assuage concerns, respond to inquiries, and relay information. Without the thoughtfully crafted updates from “Paddy” and the countless questions my family and Mark have patiently answered for me over the past week, I would have very little knowledge of anything that happened after the first day checking into Hahnemann Hospital.

As anticipated, due to the sedative nature of the protocol, I have practically no recollection of how the week transpired. However, what I have is a painfully raw, upsetting, and terrifying aftermath. My “transition” could not have been more dramatic or jarring. I have dealt with a novel aspect of illness, mental distress requiring immediate medical action. Post-treatment I was bombarded with severe anxiety and an acute state of depression that has shaken my loved ones and me to our cores. This dreaded possibility, a most unfortunate outcome, has proved to be the most daunting and trying cliff I have ever been forced to ascend, as my ability to continue existing has been perceivably impossible over so much of the past week. To describe these effects as seeming “earth-shattering” feels like a pathetic understatement. 

Now seven days “out,” I am no where near “out of the woods;” in fact, I have never felt so “in the thick of it.” However, with an aching body, throbbing heart, and tired mind I am eternally thankful to be able to say that I’m still here for seven reasons:

  1. The unending and unconditional devotion of my parents.
  2. The steadfast care of my sister and brother.
  3. My loyal side-kick, the most loving Paddy-boy. 
  4. My rock and best friend, Mark. He walked into my life a year ago and has become such a special member of my team. He courageously and selflessly rose to the challenge of seeing me through this dark time as the most noble knight in shining armor I could imagine. 
  5. All the kindness and prayers of my support system. 
  6. My team of doctors who rose to the occasion of seeing me through every day. 
  7. A Higher Power….Who miraculously appeared as an inner voice that whispered “don’t give up, you might get through this if you give it one more try” and has accompanied me across the country to receive treatment in California from a special practitioner who hopes to help detoxify my body of all the physical toxins, cleanse my mind of the psychological turmoil, and restore my soul from the emotional trauma. 

My current trip to San Diego is inspired by a reaction to the drugs having such detrimental effects on my Central Nervous System, and, therefore, we are especially grateful for your continued prayers for the stability of my body and peace of my mind.



I sign this off with nothing but appreciation for the gift of life and miracle of Love,



4 thoughts on “Surviving the Aftershock

  1. Francie, your strength and inspiration is beyond my comprehension. Myself and the Barre Focus Fitness staff send our love, support, prayers and “fairy dust”. We follow your journey and want you to know how much we care about you and have you in our thoughts. Judy Swiech (Kelly’s mom)


  2. I don’t visit a lot of blogs, so I’m uncertain of how common responses to random comments are, but I figured it was worth a shot! I stumbled upon this by chance, and I’ve had little success with any treatment of POTS over the last few years, but I was curious to know if you thought your time at the Klinik in Switzlerland worthwhile. Whether or not I hear back, I wish you luck with whatever comes next!


    1. Hi Alex! I am so sorry to hear of your struggle with POTS. As you can probably tell from my blog I have tried countless treatments over the years and my condition has not improved, so I’m not entirely comfortable giving advise. To answer your question though, I commend the holistic approach taken by Paracelsus (the clinic in Switzerland) and I firmly believe in their practice of Biological medicine. Unfortunately, however, I didn’t find relief from my time there. Admittedly, I did not stick with the program long enough to say whether it would have worked eventually. My decision to stop the recommended protocols from the clinic had to do with my impatience, frustration from worsening symptoms, and my unwillingness to go back to Switzerland again and again, which is something they ultimately require. I cannot lie, it is an extremely expensive endeavor and I think there are much better ways to go about obtaining the remedies they offer at a more reasonable price. Exercise is what has helped me to best manage my POTS symptoms and that is obviously free of cost. I believe anything you can do to tap into your body’s natural mechanisms of healing and to support your systems through that process is beneficial! Blessings and best wishes to you. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help. You are not alone.


  3. Thanks very much for the response. I’ve not actually had the chance to communicate with someone else with POTS, so I appreciate it. I likewise appreciate your honesty about your experience in Switzerland, especially given the cost. I made a trip to see doctors at Vanderbilt that wasn’t very productive, and while that wasn’t at all expensive compared to something like Paracelsus, I’d rather not repeat the experience. I can understand the impatience as I’ve definitely felt that way. Exercise has always been a struggle since my own diagnosis as well, so I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me. In any case, I’ll keep looking for different avenues regarding POTS and other genetic issues, and thank you again. It’s good to see someone taking the time to detail the whole experience of trying to improve, and it makes me wish that more of a community existed sometimes. The UK seems to be better about that.


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