Sunday, May 5, 2019

Sunday Stroke Survival: Baclofen Pump Update and More

Well, it's been three weeks since the baclofen pump was placed, but only two weeks since the pump was filled with the baclofen. The results on a whole was results thus far has been lackluster except for pain relief. I'm still on my oral baclofen while the 25CC of the saline works it's way out of my spinal fluid. I was forewarned about this. But I'm still chomping at the bit wanting to get on with it.

I have noticed that the rigidity in my elbow is less. I keep having to work at holding my bunny greens basket from sliding off my arm. This was the same arm that could carry 5-7 splits of firewood a couple of months ago without budging. So that's progress.

Another issue I had was with the elasticized binder placed around my midsection after surgery from bra line to mid hips. While it's not uncomfortable it does shift and bunch up as I move around. The added support is quite comforting while I'm moving if it didn't shift so much. The neurosurgeon's assistant did say I could take it off when sedentary. There is a major malfunction with this. While affixing the velcro with two hands is easy. But I only have ONE functioning hand. So I lay on my back tugging at the edges until it's halfway unbunched but I can't fasten it. Of course, I could always ask Mel to help, but the timing is always off when it's at it's worse.

Yes, I'm just in a griping mood, can't you tell?

I was told I could drive again. Considering I drove myself to three Atlanta doctor appointments not withstanding. (Grin) I wasn't on narcotics. I'd only taken 3 of the prescription of 12 morphine tablets, and had reduced my Valium intake from 4 to 1 a day, I thought I was safe enough to drive. Coughing, sneezing, and a good old belly laugh are PAINFUL. Off times they are without warning so I can't brace for it. Other than extreme fatigue from big city driving. No other ill effects. I got home and took a nap, but I did. The neurologist's assistant  gave me permission to drive. Doh! When I explained that it was planting season and we had 1/4 acre to plant, she grudgingly gave me permission to bend and lift ten pounds within reason. If I experienced pain, I was to stop and rest. You gotta love doctors that work with you.

I have to admit that I over did last Saturday and paid for it with extra pain. I did take an extra valium at bedtime to compensate for it. Ever since my drug addiction problem 30+ years ago, I'm strongly against any habit forming drugs. I have to be really bad pain before I take any form of these drugs. Drug withdrawal aside, it's just an aversion to all things habit forming.

 An exciting bit of news, I saw Dr Daly, the orthopedist. His plans for releasing the contractures to allow movement to the wrist and fingers is awesome! Of course, I'll need a higher dose of baclofen via the pump first. He was surprised at the lack of contractures in the elbow. He had high praise for my PT and their dry needling therapies. His hopes for recovery of strokes and spasticity was contagious.

After almost two years of going through the motions, I've finally hit the right combination of doctors. While I absolutely loved my previous rehab team, I'm hoping this new team will be just as fabulous.

Hope and possibilities abound once again. Stealing back increments of success from spasticity is worth it.  Recovery is worth it. Being on the forefront of new and innovated treatments for survivors living post can, with positive results, give another option to survivors world wide.

Nothing is impossible.


  1. A little progress is good.
    I'm with you - I don't take anything unless absolutely necessary.

  2. As an OT I had no idea how much problem solving a stroke requires until the day we die.

    1. As most stroke survivors, I almost wished my strokes had kill me. As some who watched her grandmother fight her way through six strokes take away bits and pieces by reoccurring strokes until a massive 7th stroke finally took her home,I'm well aware of the ongoing fight. It must be where I get my fighting spirit comes from. I still fighting after my 6th and trying to live each day the best I can.


I love to hear from you! Agree, Disagree, matter. Even if it's to say you were here.