I had done the five day ITB Pump trial. I can say that the results were amazing! For a couple of days, I was able to feel how to walk “almost” normally again.
- I “checked in” on Monday. After getting out of my street clothes and changing into the standard issue uber sexy hospital gown and settling into my room, the nurse took vitals and I set to wait for the doctors. The doctors came in and gave me a rundown of what was going to happen the next five days (We were in constant phone contact prior to this day, so this was just a review).
- The doctors then prepped my back for the insertion of the catheter which will infuse Baclofen directly to my spine. They start with a super low dose. After the insertion, I am to lay flat on my back for 6-8 hours to allow the insertion site to heal. Otherwise, I run the risk of getting a spinal headache. Which according to the doctors, is the worse headache one could ever experience. I was not even allowed to bend my legs. Apparently, I did not follow this direction to a T coz I got a headache that kicked my ass the next day. I wanted to do a test walk, so I lied and told the Dr. I was fine.
- The first day at a low dose, I already felt a difference! My steps felt lighter and my foot was not curling in. The doctor and I walked a couple of times around the floor. My headache was getting worse, so we had to stop. And once again I had to lay completely flat on my back for a few hours.
- Wednesday, the physical therapist came by to walk with me. We once again just walked around the floor. I asked if they had a treadmill, unfortunately they didn’t (i brought running clothes!!). I really wanted to try my new legs! She watched the video of me walking before the medicine was hooked up. It turned out that I was walking the wrong way. I was walking fast and steady, but I had adapted by walking while swinging my leg outwards to make big steps. I now have to relearn how to walk again. I also walked around with Armando and Scotty, they even noticed the difference! Scotty said “You don’t walk like Frankenstein anymore!”
- Thursday I was at full dose. My leg felt light, I didn’t feel any tone or spasticity, I wanted to run! Later that day, they started tapering down the medicine I was receiving. I had so many mixed feelings. I have many questions, I was anxious. I knew that when I wake up the next day the little bit of freedom that I had was going to be gone. My light legs will be gone. I was sad.
- Friday was check out day. The catheter was removed and I was placed on flat bed rest again for the rest of the day. The doctors came in and talked to me about the results of the trial. He was glad that I had thought to record myself walking as it served as a good reference for the trial. We took a before and during video during the trial. Both the Doc and the PT were very encouraged by the results, they think I will get very good results from getting the implant. The decision is mine.
The medicine is now completely off my system and I can definitely say that it made a big difference. I have talked it over with my family, I have thought about it the past few days. I am leaning towards getting the implant. Do I have HUGE expectations? You bet! I have some time to think about this, I have many questions. My family and I also have our reservations because as with any surgery there are risk. But seeing the difference, how could I even have a second thought?