Pump Me Up

Part 2: Under the Knife

Just a quick post. I am going tomorrow (Tuesday) morning to have my baclofen pump, what my neurosurgeon called, “a $10,000 hockey puck,” implanted (installed?) into my belly. I’m told it is a simple, routine surgery. They put the thing into one side or the other, just over my belt, and run a catheter around into my spine, to deliver the baclofen intrathecally. Then, they’ll wheel me over to a rehab hospital for at least a few days.

I have high hopes – hopefully not too high – that this little kerjigger will solve a host of issues. Oral baclofen works pretty well, but at the doses I need for it to be effective, it’s a little like “having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.” So, right away I am looking forward to getting that stuff out of my head. Then there’s the constant low-level spasticity. Walking, or really any physical activity, requires that I fight against not only the normal levels of gravity, but a musculature that never fully relaxes. Every step is a struggle against permanatly clenched legs. It’s exhausting to say the least. When I do physical therapy excersizes, that added effort saps my energy before I can get to a place where it’s actually doing anything good. But most important to me is the hope that this will eradicate the nightly knots in my legs that keep me awake.  I’m looking forward to not waking up every morning feeling like I’m made out of wood. (Different than waking up with wood.)

I’m looking forward to a lot of things. I’m looking forward to a few days of spa treatment. I’m going to order a mani-pedi, and I’m going to ask the surgeon to suck out a few pounds of blubber while he’s rooting around in my midsection. I have a friend standing by to deliver snacks and treats if the hospital fare is not up to snuff.

I’ll check back in on the flip side. Peace out. (Is this where I drop the mike?)

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Author: Stephen

Stephen Harris is a writer, painter and a photographer who lives with his family in Maine.

4 thoughts on “Pump Me Up”

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