Submitted by Cathy Cuff-Coffman

This is Part 4 of Cathy’s multi-part blog series, documenting journey with a Baclofen pump implantation.

No Days Off (Well, Sort Of)

Hello, Monday, and welcome back to Daylight Savings Time!

Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital has no days off, especially for mid-week arrivals, so I had PT and OT sessions on Saturday and Sunday and today.

I’ve fallen into a decent routine, as the 45-minute sessions are held around the same times: Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The only change is that my neurologist is not here on the weekends, so the liquid baclofen titration was not increased.

One therapist thanked me for being willing to do therapy work on the weekend, and I replied by thanking her for coming in on the weekend. She then relayed that not all rehab patients want weekend sessions, a concept foreign to me! “If you have to be here,” I told her, “Why wouldn’t you want the services?”

(This is where I get myself in trouble; even at my age, I haven’t slowed down, SCI or not. I’m still driven to improve, and sometimes, I forget we all don’t have similar mindsets.)

The weekend sessions also included group therapy. It is nice to see familiar faces in the groups, even though we have different ailments. I look forward to seeing my fellow “re-habbers.”

With the “lost hour” of Daylight Savings Time, I decided to take Sunday off from blogging.

My husband, Jamie, also came to visit, as we live 90 minutes from the rehabilitation hospital.

He hadn’t seen me for a week and was impressed with the improvements the intrathecal baclofen administered via the pump, combined with my PT and OT, had made.

Some of the early improvements I’ve noticed are:

· The spasticity, tightness, and high “tone” that made me feel like I was wearing a suit of armor are starting to relax. Instead of having hitches and jerky movements in my limbs, they are slowly calming down.

· I can bend my leg enough now to get into bed without a “leg lift” device, and my sleep is not interrupted by painful spasms three to four times a night.

· I’ve eliminated my ankle-foot orthotic (AFO), and my husband was “blown away” by how much better my gait is. There is still more work to do and more baclofen to release, but having someone close to you notice is encouraging.

After he left, I watched the Academy Awards Ceremony. I’m not a huge fan of these shows, but I am a huge fan of well-crafted film, especially those little categories like “Live Action Short Film.”

This year’s winner, “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” based on a book by Roald Dahl, was a wonderful, 40-minute gem to cap off my successful week of surgery and rehab.