"What is a Baclofen Pump?" and "What does it do?" you ask! Well, what great questions! ~*disclaimer - i am not medically trained, but speak 'simple English' and try to explain procedures and equipment how it makes sense to me*~ The best way i know how to describe this is to compare it to a combination of an insulin pump (for a diabetic) and an epidural. The Baclofen pump, like an insulin pump, is permanently inserted into your body and continually 'pumps' or drips the medication Baclofen in to the lower lumbar of the spine as an epidural.
|baclofen pump diagram I found on internet|
Typically, the next step if you have more spasticity to your Dystonia is a Baclofen Pump. What this does, is the medication Baclofen (a medication that is used to treat spasticity) is constantly 'dripped' into the spinal column at the specific vertebrate that the affected nerves are at. So as in my dad's case, the baclofen will be placed in the lower lumbar where the nerves that send signals to the legs exits the spine. When this medication is dripped onto those nerves, in a similar way that Botox works, the bogus signals that are sent to the legs will be neutralized, not allowing the signal to go to the muscles telling them to contract erratically. They permanently attach the tubing to the spine and the pump is inserted into a fatty region, usually in the left or right lower abdomen.
Now as in everything with Dystonia, nothing is the same, alike, 'typical', etc. so we are actually unsure if this will even work. So on the 23rd of this month, we go for a 'test shot' (my terminology - not a medical term!!!) where they just do a single injection into the spinal cord and you lay there flat for about 3 hours and hope, AND PRAY that results show up. This is a procedure that immediate - or fairly quick - results are seen - so we will know that day within a few hours if this will be an answer for my dad - you will all know soon!!! FINGERS CROSSED, PRAYERS LIFTED UP, and HOPE IS IN THE AIR!!!!!!!!!! My dad is claiming Psalm 121:1-2 "I lift up my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."