For those of you who don't know the story, I had a baclofen pump surgically implanted in November of 2011. The surgical site kept opening creating a wound that persisted for some time. We tried to let it heal naturally but when that wasn't successful it was closed surgically. It didn't stay closed for long however, eventually leading to another wound. In December, the doctor and I agreed to take the pump out and let the wound heal for about six weeks and then we would try to implant the pump again.
On December 11 I went into surgery and the doctor removed the pump. He found that I was infected with bacterial meningitis. It was so bad that I became septic. As they pumped me full of antibiotics to fight the infection, I started suffering from baclofen withdrawal. These symptoms are worse than heroin withdrawal. It didn't take long for me to become incoherent and shortly thereafter unconscious. They gave me tons of medications to try to combat the withdrawal symptoms. I was told that they gave me enough Valium to kill a horse… Twice!
Nothing worked and the doctors didn't know what else to do. My father suggested for them to call my surgeon at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis for advice. The neurosurgeon in Miami said that they should implant another pump to give me the necessary baclofen and stop the symptoms. On December 28 they implanted another baclofen pump this time on the other side of my belly where there were no wounds.
During my hospital stay while the doctors were pumping me full of drugs and I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms, I suffered from horrific hallucinations. These paranoid delusions were so real that when I finally became lucid I had to take time to distinguish fact from fantasy. I get anxiety when I reflect back upon what haunted my thoughts when I was in a coma.
I spent six weeks in a coma, eight weeks in ICU, and three weeks in rehab before returning home on February 26.
I am grateful for everyone's thoughts and prayers, all of the cards, Facebook messages etc. Your prayers were heard and your positive energy helped me pull through.
I am very grateful to be alive. I am very grateful to be home from the hospital, now trying to put my 11 week ordeal behind me.