I am really happy to be able to help in any way. Please ask anything you want.
I first started taking baclofen at 5 mg and then after a few weeks increased to 10 mg. Soon after I began taking the higher dose I started getting nerves jumping in my face. Sometimes up to 7 at a time. When I checked with the pharmacist who supplied it this was one of the many side effects listed. The worst thing for me was that I had one or two nerves that continued jumping for up to 6 months after I stopped the baclofen. But as I said I am very sensitive. This of course makes it doubly wonderful that I have been taking continuous baclofen (in the pump it is called lisoreal) for 10 months now. But I would NOT dare to have had the pump implanted without desensing to baclofen first.
The pump has been a miracle for me and given my life back. I still have a lot more spasticity than I would like but if I increase the dose it makes me too wobbly, as it is I feel like I am on a boat. But the pain and spasticity had got so bad that a bit of rocking (when I stand) is not a problem. What happened to me is that when I stopped exercising the spasticity seemed to increase almost weekly. I kept thinking it could not get any worse but it did. The scariest thing was when the spasticity increased so much that my legs started clamping together & it moved up my spine. My left leg became so stiff that I could not sit at all. If I did manage to sit (with it stuck out at a right angle) then within 10 minutes I would have an intense spasm in the leg that forced me to stand. Ditto when I slept, so that I was up 15 times a night & had 7 showers a night as they helped stop the spasms. Ceiling of the bathroom got covered with mould!!! Going to the toilet was a nightmare with a leg that would not bend in addition to the action of pulling down my pants would trigger an agonising spasm due to skin sensitivity. I can sit now, lie down (tho leg is still stiff at night it has some bend) and the leg bends enough for me to get into the bottom of cupboards and I can kneel (tho stiffly). To be without pain is absolute bliss.
Yes, I do several types of exercise now I have the pump. In fact I can only do them because I have enough bend in the leg to allow it. I have a ninetendo Wii Fit (your kids will know about
this) and do some muscle, 1 yoga and mainly balance exercises. These do help the balance and use a lot of muscles in the legs, ankles and feet. Its not too challenging but I do hold onto something as my balance is not good enough to do it without. BUT the MS physio said NOT to do any exercises with a twist if you have a pump because you do not want to do anything that might kink the tube or dislodge the catheter in the spine. This means pretty much no yoga and no hula hoop exercise which I used to do on my Wii fit.
I have a stepper which I try to do daily to see if I can regain enough lift to climb stairs again. I also have restless legs which can wake me several times a night and then I find that a few mins of the stepper allows me to sleep a few more hours. I use a cross trainer if the day is cool enough which I used to use when I was battling with the spasticity/pain. The physio at the MS centre told me to go backwards on this as it is more challenging. I also do a couple of exercises on my hands & knees and lying on my back for the core which the physio said will help walking & also stopped backache when sitting (caused by weak muscles). I have also started using a swiss ball to sit on when I watch TV or at the computer and he gave me more exercises for this. Sounds like a lot but I just try to build them into my day ie stand on one leg when I am at the sink, use control when I go down stairs. In total probably would not do more that I hour in a day.
I do not think that exercise causes more spasticity. I had painful spasms and some spasticity in my left leg. My experience was that NO exercise definitely made the spasticity worse. When I stopped exercising it just went crazy. The spasticity in the leg increased greatly affecting the other leg and going up the back. Hope this helps. All the best
Have had relapsing/remitting MS since 10 yrs old. Secondary/progressive since 1995. Baclofen pump since 2008.
Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream
Merrily , merrily, merrily, life is but a dream