Sunday, October 18, 2009

For those who have visited Daniel prior to Oct. 13,
you observed a medical condition called decorticate
posturing. Simply, this is involuntary muscle
contractions causing a patient to have arms flexed,
or bent inward on the chest, the hands are clenched
into fists, and the legs extended and feet
turned inward. Another part of the posturing is a
condition called 'opisthotonos' in which the head
and back are arched backward.
All of this is related to brain trauma injury, BTI,
stemming from the aneurysm, bleeding, and the
pressure exerted on the brain back on April 28
and 29 th. Seeing Daniel in this condition
motivated many visitors to inquire as to what
could be done.
Fortunately, there is a procedure to alleviate the
cause and produce remarkable effects with patients
suffering from BTI and other afflictions. The
procedure is called ITB for Intrathecal Baclofen Pump.
Again, to simplify this explanation, a small electronic
pump is surgically placed under the skin below the
belt line in the lower abdomen.
Baclofen is a muscle relaxer and an anti-spastic agent.
Baclofen is used to treat muscle symptoms caused by
multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, including spasm,
pain, and stiffness.
A catheter, small tube, is inserted through the
intrathecal space surrounding the spinal cord,
entering the lower back and inserted upward.
The pump, a 20 or 40 ml reservoir of Baclofen, is
programmed to release small doses to relax his
muscles. The dose is adjusted with radio telemetry,
an application of physics and the science of radio
waves, wireless communications.

Daniel now has the pump, the results in Daniel's case
are reported to be very positive, he is more relaxed
and alert. This procedure was performed Oct. 13th at
Palomar Hospital.
In addition, the registered dietician has increased
Daniel's caloric intake to help him regain weight.
Daniel's tenacious spirit has cleared another hurdle.

All of us are fortunate to live in an age where afflictions
such as decorticate posturning, cerebral palsy, multiple
sclerosis, muscle spasticity, and other neurological
problems are the subjects of intense medical research.
Credit scientific research for this discovery, the
technology of the ITB - Intrathecal Baclofen Pump,
that has brought relief and eliminated much suffering
for tens of thousands of patients. This new threshold
will support further efforts to re-teach Daniel to
swallow, maintain flexibility for physical therapy,
and facilitate improved speech therapy.

As late as the middle ages, and for centuries leading
up to and beyond the 15th century, people with such
afflictions were deemed to be possessed by demons.
Tragically, many were brought before the Holy
Inquisition of the Catholic faith. The afflicted were
subjected to exorcisms. Unable to drive out alleged
demons, the person was tortured along with
heretics, rebels, witches, homosexuals, and pagans.
The fate of all these people was to be burned publicly
at the stake.
Thankfully, the age of reason has prevailed.
Take care of one another,


  1. Thank you Sal. Look for me out of his window. I am always there. I am always looking every day every hour from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. I am always thinking about him. All of my students know of Daniel. I am 100ft from him daily. I work next door as you know

    Nando Vega

  2. Nando,
    Timing is everything. When last visiting Daniel we glanced out his window to see you and your students waving from the field below! Comforting to have you so near.
    We're home now in Baja Calif., 300 miles away from Daniel. We think of him daily, our friends here remember him and his family from Spring Break when he participated in the Poker Run. Take care, hugs and kisses to Lolita and
    Sarah. Tia Chita and Tio Tzal

  3. More than meets the eye in the back wings of hospitals. Check out this poem. Thanks Sal for the info on Daniels pump and latest triumph. I spent some time with him on Sunday as I normally do and he was indeed more relaxed and...interactive. The signs are there if you look for them.


    Between Walls
    by William Carlos Williams

    the back wings
    of the

    hospital where

    will grow lie

    in which shine
    the broken

    pieces of a green

  4. Victor,
    Without mentioning a window, the poem evokes real images, emotions and experiences...from room 331. Ever the teacher, thanks for the enrichment Victor.

  5. From Daniel's neighbor, the Walkers: We have been on vacation a while. Good to read reports of progress. Where is Daniel now?