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Thread: Help with sleeping?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    332

    Help with sleeping?

    Am looking for suggestions from the post-ops on how to get through the nights. I am doing well during the day, wearing my brace, walking frequently around the house, managing pain, etc. But the nights are terrible. I have been getting spasms-- all but brought me to tears last night. Have been sleeping in the recliner with pillows and it's leather so it's sort of easy to scooch around on. Last night I tried the bed again and by 3 AM I was back in the recliner. Am trying to sleep on my side and I might get maybe an hour before pain wakes me and then it's over. All but impossible to sleep on my back when those spasms are going full-tilt. PT was here today and we practiced log-rolling again. Am taking percocet and the last few nights we added amitriptyline before bedtime which I had been taking for pain mgmt. before surgery. Someone suggested getting a wedge pillow so I can sleep on my back slightly elevated. The PA in my Dr.'s office said to keep trying with the amitriptyline and if the spasms continue, then she'd prescribe a muscle relaxer instead. Any suggestions? Neither of us is getting decent sleep right now. It's like I dread going to bed.
    Thanks,


    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Anne,

    Unfortunately, spasms aren't rare during the first several weeks. Having one wrap around your ribs while feeling as if you're being skewered is utterly miserable. It's amazing how one can make a few minutes seem like hours. Practice slow, steady breathing to help get you through them. I know I'd tighten up when I felt one coming on,and then it was a vicious cycle.

    Personally, I wouldn't wait to swap out the amitriptyline for something else: Because of the type of med it is, maybe your doc is waiting for it to build up in your system (I don't know). I DO know there are immediate acting meds, and hate to hear of anyone in unneccesary discomfort. For what it's worth, I came home on Robaxin, and almost immediately found it wasn't handling the spasms. Hanson switched me to Valium and the problem was solved.

    Also, my first reaction was to try heat for the spasms: Spasms in early recovery, however, are still over a very inflamed area - and ice worked better for me. Yes, I know it's winter (even here in Houston- LOL) and applying a cold pack probably doesn't sound like much fun.

    Oh ... and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention *be careful with heat* at any point: It's really easy to blister yourself on numb skin (Lord knows I did it enough times! ;-)

    Hang in there ... you should be seeing some significant relief in the coming week or two. Sleep disruptions should also start improving soon: You'll be getting a full night's before you know it.

    Best regards,
    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op ±53°, Post-op < 20°
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    114
    I also dreaded night time. I had to sleep on my back b/c of my side incision. Try lots and lots of different, soft pillows that you can use to prop your self in different ways in bed. You're still just out of surgery...it will get better!Once you take fewer naps in the day and the pain gets a little more managable (which will be soon), you'll be able to sleep at night. I remember the first night I slept six hours! And it was at about two weeks!
    Kathy, 43
    Diagnosed as a teen
    Boston brace 2 years
    63 degree lumbar curve
    Surgery August 26, 2009
    Anterior approach fused T12-L4
    now 28 degrees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    1,105
    Hi Anne,

    I am a poor sleeper even before my surgery. I asked my surgeon for some sleeping pills. Then my family Dr. prescribed them for me. I was in a lot of pain as well, I would wake up in the middle of the night and the tears would flow.

    I wasn't taking my pills during the night at the right time, once I started to set the alarm for my pills, it helped me a good bit. It gets so frustrating when you can't sleep. But sleep is what we need. I slept in my brace so I couldn't move, because the first month I was afraid if I moved I could hurt my fusion. But I was paranoid.

    Hoping you have sweet dreams,
    Shari

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    7

    Lightbulb massaging your hands



    In Korean Hand Acupuncture, there are meridians on the hand similar to the ones found on the body. There are actually two different schools of thought about which is what, but the school of thought I adhere to has the head/neck/upper torso/back reflected in the middle finger going all the way to the base of the wrist. The Upper extremities are the index finger and the ring finger. The legs are the thumb and the pinky. The middle finger, ring finger and the pinky represent the same side limbs and the Thumb and index finger represent the opposite side limbs.

    What you can do: rub your hands together until they get very hot. is increasses the circlulation in your whole body. Rub up and down the center line, both front and back. If you are sensitive you will feel things change in your body. Along the 3rd metacarpal and the proximal phalange of the middle finger(the long bone in the hand (palm)) is the spine ). If you massage these strongly you will feel the body relax. The rubbing and massaging can't be light. And you will find some places on the hand that are terribly sensitive. keep rubbing gently until you can get deeper without putting yourself on the ceiling. Gently feel which way the finger wants to rotate and gently rotate it ever so slightly in that direction. You might find slight compression of the finger into the base helps the body area to relax more. If you can be sensitive enough to feel how your finger feels in different areas, they will change as your body relaxes more. If you keep holding and working witht the hand and the fingers, you will find your body feeling better.

    I know this sounds really wacky, but I use it all the time in my practice to help people get some relaxation in their body. Explore this technique before you go to bed and if and when you start getting the spasms. It may take a while to get this to work for you because you haven't experienced it before. Good luck,
    Bamboo

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Quote Originally Posted by spiritofbamboo View Post


    In Korean Hand Acupuncture, there are meridians on the hand similar to the ones found on the body. There are actually two different schools of thought about which is what, but the school of thought I adhere to has the head/neck/upper torso/back reflected in the middle finger going all the way to the base of the wrist. The Upper extremities are the index finger and the ring finger. The legs are the thumb and the pinky. The middle finger, ring finger and the pinky represent the same side limbs and the Thumb and index finger represent the opposite side limbs.

    What you can do: rub your hands together until they get very hot. is increasses the circlulation in your whole body. Rub up and down the center line, both front and back. If you are sensitive you will feel things change in your body. Along the 3rd metacarpal and the proximal phalange of the middle finger(the long bone in the hand (palm)) is the spine ). If you massage these strongly you will feel the body relax. The rubbing and massaging can't be light. And you will find some places on the hand that are terribly sensitive. keep rubbing gently until you can get deeper without putting yourself on the ceiling. Gently feel which way the finger wants to rotate and gently rotate it ever so slightly in that direction. You might find slight compression of the finger into the base helps the body area to relax more. If you can be sensitive enough to feel how your finger feels in different areas, they will change as your body relaxes more. If you keep holding and working witht the hand and the fingers, you will find your body feeling better.

    I know this sounds really wacky, but I use it all the time in my practice to help people get some relaxation in their body. Explore this technique before you go to bed and if and when you start getting the spasms. It may take a while to get this to work for you because you haven't experienced it before. Good luck,
    Bamboo
    bamboo,

    Have you had surgery? I see this is your #1 post.
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op ±53°, Post-op < 20°
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,028
    Anne

    Oh boy, you are bringing back memories. I lost 40# in 40 days from lack of sleep and minimal food intake. I had a 20% improvement bump at around 4 weeks. Im assuming you have the foam for the bed? It doubled my sleep. I also took around 5 very hot 105-107 degree baths every day for 3 months. The hot water helps with the pain quite a bit, in fact it was one of the only ways I could get some pain relief. Turn that hot water heater all the way up, fill the tub with hot water, wait 40 minutes for the hot water heater to catch up, then get in. Be very careful and move slow and drink lots of water. After about 20-30 minutes laying on my back, I would then kneel in the water, and let it cool off slowly, I also washed with anti-bacterial soap after I got out.

    I always carried my cell phone with me EVERYWHERE. Just in case.

    It really would be best to sleep in a flat position. I don’t know how you do the recliner.

    Don’t let yourself lose too much weight. That’s not good. Drink protein smoothies, with whey powder, egg, banana, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, almonds, yogurt.

    Hang in there, it really does get much much better. You are going through the tough part right now. Like Pam says, another week or 2 you will see some relief.

    I have had good results with accupressure. I had a great Chinese girl who would work on me, but that was all before my surgery. I never tried post surgery.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    249
    I would think diazepam would be effective with this issue, if you are able to take it. It has worked well with me.

    With its muscle relaxing and anxiolytic effects it is a good drug to help one sleep after this type of surgery.

    Two weeks out of surgery, you must still be in much discomfort! Just remember to keep at the pain management doctors if your medication is not effective immediately. Suffering with pain and insomnia will only prolong your healing.
    45L/40T
    Surgery 25/1/2010
    Australia

    Knowthyself

    Scoliosis Corrected 25/1/2010 by Dr Angus Gray, Prince of Wales Private Hospital, Sydney. Fused T3-L4.

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