View Full Version : Help! Can't sleep-back surface in lots of pain

12-24-2012, 08:13 AM
I have read a lot about people and their beds. I have been sleeping OK until the past two nights. I woke up this morning at 6am barely able to move. My entire back was in pain. From day one, my hips and buttocks were in a lot of pain upon contact. I had to rub icy-hot to be comfortable.

My surgery was on Nov 27th so it is about a month now. My right shoulder is killing me and I have several lumps in my back near the middle spine (one on the left and 2 on the right).

Summary: more pain killer? I hope not. I saw many recommendations for beddings,
egg crates? or temperapudic mat?

Anything???? that has worked for you?

I am going to my daughter's apt as she has a super soft bed with additional foam...

help please,


12-24-2012, 09:09 AM
Hi Gardenia,

It took me a long time to figure out what "worked" for me regarding sleep. My end solution was an egg crate mattress topper that we folded over at the top to make it more elevated...THEN I have to have a certain thicker pillow on top of that for my head, a thinner one for support under my back, and a pillow for under my knees...I still wake up sore in the mornings, but after getting up and moving (and taking my tylenol and valium) I tend to feel better. I hope you find some relief soon, even if it's temporarily to use some pain killers, that's what they're there for..To keep us up and moving.

Happy holidays to you and your family.


12-24-2012, 11:00 AM
Hi Gardenia...

I would try a 3" or 4" memory foam topper. You can get them for <$100 at places like Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Amazon.


12-24-2012, 11:07 AM
Memory foam helpt me with comfort. I use a 4inch and can tell when I stay somewhere else with out the topper. If you are still here in MO the weather change isn't helping much either. In fact we are expecting snow tomorrow. There is something about the cold weather that makes my bones hurt even worse. Praying you get some relief! Merry Christmas!


12-24-2012, 05:28 PM
Dear Ed, (and everyone too!)

My daughter has one in our house in Mexico which I used for a week. I found myself sucked in and unable to turn. Tomorrow, I will be at her apartment and if I can climb up her bed I will try the one that she currently has. She has a super soft mattress and on top a thick memory foam. I remember sleeping a nap last July and I sank into it.

She went to Target to get me one of those old types (egg crates). She found 2 one for $18 and one for $40. So she bought both. We'll see.

I think that my internal stuff are starting to wake up and find themselves with objects out of place. I fully expected this to happen but not this painful.

Called the doctor and he double the Neurotin at night-time.

I am planning on getting on two planes plus airport waits on Jan 15th (day after seeing Dr. Bridwell) - going home. My scar looks good, all dried and healed.

Itching around the incision, a friend said to use hot water but husband got me a heating pad and it worked wonders this afternoon.

Thanks for the quick response.

Merry Christmas.


12-26-2012, 08:49 PM
I got a memory foam mattress topper from costco a few years ago and it made all the difference sleeping for me. I brought it to college & it even made my stiff mattress that came in my room comfy! All my roommates say I have the comfiest bed in our apartment. I sleep with a big teddy and hug him when I'm on my side and put his legs between my legs, it helps align your back and provide support. I also have a memory foam pillow which helps a lot with my neck & shoulder pain. Hope this helps! (:

12-28-2012, 09:58 AM
I TRIED THE ONE MY DAUGHTER HAS FROM COSTCO. Nice and thick but it sucks me in and I cannot roll.

Got a skinny one at Target maybe 1 1/2 thick and it is enough for now.

Thanks, all.

12-28-2012, 12:46 PM
Hi Gardenia. I've never been able to use the memory foam because it heats up too much and I end up waking from over heating. I had a very long fusion, my whole spine, and had to fix a sleeping surface the day I got home from the hospital. My mattress was a very good one but way too hard. So I piled up two layers of feather pillows and other pillows, 13 in all, positioning them so there was space for my butt while on my back. Even with pillows, it still felt like laying on railroad tracks for the first month.

Now, at 12 weeks post-op, I use five pillows and a down comforter folded in half. The most important of the five is the large feather pillow I sleep on. It is under my back, from my shoulder blades to just below my waist and gives very good lumbar support. Because my mattress was so hard, I also have a down comforter folded in half on my side of the bed under the sheet.

I hope you can figure out a good sleep surface. That's important for recovery.

12-28-2012, 01:11 PM
Having surgery in less than two weeks. Is it advisable to purchase a memory foam topper now or wait until I see how I feel in my own bed?

12-31-2012, 01:04 PM
After a week or more (can't count days anymore but segments of time) I have been able to sleep better, it is snowing here in St Louis and the temp in the apt is set at 72.

71 is too cold and 73 the heat is constantly on making the place uncomfortable. Go figure.

My head is supported by the buckwheat hull pillow but only when I am laying on the sides (it is great for reading on my kindle or watch Hulu missed tv shows. But, it is too high for when I am sleeping on my back and thus it gives me a bad neck pain, (nothing) or a flat flat pillow will do.

The pad is thin enough that I am not sucked in and unable to move. I have small range tolerance of temperature but this pad has not been too hot. I think that the makers of the bwh pillow claims that because of its fillings temperature is not a problem which obviously is not and they can have another free point to add to its advantages. I love that if it is not right, all I have to do is move it a little or punch one side and it supports my head right.

I am still thinking about how to get pillows on the plane.

Getting a wheelchair plus taking my walker as a carryon. My husband will have a suitcase with his and my electronics gears. My kitty is another carryon. How are we going to maneuver all of these pieces of stuff.

We came on Southwest non-stop from San Diego. Going home there are no non-stop at all. we are going on United as husband has status and gets premier setting automatically.

Our tickets came out one way $131 which was surprisingly cheap but the cat will cost $125 versus $75 on Southwest. If I had more energy in me, I would fight that he should get his own seat and not have to be under one of us.

Not feeling all to well today but as I opened my browser I had Ed's response to someone... and it was made exactly for me to read today. .... about muscles and slow recoveries.


12-31-2012, 01:31 PM
It's always nice to hear from you. I'm glad you read a reply from Ed that helped you. I think his comments are so meaningful to those going through the ups and downs of recovery. Keeping a positive attitude is so important. Have a happy new year with continued healing of your back.

12-31-2012, 02:20 PM

I am glad you are finally getting some sleep. I too found it hard to find the exact temperature to where I was comfortable. Have a safe trip home, I will be praying for you! How much snow has St. Louis gotten? I live about 3 1/2 hours from there and we are up to about 3 inches and are expecting another 2-3 tonight. Stay safe walking on it.