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Insomnia... this is really old!!!

lynnsyllynnsy Posts: 197
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Sleep Problems
Hey everyone, and good morning I've been up since 2:30am, and I've been doing this for months!!! I had a 3 level fusion, it will be one year on Feb. 8th. I'm basically doing pretty good now that I am 11-1/2 months. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.... Still have my "ups and downs", but I'm getting there.

My problem is sleep deprovation. I've gotten perscriptions for Ambian, Valium, and Trazadone, which is old school that really knocks you out! That one is just gross!! Oh btw, I don't take all three at the same time, I take only 1/2 or 1/4 of just one. So I'll take one of one of these before bed, I sleep with wierd dreams for exactly 6 hours, and then I get up cause I can't put myself back to sleep.

I'm just wondering if it's my vitamins or percocet that is causing this. (I still take 3-4 percocets per day for on-going pain) But I take, 1 multi-vitamin, 1 Citrical+D, 1 extra D, one B-12 complex, one B+, 2-1500mg Fish Oil (really helps for going potty). I do my PT in the mornings at home, which includes 1-1/2 miles per day walking, 3 miles on my stationary bike, then lay on floor doing my other excersises.

I go to bed at around 8:30, (can't go any further) and wake up "brite eyed and bushy tailed" EVERYDAY at 2:30 or 3am. I fight taking a nap around 1pm in the afternoon to hopefully sleep longer at night.

Just wondering, is this normal, and could it be a combination of the drugs I'm taking, or is insomnia normal for lubar fusion patients?

I do not work, as my injury came from my job in March 07', surgery didn't happen until Feb. 08. So ya, I'm going absolutely nuts with boredom, cause I just can't do all my chores around the house like I use to. Use to be OCD about my home, but after this length of time, I've come to terms with it. NOW, that the economy is all messed up, and feel like I could do a sit down job of some sort part-time, there's nothing out there!!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I know this lack of sleep cannot be good for this 2 year long healing process!!!


  • 6 hours isn't really too bad.It might be that is all that your body needs if you wake up on your own,with the same amount of sleep each night.Everyone is different,yes,but I read that the studies done show that we all have an 'internal' clock and shouldn't need an alarm clock to wake us up-that we should wake up at the same time each day (if we are going to bed at the same time each night).They say that if we need an alarm clock to wake up that we are sleep deprived and waking on our own is the way it should be.Also,that some people need 8 or 9 hours a day,while others wake up after only 6 or 7.

    So-You seem to be the one who is most healthy on that whole 'internal clock' that I read about.I can see why you wouldn't want to be awake at 2:30 or 3 am though-there is like NOTHING to do,and tv is boring.Maybe you could try changing your bedtime.I know that you mentioned being tired at 8:30 pm,but if you could try pushing it back-even 10/15 minutes a night-until you're up later and your day starts a bit later (daylight) it might even elevate your mood somewhat.You've been on this schedule for months so it's probably going to be a challenge.

    I'm on a terrible schedule.Actually it's a non-schedule.

  • The information provided by members of Spine-Health should never be considered as formal medical advice. It is recommendations based on member's personal experiences only. This can vary from person to person, so do not take comments as medical rules. Edited by moderator Paulgla

    Hi Lynnsy.I am new to this site but will put my two cents worth in.I have had insomnia because of taking percocet. It sounds like you are having the same problem. You are doing the right thing by exercising but you need to dump the drugs. If you must take something for pain, take acetaminophen. I think you can take 1,000 mgs. every 6 hours, up to 4,000 mgs, or 4 grams, per 24 hours. This has worked well for me in the past. I can almost guarantee that you will be able to stay up later and sleep better and have a better quality of life if you drop the percocets. I knew someone who was totally hooked on them to the point that he was buying them on the street and had to be hospitalized to get off of them. Best of luck to you.
  • Acetaminophen is not good for long term pain relief.It's too hard on the liver.

    It's probably not fair to compare a person buying narcotics on the streets for-recreational use-to a person that is taking them for medical purposes & is well educated in the differences between addiction & dependence.

    Welcome to S~H
  • I have tried to change my bedtime. I've forced myself to stay awake till 10pm, but I still wake up at 2:30-3.

    And yes, I have wondered about the percocet. I've been taking them since I was 6 weeks post-op. For that first six weeks after surgery, I had a serious issue with delaudid, OMG that was horrible!!! So my doc gradually got me off of those with the help of methadone, then put me on to the percocet.

    But it's like Robin says, I'm 53 and realize the major surgery I've been through, and that I definately still need the pain killers, my back tells me that every morning when I get up, or when the barometer drops, or when I take my surgery for granted and do something stupid. I WISH I didn't, but I do. I hate em', and know they're not good for my body. I got a Tens Unit about 4 months ago, (which I absolutely LOVE) cause it keeps me away from pain pills, which again I love!! I'd give anything to not have to do pain pills anymore, but unfortunately, I still have a ways to go with my 3 level fusion. And asprin doesn't touch the pain, I've already tried that angle HOPING they would work so I could stop taking the pain killers. And I'm still not allowed to take anti-inflamatories.

    Maybe I've become immune to something? I do know I quit taking the Ambien, just due to that. I became immune, so they no longer worked.

    Maybe I need to change pain pills again?

  • Hi Lynnsy~
    Sorry to hear that you are struggling with sleep... It really stinks! I also got to a point that Ambien didn't put me to sleep. Even after I stopped taking them for a long time, they didn't help me so my doctor put me on Ambien CR and Rozerem together, which helps me the best. I think that my pain medicine might have raised my tolerance to the sleep meds, but I have to have them. Sleep is SO important to your body to heal, especially after surgery. If you are going to wake up at that time every day and skipping a nap doesn't help you sleep longer, I would go ahead and have the nap. If you're feeling tired at "nap time", maybe your body is telling you to rest!! Just a thought...
    Hope your sleep is restful!
  • I had the same problem after being on percocet for quite a while. I found that it kept me awake after awhile instead of putting me to sleep. So if it's anything I'd try rescheduling how you might be taking your Percocet. My Neurologist added Soma because he was DETERMINED to get me to sleep at night and keep me that way. Like Trater said my doctor also said that sleep is when our bodies do the majority of the healing. Unfortunately, that was a short lived option for me because I have a job and I have to wake up and be alert at 5:00 a.m. It wasn't one of those drugs that I ever got used to like Percocet. I didn't even notice any difference when I took or didn't take the Percocet so I just quit taking them. (Not advisable to anyone reading this though if you've taken them for a length of time. It was not pretty.) I hope that you find good sleep soon. Oh and I tried all the prescription sleep aids as well. I couldn't take any of them because they all gave me a headache.
  • hi! :H i always recommend trying the natural supplements melatonin and magnesium. =D> i often get 6 hours or so from the combination. I) as always, check with your doctor or pharmacist for drug interactions with your other meds. :-C if you can't get a full night's sleep, nap when you can. no repair work is done but you may feel alitle more rested. I) stop by here at night if you get lonely!!! Jenny :)
  • I didn't take my 1/2 valium last night just to test. And I woke up this morning at 4:30. Jeez, I haven't done that in forever!!!! Went to sleep at 9.

    And no, I can't live day to day without the Percocet. I definately feel the difference as soon as I take one. The pain goes away.

    So tell me, whenever and IF-ever I can finally stop taking the percs, is it going to be rough? I had a real bad experience at the beginning of my post-op. The morphine pump didn't touch my pain, so they put me on a delaudid pump. I was hitting that button every 6 minutes. Then I went to a physical rehab facility for 7 days after my 5 day stay at the hospital, and the doctors were giving me the delaudid but in pill form, but the same amount.

    I then finally was able to do stairs after being in the PT facility after the 7 days, so I got to come home. BUT, I was then perscribed to the same amount of delaudid for home. It didn't take long, that I was forced into addiction. It was an absolute nightmare, actually suicidal (which is totally not me) crying ALL the time. Till my visiting nurse and my husband recognized that I was having a serious issue. My doctor put me on Methadone and prozac to help me come through the withdrawals. It was absolutely THE worst time in my life!!! It took about 10 days to come through the withdrawals, and it was everything you see in the movies. What a nightmare, litterally!!!! shakey, cold and hot sweats, dizzy, suicidal, throwing up, the whole nine yards. What a disgusting drug!!! BUT, at the time right after my surgery, it was the only thing that would take away my pain.

    Is that going to be the same issue with my body if I ever stop the percocet? I'm hoping it won't be so horrible, and that my doc will help me with other perscriptions with the side effects, like he did with the delaudid. My God, that stuff was nasty!!! I was extremely scared at that time.

    So do you think I've become immune to the Valium? Since I didn't take my little 1/2 last night before bed, and I actually slept? I'll do the same tonight and not take a valium and see what happens.
  • Well,I don't think that a person wakes up one day and their pain is gone-then decide to stop their medications.In most cases your pain will probably lessen over time,therefore enabling you to take less pain medication over a length of time.Doing this is easier on your body/mind,and you would be less likely to have any withdrawls.

    The part of your post that concerned me was where you said;
    It didn't take long, that I was forced into addiction
    Forgive me for my ignorance,but I cannot see anywhere in your posts where you were forced into taking any type of medications.It has always been my belief that we,as adults,are responsible for our own actions,and to understand the meds that we are putting into our bodies.When we use terms or words such as 'forced' it sounds like we are blaming another for our actions.

    I do understand how easily it can be to become abusive with a medication.I found myself doing that with a pain med years ago,when I was taking the meds every 4 hrs even though I no longer needed them.I wanted them.The fact that I had them didn't mean that I had to take them.I was well aware of that,but nobody forced me.

    PS~I quit that,and all other pain meds in April of '02.IT was my so called drug of choice,and I won't ever take it again.I've told my Dr all about the situation,and it wasn't until '07 that I took pain medication again (a different kind).Nobody can force you into the addiction or abusing of pain medications,but if you find yourself there you can force yourself out.
  • was, I had no choice but to take a very strong pain med after my surgery. I would have rather died than feel that pain. I've said it a hundred times, "I'd rather give birth to 10 children, naturally with no medications, than go through my 3 level fusion". It is without a doubt THE worst pain I have ever endured! I had no idea before going into my surgery that it was going to be that painful afterward,... then I would of had a choice to have said, "no, I don't want the surgery".

    I collapsed from the pain the first time they tried to get me to walk on day 4, litterally, on the floor. I had a catheder for 5 days, because I could not move.

    So in order for all the physicians to keep me from pain, and the only thing that would make me feel just a little bit better was the liquid delaudid, every 6 minutes. Then like I said, after my 7 day stay in the rehab facility, STILL doing the same amount of delaudid, but in pill form, then coming home doing the same amount, yes basically I did not have a choice, unless I wanted to commit suicide, which would have been the only option had I not done pain medication.

    And absolutely, I did see a problem about 4 weeks post-op. They tried numerous pain meds on me and nothing worked except the delaudid. But I did recognize that I was having suicidal thoughts, crying all the time, scared, in pain. I immediately told my visiting nurse about it the worse it got. She then immediately told me how she "has seen so many of her patients having issues with delaudid, and that this is what I was experiencing, withdrawals. She called from my home and got me an appointment that day to see my PCP, my husband drove me down, and I just had a meltdown right in front of my doctor. I told him I couldn't take the pain anymore, and I couldn't stand what the delaudids were doing to me! So I guess I did make a choice that day to stop!!!

    BUT, I definately needed some strong pain med because the pain was imbearable.

    He immediately knew what the problem was, and knew what to do. He perscribed me to prozac, and methadone to help me through the withdrawals. After two weeks of going through the withdrawals and slowly weaning me (God he was a miracle worker...) he then perscribed me to the percocet.

    I was taking one every 2-3 hours at that time. I am now doing only 3 per day, I can't wait for the day I never have to do any!!!
  • I totally understand where you're coming from. If you've been through withdrawals from Dilaudid then Percocet shouldn't be anything like that. I DO NOT suggest that you stop taking them on your own. Robin for me I didn't wake up without pain one day and decide to stop taking my meds. I woke up in pain and decided I couldn't keep taking my meds because I like Lynnsy want my life back and if it means I deal with the pain then so be it. My shoulder still causes me an incredible amount of pain but I want the problem FIXED not medicated. The part of your post that concerned me most is when you mention being addicted. Lynnsy there is a BIG difference is addiction and dependence. Addicts will do anything to get their hands on a drug for a condition they do not have. Dependence comes from long term use of narcotics to legitimately treat pain. So don't refer to yourself as being addicted. Dependent yes. Addicted no.
  • lynnsy,I do understand what you mean,and it's certainly true too that all medications are different-as are our reactions to them.A lot of people do become dependant on and even addicted to pain meds innocently enough too,so I surely understand that.I was only concerned about the term 'forced',but you have made me understand now why you used the word the way that you have.I certainly meant no harm,and was only trying to be helpful.I too hope that the day comes when you no longer have to "do any."

    tonya-As I mentioned in my post "I don't think that a person wakes up one day and their pain is gone-then decide to stop their medications".While some people may decide to quit medication while still in pain,that is another subject entirely,and not what I was referring to.

    I still had pain in 02 when I quit taking my pain medication as well,but I could have weaned or went to a lesser dose/type much sooner than I did.It's all personal and there are always choices to make.I was really trying to answer the OP's question to the best of my ability,and with honesty.No judgements are coming from here.

    Some things can't be fixed,and for those I'm thankful for the meds.That's a personal choice,but it's not only pain medication involved in my situation.
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