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13 days post op from l4 l5 s1 spinal fusion and cant sleep

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Sleep Problems
most i can sleep is for a couple hours here and there and pain wakes me up constantly. Every 4 hours I am also trying to take my meds. I try sleeping on my side sometines, but I wake up totally drenched in sweat. While I was in the the hospital for the 4 nights I didnt sleep well because the nurses were in and out of my room checking on me, but I thought once I got home would be better. The only thing better is my bed is more comfortable. I dont want to to mix Ambien with the percs and valuem I am taking, so not sure what to do. :?


  • Oh Dear Keith, I do know how miserable it is . I was just the same after my L4/L5/S1 fusion last year, trying to sleep with a brace on, in a heat wave, and pain at every juddery turn in bed.
    I can`t advise you much with the meds, definately keep taking the percocet as you have been prescribed, I found that I had to get up and pace about fairly often during the night and make frequent visits to the loo as my muscles were very tense and had a uncanny timing of tightening up round my bladder area as soon as I was under the duvet!
    To make life a little easier, I had my bed raised a little on blocks to help me get out of bed and I slept on an inside out satin pillow case placed length ways in the bed , this aided the log rolling from position to position greatly. Slid easier. I had pillows everywhere , some people have a "body pillow" but the general idea is having one pillow between your knees, this ensures your spine is aligned and straight and one in front of you to hug, so your arms are rested, then one behind you to stop you rolling back , all the positioning is exhausting I know, but if you fall out of a good position whilst sleeping , you will wake up.
    Remember to tell the doctor on Friday how bad your sleeping pattern is and maybe even write down the timing so he can assess whether its a muscle relaxer, a breakthrough med or a higher dose of what you are on.
    I can assure you it does get better and you will have great relief once those staples are gone , the removal is not fun, it is uncomfortable, but is over very quickly and you will soon have the bliss of taking a soothing shower once you are healed over totally.
    I had sweats at this point too , I think from a combination of the meds , the healing and the pain. I just had a pile of cotton T-shirts laying near the bed and changed as often as needed.(everytime I was up to pee !)I was taking 3 to 4 short 10 minute walks by this stage too, the fresh air and exersize is good for circulation and bone growth and tires you out and helps prevent constipation. Even a good slow hobble round the house is good.
    I hope it helps a little, knowing you are not the only one going through this and I wish you the very best with your recovery and hope you start getting more sleep soon.
    Best Wishes Viking
  • last nov 07 i had a laminectomy at L4/L5 and a bilateral discectomy at S1 ..i too have not been able to sleep for more than 2 hours without waking in pain ...i am in pain 24/7 but you hope that when you go to bed that ypou can escape your pain for a bit dont you!!...all i can say keith is just up your pain meds and when you feel the need to get up ...dont beat youself up !! just get up for an hours or so ..have more pain killers lay on your recliner and try to get some sleep there..i am writing this as i have just done the same thing! i went to bed at 10 pm was woken at 12 so down i came ..more oxycodone on my recliner untill i feel like rejoining my wife then maybe i will get an hour or so before it is morning again...its a teribal situation to be in but it looks like there are a lot of us in the same boat my friend....i live in the uk but if you want to contact me feel free to do so on my email ...tony.beer1@googlemail.com..it would be nice to talk with some one in the same position as myself..i hope you are feeling a little better soon god bless....AND HI VIKING HOPE YOU ARE WELL FROM TONY BEER WAS MURPHY!!
  • well sleeping is a bit better now, i time my meds so i have a valium and 2 percs in me near bed time, so i am doing better now. Still not a full nite sleep but better than b4 thank god. I still wake in the morning in agony because i did sleep for more than 4 hours so any pain meds that were in me have far worn off. So, i lay in pain usually for 30 minutes and my meds are right next to me, but i just dont want to move at all. So thats how the last week has been going. Again had my surgery on 7-7-08, so going on 3.5 weeks now.
  • Hi Keith ,
    I am so pleased to hear things are getting a little easier for you now , everything is just so miserably slow at this stage isn`t it? I hope the staple removal went smoothly and you are now enjoying showers to sooth some of the aches and pains away although like me you will have to go lie down a while, damp, until you find the energy to finish drying yourself off and getting dressed.Then have another little rest after you have got over that one,its just rest, rest and more rest at this stage, and when you are feeling a little more energetic, do take care not to over do it or you`ll end up taking a whole day just resting to get over the day before. As I have said before it DOES get better :)

    Straker , yes I am fine, sorta, making plans for my next fusion and having to cope with a 3% capacity for short term memory as Gabapentin is the only med which holds the nerve zapping pain at bay , only need to endure this until the op hopefully . Hope you are well too, miss you in chat, but there again I am in a gabapentin and oxy induced coma most nights now, insomnia only hits occasionally , but when it does I see the sunrise ...

  • Good to hear you are catching a few more zz's than you were previosuly. If youre anything like me youre a grumpy bunny when you dont get enough sleep..lol

    Sweet Dreams,
    Christina :)
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