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Waking up with horrible pain, set alarm to take meds?

I have DDD / bone on bone at L5S1. I had surgeries to fix congenital stenosis and a herniation and now I’m suffering from the unintended consequences. Doctors won’t agree to do a fusion yet. Anyway, I’m trying my best to maintain my full time job but the pain is absolutely horrible in the mornings. It takes hours to control it once I’m awake. I have a brand new adjustable gel mattress which seemed to help at first. I have been taking extended release (Xtampza) for a couple months now and I try to take it right before I go to bed. I still wake in horrible pain. The doc has given me immediate release Percocet for breakthrough pain. I’m wondering if I should set an alarm in between my sleep schedule to take a Percocet? Has anyone tried this? 



  • Hi Aunt-Reesi,

    I'm so sorry for your suffering.  I don't have an answer for you but wanted you to know you are not alone. I had an ALIF fusion L5 S1 10 days ago and I am dealing the same issue.  Like you, I have wondered about setting an alarm to take pain meds in the middle of the night.   I'll be following your post.  ((hugs)) to you.


  • If I'm having a bad time, I take something as soon as the alarm goes off and go back to bed. Set the snooze for 30 or 40 minutes. It takes the edge off and I get up easier.

    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
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  • My first two weeks after surgery I’d have my roomie/caretaker set her alarm for my meds.  Otherwise it was just too painful.  

  • I had a bad run back in the summer, knee pain plus my neck and back, also one shoulder and I hurt my left arm working on my car. I was a hot mess for a couple of days. 4 am... took 2 of my pain medication, got as comfortable as possible, no easy feat at the time. Slowly I felt the pain let loose as the medication kicked in, then I was able to sleep.

    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 330

    I hate to wake up on purpose while in deep sleep but I understand your dilemma. I would give it a try and see how it works as it could work out well if not then you will know. Good luck!

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  • There are apps that have pretty good reminders as long as you get dosages and timings setup properly at the start they work reasonably well.  If you get one and have a smart watch, make sure there is a smart watch app extension, or just use the smart watch timer.  I combine that with cups of each dose of my next 36hrs of pain pills. I leave morning pills (vitamins) out and do them separately.   Works well as long as you manage it

    L3-S1 ALIF Feb 2018 and 

    L3-S1 PLIF Laminectomy and Fusion March 2018

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,425

    Personally, I would stick with being asleep.  So many people with chronic pain complain about the lack of sleep they get and how many times during the night they get up.  Sleep can be a very good ally to anyone suffering with pain.

    I'd let your own body be the timeclock.  If  you are sleeping and not having any pain, I would just continue to sleep.  I know for myself, I woke up many times during the night in the past , because of the pain.  Took my medications and went back to sleep.

    I do understand that your mornings are rough and that impacts the start of your day.   But I still believe in good sleep is the better path.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • I agree with Ron sleep is always your best healing helper.  The first 6 months are critical for this.    My perspective is a year after surgery I’m sleeping too well thanks to Gabapentin I can wake, pop my meds and go back to sleep relatively easily. I’m almost a year post op though, should have qualified it. 

    L3-S1 ALIF Feb 2018 and 

    L3-S1 PLIF Laminectomy and Fusion March 2018

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