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Sleeping problems post surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 01/08/2016 - 4:16 AM in Sleep Problems

This is my first time to this particular board. I had surgery on September 4th for a Diskectomy of my L5. They put a "cushion" in place of the disc. My problem is that since about the 4th day after surgery, I have not had a truly good nights sleep. I am having pains in my left leg along with numbness in that leg and the foot. I am on medication for pain Hydrocodone 7.5-500 1-2 pills as needed for pain. I have tried taking this medication at various times, 1 pill at one time, 2 pills together... I am also taking a generic sleeping pil that is Temazeoam 15 mg that I take alone or with the pain medications and still, I am not sleeping. I am doing light physical activity during the day, but I return to my surgeon tomorrow to get released to go back to work and I am afraid of returning to work like this. I can't sleep and I am not able to "adjust" my work schedule - 8am-4:30pm - no ANDS/IFS or BUTS about it. I am afraid that I will have to resign from my job because I have run out of leave and they need to get someone to do my duties as I have been out for 7 weeks now....

Any suggestions/ideas? ~X(

Thanks for listening.


  • :) hi! it is no fun and can cause alot of hardships when we don't sleep. :''( i can recommend using Magnesium and Melatonin together and you should get a good nights sleep. I) they are supplements and you can get them at your health food store or maybe the pharmacy. melatonin is what is found in dark turkey meat and you know how sleepy everyone gets after Thanksgiving dinner. anyway, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about using these with your meds. that is my best suggestion besides napping. laying in bed all night awake is just too much. 8} get cozy and try to be drowsy. relax. take a nap in the daytime till you go back to work. if your body wants to nap, do it. I) it doesn't matter if it is 4 in the afternoon!! i am awake many nights. check out "shall we" in this site. good luck to you and i am up for awhile! Jenny :)
  • Hi Jenny!

    I am expected to return to work on Monday and I truly do not feel I am up for this. I have tried taking naps when I can't avoid it, laying awake all night is so stressful and making me crazy. I stopped eating after 5pm, I am not drinking or eating caffeine, no sugary snacks nothing. I am going to ask for another extension from work. If I have to resign, I will - it is a sacrifice I will have to take because I can't function on this level. I have no concentration stamina, I lay awake and I cry because I can't sleep, it is causing me so much stress. I mean I have had problems in the past with sleep,m but NEVER to this extent. 7 weeks of not sleeping is slowly killing me. Because of the pain and the lack of sleep, I am not comfortable driving and having to depend on my husband (who has been nothing but supportive) I just don't know what to do. I am menatally and physcially exhausted. I don't like to take medications at all, I tried 4 days without any medication to see if that would help and it did not... I am sorry to ramble, but this is very stressful (as you and many of you well know...) :(

    Thank you for listening!!
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  • I can relate with the lack of sleep. After more than five years and 20 plus surgeries on various joints including lower and upper spine sleep is a priviledge to me and not a right anymore! I found the only thing that helped was when my doctor put me on Lunesta. It is expensive and leaves a bad taste in your mouth but after a week and a half it finally kicked in a worked great. Now I only need it a few times a month (didn't take it last night) and it works great. Ambien made me groggy but didn't help my sleep and Melatonin just didn't work at all for me.

    As far as work goes, that is always difficult. I have a job that I couldn't change my hours in so what I did was draw up a plan on how I could accomplish my work in other, not as traditional ways, and my employer was glad to see I put in the effort. I also let them know it was only temporary. Now, 8 weeks after my last surgery, I am back again full time.

    Even though it feels like you are going crazy at times or like you may never sleep again, those thoughts aren't true. You will find ways to adjust and all will settle down.

  • :) macgirlzrock, hi! :H i have never been awake that long but perhaps it is time to start trying some new sleeping medications. there are some new ones out on the market and i hear good things about some of them. your doctor should have some ideas. i just want to tell you one thing, you will not die from lack of sleep. i know you feel loopy and out of it!! 8} not driving is a really good idea. i haven't driven in over 10 years because i take medications. you may be right about quitting your job. perhaps it is stress keeping you awake. you are so worried about not sleeping you don't sleep!! it is a continuous circle. worry no sleep, no sleep worry! take a hot bath and just try and relax. put on some music, a candle and then do something you enjoy for awhile. compute, read, have hubby give you a massage! take care! Jenny :)
  • Is supposed to help!

    Are there no employment laws to protect you?

    Sounds harsh situation. Remember you only have one back, look after it.
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  • After a VERY long day, I saw the surgeon and he told me to stop taking the medication altogether. He said to take Tylenol or Motrin as needed for pain. He has given me a referral for Physical Therapy and has extended my leave from work 2 more weeks. The Physical Therapist does Acupuncture as well as traditional physical therapy - which sounds like a good combination to me as 10 years ago when I first injured my back, the Physical Therapy people I went to were worthless...(the "assistant" therapist would put me on the electrode machine thing and leave me - nothing else... after that I started seeing a Chiropractor.

    As for my sleep, the doctor seems to think that if I am not on the medication, it will be more beneficial.

    As for my job...I went by there and told them it would be another 2 weeks, nothing was said exactly, however, I did get "hints" of trouble brewing later..with the labor laws, I don't know if I qualify for any assistance to keep my job. There is no "contract" and I can be fired/let go for any reason etc...

    So hopefully I will get some sleep and things will begin to look up soon.

    Thank you all for your advice and support :S

  • I can completely relate to your trouble sleeping post-surgery! I, too, had that problem and it drove me crazy! Someone told me it was the hydrocodone - that some people react that way to it. Sure enough, about 2 days after I stopped taking the hydrocodone I started sleeping like a baby. I was ready to go to sleep by 8:00 - if not before and slept all night. It was wonderful! If it is at all possible for you to do without it, you might give that a try.

  • surgery no matter what type seems to screw up our sleeping pattern. especially anything to do with the spine.
    hydro's i cannot sleep on worth nothing. and of course thats what i will be tapering down to in 2 weeks. im not happy about this, and of course the dr does not care either. one they do not touch my pain that much and two i feel wired and cannot sleep.
    percocet is stronger and im hyper for a little while but then i can sleep along with my soma (muscle relaxer)
    hopefully the tylenol etc works for you.
    also have you ever been on ultram/tramadol?? its non narcotic and helps me sleep. help take some of the edge of the pain also.
    heat before you go to bed example a heating blanket if you do not want to take a bath.
    like loulou said natural remdies also. they help my daughter.
    only thing is with PT you may get very very sore for the first few weeks and need the stronger ones.
    not everyone does.
    of course all my advice is strictly personal and not medical in anyway...

    i wish you the very best of luck.....
    keep us up to date on your recovery.
  • :H I am new here. But I know what is like not sleeping after surgery..I've had c-6&c-7 and the best way for me to get comfy was to sleep in a recliner, with pillows proped around ya. Not to be giving advice but that worked for me. I am scheduled for Surgery on 10-22 which is day after tommorrow :S :S :S for c4,c5 I bought a memory contoured pillow yesterday and it is awesome. I can sleep now hopefully after surgery to... Keep me in your thoughts and prayers.........
  • Warm milk really helps sometimes and tell yourself "relax " when all the thoughts are coming again say relax. I learned these techniques from a meditation tape. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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