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3:30 am and hurting

inchwormiinchworm Posts: 719
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I'm 9 days post-op fusion surgery and hurting this morning. Am sitting here at my computer at 3:30 am because I can't find a position that relieves the pain. My thighs, butt/low back, hips and occasional pain/numbness in my shinbones feel as if I'd been kicked. Had my dose of pain med & muscle relaxer 40 minutes ago but it hasn't helped yet.

Anybody else awake and hurting at this time of the morning? It's daytime for some of you around the world.

Thanks for any encouragement or suggestions you might have to get at least somewhat comfortable.

2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled


  • Hi Linda,

    I'm sorry that you're hurting so badly. My experience has been that it takes a minimum of 45 minutes for pain meds to really kick in, so at time you wrote your post, maybe you were right at the point that you were about to get some relief?

    I wish I could help you somehow. Please stay in touch with your doctor regarding your pain level. They can adjust your meds if necessary.

    I'll be sending positive thoughts your way.

  • Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your note. You hit it right on the head--it's been 60 minutes and my pain meds have kicked in enough that I can sit here at the computer instead of having to pace around the house. I'd been sleeping on a heating pad all night. What a heavenly relief it gives--for a while, lol.

    I just saw my surgeon's PA yesterday for staple removal and xrays. All looks good and I happily walked out the door, forgetting completely to get new scripts for my oxy and muscle relaxer. Such an airhead--I don't have enough to last through the week-end so will be putting in a call today to get more. Am thinking about asking for some Valium (or similar med). Saw where a couple of people had tried that for relentless pain and it helped.

    How are you doing with your pain management?

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
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  • For you pain Linda..I found sleeping with a pillow under my knees or between them and also one behind my back and I found that this helped..

    Sending you lots of soft and warm hugs >:D< and as Dave said, make sure you let your Dr know if your medication isnt strong enough.


  • Linda,
    I hope that you are sleeping comfortably now. I)

    If your pain is stopping you sleeping, do let your surgeon know.

    Gentle hug. >:D<
  • Jelly don't you remember those early post-op nights? I know me and Jayhawk remember. I couldn't sleep more than 3 hours a time for the first 3 or 4 weeks. It was exhausting..But the pain from laying in one spot woke me up. And I had to be awake to log roll correctly.
    I had no real schedule for the first month or so. I slept for a couple hrs at a time during the day or night. Whenever I could.
    Glad those days are behind me. I still wake up often and toss and turn..but can go right back to sleep.
    Hang in there. It does get better!!!

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  • Thanks, Shelly and Jelly (ha ha)--I did go back to sleep soon after getting of the computer. A couple of days ago I did request and was granted to take my pain med every 3 hours instead of 4. That made a world of difference. My surgeon's PA told me they want to see my pain level below a 5, so I guess I shouldn't be asking for more/different meds unless it is worse than that. Would love to not hurt at all, but that's a pipe dream, lol. Am trying to screw up my courage to ask about Valium. It sounds like the perfect solution. Will let all know if I do ask about it, and the answer I get. :>

    This is the first time I've been back on the computer so I'm slow to answer and even slower to keep up with everyone's posts. Have been lying on the sofa on my heating pad. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled

  • that you did manage to get to sleep.
    Things will improve, I promise. These early days are tough, but hopefully it will all be worth it before long. :-)

    Yes I do remember those difficult nights early on in the recovery. Waking up due to pain after just an hour or two, and needing to log roll over and readjust the pillow between my knees. Sometimes having to get up and take a walk around the house, to be able to go and lie down again.

    Although not so bad, I still wake several times during the night to try to get comfortable again. I am glad that I am now further on in my recovery and things are so much easier. :-)

  • I hope as you get my message that your pain level has improved. I agree with the pillow under your knees or between them if sleeping on your side. I did go to Big Lots and bought a memory foam pad. For me, I liked the cusioning it gave me for my spine and the surgery site. It has been 7 weeks since my fusion surgery and I still wake up about 3 to 4 times a night to change positions. I am curious, did you doctor give you a bone stimulator? I wear mine for 2 hours every day. I am still taking percocet twice a day, a muscle relaxer and also neurontin also twice a day. All I can say is, it has gotten easier every day, I hope that your recovery goes extremely well. Please write me any time.
  • Thanks for the continued words of encouragement. As night approaches, I'm wondering how much of it will be spent sleeping and how much here on the computer, lol. At least I have a place to come to in the middle of the night and know that there will be somebody awake to commiserate with. :)

    Jelly, my immediate pain eased and I was able to go back to sleep. I'm up every couple of hours all night long, going to the bathroom. Have been that way in recent years and it hasn't changed with this surgery. It turns out to be a good thing for me because I need to move. Yes, things will improve and one of these days I'll be able to look back at this time instead of staring it in the face as I am right now. :D

    Lisa, thanks for your encouragement on the pain level. Very much appreciated. No bone stimulator. He just sent me home with a rigid brace. Thankfully, I don't have to wear it at night! It is aggravating the nerves in my back and I'm going on Monday to see if it can be adjusted. I have a pillow to put between my knees when on my side but it's too thick--I should check into some memory foam, not a full mattress topper, but it seems like a small piece would work well between my knees. Really need to be able to sleep on my side occasionally, although it causes pain in one place or another so I always end up back on my back. I got a new script for oxy this afternoon and he wants me to start weaning myself off of it, over the next week or so. He's going to switch me to hydrocodone at narcotic level strength (he used the word "narcotic"). It can be called to my pharmacy so I won't have to go up to the office every few days to get a new script.

    I'm not worried about stepping "down" from oxy to hydrocodine--for some strange reason, I've noticed that oxy can actually make nerve pain worse. Doesn't make sense, I know, but I noticed that phenomenon a few weeks ago and made note to pay careful attention. If I'm having nerve pain, oxycodone can actually make it a little worse. Don't know if it's all the time but enough for me to take note. Maybe somebody here has experienced the same thing?

    Thanks again, gals, for your warm support and encouragement. Wishing you both a peaceful, pain-free night.


    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • You get a decent nights sleep tonight and know that we are here for you at anytime.
    Take care my friend.xx
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