Help to sleep on back comfortably after dbl mastectomy & reconstruct

Options
I am scheduled for double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery for next week. Any suggestions for comfort in sleeping on my back after surgery? I am a belly sleeper and don't know how I am going to keep myself on my back (in my sleep) while healing and while I have the drains in on both sides.

Any suggestions will be appreciated! THANKS! Julie

Comments

  • sweetvickid
    sweetvickid Member Posts: 459 Member
    Options
    Get one of those big wedge
    Get one of those big wedge pillows. That way you are more reclining and it helps keep you on your back. The other reason it also helps you be able to get up by yourself.

    After my surgery I stayed with my Mom. At night she would also put pillows on either side of me. Made me feel like I was sleeping in a recliner.I had lymph nodes removed on my right side and that arm felt much better being propped up by the pillow.
  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
    Options
    I have been struggling with
    I have been struggling with the same issue since my neurosurgeon told me that my sore neck would improve just by sleeping on my back. He said to really avoid my stomach. It has been a battle, but here is what helps me the most: a pillow under my knees, pillows around me and a pillow on TOP of my stomach. The pillow on my stomach gives me that snug and secure feeling.
  • cinnamonsmile
    cinnamonsmile Member Posts: 1,187 Member
    Options
    I slept in a recliner for at
    I slept in a recliner for at least two or three nights after my bmx.Once I got into bed, I really liked it, but it was very difficult getting in and out of bed. I needed help for at least a week to get out of bed by myself and even then it was painful and difficult. But I had severe nerve damage, so my pain level was off the charts. After that, I slept in bed propped up with pillows. I could not afford a wedge The pillows on each side of my chest helped keep me from rolling over.
  • tufi000
    tufi000 Member Posts: 745 Member
    Options
    Wedgie is good
    HAHA The wedge works great and I still use the sham under my pillow and have had to develop various new sleep positions as each one has its okays and drawbacks for different reasons till this day. I also put a futon mattress on my side to make it stiffer and it was easier to get in and out of bed myself. Sleeping on your back will happen, I was a belly sleeper too, but getting up to pee is a bigger deal, trust me. I went back to work fairly quick securing all the drains under blousy sweaters and blazers.
  • Chickadee1955
    Chickadee1955 Member Posts: 355 Member
    Options
    tufi000 said:

    Wedgie is good
    HAHA The wedge works great and I still use the sham under my pillow and have had to develop various new sleep positions as each one has its okays and drawbacks for different reasons till this day. I also put a futon mattress on my side to make it stiffer and it was easier to get in and out of bed myself. Sleeping on your back will happen, I was a belly sleeper too, but getting up to pee is a bigger deal, trust me. I went back to work fairly quick securing all the drains under blousy sweaters and blazers.

    I was always a side/belly
    I was always a side/belly sleeper, but since dbl mastectomy I have gotten so used to sleeping on my back with pillows propping my elbows, that I find that I prefer it now. Its amazing what you can quickly get used to. Good luck with your surgery.
  • juliebookoch
    juliebookoch Member Posts: 11
    Options

    I was always a side/belly
    I was always a side/belly sleeper, but since dbl mastectomy I have gotten so used to sleeping on my back with pillows propping my elbows, that I find that I prefer it now. Its amazing what you can quickly get used to. Good luck with your surgery.

    Need for SLEEP
    Thank you all for your recommendations! I know how valuable my sleep is to me and my sanity, so I am scared to not get it or to not heal by rolling around to much. Really scared. THANK YOU, THANK YOU! And my prayers are with you all through your own trials!

    I am new on the discussion boards and newly diagnosed with breast cancer. However, my husband had head and neck cancer diagnosed last Feb (2011) and he has been so blessed by the information and encouragement from the discussions. Any prayers for my children and parents would also be appreciated. God is so good and has given my children amazing strength and grace this last year. My heart breaks that they must continue this year with my cancer, but I know they have Christ in their hearts and He is guiding them.

    Blessings to you all!

    Julie
  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
    Options

    Need for SLEEP
    Thank you all for your recommendations! I know how valuable my sleep is to me and my sanity, so I am scared to not get it or to not heal by rolling around to much. Really scared. THANK YOU, THANK YOU! And my prayers are with you all through your own trials!

    I am new on the discussion boards and newly diagnosed with breast cancer. However, my husband had head and neck cancer diagnosed last Feb (2011) and he has been so blessed by the information and encouragement from the discussions. Any prayers for my children and parents would also be appreciated. God is so good and has given my children amazing strength and grace this last year. My heart breaks that they must continue this year with my cancer, but I know they have Christ in their hearts and He is guiding them.

    Blessings to you all!

    Julie

    pillows .... pillows of varies sizes and shapes
    elevate your head with 2 pillows -- try several pillows to slightly prop up arms, find a comfortable position for your arms. I would also suggest a smaller pillow under your knees. You may be uncomfortable for a few nights -- but, you will get the sleep needed to support your daily routine with children, and family.

    Good luck.

    Strength, Courage and Hope.

    Vicki Sam
  • juliebookoch
    juliebookoch Member Posts: 11
    Options
    VickiSam said:

    pillows .... pillows of varies sizes and shapes
    elevate your head with 2 pillows -- try several pillows to slightly prop up arms, find a comfortable position for your arms. I would also suggest a smaller pillow under your knees. You may be uncomfortable for a few nights -- but, you will get the sleep needed to support your daily routine with children, and family.

    Good luck.

    Strength, Courage and Hope.

    Vicki Sam

    Thank you, Vicki Sam!
    Thank you, Vicki Sam! Thanks to your suggestions and the others, I am feeling better that it will be okay! :)
  • cinnamonsmile
    cinnamonsmile Member Posts: 1,187 Member
    Options

    Thank you, Vicki Sam!
    Thank you, Vicki Sam! Thanks to your suggestions and the others, I am feeling better that it will be okay! :)

    Julie, I am a rollover,
    Julie, I am a rollover, always kind of moving sleeper, back, belly, right side, left side and variations. After sleeping in the recliner and moving to the bed and being propped up with pillows, I never rolled. The volunteers in the hospital gave me two very small homemade pillows that I still use. I use them for the seatbelt across my chest and in my armpits sometimes.
  • Slimsixtwo
    Slimsixtwo Member Posts: 24
    Options
    I just had a uni mastectomy
    I just had a uni mastectomy w/reconstruction 5 days ago. I have been sleeping on my recliner since I've been home with a pillow under my arm. The pain hasn't been too bad but definitely has been uncomfortable with these drains. I wish u the best of luck on ur surgery day and my thoughts are with u and your family.

    Hugs

    Selena
  • Angie2U
    Angie2U Member Posts: 2,991
    Options

    Julie, I am a rollover,
    Julie, I am a rollover, always kind of moving sleeper, back, belly, right side, left side and variations. After sleeping in the recliner and moving to the bed and being propped up with pillows, I never rolled. The volunteers in the hospital gave me two very small homemade pillows that I still use. I use them for the seatbelt across my chest and in my armpits sometimes.

    Wishing you good luck next
    Wishing you good luck next week with your surgery Julie!

    Hugs, Angie
  • mamolady
    mamolady Member Posts: 796 Member
    Options
    I slept on the couch with
    I slept on the couch with pillows. I am a side sleeper and it is still tough to not sleep on the side with LE. Be careful with using pillows to elevate your arms in bed. My shoulders go really sore.
    On a side note, my skin was really sensitive after surgery. I read, later on this board, it had something to do with the anesthetic. My skin crawled for a few days. I thought it was the flannel sheets or my shirts. I switched to really soft every thing. Then way later, I read something about it here.
    Maybe someone else can explain it better.
    Other than that, the surgery wasn't bad at all.

    Cindy
  • helen e
    helen e Member Posts: 223
    Options
    Husband Pillow
    I got a "husband pillow" and it worked great for me because after my TRAM Flap reconstruction it was really hard for to try to sit up. With the pillow I was already halfway up. My sister used it when she had her breast surgery and called to say thank you because it really helped her too. I hope you find something that works for you.

    Helen
  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
    Options
    helen e said:

    Husband Pillow
    I got a "husband pillow" and it worked great for me because after my TRAM Flap reconstruction it was really hard for to try to sit up. With the pillow I was already halfway up. My sister used it when she had her breast surgery and called to say thank you because it really helped her too. I hope you find something that works for you.

    Helen

    "Husband pillow"?!?
    Okay, I just had to google "husband pillow," because I'd never heard that term before....Did anyone else's brain head into the gutter wondering what a pillow substitute for a husband might be, or is it just me...?

    :-) Traci
  • aisling8
    aisling8 Member Posts: 1,627 Member
    Options
    TraciInLA said:

    "Husband pillow"?!?
    Okay, I just had to google "husband pillow," because I'd never heard that term before....Did anyone else's brain head into the gutter wondering what a pillow substitute for a husband might be, or is it just me...?

    :-) Traci

    Hmmm
    Maybe just you:)
    There's certainly no one else around here whose brain would go there.... Nope, no one else, I'm sure:)

    Signed,
    Mrs. Pillow
  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
    Options
    aisling8 said:

    Hmmm
    Maybe just you:)
    There's certainly no one else around here whose brain would go there.... Nope, no one else, I'm sure:)

    Signed,
    Mrs. Pillow

    Okay .. you, two!
    . . .. I went there, as well -- hu mmmmm!


    V