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Sleeping Challenges

Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

I realize that some of my sleeping issues are because of my surgery (double). I was a belly/side sleeper who would put an arm under her pillow in the process. (Had to re-adjust once because of majorly dislocating my shoulder when in my early 30s.) My surgery was in mid-February. Since then, I have been unable to sleep the way I am used to.

For three months I slept in the recliner, which is large enough that my feet do not hang over the foot rest. Although in the chair I was sleeping on my back, I could apparently shift enough (and use an arm to help). I had to do the same thing as I progressed through radiation and the sunburn feeling made it uncomfortable for me to try to turn on my side. I was not out in the chair more than maybe a week or two. In bed, though, I toss and turn a lot. If I try to sleep on my side, I still cannot sleep like I did. I wake up a bit to get myself situated; I often use double pillows.

Some of my problem, now, I think is related to my port. When I turn to rest on that side, I feel as if it is digging into me somewhat. I tend to think that when I get it out -- hopefully in December -- then maybe I can begin to try to get back into old sleeping patterns.

I have yet to sleep through the night since February. At times, if I have too many nights in a row that were restless, I go back out to the recliner for a night. I need to try to get a good amount of rest, as I am now back to work full time. I can't catch snoozes later in the morning or in the early afternoon, like I did when I was still recovering at home (surgery, chemo, rads).

Any suggestions, if any of you have/have had similar problems? I sometimes wonder if I will ever figure out how to once again sleep comfortably in bed.

Blondiemomma's picture
Posts: 41
Joined: Apr 2012

I've got a little ambien failure going on right now, too! It usually works for me. I found that pain bothered my sleep the most. My surgeon did a trigger point injection in my back and shoulder that helped tremendously. Hope something works for you soon.

Posts: 992
Joined: Sep 2009

There are safe sleep aid products. You really need quality sleep to restore your health and keep you healthy. We need to advocate for ourselves. So sorry you have gone through so much trauma.


Kylez's picture
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

When I have trouble sleeping, I take a sleeping pill that my doctor prescribed for me.

I hope you get some sleep soon.

Posts: 579
Joined: Dec 2010

You must have more rest especially as working now. Have to say I also was always a belly down sleeper and had to stop as it was causing neck and shoulder issues, one rotator cuff operation done. I yearned to sleep like I always had but it is not the correct way to do so, so my chiropractor informed me. Due to meds and The Menopause, hot flashes etc I never sleep well and have given up. Right now it is 5 am. But if I had to work I think some sleeping tablet may the answer. Are you still needing your port? I got mine taken out as soon as I could.

I have had many arm and shoulder issues plus tennis elbow. To align spine you should only use one pillow and never tummy sleep, sadly. Yoga has strengthened all the trouble spots which I worked on gradually and carefully and would highly recommend.

Hope you get sorted out.

Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

My port is still in only because the oncologist wants to do one more CT scan before deciding that the small spots seen on one back in March are nothing of concern. They are too small to do any testing on; they are not in the organs, although they are in the thoracic region.

That first observation postponed my chemo a week while the oncologist and radiologist decided what to do. The recommendation was to go ahead with chemo (April) and do a CT scan again after chemo to see what showed.

CT scan the end of July showed no increase in size since March scan. The oncologist said that it probably is good the spots did not disappear, lest it point to their being cancerous, having disappeared during chemo.

The radiologist has said that these small spots can be normal. What my oncologist wants to do is have a third CT scan to see if it shows the same. That will be the end of next month. If there is no change, then the oncologist will determine those to be normal and give me the ok to get my port removed. It's not that those spots won't be watched; but I will go to a six-month check instead of three-month.

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