Got Sleep?

Snow Wave

Snow Wave

Let’s chat about sleep.  How is your sleep?  Quality?  Quantity?

No one will deny that sleeping is a very important part of our every day life.  I certainly would not.  I LOVED to sleep and before surgery I did my best to sleep 8 hours a night in a dark quiet room with comfortable bedding after an active day of work, crossfit, yoga, and walking the dogs.  (Ok, so I may not have done ALL of that in one day, but sometimes I did.)  Now?  Sleep is by far the most difficult thing to master during this recovery process and possibly the most important aspect of recovery next to physical therapy.  At this point I’m lucky if I sleep more than 4 hours in a stretch without waking up.  Talk about a bummer.

Here’s the break down:

  • For six weeks I HAD to sleep in the immobilizer – this makes finding a position to sleep in very challenging.  A lot of people who have gone through this type of surgery have slept in recliners, and have even purchased one solely for this purpose.  I didn’t feel it was necessary, nor do we have the space in our little house.  I opted for a palace of pillows on our super comfy bed figuring I’d sleep better in my own bed modified to my needs.
  • I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors – Yes it’s true, sleeping sitting up is by far the most comfortable.  However, no one seems to tell you when you sleep sitting up for a long time your ass FALLS ASLEEP – and thus wakes up the rest of your body.
  • Napping is a lost art form.  Before surgery napping was a luxury, the first two weeks post surgery however, napping was a necessity.  Sleep eight-ish hours at night and if I didn’t get a two-hour nap during the day I was a limp noodle with zero mental capacity.
  • I’m not necessarily an advocate for chemical assistance to aid in sleep (or anything else for that matter), but the lack of sleep was becoming ridiculous.  It’s true I tried sleep aids, the good kind – Lunesta – there, I admit it. 
  • Being under doctor and PT orders to NOT exercise other than going for walks definitely doesn’t help (especially when I was carrying my own personal messenger bag 24 hours a day).  Exercise gets my ya-ya’s out.  And when Crossfit, yoga, walking a herd of dogs, and working 12 hour shifts in a busy children’s emergency room is removed from the normal schedule it becomes difficult to wear my body out.
  • In general I prefer to sleep flat on back with either a small pillow or nothing all.  Add a sling to that and well…not gunna happen.  Take the sling off (when the doctor says it’s ok to do so, of course) and think you’ll go back to sleeping like a normal person?  Yeah?  No.  My first concern with sleeping without the sling was that I’d try to roll over on to my left side or move my arm in some way, however I must have trained myself to not move my left arm at all during the night because so far that hasn’t happened yet.   

Despite my now three-ish months of practice, I still haven’t quite figured out the whole sleep thing. The PTs say it takes anywhere from three to six months to get close to or back to normal.  For now?  I will just take a nap……night night.

counting sheep



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