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Starting week 4, can't sleep, feeling down


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Old 01-28-2014, 10:32 PM   #1
proudgrma
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Unhappy Starting week 4, can't sleep, feeling down

It's 12:30am, and I've been trying to fall asleep for 2 hours. Last night it was 3:30am before I could sleep. For full disclosure, I have a history of insomnia and anxiety. I find it impossible to get comfortable in bed. I'm not in my usual bed, since it's upstairs. Then there is the large wedge for elevation and a large ice pack to rest my cast on, and another ice wrap around my ankle. And then, I have to lay on my back, and I haven't done that in 30 years. By this time at night my ankle is quite swollen, and it 's rubbing like sandpaper in my cast......darn cast! I've taken my two allotted pain meds, which are not effective. I listen to calming music. All to no avail. After all this complaining, did you find that when you finally got to PWB you were relieved? Relieved that you actually got to WORK at getting stronger? How was the pain when you first started weight bearing again? Did you need to use prescription pain medications again? Any realistic encouragement you can give me is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:26 AM   #2
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Re: Starting week 4, can't sleep, feeling down

I definitely know the feeling!! With my first foot surgery, I was SOOOO uncomfortable in the boot that they put me in I hardly got any restful sleep. I would be up most of the night, and only get a few hours rest when I finally got exhausted enough to fall asleep.

With this second surgery, I was SOOO much more comfortable (they put me into a cast that fit well the first few weeks, then I went into my boot I liked) that sleeping was never really a problem. I slept with an inflatable leg pillow that had an indent in the middle which helped keep my foot and leg in place while resting. (With just a stack of pillows I felt like my leg would roll one way or the other and it was very hard on my back, hips, and knees.)

But to answer the rest of your questions... I was SOOO happy when I got to PWB the first time. Even though it hurt like crazy (and I did end up taking some of the Rx pain meds again), it quickly went away. It's definitely work getting better (both times I was EXHAUSTED after just the smallest bit of walking), but again, you feel stronger and better every day which is really encouraging.

So, find some mindless TV, and try to find something to get your mind off of things. If the cast is still giving you a lot of problems, I would consider talking to surgeon about having a local GP change the cast out for you. (I know you mentioned your surgeon is several hours away and with another 'polar vortex' moving through I'm sure you don't want to make the drive!) There is certainly no way I would stand for having cast that is as uncomfortable as yours sounds!!
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3/26/13, Right foot: Subtalar arthroereisis, tendo Achilles lengthening, calcaneal osteotomy, FDL transfer

12/12/13, Left foot: Gastroc recession, calcaneal osteotomy, FDL transfer

 
Old 01-29-2014, 06:32 AM   #3
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Re: Starting week 4, can't sleep, feeling down

I'm so sorry! Hang in there! You are at the worst part as far as I remember. Still stuck just sitting and doing nothing. I ate much less, I couldn't sleep, the pain med either helped or didn't. I was so frustrated being so dependent on others to help me do the simplest things. Just aggravating. When you eventually get to be PWB you feel like you you're doing something....it'll happen don't worry. I just kept telling myself that I'm doing this once, and will heal properly because it's so hard. Friends didn't realize how hard it was, they thought I just got to laze around all day doing nothing.

I was just 'down' for 2 weeks now with a ventral hernia repair (open surgery) so I was reminded of what it's like to be home again....but in a different way.

Keep strong, watch junk tv, sing aloud to any music, and when it gets too much just yell and shout (I did that when no one else was home!) to get it out! I had anyone bring me chocolate....that helped too!
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:07 AM   #4
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Re: Starting week 4, can't sleep, feeling down

Thanks for lifting my spirits. Nights are always the hardest time, especially when I can't sleep.
At 2:00am I finally threw the wedge and ice packs off my bed and curled up on my side with a pillow between my knees---my most comfortable position. And, I slept till morning. I am also a chocolate addict. I still have a small stash, but I may need to bribe someone into doing a "chocolate run" for me one of these days. Most schools are closed around here and further south of us. I will again have to cancel my Dr appt to get this cast changed. Now we're trying for Friday. I've been out of this house only one time in 21 days, and I'm not one to sit in one place very long. I appreciate you listening to me.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:49 AM   #5
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Re: Starting week 4, can't sleep, feeling down

I had a hard time sleeping as well. I think my body was thrown off with the anesthesia and painkillers the first few days, then the discomfort of trying to sleep on my back and keep my foot elevated all took me a long time to get back on a "normal" sleep schedule. Then I'd find myself napping during the day, which I never do, which made it even harder to sleep. It did eventually get better but was so frustrating.

 
Old 01-29-2014, 09:20 AM   #6
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Re: Starting week 4, can't sleep, feeling down

Did most of you keep ice on all night, as best you could? Did you elevate all night, too?
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:33 AM   #7
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Re: Starting week 4, can't sleep, feeling down

I never iced at night. I got into whatever position was most comfy for sleep, often on my side with pillows between legs or wherever needed to be able to sleep. Just do what you have to do!
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:57 PM   #8
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Re: Starting week 4, can't sleep, feeling down

I never iced at night, and I gave up on elevating through the night after the first few days.
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3/26/13, Right foot: Subtalar arthroereisis, tendo Achilles lengthening, calcaneal osteotomy, FDL transfer

12/12/13, Left foot: Gastroc recession, calcaneal osteotomy, FDL transfer

 
Old 01-30-2014, 07:40 PM   #9
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Re: Starting week 4, can't sleep, feeling down

So you used just the indented pillow without elevation? We plan to drive downstate tomorrow to get this cast changed!
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:32 PM   #10
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Re: Starting week 4, can't sleep, feeling down

I kept ice on at night the first 3 or 4 nights but felt like I could do okay without it at night after that. I never used a wedge pillow, I just piled up a whole bunch of regular pillows. At first I used a couch cushion with softer pillows on top, after a while I felt like I didn't need it quite so elevated and used the pillow just for comfort. I also had a body pillow that helped me be able to sleep in my side some (I could put one pillow under the cast and the body pillow between my legs and it cushioned enough to stay comfortable for a while. Since I had incisions on both sides and the bottom of my foot, I had to change positions pretty often because the incisions on whatever side I was sleeping on would start to throb so I'd have to turn over. Drove my husband crazy that I was constantly repositioning myself, pillows, and covers all night long!

 
Old 01-31-2014, 08:30 PM   #11
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Re: Starting week 4, can't sleep, feeling down

I had a very difficult time sleeping for the first few months as well. I would fall asleep for a bit but would soon wake up and have to reposition to take the pressure off of various incisions...The length of time I slept did improve slowly. At 8 weeks postop, I was allowed to take my boot off to sleep. At that point, I began to sleep MUCH better.

 
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