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  • Post-Spine Surgery Sleepiness

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    Old 10-17-2006, 08:25 AM   #1
    Baybreeze
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    Post-Spine Surgery Sleepiness

    Hi all,

    I had surgery (3 level laminectomy) a little over 3 weeks ago due to lumbar stenosis. I am so happy to say all the pain I had that stemmed from my spine was gone the minute the hospital got me up out of bed the next day. After 2 weeks I was down to taking only 1 or 2 lortabs per day for pain and now I only take 1 if I really need it. I do realize that after surgery one will be pretty tired/and sleep alot for a time after surgery. But I thought by now, I shouldnt be so tired anymore. I do not nap during the day at all (never have, never could) but by 8 pm I am pretty sleepy and usally fall asleep between 9 or 10pm. For some reason I still cannot get myself out of bed in the morning. Some days ive slept as long as 14 hours and forced myself out of bed. Had I not got up, I think I would have just kept sleeping for who knows how long. A little over 3 weeks out I am still like this. And when I force myself out of bed in the morning, im sooo groggy and feel like I could fall back asleep at any moment. I should mention before surgery I was like clockwork - up around 6:30 am every day, even on weekends and fell asleep around 11pm and always felt refreshed upon awakening. Now it's still so hard to wake up every day. Has this happened to anyone else for this long? Is this still normal? Or could surgery or anesthesia have messed up something with my body clock?

     
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    Old 10-17-2006, 07:03 PM   #2
    SpineAZ
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    Re: Post-Spine Surgery Sleepiness

    I found myself very exhausted the first 4 weeks after surgery. If you are not napping at all during the day then the amount you are sleeping at night is probably okay - your body is in big recovery mode and using the sleep time as down time to recover. I had to return to work at 6 weeks so I would force myself to get up a little bit earlier (but then found myself napping).

    Do you feel you are getting the same quality of sleep you usually do? It's possible that your sleep is not as restful as usual due to pain or discomfort - and thus your body takes longer to get the same amount of 'real quality' sleep.

    Karin
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    Old 10-19-2006, 07:29 AM   #3
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    Re: Post-Spine Surgery Sleepiness

    Hi Karin,

    I'm not napping at all during the day; and even when I sleep 14 hours I still do not feel well rested when I get up (I used feel very rested after 7 hrs sleep before surgery). You are probably right that it's just very exhausting to have surgery and I actually do still have a little pain at my surgical site but it doesnt really bother me anymore while laying down. I'm only taking 1 or 2 pain killers when I get up and none the rest of the day..so I am a bit achy by evening. However, the rest of my joints have been acting up (especially with the rainy weather) especially with my walking exercise. So I guess it's a combo of everything and from your experience, I guess it's fairly normal to still be sleepy. Thank you so much for your input! I hope your surgery went well !...do you feel that you're pretty much healed up now?

     
    Old 10-21-2006, 06:44 PM   #4
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    Re: Post-Spine Surgery Sleepiness

    To be honest, in the first few weeks after surgery as I got farther into my recovery I was worried - not feeling as I thought I should, still having neck symptoms, needing pain meds at least once a day, etc. Then at the 4 month post op mark - all of the sudden my recovery "clicked". We went to Vegas and I was prepared - brought all my pain meds, muscle relaxants, heating pads, etc. We went on a very minor waterslide at the hotel and I realized after 2 days in Vegas I had NO PAIN and no symptoms. I think my body finally reached a good point, and I was relaxinig and swimming, and it really helped.

    I don't say this to scare you, but to let you know that the feeling of "recovery" can take a bit longer than you expect - or even what your doctor might expect. When I told my surgeon about the 4 month mark he said that he finds such a range in patients - some just take longer for the swelling, fusion, etc to resolve and he doesn't worry about symptoms in the first 6 months post op (unless they get worse) becuase everyone's body heals at a different rate. Ever since then I've felt so much better.

    And, on Friday, I bowled for the first time in years. I used the bowling alley's house ball (8 lbs) for kids instead of my own 13 lb ball. I was worried I'd wake up today sore after 3 games. While I am a bit stiff, it's that kind of stiffness you feel after you use muscles that haven't been used in a while. So I feel even more confident in my healing now :-)
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    Old 10-22-2006, 07:19 AM   #5
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    Re: Post-Spine Surgery Sleepiness

    Awww, that's awesome, Kross! Im happy that you are finally pretty much recovered and feeling well! I guess it was a long road but I'm sure you now think it was probably worth it. Isn't it a great feeling to have some normal muscle fatigue, rather than having horrible pains that seem like they will never end? Just be careful with yourself and don't over do it too much! And thanks again for your input.

     
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