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  • Is insomnia normal after disectomy and fusion?

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    Old 04-10-2008, 03:38 AM   #1
    tyleza
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    Is insomnia normal after disectomy and fusion?

    I had a disectomy and fusion (C5/C6) Monday morning. I was given morphine, demoral and percoset. That night I kept waking up every 1-2 hrs with heavy sweating and then cold shakes.

    Tuesday I took an Ambien at 12:30pm and woke up at 3pm. After staying awake the rest of the afternoon and evening, I took another Ambien at 12:30am and woke up at 4am.

    Wed I went to my regular doctor and she suggested I take a dose of Benadryl with the Ambien to 'intensify the effect'. I took the Benadryl, Ambien and a percoset at 3:30pm and woke up at 6:00pm. I couldn't go back to sleep until 1:30am. I woke up at 5:00am this morning (in pain) and cannot go back to sleep.

    Is insomnia normal with discectomy and fusion? If so, how long (approx) does the average person return to a normal sleeping pattern?

     
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    Old 04-10-2008, 04:27 AM   #2
    grandma2k3
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    Re: Is insomnia normal after disectomy and fusion?

    I had a laminectomy and fusion October of 2006. Had the hardware removed last week Wednesday. And yes, insomnia is also a problem for me. I am trying different combinations of meds to see what will work the best for me. I found that hydrocodone and tylenol seem to help the best. Took one 500 mg tablet with one 500 mg Tylenol extra strength tablet (which is acetaminophen) and slept the best I have since the surgery -- 10:30 pm - 2:30 am. Was up for about an hour, fell back a sleep and woke again at 5 am. Making progress...

    These medical boards are great. You can get sooooo much feed back. And you never feel like you are the only going through whatever issue it is, alone. Have a great day.

     
    Old 04-10-2008, 04:39 AM   #3
    tyleza
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    Re: Is insomnia normal after disectomy and fusion?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by grandma2k3 View Post
    I had a laminectomy and fusion October of 2006. Had the hardware removed last week Wednesday. And yes, insomnia is also a problem for me. I am trying different combinations of meds to see what will work the best for me. I found that hydrocodone and tylenol seem to help the best. Took one 500 mg tablet with one 500 mg Tylenol extra strength tablet (which is acetaminophen) and slept the best I have since the surgery -- 10:30 pm - 2:30 am. Was up for about an hour, fell back a sleep and woke again at 5 am. Making progress...

    These medical boards are great. You can get sooooo much feed back. And you never feel like you are the only going through whatever issue it is, alone. Have a great day.
    Thank you so much. One follow-up question for you (please): When trying new combinations of medications, do you try them on your own or ask your doctor? I don't want to make a big mistake ... all I really want is to sleep a solid 6-7 hours.

     
    Old 04-10-2008, 11:45 AM   #4
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    Re: Is insomnia normal after disectomy and fusion?

    Please be careful and do not start mixing all types of medicines!

    Your body is out of whack from having a surgery, although you want the sleep it isn't a major problem if you miss sleep or get off your sleeping schedule for a few weeks.

    You are probably having a reaction to all the medicines. I personally get this way from anything that has acetomephin (sp) Tylenol products in it.

    Try to relax, if you cant sleep your anxiety about it isn't helping. Try these hints:

    - keep the lights off or low
    - no sensory input prior to going to bed (computer, tv, anything that is sending light signals to your pupils)
    - don't eat at least 4-5 hours before bed
    - close your eyes and daydream about ocean waves and at same time count each wave in your mind. this keeps both sides of the brain busy and you might find yourself with practice falling off to sleep.
    - if you can't sleep, move and go do a very quiet activity like reading and don't put so much pressure on yourself.

    It will all straighten out as your body gets it normal rhythm back after a little time.

     
    Old 04-10-2008, 12:13 PM   #5
    tyleza
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    Re: Is insomnia normal after disectomy and fusion?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by neckpatient View Post
    Please be careful and do not start mixing all types of medicines!

    Your body is out of whack from having a surgery, although you want the sleep it isn't a major problem if you miss sleep or get off your sleeping schedule for a few weeks.

    You are probably having a reaction to all the medicines. I personally get this way from anything that has acetomephin (sp) Tylenol products in it.

    Try to relax, if you cant sleep your anxiety about it isn't helping. Try these hints:

    - keep the lights off or low
    - no sensory input prior to going to bed (computer, tv, anything that is sending light signals to your pupils)
    - don't eat at least 4-5 hours before bed
    - close your eyes and daydream about ocean waves and at same time count each wave in your mind. this keeps both sides of the brain busy and you might find yourself with practice falling off to sleep.
    - if you can't sleep, move and go do a very quiet activity like reading and don't put so much pressure on yourself.

    It will all straighten out as your body gets it normal rhythm back after a little time.
    Neckpatient, thank you for your thorough and thoughtful reply. I have a RN that is assigned to me (from my company - through the insurance) that asked me to try draminine. I felt funny about doing that ... as you said ... mixing medicines is not a good idea.

    I wasn't that worried about not sleeping until she said that if I don't sleep, then I will recover slower. I am trying to keep this in perspective (meaning the surgery itself was a success and I already have two previous symptons eliminated -- no more numbness/tingling in my right arm/shoulder and no more nausea/vomiting. My sister, who is also a RN, also counseled me to keep the positive thoughts in my head instead of dwelling on the struggles.

    I knew about the things you listed -- except the no eating 4-5 hours before. I thought that having a full stomach was a good thing to go to sleep. I will try not eating close to bedtime tonight.

    Thank you again for giving me sound advice in a thoughtful manner.

     
    Old 04-10-2008, 10:34 PM   #6
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    Re: Is insomnia normal after disectomy and fusion?

    It sounds like you are making good progress - congratulations! A little missed sleep isn't going to prevent you from healing. Just make sure you follow good nutrition, drink lots of water and stay hydrated, rest - with some light activity as recommended by your doctor. In 2 weeks you are going to be surprised at how good you feel - you are already making good strides.


    (some people get their metabolism reved up from eating a meal before bed, that is why to try eating your meal earlier. You can have a very light snack at bedtime if you find yourself hungry) things like milk products work because of something in the milk. Like a small glass of milk with a couple graham crackers. this advice came from my nutritionist.

     
    Old 04-13-2008, 07:40 PM   #7
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    Re: Is insomnia normal after disectomy and fusion?

    Hi!

    It sounds like your surgery was successful - congratulations! Just take it easy for a while and don't undo what your surgeon fixed.

    My surgery was 10 weeks ago, and I've just gotten back to sleeping 'normally'. Or what is normal for me. My first weeks were pretty miserable because I was in a Philadelphia collar all the time. As soon as they told me I could sleep in the soft collar, I was thrilled! I finally managed to get the pillows adjusted so I could sleep for a little while. At my 8 week visit, they told me I could get rid of the soft collar, unless I'm in the car. Yea!! I can finally sleep, but wake up with a sore and stiff neck (I just naturally wind up on my stomach when I'm sleeping). Hubby thinks that's the problem.

    Be careful mixing medication! I didn't take my Ambien at all when I was taking any of the post-surgery meds. It's too dangerous to mix that type of medicine, especially if you're going to be sleeping and may be unaware of side effects.

    Good luck with your recovery and I wish lots of "sweet dreams" for you soon!
    Deb

     
    Old 04-20-2008, 06:11 PM   #8
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    Re: Is insomnia normal after disectomy and fusion?

    Personally I rarely sleep well on meds like vicodin, tylenol 3, percocet, etc. They keep me in a semi-sleep state at best. I've often had to use sleep medications to get myself back on track after I'm done with pain meds. When I'm out of work I just let my body sleep when/if it can if I am on the meds. I've learned that I have to decide between pain and sleep sometimes.
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    Old 04-22-2008, 08:29 AM   #9
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    Re: Is insomnia normal after disectomy and fusion?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpineAZ View Post
    Personally I rarely sleep well on meds like vicodin, tylenol 3, percocet, etc. They keep me in a semi-sleep state at best. I've often had to use sleep medications to get myself back on track after I'm done with pain meds. When I'm out of work I just let my body sleep when/if it can if I am on the meds. I've learned that I have to decide between pain and sleep sometimes.
    I have to agree. Pain meds keep me in a semi-sleep state as well. I would also check to make sure you aren't adding additional tylenol to your hydrocodone. Most hydrocodone medicines already have tylenol in them to supplement their effectiveness. You certainly don't want to hurt your liver with extra Tylenol.

    If you do choose to take Ambien, are you taking regular Ambien or AmbienCR (extended release). The extended release version may help you stay asleep longer.

    I have taken AmbienCR for sleep issues but I don't find that it helps with my neck pain (I have a herniated C5-6 currently under surgical consultation). I decided to quit the AmbienCR and currently find that skipping the pain meds at night and taking a Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) does the trick usually for me. Sometimes supplemented with Ultracet. Although I have to take Ultracet right when I go to bed or it will keep me awake as well.

     
    Old 04-25-2008, 07:20 PM   #10
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    Re: Is insomnia normal after disectomy and fusion?

    Hi, I haven't slept more than 2 hrs straight (tops) since my ACDF 2 weeks ago. I sleep 1/2 to 1&1/2 hrs typically, wake, then go back to sleep, throughout the night. Last night, it took me 2 hrs to go to sleep after I went to bed and last week, I had a lot of trouble getting back to sleep after my wake cycles, so I'd say I've had some insomnia trouble, too (unfortunately), but not too bad (I do sleep, it's just crappy sleep and snippets of sleep). I chalked my bad sleep up to how uncomfortable it is to sleep (I think that's why I wake, too). I was hoping it would improve as I move along in recovery. If it helps to know, I had morphine in the hospital and came home on Norco and Flexerill, but went off both after 8 days (took tylenol, then ibubuprofren that first night/morning off drugs, then nothing since). Also, I started out (sleeping) switching off between our 2 recliners the first week, then moved to our sofa this 2nd week, but tonight I'm going to try our bed. I hope I'm wrong in assuming it's unavoidable to have poor sleep for a while and wish us both some good sleep soon!
    Take care,
    Meghan (fellow crappy sleeper)

     
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