Sleep has become the bane of my existence. It is something I am supposed to be getting a lot of to aid in healing. Let me explain what the 1st few nights after coming home from the hospital look like. …
Exhausted, I head to bed. I look dauntingly at my bed. It is flat. My tummy can not lay totally flat without pulling on my incisions. I begin to pile up pillows to exact the right amount of tilt to let my tummy stretch a little, but not cause a searing burn at the site. Once this is completed, I carefully navigate my awkwardly swollen self to settle gently onto the mini mountain of pillows.
I spend the next four minutes trying to catch my breath and trying to relax enough, so that I can tell if the pillows are in the right spots. Breathing settled, I lay perfectly still so that I don’t slide off the pillow mounds.
No matter how still I lay, the pillows begin to settle and my body slides to one side of the mounds. I lay there debating if this is a good stretch or a bad pull on my incision. As I lay there, I begin to tick off the minutes that I can probably stay in this position before I herniate my surgery site.
Then the pillows shift more. This drops my head and breathing begins to become difficult because of all the fluids still pushing up on my lungs and heart. I ponder this for a second or two, as my panic level reaches a new high. I am convinced I cannot breathe and my heart begins to race.
I shift to roll to a sitting position. This causes a new stab of pain to suck the air right out of me. My chest is now on fire with lack of oxygen. My bed has no headboard to grab hold of. My hands claw desperately at the wall finding no hold to help me pull up to sitting. I flail more. I have now slid flat on my back, my incisions pulling uncomfortably. I work to control my breathing and calm down.
The fact that I am stuck like a turtle on my back does not escape me. I hate this feeling of helplessness. I finally get Hubby to wake up enough to help me pull to a sitting position. He scratches his head confused as I gulp in oxygen from the edge of the bed in a highly agitated state of frustration, embarrassment, and panic.
I move to the couch. I don’t get turtled on the couch. I prop up my pillows and sleep upright for several hours. My back aches, but I can breathe. I don’t have to depend on someone to rescue me like I do in my bed. I keep my cell phone on the couch, in case I get into trouble and need help. The couch is lonely. The dog joins me on the couch. I pet his ears and talk to him. He wags his tail and believes it is time to get up. I begin to drift to sleep again. He pads over to the door and gives a soft,”woof” to go outside. I am not allowed to take him outside. If he runs on his leash, I will pull something. I try to calculate the likelihood of this, but remember promising Hubby I would not try to walk the dog. The dog gets more insistent. Now I have to wake someone else up to walk the dog….at 2am…..because I got turtled in my bed. sigh.