Sleepless nights

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Liza D
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 7/13/2009 11:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone. For the last 2 weeks or so I have not been able to sleep. I am cutting way back on pain meds but feel like that is the only thing that can get me even remotely sleepy. I don't mind the insomnia so much I just don't want to keep the whole house a wake.

I feel like I can't sleep because I REALLY want to lay on my stomach. I also get these twinges in my legs and feel like a sharp pin prick once in a while. What's the deal? Anyone else?

(I'm not denying the amount of stress we've had since my lay off... I just think there is more to it than stress...)
UC (Pancolitis... 90%!) December 2001
Arthritis (2003)
Upper GI Ulcer (2006)
Osteopenia (2008)
Depression/Anxiety (2002)
J-Pouch May 2009

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Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 7/14/2009 4:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Put a pillow under your stomach and don't roll all the way over...that should help until you are farther along in your recovery. I did have insomnia for a while and would just get up if I didn't fall back asleep within a half hour...I began to hate late night tv!!!! Once you are farther along it does get better:)

P.S. I DO sleep on my stomach now and could at about 6 months post op

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 7/14/2009 6:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I've always slept on my side or back so this is not a problem for me but I have had plenty of sleepless nights before my surgery. I remember I could not sleep on prednisone pre-op because it elevated my blood pressure so much.
What helps me sleep better post-op is a memory foam mattress and a sound machine with the ocean waves ahhhh..... :) oh yes and about 5 comfortable pillows against the headboard.
Try laying at a 30 degree incline to expand your lungs? What kind of pain pills are you taking? I found that vicodin made me hyper while percocet makes me sleepy- but for my wife its the other way around and it is the percocet makes her hyper.

You should try switching pain meds by kindly asking your doctor and try some of these tips.
Ulcerative Colitis cause: In early 2003 I took Accutane for 4 months, permanent side effect resulted in 1 year of abdominal cramping and bloody stools.
May 2004: Diagnosed with Left sided UC (should have never taken the dangerous drug known as Accutane).
May 2004- May 2009: Prednisone, Asacol and others meds that did not work well-Remicade was great for 16 months then stopped working.
May 8th-June 24 2009: Pancolitis- active chronic 2 month flare up.
June 24th 2009: elective colectomy/ileostomy at Barnes/Washington University.
August 2009: planned rectum removal and j-pouch construction.
October-November 2009: planned Reversal.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 7/14/2009 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Liza,

Sorry to hear that you aren't sleeping...that is very frustrating I am sure.

I also had trouble sleeping after surgery (I am not sure how long ago you had surgery). It IS hard to find a comfortable position after surgery! I found that pain pills seemed to kind of mess with my natural sleep patterns, so that is probably good that you are cutting back.

What OHIO said should also help---I did this too (put a pillow under my stomach and kind of threw one leg over it and did not roll the whole way over).

One last day shortly after surgery, I took a long walk to get some exercise, and then took a nap--that nap was the best sleep I had about a month after surgery! Maybe talking a walk/gentle exercise would help you sleep better? Just a suggestion! :)

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