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Sleep - finally! - Happy's Obsession
or what I do between bouts of Real Life
Sleep - finally!
After staying awake for... 37 hours (minus 4 under anesthesia), I finally got a good nights sleep. Kind of. In the hospital, I couldn't sleep... at all. Neither could my roommate, who was recovering overnight from simple gall bladder surgery. Her nurse practitioner (who stayed the night, in her bed at first, then moving to a cot) said that it was because surgery causes an "adrenaline rush" that makes it hard to sleep for 16 hours or so. "Like you've just been chased by a big gorilla, and your mind won't shut off now".

It was kind of weird - I thought that she was a family member or lover, as they were in the same bed when I went by to use the bathroom... but she wasn't. Had been her nurse-practitioner for 3 months, but they both go to the same close-knit fundamental Pentacostal church (much talk of the "Holy Ghost" and speaking in tongues) - so go figure...

I thought it was just because of the IV drip, which literally made me have to get up to go the the bathroom every hour, on the hour. At least the night nurse, Oliver (a cute, sweet Phillipino boy-man) only had 4 patients, because we kept him hopping, with pain med & potty requests. We were always very verbally thankful to him, and apologetic, but he said not to worry, that it was helping to keep him awake (since he works 11-7:30), and that he only had 4 patients. Which amazed me, since I thought that nurses were way overworked, and that he probably would have had 10 or more patients. But yay for me, he had the time to make my stay as good as possible.

About 4 in the morning, he gave me an Ativan to help me sleep. After I took it, I asked, "Um, will I still wake up if I have to go to the bathroom? Since it's been, like, every hour?" (I didn't want to be a little kid & go in the bed)

He got this slightly wide eyed look, and said, "Umm...?"

I smiled ruefully, saying, "Well, I've already taken it, so... let's hope so?"

"Maybe I'll come in every 2 hours and wake you up to see?" he asked?

"Maybe every hour," I recommended.

However, sleep still didn't come. I did get to watch the sunrise, though, something I haven't done in years since I'm a night owl, not an early bird. And since I had the window bed, with a view over Wright Park (don't know how I got so lucky), it was pretty. Of course, the being in pain part took a little of the fun off of it.

I was worried about my inability to sleep. Every time I started to fall asleep, I felt that I wasn't breathing, and that would wake me up. Which is scary. And then when I came home, with my S.O. to take care of me (he sleeps like a log, I've had trouble waking him before), I was worried that I would either a) die, or b) never be able to sleep again and become an insomniac like Christian Bale in that movie... what was it called?

But thank God, that wasn't the case. I did sleep (with awakening breaks for pain meds/water/bathroom) in 4 hour or so stretches. Yay for sleep!

Food is another matter. I was able to eat part of the liquid diet they gave me yesterday in the hospital (the watery oatmeal was tough, milk & juice & chicken broth were so-so), then at home I managed 3 pudding cups slowly. The S.O. went to my favorite gourmet store and got their mac-n-cheese ($9/serving!) - but it's soooo good. Ate about... 1/2 cup of it, slowly, carefully chewing one piece of penne at a time. Went OK, mostly, but swallowing is still tough, and coughing is a bear.

I feel a bit better this morning. Pain still there, but swallowing of water is more natural, easier a bit. Still painful slightly, and still feels like it wants to go the wrong way, but better. I worry about my throat muscles & my voice. I had a small coughing fit this morning (yikes!), and it didn't sound like any normal cough. More of a breathy wheeze than a crisp cough. And clearing my throat (which I try to avoid if possible) isn't normal feeling or sounding. But hopefully that's the swelling.

They say I can shower, but I'm worried about getting the steri-strips wet, so I might wait until tomorrow on that. The nurse in the hospital gave me a bed-bath (weird, haven't had one of those since I was a tiny tot at home sick) - which wasn't as bad as you'd think, since she was an old lady (complete with the little nurses hat) who had been at the hospital for 40 years. But then she tried to draw blood for my final test to get me out of the hospital (after I told her that they had to get a phlebotomist during the night last night because my veins are so small) and left a) without her draw, and b) me with a whopping bruise.

Upper back is sore (probably from holding my head forward a bit due to the steristrips/stitches and from sleeping in one position only), and of course neck is sore. But overall, I feel about... 10-15% better from yesterday. But considering that was the day after surgery...

Here's hoping everything continues along, and that the voice & swallowing fully recover.

I feel...: awake awake
Boppin' to...: neighbor who has decided to take this week to redo his deck

4 Voices or Sing to Me
severina2001 From: severina2001 Date: August 4th, 2005 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad to hear that you are home and safe and that everything went well.
darksylvia From: darksylvia Date: August 4th, 2005 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is so not cool that the sleeping medicine didn't work. Bodies work in weird ways and it's never more evident than in surgery!

I hope today you find it even easier to drink stuff. I never even thought about that aspect!
From: itsjustkristen Date: August 4th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you have finally been able to sleep. Keep rested for a speedy recovery!
♥ Kristen
quinn222 From: quinn222 Date: August 4th, 2005 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
So glad to hear that you're home and starting to feel a bit better.
4 Voices or Sing to Me