Tag Archives: sleep

10 Worst Parts Of ACDF Surgery…So Far

It’s obvious that any major surgery is going to be a bitch, but so far this recovery is more difficult than I expected. Usually, I can complain about it, but handle it. I don’t feel like I’m doing so hot. I have been going for short walks every day, which is supposed to be great for recovery.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. Slight pain in my neck and that was it. I’m so lethargic and wait around until my mom can help me with basic tasks. If I drop something on the floor, I just wish it well as there is a good chance I won’t be picking it up in the near future. Here are the 10 things that I am struggling with the most:

1. Brain Fog

PC: consumerhealthdigest.com

When I have conversations with people, or even text them I don’t remember if it actually happened or if I made it up in my head. Especially with all the meds they gave me in the hospital I feel so out of it. I hate that feeling. It makes me sad and like I’m missing out on stuff. It’s like that crappy dream-like daze where you aren’t quite sure what is real or not.

2. Itchiness

PC: Google Image Search

Every. Freaking. Thing itches! Especially around the incision sites. I want to claw at them, but I’d probably end up with some horrific infection. In the hospital the opiates definitely made me itch. When I asked the nurses for Benadryl they acted like I was asking for a chest of diamonds. C’mon ladies, this is literally your job.

3. Pain

PC: Whisper App

In case I haven’t said this before; I can NOT take pain meds. I told the surgeon, the anesthesiologist and nurses that I get violently ill with any and all narcotics, but they think they know my body better than I do. They said I couldn’t do the surgery without pain meds. I have an extremely high pain tolerance. When I’m at a 6 or 7, that is someone’s 9 or 10. Anyway, the loaded me up with anti-nausea meds and the patch behind my ear. Someone told me that in 30 years of doing these surgeries he has only seen 5 people throw up after the surgery. I told him I would be the 6th, and he said he highly doubted that.

So, guess what happened? I threw up of course! Do you know how shitty that is after neck surgery? It’s the worst. So to manage pain I’m prescribed Flexeril and Valium to take the edge off. It helps me sleep, but also contributes to the brain fog. I’m not having many appealing options here.

4. Being Bored

PC: memions.com

Ok, so I know I was lying around a lot before the surgery due to pain. But this is SOOOOOO boring. I can’t do much. You don’t realize how much you look around and use your neck until you aren’t allowed to. I have to retrain my brain to move my torso and not my neck. I can’t look up or down. No BLT (Bending, Lifting, Twisting). I have to adjust myself a specific way to watch TV. Typing is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I just am right now. I exist but am definitely not living. Makes a good recipe for increased depression.

5. Constipation

PC: lethow.com

Ok, so this is going to be WAY TMI, but I had to suffer through it so you can read it. I’m also still a little loopy so I don’t care enough to be embarrassed, although when I’m put together again I may delete this part. For now, I have no shame in my game. I hadn’t pooped since the day before my surgery, (Tues. July 4th); I finally got it out yesterday, (Mon. July 10th). That is too long to go without letting that shit out, literally. HA!

I’ve been bloated from all the meds, fluids and being backed up making me look kind of pregnant. I was on the toilet (if you get grossed out last warning to avoid this nasty part!). So there I was, waiting for relief. Nothing happened for a while. I started to strain because I knew there would be a lot, it had been almost a week! I strained so hard I was worried I’d pop a blood vessel or pass out or something. Nothing. Not a damn thing.

I was sweating profusely trying to birth my butt baby, fully dilated but the pushing was no use. Well, my daughter leaves her trash all around the house and there was a lollipop stick. I was grossing myself out, but desperate to get relief. You can guess what I did next, ahhh sooo embarrassing, I tried to scoop out the hard as rock poop with the lollipop stick. You are absolutely allowed to be disgusted with me now, I am.

The stick didn’t work. Only got a bit out. There was an old photograph on the floor as well (I have another copy so don’t worry). And I ripped that into thin strips to continue the attempt to scoop out the poop. This is not my proudest moment. A very low point for me. After several attempts with the picture pieces it all started coming out! This was and is hands down the best shit of my life. I have no regrets…..

6. Trouble Swallowing

PC: understandingmyositis.org

They said this is a common side effect since they move your esophagus and trachea aside to get to your spine. It’s more of an annoying feeling, but I do get anxious when I really have to concentrate on it.

PC: Google Search
This is what they did to me.

7. Everything Takes FOREVER

PC: atomicbooks.com

I’m not even kidding. I can’t bend down to brush my teeth. I sit on a stool and have this little plastic tub thing that I hold just under my lip to spit into when I’m ready. Then, I take a sip of water to rinse out my mouth and spit into the tub again. Getting dressed is a pain. I’ve been wearing the same thing for 2 days now. I don’t even care. I am allowed to take off my neck brace to get dressed, but I have to be mindful not to move my neck when placing clothing over my head. Showering is dumb too. I’ve only showered twice since last Wed. I LOVE to shower every day. I don’t care at this time. I’m struggling with this recovery so I couldn’t care less about my personal hygiene.

8. Migraines

PC: domesticity.gawker.com

For anyone who suffers from migraines, I am so sorry for you. I never had them until my car accident in Sept. On top of the nausea, neck pain, hip irritation and general recovery; a migraine is the last thing I need. They gave me an injection in the hospital to help with them and it actually worked. I think it’s called Imitrex. Anyway, they sent in a script for this med. Guess what they did with it? I got vials of the medication and a bunch of needles. Never in my life have I injected a needle into my body. WTF? Are these people serious? Why would you send someone home with an injectable medication without informing the patient? They could have at least told me. And then they should have shown me how to do it. I get migraines every night and almost break down and take it, but I’m afraid I’ll do it wrong. I’m pretty frustrated with that part of it. People don’t think sometimes and I’m usually understanding of it, except when it impacts me directly.

9. Puking

PC: treatcurefast.com

I loathe throwing up. I have a super weak stomach. One of the major reasons I can’t do narcotics. So when I say no they give me multiple opiates. Makes sense. I said this earlier, but throwing up after neck surgery is a real bitch. I’ve been throwing up on and off while writing this post. I’m sure I moved my neck, how can I not? I have tears running down my face because of this misery and my lack of understanding while I’m still puking. I haven’t taken any pain meds since I was released from the hospital. I’ve even been taking my Zofran (anti-nausea med) regularly. Yuck! I don’t have a big appetite either, so I don’t understand what my body is trying to get rid of. Maybe my serial killer hip ghost?

10. Not Being Able to Snuggle my Buggle

Favorite part of my life

This one is not the least important because it’s last, it’s the one that breaks my heart. I did get to have her come spend some time with me today and she was pretty good about being gentle with me. She wants to touch my hip and neck and continues to ask me to open the scars to show her the screws and my bone. I love every moment with her, but get frustrated when she’s being super wild and it hurts me. I know she doesn’t intend to hurt me, she just doesn’t understand completely. Then I feel awful for snapping at her or hurting her feelings in any way. I’m worried I’m going to scar her for life, because I’m in so much pain and I can’t pick her up or do things for her that a mom should do.

She has been helpful about getting me some stuff though. I asked her to get me an ice cream sandwich, it’s one of the few things I feel like eating. So she goes and gets one. I thank her and she says, “this is for me, silly.” Really? So rude. My mom got me one, but what the hell kid? She’s definitely my daughter. I won’t get to spend the night with her alone for a month, possibly longer if I’m not healing very well. Once the neck brace comes off I still have the weight restriction. We shall see.

Today sucked. I’m itchy and nauseous. I’m sweating and have a migraine. I can taste the puke in my mouth and my cat licked my ice cream sandwich just now. I’m going to retire for the evening. TaTa for now!

Thankful Thursday #6

(PC: The Berry)

I am thankful for my bed. I may have written about my bed before, but I am really thankful for it. It’s so comfy. It’s especially nice to have a comfy bed when I’m not feeling my best. So, if you read my post from very early this morning. I didn’t end up going to bed until after 4am. With a toddler there isn’t much hope that I’ll get to sleep in after that. But I did! I put on Mickey Mouse Christmas and got some much needed sleep.

I guess I am also thankful for Mickey Mouse Christmas for keeping my kid entertained so I could sleep. Also, indoor plumbing. So thankful for indoor plumbing. What did women do when they had bladder infections before they had a bathroom in their house? Can you imagine having a bladder infection and having to use an outhouse? Eww!!! I bet using an outhouse didn’t speed along the healing process from an infection and probably made it worse.

So while it may not be a long list that I’m thankful for today, they are both important to me. I am feeling slightly better than I was from my earlier post. We were able to go to Hobby Lobby and get some stuff to decorate some ornaments later. I wanted to go yesterday but I felt too sick. Having the energy to go to the store was quite an ordeal for me. Sometimes it takes all my energy to just get out of bed. But like I said, I really really like my bed!

(PC: The Berry)

Zero to Meltdown in a Matter of Moments

My chunky girl. The good 'ol days when she used to sleep.

My chunky girl. The good ‘ol days when she used to sleep.

I don’t think I was fully prepared for the toddler struggles. It was like a switch was turned on once she hit 2. If I mention it to other parents, it’s met with “just wait until she is 3!” Every person’s perception is their own reality. I’m sure 3 has struggles as well. We aren’t there yet. 2 is overwhelming right now.

My sweet, happy girl has turned into a very emotional, stubborn, opinionated and independent child. Not saying these are bad qualities. I love that she has a strong personality. It’s the adjustment to all the temper tantrums that I was not fully prepared for.

You can make all these plans for how you want to parent and raise your child. Once you actually have a child these plans become obsolete. You can plan and plan and read all the parenting books; all the tips may not be applicable to you. You might think you have things figured out and your child will be like; “nope, but thanks for trying.”

We are still struggling with sleep. It has been getting worse. We try to let her “cry it out” she gets so upset. I am seriously fearful that I am causing her psychological harm. It just feels awful. Then you have other parents tell you that if you give in, your child wins. No, no one wins when no one gets sleep. No one wins when a child, your child is struggling with something but can’t articulate what she is feeling.

We have also given in and try to rock her to sleep. Or I have tried to sleep with her in her toddler bed. This is becoming a regular thing unfortunately, it’s not my favorite. I will have her asleep, and in a deep sleep; the second I leave she pops awake and screams. The past couple of nights we have been bringing her into our bed to sleep. While I’m not thrilled with the idea of co-sleeping; I am stoked about the idea of sleep in general. I enjoy sleep. I will do just about anything to sleep.

Toddler feet in my face all night? Sure. If it means I can sleep, I’m all in. If this means that my child isn’t making herself throw up in the middle of the night because she’s so upset, I am in. I don’t know if this promotes temper tantrums during the day. I don’t know if this teaches her to keep fighting until she gets her way. I do know I have tried many methods. Some work. Some don’t. Some work for a week or 2 then are no longer effective.

Another lovely pasttime when baby girl would snuggle up in a sleep sack. Those things were magical!

Another lovely past time when baby girl would snuggle up in a sleep sack. Those things were magical!

What I do know is that at times I miss my sweet, cuddly, chubby baby. I miss her sleeping all night long for 12 hours straight. We really had it good, naively hoping it would last. I know so many mama’s and parents in general struggle with sleep issues. I hope we find a solution that works for us. I hope we get some good sleep in the very near future. Once again, I am writing as my toddler is crying hysterically while plopped on the floor in her room. She is starting to quiet down. Heartbreaking. Heartbreaking for me as well. Can I cry too? If I did would anyone come scoop me up and rock me to sleep? Maybe I’ll try the temper tantrum method with my mom and see if I get as much sympathy as I give my daughter. I’m guessing that would be a no. An empathic no.

How I try to keep my Sanity when my Toddler REFUSES to Sleep

I constantly have to remind myself that I have always wanted to be a mother. These refusing to sleep moments I can easily forget. That’s why I posted the above photo, because she is so cute. Reminder to self; I love being a mother, I love being a mother, I love being a mother….

She will not always fight bedtime, right? She will want to sleep some day? Please, someone tell me she will love sleep in the very near future. After a very eventful day of celebrating her 2nd birthday, I thought bedtime would be quite easy.

I’m not that lucky. Apparently, I can’t be right when it comes to my tiny human. I’ve read to her; sang to her; said our Amens (our prayers); kissed her milk, stuffed animals and her tootsie feets. Nothing satisfies her.

She was asleep 3 times already. THREE! I went to leave and she popped up instantly screaming. I had to be in her bed with her. I do not comfortably fit in a toddler bed. She is crying as I write this. No idea what it is about this time.

I’m using her cries as a white noise machine. Yes, absolutely the same. So soothing.. Yeah. How I survive these moments, is by writing. Ignoring her cries the best I can, so hard. (She is crying for a “mommy huggy” right now, oh my heart). Eat lots of chocolate. Call my mom. Pet my cats. And then eventually cave and rock her to sleep. Thus, prolonging our nightly bedtime struggles.

Don’t judge me. You would totally cave too if you heard these cries. These sweet desperate pleas to have a “huggy.” And now she is making herself throw up. Oh yes, the joys of motherhood. I love being a mother, I love being a mother, I love being a mother…..

Say Night to my Milk

Mommy wants me to sleep in the car, no way? I will hide and then she can't force me to nap!

Mommy wants me to sleep in the car, no way! I will hide and then she can’t force me to nap!

Yes, “Say night to milk” is a new common occurrence in our home. As I’m sure many mothers of young children experience, there are numerous delays in the bedtime process. Whether you have a routine or not, some kiddos are very independent and head strong and frankly don’t care that they are supposed to be sleeping.

My little monster has been needy, clingy and extra stubborn lately. We have always had issues with nap time. Now bedtime is being delayed longer and longer, with more requests for silly things. We say our prayers or “amens” as we call them every night. We turn on her music. Put on jammies. Either my husband or I will rock her for a few minutes. Sometimes we do a story. Usually she gets both mommy and daddy to tuck her in.

Apparently, cookie monster has been whispering in her ear that it would be a good idea to nap. Thank you cookie monster!

Apparently, cookie monster has been whispering in her ear that it would be a good idea to nap. Thank you cookie monster!

We put a gate up in her doorway. If we didn’t do this, I’m fearful that bedtime would take 5 times as long. I’m actually pretty certain it would take that much longer. Sometimes, we hit the jackpot and she will stay in her bed the first time we put her there. Our bedtime struggles don’t matter if she is beyond exhausted or not.

Now she asks every night for “daddy kisses,” “mommy kisses.” Then she wants us to kiss her baby doll. Kiss her “Ellie” (her elephant blankie that is her favorite). We have to kiss whatever stuffed creature is in her bed. Kiss her tootsie feets. Kiss her arms. And now…..kiss her cup of milk. If we won’t there is a meltdown. Silliest thing ever.

She is a pistol. Constantly all over the place, all day long. Goodness is she cute. She is so sweet. She refers to herself as “baby.” I treasure these moments, most of the time. I admit, sometimes there is an eye roll when asked to kiss her milk, usually followed by a giggle. My silly, sweet girl is precious. She knows how to delay bedtime and has my husband and I both wrapped around her little finger.

I may have said this before, but I will follow through; once she is old enough to enjoy sleeping in I won’t let her. I will jump on her bed. Climb in and force cuddles. I will poke at her eyes, nose and mouth. I will ask her to play at ridiculously early hours of the morning. It will happen! My husband agrees. I think it’s only fair!

Fast asleep (minus the fast) at her gated door.

Fast asleep (minus the fast) at her gated door.

While I enjoy spending tons of time with my little girl. I prefer to be near a well-rested tiny human. Tiny humans aren’t fun to be around when they are sleepy. If you disagree, I’ll let you hang out with my toddler for 20 minutes when she is refusing to sleep. You will give her back, I promise you that. I want my kid to sleep. I want to sleep. I just want to sleep!