Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Good Night's Sleep

It really does make a difference.

Until last night, my post-surgical nights have been a jumble of fitful broken sleep, never more than a couple of hours at a time of true slumber. No surprise, that, in the hospital; at home, though, it didn’t get much better. The living room recliner, where I’d planned to sleep, turned out to be neck-crimpingly uncomfortable for very long. I transferred myself, the first night, around 2:00 a.m., to the couch.

The transfer process itself was slow, clumsy, curse-riddled, but ultimately successful enough that I decided to continue there. In daylight the setup got rearranged to something usefully better. It still wasn’t all that comfortable; I still slept fitfully; but it would do till I felt strong enough to go upstairs to my own bed.

Trouble is, that couch is low enough to make getting up for the bathroom runs difficult. Last night, having awakened a couple of hours after settling in, I almost fell back in mid-rise. My stiff body ached. That was it. I pulled the blanket off and crutched out to the dining/front area where my last hope sat: another recliner, kindly lent to me by the good friend who’d hauled me to and from the hospital.

This recliner is all upholstered (no hard wooden arms), and motorized to lift one up or gently settle one back at whatever preferred angle. Into this I settled, and proceeded to sleep deeply and well for a good three hours, then after the inevitable bathroom run for another blissful four. I awoke refreshed and minus most of the usual stiffness. Even the two cats lying on my lap didn’t make anything hurt.

Okay, all right, I hear you saying “What took you so long, you looney?” -- a legitimate question, to which I reply that the first time I tried sleeping in it I got a neck crick; the position of the head roll at the top was just wrong enough not to work for me. So while I’ve been enjoying lounging in it as a change of pace from my own recliner, and found it perfect for dining from at Sunday’s feast, it didn’t register as a bed for the night till all other options were exhausted.

What made it work this time was hitting upon just the right pillow – a thin, near-worn-out, floppy but still serviceable dogbone neck pillow that had been my mother’s for many years. With that in place, sleep came to stay.

And the ultimate goal: my own bed? I want to get stronger and steadier first, but the physical therapist took me upstairs yesterday and I have the go-ahead, with suitable precautions, to get back into it when I feel ready. Hopefully a few more good nights’ sleep in my wonderful friend’s wonderful recliner will do the trick.

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