A Night of Chronic Pain

It's close to midnight and I'm declining to go to bed with the abundance of feeling similar to a little kid's refusal. I'm just going to ignore the looks and suggestions the Hubbs throws at me, even if I know I'll be in more pain tomorrow if I don't get enough sleep.

You see when you are in chronic pain, sometimes the place you dread the most is your bed.  We have a nice bed, it's a Leesa. We bought it before my back surgeries once we had gotten home from a cruise and realized how bad our bed was after being away for a week.  Now that same bed is a source of frustration and pain.

I get in and arrange my four different pillows into the first configuration.  Tonight I'm going to try to sleep on my left side, even though my left hip is now bothering me, probably because I compensate on it all the freaking time.  Body pillow running the length of the bed.  Check.  Serta "never fall flat" pillow on top of the body pillow and offset so my left leg can run under and my right on top.  Check. Standard sleeping pillow hugged to my torso to keep my lower back from twisting.  Check. Cervical neck pillow to keep my spine in alignment. Check.  Get the Hubbs to grab the sheets and cover me up so I don't disrupt my alignment.  Check. Ok.  Now let me see if I can sleep.

5 minutes later.

Now my right leg is throbbing and it's all I can think about until my brain shuts down from the pain.  Get up.  Get my IFC/TENS unit.  Get the Hubbs to help me put it on.  Get back in bed and go through the pillow procedure again. Check and double check.  Now hopefully, and usually, I am able to fall asleep.  Sometimes though, lying on my left side just isn't going to cut it so I have to switch to my back.  These times my brain is screaming "PAIN...PAIN....PAIN...PAIN...PAIN" so much so, that my usual sleep technique of making up stories in my head until I just drift off doesn't work.

I rearrange all my pillows (hoping at this point that I don't wake up the Hubbs) and flip onto my back.  Lay there for 15 minutes or an hour or two, which I know because my IFC/TENS cycles off in a hour, and then finally I will eventually drift off.  Then, if I am lucky, I don’t wake up until the Hubbs alarm goes off at 6:30AM.  On bad days I just happen to wake up at 3:00AM, 4:30AM. or 5:20AM.  This happens a lot which is why I know the exact times.

Then I have to get up.  Why?  Because if I try to go back to sleep, I end up tossing and turning. Then the pain starts up again and I end up further aggravating whatever the hell is wrong with my body that's causing the chronic pain. I limp out of bed, brush my teeth, and make a pot of coffee.  I’m ready to start my new normal day.  Good times.

Feel free to add your experience with chronic pain in the comments.

Photo Credit: Jaymantri