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First night home from hospital

Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:19 am
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My first night home from hospital and I think I only slept 2 hours all night. Is it normal to have so much anxiety?

Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:50 am

Hello ktsenn75.
What is ‘normal’?
You imply that anxiety is behind the fact that you only slept for 2hours after discharge from hospital. However, most of us have had the experience of coming home and still being under the influence of the drugs they gave us. Some of us worry about not sleeping, but others just take it in their stride.
Researchers have found that it is not the length of time that we perceive ourselves to have slept that is important, but the amount of ‘rest’ we have. Hence, if we resist the temptation to keep getting up and wandering around having drinks etc, we probably will be just as well off as those who feel they have slept soundly all night.
In the past (especially after operations), I have experienced the same sorts of sleep patterns that you describe. My way of dealing with this was to focus on the subject that was uppermost in my mind and use the time to construct some rhyme.
This helped me to clarify my thoughts and seemed to utilise that time constructively; It also acted as a distraction, so that whatever it was that was keeping me awake, was no longer as important as the task of writing.
It might be instructive to know that this process has produced three books on ‘my stoma’ and one on ‘My Heart Attack’ . So, you can see that these were the times when my sleep patterns were most disturbed.
I suppose in this sense, it could be classed as ‘normal’, but it did not feel that way at the time.
I hope this little rant helps in some way
Best wishes

MeetAnOstoMate - 26,431 members

Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:03 am

I didn't sleep well because I found it hard to get into a position that was comfortable without squishing Sally.

I had a lot of anxiety at first also. But do try to get sleep...nap whenever you can.

Lack of sleep just makes anxiety higher.


Last edited by on Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:06 am; edited 1 time in total
Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:05 am

IMO, any of us control our own anxiety. If you let yourself get all worked up over any little thing, you're gonna increase your anxiety. Any of us with these health conditions are gonna have to realize that we,ourselves, are gonna have to deal with what we're given. Sure, loved ones can help, but in the long run...sit back, relax, take 1 day at a time, and things will get better. Take your time doing things, think things through before doing them, and it'll be ok. I could hardly move when I got home from the hospital. Day by day everything got better and now, about 9 months in, I'm pretty much back to normal. Now, what are you so worked up about?

Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:19 am

Hi KT we all have worrys when we cant get up and do what is our normal routine and other people have to do it for us, when i had my last surgery 4yrs. ago i slept like a log when i got home but when the drugs wore off my sleep patterns were all messed up plus i still had no energy to do anything to be tired but i stuck to a routine of regular bedtime even if i wasnt tired and lay there and reminisce good memories and eventulaaly dose off. 

Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:26 am

ron in mich wrote:

Hi KT we all have worrys when we cant get up and do what is our normal routine and other people have to do it for us, when i had my last surgery 4yrs. ago i slept like a log when i got home but whe...

I laid in bed for hours before falling asleep. Then, of course, I had to get up to pee. 😁 It's a day by day thing, take it easy. 

Sun Jan 16, 2022 5:09 pm

Hi Kt,  You've been given some good advice here.  I would just add that I don't think it's at all abnormal to have some anxiety so soon after going through a life changing surgery.  It is a physically and emotionally traumatic time, and you need time to heal, both physically and mentally.  Not being able to sleep on your first night home doesn't surprise me a bit.  As Bill said, you could well still be feeling the effects of the meds they gave you.  Anxiety will make sleep more difficult, but worrying about not sleeping will only compound the problem.  Just accept that your body is going through an adjustment period and let it take the time it needs.  Let yourself rest and try not to worry, just accept that the sleep will come, when mind and body are ready.  This is early days.  Hang in there and things will get better.


Sun Jan 16, 2022 5:28 pm

I think anxiety is absolutely normal--your body has had a shock, and it is a change for you to adjust to and of course, your mind will be racing!  And like others have said, you probably do still have meds in your system.  Also depending on what happened in the hospital (I was on a venelator for 5 days) it could take some time for your body to adjust to the new normal.  Since you don't have to get up and go to work, try not to stress about not sleeping--I know easier said than done.  Get up and read, knit, meditate and then take naps when you can.  I am sure things will get much better as time goes on.

Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:00 pm

Oh, sweetheart, that is SO normal! Everything that looked and felt so simple when the ostomy nurse was demonstrating everything doesn't seem so easy once you get home and you're on your own! Things will get better and easier, and you'll go a few months and look back and say, "Oh, I never noticed how much better I am at this now!". And then a few more months, and you say, "Oh, I'm even better now than I was then." You never notice it happening until you look back.

Your schedule is your schedule. Don't let anyone tell you you should be at this or that milestone by this time after surgery. And if you can't sleep at 10:00, play some soothing New Age music while you read a book in bed until you're sleepier, and not so worried. And if that's 11 pm, or 1 am, and you only got 2 hours, chill! It's OK! It will get better, and you will worry less as you become more adept at everything, and when you realize, you really WON'T roll over in your sleep and pop your bag every night and wake up in a pile of poop (my biggest worry when I first got home, because I still sleep in the same bed with my husband).

My saving grace was a CD by Mike Oldfield called The Voyager, played at low volume as I went to sleep. I never usually heard the last 2 cuts because I always fell asleep right about then. I hope you find your own ways to cope with the worries and slowly get more sleep at night, along with a few naps during the day. Take care.

Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:13 pm

Anything outside of our normal can cuasue us anxiety and cause sleep loss. Try to do something to distrack yourself maybe watch a movie or read a book.

Tue Jan 18, 2022 3:37 pm

It's so great to get out of the hospital.... but then it isn't. After getting zero slip in the hospital one would think they'd get home and sleep for 3 days. And then that doesn't happen, for many many reasons. 

The pain  med they sent you home with may be adding to your anxiety (for example, Tramadol does).  Napping too much during the day might make nights wakeful and wakefulness makes a mind spin and get anxious. Too much screen time can cause fierce anxiety in many people. The reasons are endless. 

Do your best to keep a strict schedule of meals and bedtime and wake up time, and pay attention, see if you can figure out the source of your anxiety. You may never pinpoint it, it may simply dissipate as you slog through these days. I found that easy access to my Stoma nurses and the valuable education they provided made me confident and ready to do this. 

Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:52 am

Thank you to everyone that sent the kind messages and great advice. My anxiety has decreased and I am sleeping longer during the night and trying to let myself takes naps during the day. One day at a time. I know God is by my side and will help carry my load at the times I need it. I have done many things. First, had pillows placed under my mattress to raise my head elevation, second, I starting journaling and listing five new th8ngs I'm grateful for each day, third, I accepted that right now things will be and up and down battle and that's okay because like many of you said, it will get better. Fourth, I, practicing my breathing exercises-this has been huge for me and meditation. Again thank you to everyone.  Im knew to opening up and sharing my concerns, etc. so bare with me. I grew up being taught to smile always and keep your issues to yourself. I just really thought with this new experience, reaching out would help me understand im not alone in this and get great advice from those that have been through this.

Wed Jan 19, 2022 1:26 pm

I am glad to read that you are doing better, and have found ways to help yourself. You've undergone one heck of a life changing event.... the surgery itself is enough to knock one for a loop, never mind the physical effects from meds,hospitalization, returning home physically changed. Hope you continue to improve bit by bit.  Don't push too hard!

Wed Jan 19, 2022 4:24 pm

ktsenn75 wrote:

Thank you to everyone that sent the kind messages and great advice. My anxiety has decreased and I am sleeping longer during the night and trying to let myself takes naps during the day. One day at...

I'm so glad to hear that things are getting better for you and it sounds like you are taking lots of pro-active steps.  You really don't need to keep anything to yourself on this site.  We've heard it all!!  Keep us posted on your progress.


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