I have never been a good sleeper. It takes me a long time to fall asleep. I am restless and since having children, I get night sweats, which I’m pretty sure is my body’s way of saying, “Gurl, you don’t need to actually exercise, we be sweatin’ right now while you asleep!”. (Worth noting, my body has the dialect of an inner city youth in Alabama.)
Since surgery, Morpheus has been pretty kind to me though I’m pretty sure a lot of the time I’m actually more unconscious than sleeping. Semantics.
I have been living at my mom’s house since the surgery. I didn’t think I’d be here this long, but as a walking spigot, I feel safer away from my circus of children and dogs at home. Here I can just focus on recovering and binge-watching things on Netflix.
Before surgery I didn’t think too much about how it would affect my sleep. Only a few days beforehand did it occur to me that hopping in my bed with my husband and 2 dogs probably wouldn’t be the answer. I sought out advice from other women who’ve been through this and the resounding answer was a recliner chair.
I posted an ISO on a local Facebook moms group and, much to my pleasant surprise, handfuls of women were willing to give me their recliners– I had my pick of the litter!
Logistics were worked out and the chair was delivered to my mom’s house 2 days before surgery. The family that gifted it to us are angels as far as I am concerned (you know who you are 😉).
The recliner has become an integral part of the recovery process. It is my homebase, my safe zone, my cradle. I sleep in this bad boy every night. A ritual of sorts has developed around putting Grancer to bed.
- Take all the narcotics and muscle relaxers
- Do normal stuff you do before bed
- Have your sister milk your drains and record their capacity
- Safety pin drains back into your shirt
- Make sure everything you need is on the little table next to you, i.e., Chapstick, water, phone charger
- Sit in chair and have pillows placed under both of your elbows and one behind your head
- Have sister pull the lever for reclining, back goes down, legs go up
- Have sister check that drains and tubes are all in a safe place
Here is the best part, the Shrouding:
- Have sister hold the fluffy blanket your friend bought you as a ‘birthday’ gift (but was obvs because you have cancer), over her head in portrait layout and slowly lower it over the reclined body
From that point on, it’s mostly small maneuvers like getting my neck pillow or eyemask. By the time this entire process is done, the bevy of drugs I have taken are usually pulling around the tracks to pick me up and take me to unconscious-land.
I’ll spare you the gory details of what happens when I have to use the loo in the middle of the night. Ceremoniously un-shrouding does not have the same eleganza as the original.
“Someday I’ll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are all behind me.”