Call this a cry for help. [ed. note: Adam, how about refraining from making dramatic posts at 3:00 in the morning? Thanks, from Adam-of-the-next-day] I recently received a comment saying, "take your meds, and sleep when they make you drowsy". Well, would it were so easy. Here at 2:45 this morning I've just taken another dose of Oxycodone (roughly 4 hours 30 minutes since the last one), and I'll be soon feeling drowsy - but will I fall asleep? That is the question. In the last several nights I can't recall any time where I was actually certainly asleep, though I had an involved dream one night that I was a cello instructor at a music camp. That felt more like a waking nightmare, though.
Reviewing what I know, I think I'm doing the right things.
- I'm taking the right medications, pretty much right on time. Don't like it but I'm pretty good at it by now.
- I'm drinking a fair amount of water. This is improving, by the evidence, and needs to improve further.
- I'm in clean sheets, clean sleeping clothes, at a comfortable temperature, alone in a dark room, with no bright screens (usually), noisy clocks, annoying machine lights, etc.
- I'm using the CPAP sometimes and sometimes not. The jury is out whether it's helping at this point. I've got a couple of years of experience with the CPAP now, and mask positioning and fit seem good. Pressure is set at lowest setting by expectation of my surgeon, but that is working, too. Temperature and humidity are set at comfortable levels.
- Yes, my mind is busy, but I'd think I have enough exhaustion to overcome that, if everything else was in place.
The part that I think is throwing me: I'm pretty much sitting upright in the (hide-a) bed, on the advice of the ICU doctor (and discovered by my own unhappy experience). If I get horizontal I get much more trouble with facial swelling.
This is very much reminiscent of my struggle to get used to the CPAP two years ago. I can't remember how I turned that corner, though certain settings were crucial.
8:30 following morning: First reasonably good sleep since my surgery. That's better! I put on some ice packs when I went back to bed, and they helped. I ended up mostly not using my CPAP last night. I did sleep much more deeply, and dreamed that I consulted some medieval experts in pharmacology (said hi to Cadfael) about my drugs, and we also sang some chant, too.
I'm not sure I can say why everything worked for that 5-hour stretch, but I'll take it. And, ideas and comments about how else to get good sleep continue to be welcome.
Dr. Adam Burdick has been a professional musician for over two decades. Teaching, conducting, and performing in various music genres, he is also a perpetual student with interest in a wide range of topics. He loves to ponder and share his discoveries with anyone interested!