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Unread 02-07-2005, 08:42 AM

I haven't had my surgery yet, but I get the leg figits, and have gotten them for a couple of years. Incidently, my fibroid has been growing for a couple of years. I think that it has something to do with the pressure. It is worse when I'm retaining fluid.

I've learned that I can take tylenol to get rid of the figits, and go to sleep. I can tell you that I don't get the same relief from Advil or Naproxin. Tylenol seems to work with just one tablet most of the time. I know those leg figits will drive you crazy. I completely understand your frustration.

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Unread 02-07-2005, 07:40 PM
leg twitches and insomnia

Hi Everyone,

My surgery was Jan 14th and I haven't had a decent night's sleep since then. Even in the hospital I couldn't really sleep. My doctor insists that it's anxiety. He has prescribed Ambien, but it hasn't really helped. I'm averaging about 3 hours sleep per night. I walk around like a zombie all day because I'm afraid if I nap, I won't sleep at all at night! It's terrible. I have to say that at least the Ambien helps me to fall asleep, even if I don't stay that way for too long. I'm trying to be positive though - each night I go to bed thinking, "Tonight's going to be the night ...."

I also have the restless legs that some of you have mentioned. My doctor has offered to put me on an anti-anxiety medication to see if that will help - at least while my body adjusts to its new hormone status. I haven't decided yet. Prior to this, I'd never really taken any medication other than an occasional Motrin. Now all of a sudden I've found myself on an estrogen patch, Ambien, and possibly Paxil??????? This whole thing is very scary.

Last night, when I woke at 2:20 AM, I tried some deep breathing exercises to help me calm down and eventually I drifted back off to sleep.

Anyway, my hope is that all of us can get some sleep tonight!

Unread 02-07-2005, 08:35 PM

I can't believe that you have the exact same symptons. My husband said, "Wow. You could have written that post."
So, if so many of us are suffering from restless leg syndrome, and our Doctors all think we have anxiety, but none of us are getting better, what are we to do??
Last night I tried the Ambien, which I was skeptical of, because, like you, I do not take many medications. But I was desperate. I woke up around 2:00 a.m. and fidgetted for an hour and a half, even though I am also very exhausted.
The one thing that worries me is you are 12 days ahead of me in recovery, and you are still experiencing this most aggravating condition. I sincerely hope you overcome it soon, for all our sakes. Best wishes.
Love, Sara
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Unread 02-07-2005, 09:11 PM

I posted about another sleep med on the Sleep medications thread, so won't bore you with a repeat , but you might want to read it, maybe.

Unread 02-07-2005, 10:23 PM

I had my surgery on January 12 and I have had Ambien prescribed and when it didn't help, they tried Restoril. Neither of them are helping at all, I lay awake or sit up and play games and read until around 3 or 4am, THEN I might sleep for an hour or so and I am up again. Have tried Benedryl and Tylenol PM neither of those has worked either. I have almost given up on sleeping at night and have started to just cat nap during the day while the kids are in school. (Going on the any sleep is better than no sleep theory.) If anyone finds anything to help, please let me know.
Unread 02-08-2005, 02:21 AM

Hi Sara!

You expressed what I have been feeling since my surgery 2 days before yours with much more eloquence that I could have.

There is much more about this recovery period than I thought. I really expected to fly right through as my Dr told me that most of his patients completely recover in 2-4 weeks. I now find that difficult to believe---especially without sleep!

The legs twiches and shakes were something totally unexpected. Scared me some. They have quieted down a bit since they started, but are still hanging around a few times a day.

I see my Dr on the 9th. I will ask him about the sleeplessness and uncontrollable legs along with hormone replacement. The day time hot flashes are also getting to me. If he comes up with anything not mentioned so far, I'll let you know.

It is sort of nice having someone to chat with in the wee hours of the morning.

To a speedy recovery (and a good night's sleep!)

Hang in there...
Unread 02-08-2005, 06:54 AM
sleepless in "Everytown"

Hi Ladies,

Like the rest of you, this sleep thing is really getting me down. But, I think there may be light at the end of the tunnel. I'm "knocking on wood" as I say this, but for the first time last night, I was able to sleep for 5 consecutive hours, and then fall back to sleep for another 2 hours. That's the most sleep I've had since before my surgery (Jan 14th).

I forced myself to stay busy until about 11:00 last night. Then I took an Ambien and went to bed. I didn't read in bed, or watch TV or anything. Just got into bed, tried to get comfortable, and turned out the light. I know this may sound very hokey, but I started doing some deep breathing - slow and deliberate. While I did this, I tried to really concentrate on nothing other than my body. I tried to force the hysterectomy, my regrets over it, and everything else out of my mind. It was only a matter of minutes and I was asleep. The next thing I knew it was 4:30 AM. When I looked at the clock I was really encouraged, because I haven't been able to sleep beyond 2:00 until now. So I focused on keeping myself calm, did more deep breathing, and was able to return to sleep (although it was a much lighter sleep) for 3 more hours.

I really think that Anxiety is the key piece here. I can only speak for myself, although I'll bet that a lot of us are experiencing this same thing. I am so tired, that I am overly focused on the idea of getting sleep or NOT getting sleep. I go to bed at night almost anticipating not being able to sleep. That is counterproductive and almost psychs my mind and body into not sleeping. The anxiety takes over when I wake at 2 and then I'm so worked up that I can't get back to sleep. Last night before bed, I really tried to rationalize all this out in my head. Maybe it worked or maybe my additional hours of rest are nothing more than coincidence, but I'm not going to abandon this practice. I'm going to try it again tonight. As far as the restless legs go, I think that's connected to anxiety too. I'm so keyed up, that my whole body is in spasm. My doctor thinks that I'm hyperventilating without even realizing it and that's why the legs are so restless. We have to find a way to relax. A woman I work with who went through this in her 30's told me that the only way she managed to combat the anxiety following her surgery and get any sleep at all was to take up yoga and meditation. It's 20 years later and she's still practicing yoga/med every day. She's also sleeping through the night!

The other thing that may have helped me is that I asked my husband to come to bed only after I was asleep. It was easier for me to fall asleep alone in the bed (without having to listen to him cork right off and begin snoring).

My 85 year old neighbor has suggested warm milk. Just on a whim, (and because I'm desperate), I went on-line and checked out the warm milk myth. Some people, even some doctors swear by it. Apparently there is a chemical called tryptophan in warm milk that causes drowsiness. When my neighbor's sleep is disrupted (each night), he heats some milk and is able to return to sleep.

But, I really believe - it's the anxiety that's messing us up. I purchased a book from this site last week, Sudden Menopause. What an excellent resource! It lists insomnia as one of the symptoms of surgical menopause and explains why it occurs. Our bodies (with or without HRT) are adjusting to a whole new hormone status. It takes time. I would recommend this book to anyone; in fact, I may buy a copy for my doctor and insist that he read it. I feel that I know more about this than he does at this point. He just keeps telling me that I'm depressed!

So, make sure that you know how to breathe correctly. My 16 year old son taught me how before bed last night. And try some relaxation exercises - go on line and search "Insomnia." You won't believe the number of hits you'll get. The other thing is that I really tried to stay calm all day yesterday too. Whenever I'd find myself getting worked up, I would do some deep breathing, or take a walk. I've got to break this cycle. It's my mission!

I am thinking of you all. Because I was able to get some sleep last night, I'm encouraged ------ we can beat this thing!

Unread 02-08-2005, 07:22 AM

Great post Susy!

I agree with the breathing exercises at bedtime. I took yoga for a while and learned to do the breathing with that. I do that whenever I am getting anxious and it allows me to focus on something totally and avoid focusing on my anxiety. I highly recommend yoga...I took it at my local YMCA. The instuctor always gave us a range of positions so we that were less talented/experienced had options. Ladies of all sizes were in the class and it was so energizing and centering. (me time!)

I started the patch three days ago. Yesterday I napped for three stright hours, but I had a bad night with lots of tossing and turning. I will try not to nap today. I also had a hot flush, not extreme but enough to make me push off the covers.

Here's to getting great sleep!otion:

Unread 02-08-2005, 07:53 AM

Hi Jennifer,

When I first started my patch, I experienced some "breakthrough" symptoms - a couple of hot flashes, etc. But they literally stopped as quickly as they'd started. I'm reading that anxiety can also trigger hot flashes, so be conscious of your body and where your mind is when a hot flash occurs.

Thanks for the info on the Yoga. We have a family membership to the local YMCA, and I'm going to look into signing up for a class.

I agree that if you're not sleeping at night, you probably shouldn't take 3 hour naps. But if it's the only sleep you can manage, then do it!!!!!!!!!!!!

My thinking is that I just need to get back into a normal routine. Because prior to this I was an extremely busy, driven person (full time teacher, mother of 2 active teenagers, night school for an administrative degree, etc), I was on the go literally all the time. Since Jan 14th, I have come to a crashing halt. I'm thinking that if I tire myself out during the day (without risking injury to my incision site), I will sleep better at night and re-establish my natural rhythm. It's worth a try anyway!

Good luck. I'll be thinking of you.

Unread 02-08-2005, 08:11 AM

I can totally sympathize and relate with the restless legs and sleeplessness.

If it's any consulation, it seemed like everything calmed down and I was able to start sleeping just like my pre-hyst days at the 5 week mark. I'm one of those people that could sleep hanging from a clothesline, wake up refreshed, and go full-speed ahead for the next 17-18 hours.

Any surgery/recovery is a real shock to your system. After my surgery - it seemed my body refused to sleep -- even while I was still in the castle! I took no naps that lasted longer than 30 minutes (and no more than one or two per day) and I even stopped taking naps all-together at two weeks in an attempt to get my system back to normal. I went back to work at four weeks, which seemed to get my body back to a normal pattern, but I was a tad moody and exhausted because I still couldn't get more than four hours sleep per night. By week 5, I was sleeping like a baby again -- or were those comas?.... Anywho, I was pleased as punch.

I see on a lot of posts stating that six weeks is a positive benchmark: when most of us look back and realize how remarkable our bodies adjust and recover to get us back to our normal selves.

Hang in there!!

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