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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Sleep Deprivation and Resilience

This chair if really helping thanks to Liz!
 Ellie continues to improve every day. The casts on both feet, knee immobilizers and wedge remain until July 22nd at which point we hope the casts will come off but not sure about the rest. I think Ellie thought that once she got home the knee immobilizers and wedge would come off. She's made it clear she hates them as they really, really restrict her movement  - which is the point. She is coping with that and the pain really well. Liz brought over this Lazy Boy recliner and it has been a wonderful thing to have. It's heavily padded and gets Ellie out of the bed. Though in this picture you can see she has had enough. It's a hard thing and bummer of a way to spend the summer. I have had to be pretty firm about making sure she eats and drinks. She's so out of sorts in every way it's been hard to get back into any sort of routine.  As a result there has been very little rest for any of us. 

Her circadian rhythm is also flipped. She has been up all night and uncomfortable despite the pain meds since she got home on Friday. This is hard for us. In fact one of the hardest ongoing things about raising Ellie has been her inability to sleep through the night. I just ordered this light to help maybe flip her back to a proper rhythm.  Let's hope it works. I had hoped that approaching puberty she would start to sleep more like any good teenager - but not yet.  Still she is only 12.

She's also on some heavy pain meds that are messing with her sleep. We are stretching to dose from every four hours to every six today and it seems to be working. It feels like a long road ahead. My friends in my book club have been dropping by meals each evening for two evenings now. That really helps and is so lovely since we don't have any family who support us in the day to day. 

A note about positioning: Here you can see her on her side. Her body has to stay aligned (straight). She has the casts, wedge, and knee immobilizers on. We are using the cloth chuck underneath her to move her and it helps. Then using pillows and bolsters to help her stay positioned. We switch back and forth to the other side as well as sitting when ever she wants or at least ever two hours.  At night she can't seem to get comfortable regardless. We keep trying. Part of the it to state the obvious is that she just had her bones operated on and bones take a long, long time to heal. So it goes.

Careful positioning keeps Ellie aligned and comfortable.
I keep wondering if I wrap my head around this differently I might feel better about the lack of  sleep and the stress of it all. Maybe if I was just more chill?  One problem is that it's bad right now and a part of my brain goes to the place where it says - it's going to be this way forever.
When I go there I get instantly overwhelmed. And of course, it's not true. The one thing you can always count on -the one constant in life - is change. 

It's a challenge - this management of the self. It's a challenge not to think of how life could be different. 

I have been inspired lately by this guy who exemplifies what a zest for life means.  Watching him jump into life's challenges every day give me energy to "Do more and work harder" as Casey would say. And we do work hard but focusing those efforts on the right things at the right time is the key. Part of that work is keeping focused, positive, and present.

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