When can I sleep on the other side grrrr....

PamelaP Member Posts: 23
Thanks for all your replies to my previous discussion about "tethering" - Note: I haven't yet worked out how to reply to you in that discussion but your honesty & support were wonderful.

I'm now 9 weeks post surgery for a left mastectomy & auxiliary clearance and still find it uncomfortable to sleep on my left side.  I'm fed up with sleeping on the right as I have developed bursitis in my right hip & I'm wondering how or when Ill ever sleep on my left side again.  Any ideas, suggestions, time frames for others ?? 

Same goes for wearing a bra & prosthesis - 9 weeks out & I can still only manage a post op bra on good days.  After chemo even that gentle bra feels unbearably tight !!!!



  • Molly001
    Molly001 Member Posts: 419
    Yes, sleeping comfortably after surgery is difficult. I remember feeling very twisted up in my hip, back & shoulder until I could sleep on my surgery side, which was quite a few weeks. All I can suggest is try different pillow arrangements. The first time I slept comfortably on my mastectomy side for a few hours was pure bliss. It was a bit hit and miss for a while with sometimes finding a good position and sometimes finding it unbareabe. As for prosthetics and bras I went braless for weeks then bought some soft wire free bras from target with a soft form for a while before i felt healed enough for a permanent prosthetic. I wore a prosthetic during chemo, but the stiff bras would still dig in and hurt at times. Now I'm back to braless and sleeping only on one side because of bad radiation burns. Can't wait to comfortably roll over too!
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372

    Replying to other members who have commented on your thread looks like this @Pamela Pearce --though the gap in your name is playing games with this computer. Humph. Basically put @ in front of the members name and hope for the best.

    I think that sleeping is one of the biggest problems that plagues  us all. Whether it be pain, sweats or anxiety that cause them, sleepless nights suck. If you were given one of those little U shaped pillows before your surgery (can't remember what they are called) try wedging that under your arm to take up a bit of the pressure. Other than that, I really haven't got anything helpful to suggest. Just a message of solidarity--this stuff is exhausting. Marg.

  • Glen19
    Glen19 Member Posts: 9
    Yes it sure is a real challenge.  I've had a lot of trouble too having had a double mastectomy and axillary dissection on one side so could only sleep on my back for about 5 weeks.  I slept in a recliner chair for all that time as I found that much better and more supportive than a bed.  My back was very unhappy at first but it gradually became easier - certainly did not get much sleep during that time.  Then I went back into a bed and after experimenting found I could sleep sort of halfway onto one side while propped up with a pillow each side!  I kept experimenting till I found something that worked.  As for bras I also had a lot of trouble tolerating them at first but it gradually became easier as my soreness improved, must be lucky there as I am only 8 weeks post-surgery now and into Chemo too.  Hang in there!
  • socoda
    socoda Member Posts: 1,767
    Hi @Pamela Pearce, the pillow that Marg (zoffiel) is talking about is the zonta pillow and your breast care nurse should be able to supply you with one. If not you can get one from the zonta group at www.zonta.org.au. I had that and then a U pillow from Kmart to support me and found that helped a lot. I could tilt slightly onto my side but still be supported enough to get sleep. As for the bra I found the bra band under the cup to the the biggest hurdle but then used a bra extender to loosen it up a bit and it was so much better. Hope it helps. Xx Cath
  • socoda
    socoda Member Posts: 1,767
    Sorry should be http://zonta.org.au
  • PamelaP
    PamelaP Member Posts: 23
    @Zoffiel thanks for letting me know how to reply direct to someone's comment.  My username is now PamelaP - no space so should work much better ! 
  • LisaO
    LisaO Member Posts: 38
    I had a right mastectomy and aux clearance mid June and over the past few weeks (since returning to work) I can now comfortably sleep on both sides.  I think my arm exercises..walking my hands up the wall above my head, really helped big time in getting my arm back to some sort of normal.  Im a dog groomer, so I really need to be able to use my arms and hands for scissoring. Since returning to work part time a few weeks ago and really using my arm which had the clearance, well my arm feels almost normal which is not what I expected!!
    Best and Less sell fabulous bras for $10 that I sleep in..so comfortable..slip on with removable inserts.  I think these have helped me with getting a good nights sleep big time.
  • Brenda5
    Brenda5 Member Posts: 2,423
    You can sleep on that side any time you want but it will be gingerly for a start. I get lymphodema under my arm and laying on it pushes the lymph out while I sleep so that is a good thing. I recently got a higher extrafill pillow and that is great because it takes the pressure off my shoulder while on my side.