After three weeks of having restless nights of staring at my bedroom walls, all I wanted to do was lie on my side, curl up and get comfy. Any ones knows that after surgery there is no chance of this happening. The combination of the pain, the pesky drains, brick boobs (if you have had reconstruction) and just general lack of ability to move stops comfort even being an issue.
Three weeks on, I was determined to find a way of sleeping. Everyone's experience will be different, as will the advice you are given. If you have been told to lie in a certain way, do it. I am no doctor, just writing about my experience. I asked one of my consultants when I could lie on my side and he said whenever I felt could. To me, that was a green light. Therefore, having rearranged all pillows, 100s of times in the middle of the night and making enough noise to wake the whole street, I have found a way to sleep on my side, without the searing pain! Those who have not undergone a mastectomy will not appreciate the frustration of not being able to move to sleep, and this might seem a bit trivial to you. Those of you that have been down this path... you will know exactly where I am coming from!
I have put together a step by step guide to see if it can help you...
1. Pillow arrangment.
2. Place the arm of the side you are going to sleep on, directly down your side. This needs to be behind your reconstruction if you've had it. Excuse the sight, I unbuttoned my top so it was easier to see what I meant. Otherwise it just looked like pinks flowers everywhere.
3. Carefully lie on your V pillow, I found being at a slight angle helped. Once down, double check that you are not squishing your reconstruction. Due to losing sensation I couldn't tell, unless i did it too much and it really hurt. So, slide your hand underneath your bottom breast and check there is space. If there isn't, try moving up the pillow some more, or adding another pillow to give you more height.
4. What to do with your top arm? Find where suits you. I had it down the top of my body, but behind my reconstruction, then tucked in my legs. You will find a way that makes you comfortable.
Voila! I hope this has helped at least one person having those sleepless nights.
Stick with it, you will find a way that works for you.