Nightmares

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heartsickwife

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My husband is 3 weeks post op and besides the sleep deprivation issues, he is having horrible nightmares. Any suggestions on how to help with this or if anyone went through this, about how long did it last.
 

pellicle

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Hi

My husband is 3 weeks post op and besides the sleep deprivation issues, he is having horrible nightmares.
I expect its related to the morphine derived pain killers. I had the most horrific and disturbing dreams on both my 1991 surgery and my 2011 surgery. The 2011 was actually far worse. The dreams were the most sensory I've ever experienced and in come cases "recursive" in that I was often waking from dreams to then wake in reality from that 'woken state'.

Any suggestions on how to help with this or if anyone went through this, about how long did it last.
I don't think there is anything you can do to help but to be supportive and talk about them with him if he's inclined to. Just reassure him that its a dream and this will pass.

Best Wishes
 

Paleowoman

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My husband is 3 weeks post op and besides the sleep deprivation issues, he is having horrible nightmares. Any suggestions on how to help with this or if anyone went through this, about how long did it last.
Is your husband on beta blockers (most of us are post surgery) ? A side effect of beta blockers is extremely vivid dreams and nightmares - if that's the case he could talk to his doctor and maybe try a different beta blocker as some may be worse for this than others. Sleep deprivation in the mix won't help.
 

epstns

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I've been there, too. After surgery, I had the sleep disturbance -- couldn't sleep through the night. I would get to sleep but wake up a few hours later and would be up a couple of hours, then get back to sleep. Not very restful, but at least it went away. After a while, with my doctor's approval, I tried over-the-counter Benadryl (usually used for allergies, but this is an off-label use), which helped me to get drowsy enough to sleep better.

I, too, was taking the beta blocker metoprolol after surgery. My dreams were so vivid that I remember asking myself as I went to bed, "I wonder what's playing tonight." That, too, went away after a while, but it also took a reduction in my beta blocker dosage to finally rid me of the "night shows."
 

Rachel

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I also had nightmares right after surgery - vivid ones - one time I was positive I heard an asteroid wiz by my window.....I was 100% certain that the world would end!!! My only thought at that time was "Oh great.....I just went through some major surgery - and survived - and now I'm going to die anyway from mass destruction!"

I tell this story/nightmare to others now and it's pretty funny - of course it wasn't at the time!

My nightmares did not last for long - but I was also off of all meds by the first week post-op and off of BB's by the third week post-op.
 

bluefields409

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There was one night..I believe day/night 2 post op when I was given dilaudid (hydromorhone) for pain/sleep. AWFUL nightmares. Refused to take since. Now, well... sleep remains elusive.

Last Tuesday GP gave me zopiclone 50 mg. I tried 2 nights, which, besides metallic taste, didn't help with sleep. Shrug.

Weird how the body can be so weary and yet the mind cannot slip into sleep. Probably on some subconscious level, mind is thinking the LAST time I "slept" look what happened . :eek2: lol

Helen
 

MrsBray

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I was about 4 weeks post op before I slept more than 6 hours. I didn't have nightmares, but very vivid dreams. I was taking 25 mg metoprolol am & pm. My cPAP helped me relax enough to get good sleep, but after 3-4 hours I was wide awake again, unable to get out of bed without help, and reluctant to wake up hubby.

I haven't had vivid dreams since about week 5. that's when I started sleeping better, and being more active.
 

thomas999

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I had horrible nightmares when I first got home, partly due to the trauma of avr prosthesis, but mainly due to medication. Different meds are not my best friend, especially pain killers (morphine, anesthesia). Also, someone mentioned beta blockers, which I can not tolerate due to causing mood swings. Nightmares are not fun, and it may also take a "time of acceptance" to settle in from surgery. Maybe a few weeks or a few years. Think of the word "acceptance", and be patient while moving forward.
 

thomas999

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I had nightmares post surgery, as they were trying to balance meds. I am the type who can't tolerate beta blockers, as they cause nm's any make me angry. With those side effects, my BP would rise. Doc immediately took me off them. For years now it's just been Lisinopril which works perfectly. BTW, it's been over 31 years since my surgery.
 

carolinemc

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kansas city, mo
Hi



I expect its related to the morphine derived pain killers. I had the most horrific and disturbing dreams on both my 1991 surgery and my 2011 surgery. The 2011 was actually far worse. The dreams were the most sensory I've ever experienced and in come cases "recursive" in that I was often waking from dreams to then wake in reality from that 'woken state'.



I don't think there is anything you can do to help but to be supportive and talk about them with him if he's inclined to. Just reassure him that its a dream and this will pass.

Best Wishes
Have you talked with his doctor about the loss of sleep, which can also cause nightmares and paranoia. The doctor could recommend sleeping pills for his to get his much needed rest. Sleeping pills might help get him rested and might help ease the nightmares till he is off the beta blockers.
 

Eva

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Welcome aboard!

Though Beta blockers do cause nightmares, it’s crucially important your husband stays on it at this stage.

After my surgery in 2008, I took my beta blocker in the morning. So, no nightmares.
In 2014, I convinced my doctor to take me off it due to fatigue. Hesitantly, he agreed though he tried to convince me not to as it “saves the heart in the future”!

So, I WISH I never stopped it and learnt to get over the fatigue...My heart rate started creeping up on me little by little on and off over time that I didn’t notice it until I had atrial flutter SVT on the 15th of this past March that CAUSED ME HEART FAILURE. NOW I AM BACK ON Metoprolol twice a day!

Does your husband take it at night or bedtime?! If so, eating a small portion of fruit or food with the pill might help. In my case, food helped. I’m planning to ask my Electrophysiologist next time I see him to switch me to one pill/day to take in a.m.

Good luck Keep us posted.
 

Carnelian

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Is he taking anti-depressants? Some of them like Sertaline can cause more vivid dreams, nightmares. Obviously, it might depend what the nightmares are about? Are they related to surgery or health in any way, even symbolically?
 

Paleowoman

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Hi carolinemc and Eva - you probably don’t realise it, but the original poster who was writing about her husband 3 weeks post op with sleep deprivation and nightmares, wrote that post way back on June 1 2014. She’s only ever written one post and that was the one, she’s not been on forum since June 2 2014 !

Of course discussions like this re post op meds which cause side effects are still relevant for other post op forum members.

Have you talked with his doctor about the loss of sleep, which can also cause nightmares and paranoia. The doctor could recommend sleeping pills for his to get his much needed rest. Sleeping pills might help get him rested and might help ease the nightmares till he is off the beta blockers.
Welcome aboard!

Though Beta blockers do cause nightmares, it’s crucially important your husband stays on it at this stage.

After my surgery in 2008, I took my beta blocker in the morning. So, no nightmares.
In 2014, I convinced my doctor to take me off it due to fatigue. Hesitantly, he agreed though he tried to convince me not to as it “saves the heart in the future”!

So, I WISH I never stopped it and learnt to get over the fatigue...My heart rate started creeping up on me little by little on and off over time that I didn’t notice it until I had atrial flutter SVT on the 15th of this past March that CAUSED ME HEART FAILURE. NOW I AM BACK ON Metoprolol twice a day!

Does your husband take it at night or bedtime?! If so, eating a small portion of fruit or food with the pill might help. In my case, food helped. I’m planning to ask my Electrophysiologist next time I see him to switch me to one pill/day to take in a.m.

Good luck Keep us posted.
 

Eva

Miracle Believer
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
4,085
Location
Redondo Beach, CA
Hi carolinemc and Eva - you probably don’t realise it, but the original poster who was writing about her husband 3 weeks post op with sleep deprivation and nightmares, wrote that post way back on June 1 2014. She’s only ever written one post and that was the one, she’s not been on forum since June 2 2014 !

Of course discussions like this re post op meds which cause side effects are still relevant for other post op forum members.
God catch! You’re right...I didn’t notice!
 

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