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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sleep deprivation following a severe leg injury

I have one day to go before the plaster is removed from my leg - yeeha!  Once its off the real work begins with the gradual process of restoring full strength and function.  I have done everything right so far; but I do not expect the road ahead to be easy.

I have been advised that I will need another operation to remove the plate and screws securing the medial malleolus.  I agree because it has been bothering me for the last six weeks - and that's while immobilised in a plaster cast!

One of the worst things about carrying a heavy brick around in my leg, especially on warm and humid nights, is my inability to sleep well.  This has been driving me nuts at times and I have felt sorry for my very patient partner, Alofa, who never once complained.  Many a time I expected her to call me a tosser in bed, but she has not.

My sleep has been recorded since the beginning of February using a Fitbit HR (refer image left).  The results are an interesting record of my struggles with sleep - or the lack of.  What you can see is that I have had as little as a few hours of unbroken sleep.  The good trend is that I have been steadily getting more and more sleep but this has been punctuated by more tossing and turning as the hours of sleep have gone up.  While I may now be getting up to eight hours of sleep, the quality remains very poor indeed.

With the plaster coming off tomorrow, it will be interesting to see if the quality improves to match the quantity.

The long screw you can see on the right of the image above, that looks like it came from the local hardware store, might be what can be felt to be digging into the flesh, causing constant discomfort and interfering with sleep.

Earlier articles about my leg injury can be found here:

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