A chemo port is an implantable and small device that is attached to the vein. These devices are inserted under the skin inside the chest of cancer patients. It helps doctors to give medicines via veins, take blood samples, and other tasks things also become easy. Your good night sleep may be affected by this. As the device is inserted under the skin, it makes sleeping on the stomach a bit uncomfortable.
The chemo port is used to give medicines, and other fluids and to take blood samples via veins as it makes the task easier and less painful. Doctors can give the treatment with ease and the patients too don’t have to bear much pain. It is a good alternative to giving cancer treatment. But your good night sleep might be affected as the intruded port in the chest may give discomfort in sleeping.
How To Get A Good Night Sleep With A Chemo Port?
1. Avoid sleeping on your stomach:
To get a good night sleep with the port on, sleeping on the back is the best position. As the port is placed on the chest, it will not cause pressure on it. It means you will have to change your normal sleeping position. Consider sleeping on one side too. To get a good night sleep, it is better to sleep on the opposite side where the port is placed.
Doing this will help you not wake up in the middle of the night frequently. Remember not to raise the arm when sleeping where the port is fixed. It will keep the port in a pulled position. Do not do any twisty and pulling movements as the port is fixed inside the chest. The part where the port is inserted will get better with time. As the surgery is just done, it may cause a bit of pain.
2. Chemo port doesn’t fall off:
A majority of people think that the port may fall off due to excessive movement in the bed while asleep. This actually isn’t the case. As it is fixed inside the chest just under the skin, it cannot fall off. The surgical cut may be affected though if you rub or pull the port side, causing the part to start bleeding. For a good night sleep, you will need to consider these things.
In the majority of cases, the port doesn’t fall off. Some swelling, redness, or warm sensation can happen, if that is the case, consult the doctor immediately and get the issue looked upon.
3. For comfortable sleep:
To avoid you falling off the bed, you can put pillows on the sides of the bed. An extra soft mattress may cause issues for you to move from one side to another side of the bed. Consider changing your mattress, and grab some supportive pillows too. The mattress and pillows should be comfortable enough to give you a good night sleep.
Wear the best and comfort-giving clothes. Restrictive movement due to the clothes can give disturbed sleep. Put on breathable clothes, as much as possible.
4. Pillows are your sleep friends:
Yes, you read that right! Immediately after the surgery, the skin is sensitive to the slightest touch and may hurt. This compels the person to sleep on their back. It is advised to sleep on the back till the area heals. It is better to avoid further injuries due to sleeping on the side.
Once healed, you will need to adapt to sleeping on the side without bothering the port. You can make use of pillows to your benefit. Use pillows to avoid rolling on the side. Put a pillow in between your knees too. Place large pillows on each side of the bed to avoid rolling over on your stomach.
5. Strategize your good night sleep:
To get a good night sleep, you need to develop certain strategies. Enhance your sleep habits. Put yourself in some disciplinary action. Also, maintain the same. Distance yourself from screens pre-sleep.
At least 2 hours before you sleep, screens are a big no-no. Instead, read something nice and calm, and have a shower to get relaxed. Sit alone for some time before you go to sleep and practice meditation, if need be. You will feel calm and relaxed.
6. Make use of port pillows:
While traveling, for example, you will put on the car seatbelt. Isn’t it? These pillows keep the strap of the car seatbelt at a distance from your chest. Similarly, these port pillows help you when you sleep. Try it out for yourself to get a good night sleep. See if you feel comfortable or not with these pillows. If not, look for different sizes and dimensions of them that suit you. Such different-sized port pillows are available in the market.
Dos and Don’ts when good night sleep with the port:
- Keep the port passage clean. Whether or not you are needed to give medicines frequently, once a month clean the port. By doing this, you will be free from any infections and other diseases related to it.
- Keep a watch on the port to notice any color changes. If noticed, contact your doctor immediately. These may be some onset of any infections around the port which are needed to be treated.
- Do some physical activity like play and engage in your normal activities. You can even swim and shower with the port on.
- Sports like running, football, or rugby aren’t advised, at least till the port is inside your chest.
- No heavy weight lifting allowed too, in the initial stages. Whichever weight is above 4 to 5 kgs, you cannot lift it.
- Do not disobey the doctor’s instructions given in the line of using the port.
If in any doubt, contact your doctor or if need be, visit him. Doubts related to the port, in whichever manner get them clarified from the doctor. Ask him questions, do not hesitate. Every person’s body functions differently, and the mechanism of each person is different. A person may get accustomed to the port quite easily while the other person may find it a task.
So, find ways and means to make your life easier with the port. Mind the clothes you wear, be careful in the initial stages of the surgery, and do not do the tasks you are not allowed to do.