UPDATE June 6: Before I settled on sleeping in the chair I went ahead and ordered a big wedge pillow, which arrived yesterday. And boy oh boy, it is way better than sleeping in a chair! The comfort of actually being under the covers in a bed is so welcome. And the wedge is tall enough that I can easily sit straight up and get out of bed myself, a miracle!
Sleep is the most important part of recovery, I think. You never sleep great in the hospital with so much going on all around you at all times, not to mention being so early in the process that your body is still figuring out what is going on. When you get home and into your own routine, then it's super important to find the best way you can to get the most high-quality sleep.
First, remember: I cannot use my arms to adjust myself in bed or get out of bed.
My first couple of nights at home were not great. I slept relatively well in the hospital bed, which had an automatic top half tilt adjustment. I found it best to lie mostly flat, but waking up in the middle of the night I would tilt myself up and have a drink of water, or whatever. Here at home, no such fancy bed. I thought that a similar flat position would probably be fine, or wedging myself up with some pillows. I found that if I started sitting up mostly, I was able to wiggle my way down to flat, but not the other way around. Well, this turned out to really not work for me. I would inevitably find myself flat on my back, super sore, and unable to make any kind of adjustment to my position by myself.
One other odd thing: night sweats. Apparently this is a common aftereffect of anaesthesia, but it's super super gross to wake up in cold, wet sheets and have no way of moving yourself.
But after a couple of nights of this, I reconsidered a chair that I had previously ruled out of my recovery plans: the classic Ikea poang chair. I've always found it incredibly comfortable, it's got a bit of spring to it, but it's too deep and reclined for me to get out of without using my arms, properties which also make it very comfortable to sleep in. And so it proved, as my sleep in that chair has been excellent, and the night sweats immediately stopped, either by coincidence or not. Getting out of the chair requires a helper, but it's as simple as tipping the chair forwards until I'm able to just stand right up. Easy!
It also has the happy consequence of freeing up the bed, so my wife can sleep there now. Quality of life for the person looking after you is a very important consideration. I'm relying on Kathryn for pretty much everything, so anything that makes things easier for her is good for everyone.