Saturday, September 13, 2008

I've been worried about my mattress

After I came home from my last hospital stay, I noticed that my mattress was having some kind of breakdown. A valley had formed on the side where I usually sleep. I had turned it several times, but the valley would not go away. My sleep, which I badly needed for healing, was interrupted as I tried to “climb” to the high side to even things out.

Finally I asked myself, “Why are you doing this?”

I can’t go back to work until a year after my last transplant (June 10), but surely I can afford a new mattress, I reasoned.

My friend Margaret had been raving about her new memory foam mattress, so I got one for myself.

It’s been about two weeks, and I still can’t get used to it. The same valley forms around my body as before, only this time it’s supposed to do that. But, half asleep, I roll around trying to undo one valley and, in the process, I make another.

Was one bad memory leading to another?

Today I talked to Margaret. First I told her that I was getting a little jittery about my upcoming checkup, and then I launched into my mattress mishegos. Midway through, I realized that the conversation was sounding like it belonged in a “Seinfeld” episode.

“When you sit on the edge of a bed to put your shoes on, your mattress is not supposed to sag,” I said.

“But it goes back to its normal shape,” Margaret reasoned.

“Yes, but it’s bothering me, and I think I might exchange it. I’m losing sleep over it,” I said.

Over the many years of our friendship, Margaret has listened to me obsess about a range of issues, both large and small. She suggested I find out the return policy and then take advantage of any grace period to give the mattress a chance.

But then she said maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to be obsessing about the mattress after all.

“It will take your mind off your checkup,” she said.

I guess there's something to what she said. Most of the time we try to distract ourselves with good thoughts and memories, but all aspects of everyday life offer an opportunity to focus on what's right in front of us.

10 comments:

PJ said...

Oy vey. Time to make more tomato sauce ...

susan c said...

It is the ultimate irony to be losing sleep over a new mattress, isn't it.

Anonymous said...

I personally think a good old-fashioned mattress is better. The more you try to jazz things up, sometimes the worse they turn out.

Anonymous said...

Ronni: Have you read Donald Antrim's essay about buying a bed? It was in the New Yorker a couple of years ago but it is a chapter in his book "The Afterlife" and it is HYSTERICAL. Definitely check it out. You are absolutely a mattress obsessive amateur compared to him. Suzanne K.

Anonymous said...

Can you please give me some...hope? advice? My boyfriend was given a BMT in april and he still is not allowed to come home. When will he get out of there. I feel like I'm going insane. Sometimes the effort of staying positive truly makes me wish for a gigantic bomb to drop on the world. Is there some kind of "average healing time"... sigh.

Ronni Gordon said...

To the anonymous woman who's boyfriend is still in the hospital: I'm sorry you both are having such a hard time. Since I'm not a doctor and I don't know the details of your situation, I couldn't give you any advice except to say they must have a good reason for keeping him there. Infection? Counts slow to come back? You can rest assured that he is being monitored closely. Do you have a social worker at the hospital? If not can you find one? Ask his doctor or primary nurse to point you in the direction of someone who can give you extra support. I saw the nurses much more than the doctors, and they were wonderful for providing support themselves. And if you and your boyfriend are unsure why they are still keeping him there, definitely ask some more questions. Often just airing your concerns feels good and, hopefully, a conversation would lead to more clarity. Plus since the one who is not in the hospital can feel overlooked, I suggest getting yourself out in the fresh air and getting some exercise....walking or whatever you like. That should help you clear your head and calm down. Do something special for yourself. Talk to your friends.
Also for extra support, you can visit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's on-line discussion board. Check under Bone Marrow Transplantation. Good luck and hang in there!

Diane G said...

I agree to a point with Margaret that it's probably good to have something trivial to worry about instead of your check up... but I would strongly suggest you get rid of this mattress. We just went through a whole mattress to-do here as well and got top notch regular mattresses. Think of the mattress as a little bit akin to your mat in yoga -- if you are spending the whole class fretting over the bumps on your mat, can you really be focusing on your breathing? In order to get a great night's sleep, you shouldn't be "thinking" about your mattress. As my father used to say, "lie quietly [both mind and body] and you'll fall asleep."

Diane G said...

To the anonymous person who's boyfriend is in the hospital:
I went through many, many weeks, visiting a loved one in the hospital before and after BMT and know how difficult it can be. One other piece of advice I would add to what Ronni suggested. We watched what seemed like an endless stream of "Sex and the City" together. Is there something that you both can watch that is pure fantasy? I felt it helped to pass the time and take my mind off the situation. Otherwise, I would concur that you should get as much information from the doctors and nurses as possible, and then try very hard not to do the "what if" scenerios because that usually isn't productive and just makes you more anxious.
Good luck

Vytas said...

I have to agree with "pj"..."Oy vey. Time to make more tomato sauce..." !!!!

The boyfriend. I am 100% behind diane g's comments. I RELY on her suggestion when I get a bit worried - which is way too often. I call it "diversion". And I've recommended it to others. Once I find something else to focus on for a while, I forget about most worries for awhile. (And watching "Sex in the City" IS a great one!!!) The more diversions I find, the easier for me to cope...because I'm not thinking about "it". Again, it is a suggestion. It works for me...and diane g...and it might for you both.

The other folks comments are 100% valid too. Try them all. Number one (in my opinion) is getting more info. If he is still there since April...there is a reason. Once you know what it is, you will also know what they are doing about it and perhaps how you can help. Ask. Ask. Ask.

Now to whine. I was JUST about to buy that Tempurpedic mattress because I am sleeping LOUSY and all you folks are giving me second thoughts !!!!!

Mike Hamel said...

I've heard bad things about memory foam mattresses from family members. My wife and I recently got a Sleep Number bed and have been very happy with it. (Garrison Keillor was right!). Not cheap, but for the amount of time it's in use, well worth it.