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View Full Version : The nights, the nights! What about beds and falling? Pt I THE BED



Back-out
05-20-2010, 07:50 PM
This is perhaps the most serious problem Iím trying to pre-think.

First, the easy part . I need a new mattress - probably a new bed too, considering THE Operation. I dread shopping for the mattress especially. Inevitably, after trying a few in the store, I lose track and canít tell them apart - at least, not well enough to choose with confidence. Thatís probably why Iím still sleeping on one sonís old bunk-bed cheapo, while avoiding two expensive new ones (ďnewĒ meaning theyíre almost unused, anyhow) . Theyíre just too firm for me.

How many mattresses can you test out on any given day, before burning out? Objectively, the soft ones seemed to be most sleep-worthy, but I goofed twice. Getting those two that turned out to be too firm. They seemed OK in the store (the pillow-top was deceptive) and I also got them because I'd been told (by orthopedic doctors) that firm was good for me and ďought toĒ feel right. They made me ache.

Now I have to get serious. If extreme pain/discomfort is unavoidable for an indefinite time, I ought to minimize it by getting a bed thatís as comfortable as possible. (Starting to identify with Goldilocks! :rolleyes:)

But wait! Maybe I donít have free choice like before. What am I required to sleep on, post fusion - at least, for the first three months? (Six months? More?)

Iím sure there are medical requirements for what to use after the surgery. They may even change after the initial period. Are surgeons more strict about what they want you on at first, then loosen up? If worst comes to worst. I guess, I could use one bed to start, then change mattresses after bone fusion is (hopefully) well -established. My over-firm mattresses, might be just the ticket to start. I canít imagine it being OK to use a really squishy soft mattress, even if they feel best to me now. Not if bending etc. is verboten. Iím already having trouble picturing how I can control my sleeping position! :confused:

What about the bed itself? Height? Location? Bed-rails? Iíve read recommendations here for placing beds so you can climb into them from either side. Why? Also about something called ďlog-rollingĒ to lie down, get up or even to change sides (?). Iíll try to find it in the search engine. But what about other rules? Like about pillows? Can you prop yourself up semi-reclining in the day (thinking bed "chair pillows" with arms). Maybe then I could use a laptop in bed, on my knees or a rolling cart. If not at first, maybe later.

Maybe the rules differ according to your fusion levels (or by surgeon). Again, Iím SO glad I avoided that high neck fusion for cervical stenosis. That would probably have meant even head pillows were disallowed for sleep at night! )

IĎve wondered whether renting a hospital bed would be a good idea. My brother did after hip joint replacements even though it meant giving up their living room for a while. The only time Iíve slept completely comfortably in the last decades was ten days I spent in the hospital (painless condition). But I bet I wouldnít be allowed to adjust a bed like that! Still, the rails might be necessaryÖ (cf PT II). I'm sure I have to get rid of this junky bunk-bed mattress. But what to replace it with?

Nitram
05-20-2010, 09:40 PM
For me the bed doesn't really matter....I've been sleeping in the guest bed the past 2 months as I dont' want to wake my wife with all the tossing and turning I do. Then again I may be the exception cause I can sleep on almost anything, I just deal with it and find a way to make it work. I've had no issues...

Rich

JenniferG
05-20-2010, 11:34 PM
You must have much nicer hospital beds in the US than we do in Australia! My hospital bed was so bad, I think it kept me in hospital an extra week. The day I got home and into my own bed, my pain halved. Quartered even.;)

Psychological perhaps? Who knows, but I am sure it was the bed!

I think "comfortable" is all you need to keep in mind when you bed-shop. Lie on it for 20 minutes, don't let them hurry you. Because most beds feel ok for the first 60 seconds.

Personally, I like a firm mattress with a foam overlay, best of both worlds!

jrnyc
05-21-2010, 01:00 AM
Amanda, do you have a date for surgery yet...?
when have you gone shopping for beds? maybe if you bring a notebook and write down the ones you like...?

forget that stuff about firm mattresses being better for you...it may work for non-scoli people...but not for scoli people...it's nonsense! i've sided with softer mattresses for years...i have a pillow top now...i tried a foam top in store but didnt trust it, and thought if i had surgery it might be too....squishy...

jess

Shari
05-21-2010, 03:37 AM
I made the mistake of buying a new mattress before my surgery, then afterwards it was to hard. I ended up getting the sleep # bed. Now I just adjust it to me and the weather.

Shari

dianeh
05-21-2010, 06:28 AM
Hi Amanda,
I saw that Jess knew your name. It is 7am here in CT and you are so funny-
I am sitting here laughing. My family always says I over think things! The bed was a big issue for me too. Before my surgery we bought a tempurpedic because of all the pain issues I had. It was better than our old mattress. The Dr. gave no guidelines as to the type of mattress and I didn't even think to ask. We rented a hospital bed which I believe I spent one night in and sent it back. I kept sliding down and had to use my arms to pull myself
up which in itself was painful. We then tried a foam topper on the guest bed and that worked well. I slept there for about a month because I was afraid my husband would accidentally bump into me. I found the foam kept me in position and it would have been difficult to fall out of bed because you sink into the mattress. When I tried lying on my side it kept me in place as well. Not everyone likes them though. We bought a recliner within 2 weeks of discharge and that was where I spent most of my time. I am still using both.
dianeh

Vali
05-21-2010, 07:26 AM
I was told that, so long as your mattress does not have the 'hammock effect' happening, you don't need a new mattress. I used to have a 'pillowtop' before surgery and it was great for me for the first six months, but then, i just found that it didn't suit me anymore. I now have one of those spine alignment types and its heaven.

RitaR
05-21-2010, 05:10 PM
Me too in that my bed was not an issue. I was just glad to finally get home to my own bed after being in St. Louis for about 2-1/2 weeks. Although, my wonderful hubby did let me have the whole King size bed to myself for a few nights while I figured out how to turn over and finally not moan and groan quite as much. Wasn't that sweet of him? He's the best!!! I couldn't have made it through this whole ordeal without him!!! Log rolling was most important for me - not the kind of bed. I never considered a hospital bed - yuck! I hated mine in the hosp!!! But, if you think it would help you go for it. I use a pillow between my knees still which helps me immensely.

Back-out
05-21-2010, 06:49 PM
Vali
used to have a 'pillowtop' before surgery and it was great for me for the first six months, but then, i just found that it didn't suit me anymore. I now have one of those spine alignment types and its heaven.

As I suspected, at one DOES tend to change bed type - even without surgeon's rules and regs. I note with concern how many people seem to veer away from soft chairs and what not, "After" - I guess because the new amrmature they turn us into (trying not to thhink "Tin Man") won't LET us sag. But how does it affect mattress preference? I'm surprised at so much casualness about it. If there's going to be so much pain, I'd have thought the mattress would be one way to alleviate it. In fact, I'd have thought the WRONG type (whatever that is) would be the very last straw!

But I AM surprised, I confess, not to find the surgeons passing out edicts about mattress types. That's at least eight hours/day and the easiest time to do damage, being unconscious and all. Maybe they figure we'll be too uncomfortable lying on the wrong kind of surface, to crave it.

But for shopping in advance of the OPERATION, one could tend in the wrong direction, I'd think. After all having been in pain from crookedness, we might want quite a different surface now from what we'll want later. Didnt you change in what felt good - what you needed?

What IS a "spine allignment" type mattress? :confused:

As I contemplate this Big Deal, in my fantasy life, I'd like to wear a padded cell - no, not just for the mental effects. :p There actually ARE outfits made say, for kids with fragile bone syndromes. Kind of like a football player only more so. Made so they can't hurt themselves. I guess a turtle style brace is the nearest thing. That's what I need. (ch Nights thread Pt II)

Then when I want to go to sleep I just - roll over, wherever I am. :D Like a mollusk wearing my house!

Back-out
05-21-2010, 08:12 PM
dianeh

Before my surgery we bought a tempurpedic because of all the pain issues I had. It was better than our old mattress. The Dr. gave no guidelines as to the type of mattress and I didn't even think to ask. We rented a hospital bed which I believe I spent one night in and sent it back. I kept sliding down and had to use my arms to pull myself
up which in itself was painful. We then tried a foam topper on the guest bed and that worked well. I slept there for about a month because I was afraid my husband would accidentally bump into me. I found the foam kept me in position and it would have been difficult to fall out of bed because you sink into the mattress. When I tried lying on my side it kept me in place as well. Not everyone likes them though. We bought a recliner within 2 weeks of discharge and that was where I spent most of my time. I am still using both.

Hmmm.
Verrrry interesting (trilled R ;) )
Food for thought, indeed. I like that you were concerned about rolling out and ways you could get damaged at night. I was starting to think I was the only one (cf. Nights! Pt II)

I wish I liked Temperapedic mattresses. Had great hopes for them, but somehow they felt too (get this!) HARD to me.

Hot too. Molded foam is clever, though! FierceTiger (other thread) has been writing some - to me - frightening stuff about the risks of rod breakage and failure to fuse. Poor old thing (metaphorically - a kid of 24!) may have broken a rod for the second time. Has already undergone one such repair before and now...Well, we're all still hoping for the best.

At any rate, her thread is the first I heard about the need to (TOTALLY) avoid bending, twisting, and whatnot in the post-surgery period, especially the first three months.

I'm still trying to figure out how to insure that while you're asleep or worse still (again ref Nights Pt II) only half asleep. I fell a lot, especially at night, when I was detoxing from a HUGE load of narcotics over the summer. Broke furniture and ribs (I KNOW I'm repeating myself...mumble mumble).

Anyhow, my bed should have some kind of safety feature. Maybe a strap or a bed-rail, at least at first. (How to manage getting up to pee remains unresolved.) Still don't know what sleeping positions are possible/allowable. Especially, the critical first "trimester"! (Comments?)

Glad you think I'm funny, dianeh - smile when you say that, Girley! :D I used to be known for being a funny lady, looooong ago. It would be great to get back there - to - ME! Laughter is THE best moat against the dragons outside the castle walls.

That and belly dancing were the last to go. Actually, I can still belly dance just nowhere near as well. Thinking of never belly dancing again, makes me feel maudlin. (What will I do with my spangly bras and hip belts made of fake gold coins? :( )

NO ONE can convince me dancing will still be possible. Not even Ed, the marvel! Sky diving, bungee jumping and skiing maybe, but not dancing. If I were to make a list of what I'll miss the most, dancing would be first. (At least, I assume sex is still allowed even if it can't be as inventive. [?] Otherwise, I have a different first) Mind you, having a partner would help. :p GAWD how did I get here, anyhow?? (looks for graceful exit). Must be your talking about jostling spouses. :p

But sometime describe your recliner to me, please! At least, that's something I can get in a store. :D

Back-out
05-21-2010, 08:26 PM
jess:
Amanda, do you have a date for surgery yet...?
I don't even have a surgeon yet! :eek:

Fact is, I still haven't wholly reconciled myself to the idea, Jess. Naturally, my back is feeling great, lately. Maybe it's having started this new, more rigorous exercise routine! And I'm trying to eat more healthy.

I think I'll just go on researching surgery forever as a professional patient. :D

First, I have to get the house in shape - along with exercise. Together, they are my core strengthening. If only I felt worse! (Physically). I'll get a real test when I have to stop NSAIDs for a week to have the myelogram. Then I'll know how I REALLY feel, especially if I can avoid doubling up the narcotics. :o They increase my morale too, which is dangerous.

(What about you? Do they affect your mood, and if so, how? I was very troubled by a near bipolarity for a while, from spacing them out too much - before I had a doctor who understood my need for pain relief Drove my kids nuts too.)

BTW what do you take and how much? Hope it's not too personal. Comparing is very helpful for me, not in a competitive way. It's just that I need to know where others are "coming from" - same as we're all interested in what "pain" means to each other, to put ourselves in context in making this humongous decision.

I'm always astonished at what people consider a "lot". Heh. :o

ADMoul
05-23-2010, 04:19 PM
Just a couple quick "mattress" comments. Initially my surgeon had recommended a hospital bed. Didn't want to do that for a variety of reasons and I did not need it. My rough nights I spent on a leather recliner. For me, it was more comfortable and easier for me to move. Tried the 3" foam topper and ended up taking it off and going back to my regular firm mattress. The topper was so cushy that I would sink into it and made it all the more difficult to change positions. I think once you get established with a good surgeon, you will find they have a team of folks to help you with all kind of questions and concerns. Like a lot of things, the anticipation anxiety can be worse than the actual event!

ShariMSU
05-23-2010, 06:58 PM
I rented a hospital bed and it is in our living room. I am so glad we did this. It is hard for me to sleep flat and the incline of the hospital bed is great. I am transitioning to our bed in the bedroom. We have a sleep number bed. If I was buying a new one I would get one that can incline and recline. The incline helps with the slight nasuea I get with my pain meds.

diane2628
05-23-2010, 08:42 PM
I had a moderately soft bed before my surgery, and kept it afterwards - no problems. Now, 10 years later, I just got a memory foam mattress overlay - one of those 3-inch thick foam things that conforms to your shape and then springs back. I had been having some lumbar and hip pain before that, and now it's much better. I wouldn't invest in a new mattress until after the surgery - you don't know what's going to feel right for you.