A Pain in the Back, Part 1
First in a series.
So this is what an earthquake feels like?
Well, it wasn’t that dramatic, but it was the middle of the night, and I’d been abruptly awakened to find myself lying at a 45-degree angle. This took a bit of processing.
The frame of our bed had broken!
My wife was oblivious. She claims to be a light sleeper, or maybe she just can’t sleep with the light on. But she can most certainly sleep through anything else!
I endeavored to wake her and was firmly told to “go back to sleep.”
It took a few minutes to convince her, and I felt like a male spider tentatively approaching a mate that might eat him. Or in this case provoke severe disdain.
Eventually, she realized that I wasn’t “just being me,” got up, and took in the situation.
We’d been lumped into a Laurel and Hardy mise-en-scène replete with the slapstick of trying to get someone with MS out of a collapsed bed. Luckily, it was a few years ago when I was more able-bodied than I am now. Although I could help a bit, I was as encumbered as an upturned beetle. (Still, I was no longer a spider!)
It took a while, but eventually, we got a new bed with a high-quality mattress. And that’s where my problems began. …
The trouble with having MS is that you presume anything that happens to your body is due to the disease. I started having terrible backaches from sleeping; they were so bad that they’d wake me up. As soon as I transferred to a chair, it went away.
I stayed in a few hotels — no backache.
It wasn’t MS; it was my physical relationship with the bed. It didn’t affect my wife; indeed, the bed’s firmness was good for her back. Hey, she can sleep through anything!
The internet is a wonderful repository of knowledge, but you need an inkling of what to look for. I had never heard of a “topper.” It’s a mini-mattress that goes over your current one. My sister-in-law told me all about them as soon as I moaned about my constant backaches.
So, off I went and researched. I ordered one designed to soften harder mattresses. It’s a memory foam/gel mix, so it’s both soft on the body and allows perspiration. I think. Hey, it works — no more bad backs.
It arrived just in time for my lumbar puncture.
Next week: John describes a failed lumbar puncture.
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