On Mattresses and How I Hurt Myself

6 Aug

Mattresses tell the tale of a thing I do wrong a lot.

Amica and I are traveling again, and our first night was a marvelous stay in a National Forest where I slept on my comfy air mattress.

That air mattress had been a fight with myself that I lost. I loved my old camping cot. Not because it was comfortable, but because it was lightweight and old-school and I wasn’t one of those people plugging in an air pump to noisily inflate my comfy bed in the middle of the woods.

Then I came back from a cross-country trip where that camping cot had a leading role in my L4-L5 disc bulging out 13 millimeters and me supposed to have surgery to chop it.

I didn’t have the surgery. I said it was because I was walking just fine again, finally, so I didn’t need it.

But I’m not sitting fine at all, and I had other reasons to not get the surgery: I was scared of the anesthesia, which I got very sick on when I had my wisdom teeth out. I hated the idea of falling asleep and then waking up having been sliced open. I didn’t want a room full of people to see me naked.

I did get an air mattress, though, so I can keep camping, and I’m making sure I don’t care what anyone thinks when I’m blowing the thing up.

After I camped last Friday night, I found a hotel to stay in for two nights, because my back and my fibromyalgia do way better when I break up my driving days with “still days.” Plus, I have plenty of work to do on those still days.

The hotel seemed nice and got decent reviews, was a reputable chain, but it turned out to be a major disappointment, with a terrible mattress.

I hoped to camp the night after that, but wasn’t finding where I wanted to camp in a National Forest so decided to find a motel. I started looking for dog-friendly places to stay and I was striking out hard. One place I found in a town off the highway had actually burned down that same week!

So I called the motel I’d already booked for the next double-night stay and asked if they’d let me in a night early. That made three total nights, two still days. It also made for a very long drive day, but I got there and was excited. The place had gotten excellent reviews and I had a “home” at last.

That mattress was a nightmare. It hurt just to lie on it to watch TV. Fortunately, there was also a couch, so I worked lying on the couch (remember, I can’t sit in chairs at desks because of my sitting disability … that disc). The couch began to hurt my back, too.

What I should have done was leave after the first night and get a refund. But I didn’t want to be that difficult person. I didn’t want to be mean about this family’s business. And I dreaded having to go through the hassle yet again of trying to find a place to stay for me and my dog. Middle America is NOT dog-friendly!

The other thing I should have done was get my air mattress out of the car and sleep on it instead of the bed. But I fought that. I was just mad that I even had to. And I didn’t want the aesthetics of the room all junked up. I just wanted things to work the way they were supposed to work, especially myself.

20210804_183733.jpgMy third night there, I got my air mattress out of the car and used the air pump and got myself a place to lie down for work, relaxation, and sleep, that wouldn’t hurt me.

And not only did I get to sleep closer to my best friend, but there was also a moment in the morning that the old lady actually got on the air mattress with me, which she’s never done before. I think it’s been two years since she’s gotten on any bed with me.

I really do go back and forth as far as acceptance of my disability. Disability is hard. But wherever I’m at, I need to always do what’s best for my body and not let other factors inspire bad decisions.


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