Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Problem Solving

Sleeping is a pain in my ass, literally. At least it was until a few days ago.

For a big guy like me, spending 16 hours a day sitting on my butt requires a good wheelchair seating system, which I have, thanks in large part to my occupational therapist, Maren. For those other eight hours a day, my memory foam mattress always provided a comfortable night’s sleep, until it didn’t.

It’s a lot to ask of a mattress, to keep someone comfortable when that person doesn't move his butt even an inch all night long. Typically, people in my situation employ sophisticated solutions, and sophisticated solutions cost money. If the pain in my butt had manifested itself as an active bedsore, then I could have leaned on my insurance company. But I decided to act proactively, unlike my insurance company, and get an advanced mattress system in place now.

The state-of-the-art is an air-filled mattress with a controller that continuously varies the air pressure. If my butt can’t move, then I need the mattress to move instead. That costs about $2500. I researched my options and found an alternative. A few manufacturers make a mattress overlay, which is several inches thick and has this same variable air pressure control. I wondered how much that might cost. Maybe $500? A reasonable guess, but no. How about $50, 4½ stars, 331 reviews on Amazon? Click here to see it.

I ordered one, and because I have Amazon Prime, it arrived two days later. I’ve been using it for a few days now, and the pain in my ass is gone. I can barely feel the pressure changes going on underneath me, and I would characterize it as more soothing than annoying.

And the kicker? It’s portable. So I’ll be bringing this puppy with me whenever I travel. Heck, I’ll probably order a second one just so it will be more convenient when we pack up.

Sometimes, I stumble upon highly effective, low-cost solutions. It’s rare, but it feels good in more ways than one.

Some folks might consider situations like this and say, “Look at the crap I have to go through.” I prefer to consider situations like this and say, “Look how proficient we've become at solving problems.”

12 comments:

  1. Kicked that pain in the ass directly to the curb, do not pass go, do not cost $200!

    Way to go Mitch and Kim!

    Thanks for the excellent suggestion/hack/money saving tip/wisdom/etc.

    Cheers :)

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  2. t'would be wonderful if all these myriad little problems could be solves so simply and cheaply, and by amazon prime! i tell my kids when they get overwhelmed by something gone wrong that it is just a problem to solved and it is almost always much less complicated that it seems at first.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this info. Mitch. I just ordered one, hoping for the best. Kathy

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    1. Kathy, good luck. I think you'll like it.

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  4. My Medicare/medicaid paid for my bed and APP mattress. I've been sleeping on it for more than a year and I have not had an issue with sores. You are right to be proactive, because our gov't insurance surely is not.

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    1. Webster, glad that they paid for your bed, but I hope you didn't have to suffer too long before they did.

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  5. It was meant to be! Oh. No. Hang on. YOU made it happen. Much better scenario.

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    1. a butterfly flaps its wings in Africa… And I get a new bed

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  6. Thank you for the heads up on this mattress overlay. We'll be ordering from Amazon.............Ginny F.

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    1. Glad to hear it. I just received my second one, to use for travel and as a backup.

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