I was struck in the night (as I lay there half-asleep in a semi-dream state) with the urge to acknowledge blessings in my life. It occurred to me, in the course of this, how glad I am that I’m disabled in this century, and how technology has contributed to my quality of life, with my severe spinal stenosis, no cartilage on my right knee (and I mean, none), and PTSD that gives me the occasional (fortunately not frequent) panic attacks and night terrors.
So I thought I’d share.
I got an adjustable bed frame with a cordless remote. I can adjust the head or foot to the most comfortable position at any given moment. A few of the buttons are programmable, so I can have the Sleep position and the Reading positions just as I like them with the press of the button. And I have to say, the Null Grav position (which has its own button) is REALLY good for my back when it’s hurting bad, as soon as the bed moves into null grav, I can literally FEEL the relief from my back.
Adjustable beds aren’t cheap; I didn’t have the cash for one, but I didn’t want to pay for it forever on a credit card, either. So, I went to one of those Sleep stores with in-house financing, and I got a one-year payment plan that had 90 days same as cash, and then I paid it in three installments before the 90 days was up… perfect! I got a Queen size Tempur-pedic Ergo. I was going to get a full size, to save space in my bedroom, since it’s just me (and the cats), but did you know, full beds are actually like 5″ inches *shorter* as well as not being as wide? I never knew that! So I got the queen.
Oh, and it also has a massage function!
I got this fabulous mattress from Amazon. It’s Classic Brands Cool Gel Memory Foam with a cool gel top, and VERY reasonably priced. I’ve had mine for 2 years now, and I still rave about it! It’s like climbing onto a cloud to sleep. It’s neither too firm nor is it soft, somehow it’s always just right.
Classic Brands also has an adjustable bed frame, that’s half of the cost of a Tempur-Pedic. You can get both on Amazon; on the other hand, they won’t bring it right into the house, unbox it and assemble it for you, like a sleep shop will.
OMG this memory foam contour pillow is so wonderful! It has a small curve at the bottom, higher curve on the top, so I can use it either direction depending on what I want. And the dip in between is perfect for nestling your face into it. I absolutely hate when my pillow gets too hot, and this has cooling gel on the curved side. It’s sold out, but I’m including the link so you can read the description and find another brand, there are tons of them.
Also… just because I like to share… I get 100% mulberry silk pillow cases to put over it, they are like a dream, so soft and wonderful against your cheek 🙂 They’re a little expensive, and need to be handwashed, but SO worth it!
THE BODY PILLOW
This is memory foam, with cool gel. It’s very firm and a great support for side sleeping. You can get it with the cool gel on one side or both sides; although I generally like it arctic cold in my room, I got the single-side one so that if I ever was sick, I could still curl around the pillow by simply turning the cool side to the bottom.
SMART HOME (Philips Hue & Alexa)
Don’t laugh. This has been a LIFESAVER!!! Philips Hue light bulbs can be controlled by voice command via Alexa. It requires a hub that you plug into your home’s router, then you enable Philips Hue in Alexa, and Bob’s your uncle! Here’s the thing… with a bad back and a bad knee, I’m no longer up and down to turn lights on and off. I also have room fans that are voice controlled and you can turn them on/off and change the speed. The Philips Hue lightbulbs can even be brightened or dimmed, set to cool or warm, or even (if you get the color ones) change color.
But it’s more than just for the physical benefits. I actually first got Alexa and Philips Hugh light bulbs, because (don’t laugh) I’m afraid of the dark… AND because of the night terrors where I’m frozen and can’t move my arms to turn on the light, which would help me to push away the terror. If I have to go to the bathroom or kitchen at night, I can turn on the bedroom/ bathroom/kitchen lights before I get out of bed, then turn them off once I’m back in bed.
Since I also have Amazon Echo devices at my bed, desk and recliner, I can tell Alexa to call my daughter, family, or even emergency services, if I’m ever in trouble and can’t get up and need help. I’ve never had to… but the peace of mind it brings, knowing that I can, is priceless.
Of course there’s all kinds of other benefits, like being able to set routines, where when I tell Alexa Good Night, she tells me “good night” or some variation thereof, turns off my bedroom lights, turns on my night light, and plays thunderstorm sounds. But those are perks; the REAL reason for me to have Alexa, is for the physical and mental benefits, and those are very real and a HUGE relief, and I thank the gods every time I don’t have to get out of my recliner or out of bed because someone left the light on in the kitchen (grrrr!).
MEMORY FOAM MASSAGE/HEAT CUSHION
This is a seat and back cushion with a wired remote. It has heat, and various levels and types of massage; you can choose just upper back, or lower back, or thighs, etc. I got one to put on my desk chair, and I liked it so much I instantly bought another for my car, as I drive part-time (when my back allows) for Uber for a little extra cash. In the car the heat really helps on cold mornings. And when my back starts hurting, the massage really helps.
I’ve had these for two years, and both are still going strong.
With osteoarthritis at the base joint of both thumbs, holding physical books makes my hands start to hurt in a pretty short time. My Kindle I can hold loosely in one hand, or prop it up on a table (I have a cover for it that does this), plus it can store SO many books, and it fits beautifully in my purse. I have a 1,500-book library (actually it has 1,524 books, but who’s counting) that goes with me everywhere. I never leave home without it, and in fact, it’s rarely out of reach.
I discovered these when I was in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm. It took a couple decades for the U.S. to catch up, but these are finally available here. These attach to the water valve at the back of the toilet, and they come with a hanger to place the spray head on. This is a GREAT way to clean with a gentle stream of water. It also saves on toilet paper (in case we run into any more shortages) as you can just lightly pat dry, no need for wiping.
Beware! Not all bidet sprayers are created equal! I bought and returned FOUR different ones before I ran across the Aquaus brand. I’ve been using these for 5 years, and I’ve never had an issue.
And then, of course, who can deny the benefits of a mobility scooter!!
Yes, Amazon and DoorDash are my best friends! But also, Chewy and Petco because they deliver pet supplies to your door, for free, and on a regular basis! For instance, I have cat litter (14-lb box) delivered every 2 weeks, and a big box of various flavors of canned cat food every 6 weeks. I never have to worry about running out, I never have to be hauling heavy boxes of cat litter or bags of cat food from the store to the car to the house.