Tuesday, January 29, 2013
POST 1050; JANUARY 29, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON (PILLOWS)
ACHE and PAINLESS BED...gifted from Karen E. (t.u. Karen)
-Note small white Travelling Pillow (under the lamp)...this is to keep my arthritic hand warm during the night...warmth eliminates the pain-.
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A CASE FOR MY PILLOW(s)...or; Keep Dem Bones Straight
First moments beginning my morning walk are spent gingerly feeling out the kinks of my body. Oh yes, kinks seem to always be there...some mornings more so than others. Crossing and re-crossing America leaves lots of time to think. Got to wondering if there isn't something to be done BEFORE taking those first steps...something to minimize the kinks and pains.
Analyzing just where the kinks were located, narrowed them down to the neck, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet...where all the items come together. OK, seems to be the joints between these body parts are somehow stiff and sore...in need of some WD40 or sewing machine oil to get them moving painlessly.
Taking my analysis a bit further, started with my feet...that which receives the most workout walking 10 hours a day - every day - every week - even, every month. Finally dawned on me that my blankets are too tight, twisting and scrunching my toes and ankles...so, decided that tucking in the blankets at the bottom of the bed was the culprit...so, stopped tucking in the blankets. Worked fine for a bit...then found during the night, the blankets slipped off the bed. Also, inside my sleeping bag - when camping out - nothing to "untuck".
After enduring much foot pain for weeks on end, decided that a "spacer" to hold the blankets off my feet might work. Tried wadding up a towel next to my feet...a bit better; finally tried a "baby pillow" / "travel pillow"...much better.
So, added a travel pillow to my travel ensemble.
I like sleeping on my side. Because the "top" leg is mounted so high on the hip, always have hip and knee pain when starting my walking day. Tried resting the "top" leg on the bottom leg...yep, helped a bit. I have kinda bony knees. During the night my bone to bone knees would become painful...and, the top leg keeps falling down, putting stress on the knee and hip joints - .
Thinking about my foot spacer, tried my travelling pillow between my knees...much better, but being so small, my legs still slipped off the pillow. OK, use a larger pillow...WOW, works great.
Now, about my head and shoulders. Invariably my neck is twisted upon awaking...and my shoulder joints are painful too. Discovered my pillow was too hard. Experimented with a number of pillow densities, stuffing materials, and sizes. Discovered that a Queen size pillow with a medium to light density and fill that did not move about during the night worked best. A too-soft pillow would not keep my head at the level of my spine...essential to achieve a "no-load" condition - the cause of all that joint, tendon, and muscle pain-. The large medium to light density pillow on the other hand, could be quickly adjusted with a shove of the fist to rearrange the pillow to any configuration, levelling out the spine / shoulder joints. Positioning of my "head and shoulder" pillow(s) is VERTICAL in lieu of HORIZONTAL...that is, long wise instead of crosswise under my head. This allows greater pillow adjustment (a place to rest my arms - to eliminate shoulder joint misalignment) by simply punching the pillow first here and then a little there to give it the most comfy support...which constantly changes as I move during the night.
OH, one more thing...I MUST have a headboard or wall to keep my pillow from sliding off the top of the mattress...leave a couple inches of pillow climbing the wall ... giving the TOP of the head something to rest against... keeping the head warm and protected.
The entire purpose of this challenge is, of course, to keep my skeleton more or less level no matter what position it takes during the night. Achieving a level spine...and appendages..., eliminates misalignment, which cause tendons and muscles to stretch trying to hold suspended bones together; i.e., easing pain and stiffness.
A word about my mattress... guys like me are not so curvy as ladies, we still, however, have humps and bumps. Resting these hills and valleys on a too-firm mattress results in side-slipping joints causing pain and stiffness. Karen E.'s recent gifted "pillow-top" mattress solved that problem for me...kinda squishy on the outside and firm a couple inches down below. If no Pillow Mattress is available, an Air Mattress or comforter or two to lie upon helps.
The above has resulted from months of trial and error. I have boiled it down to:
Two Queen size medium fill pillows...one for the legs and feet; one for the head and shoulders/arms. In the best of conditions, a third head / shoulder pillow is nice when rolling over during the night...no need to reposition the head / shoulder pillow as the third pillow is already in position to receive a punch here and a push there to properly set in position to keep all those bones aligned.
Walking with SAM and camping out, adjustments are needed !
Am certain this update is receiving a number of "GEEEzzzeee"... is this guy for real. Of course, such thoughts might be different if the GEEEzzzeeer set off on foot across America.