Saturday, January 25, 2014


Sorry about the delay. Family and holidays took priority. Now that things have quieted down, I’ll pick up my story where I left off.

On our way home from Brigham and Women’s Transplant Center on July 10, Maura took me to a Tempurpedic store nearby. I merely wanted to check out a Tempurpedic adjustable bed and mattress so that I could compare them with competing products sold closer to home. Before I left, however, I almost bought a Tempurpedic bed and mattress on the spot.

Even though I’d left the store empty handed, I simply couldn’t get that Tempurpedic adjustable bed and mattress out of my mind. So a day or two later I found a Sleepy’s store nearby that sold the identical bed and mattress got Maura to agree to meet me there. My intent, or so I told myself, was merely to compare that Tempurpedic bed and mattress to other Sleepy’s beds and mattresses. Before I left, however, I’d spent $4,000 on that Tempurpedic bed and mattress.

I’m not an impulsive person. I also know that one should try to avoid major decisions immediately after life crises. So what came over me? In retrospect, I realize I was in shock. My whole world had crumbled, or so it seemed at the time. My glass was almost empty and I simply grabbed hold of the first thing that I thought would fill it up again.

A few days later, Sleepy’s set up my new Tempurpedic bed and mattress in my bedroom. That first night, bursting with excitement, I climbed up on my new bed and tried out all the controls. Then I settled down for a wonderful night’s sleep. Instead, I barely got any sleep because a distinct odor emanating from the mattress kept waking me up.

Needless to say early the next morning I called my sales person to complain. First she told me that such odors are common in new mattresses. Then she told me her time-tested solution. Put a plate with a cut-up green apple on top of my mattress and a few Bounce dryer sheets underneath. Then air out my bedroom for a couple of days and the smell should be gone. She assured me that even though it sounded crazy, it would work.

By this time I was a basket case. My other daughter, Shannon, came over and put three cut-up green apples on plates on top of my mattress. Then she put over a half box of Bounce dryer sheets underneath. Finally, she put two fans in my bedroom windows set to blow out instead of in. For the next week I avoided my bedroom as much as I could. I slept on the couch.

One week later, Shannon took away the fans, the dryer sheets and the apples. She then remade my bed. That night I tried to get excited again about sleeping in my new bed. It didn’t work. More important, I still didn’t sleep very well; I tossed and turned all night.

Then and only then did it finally dawn on me that I’d always slept on a medium firm or firm mattress whereas my new mattress was medium soft. That was because both sales people had convinced me that it was the most popular mattress for my Tempurpedic adjustable bed, ergo I’d concluded it would be the best mattress for me.

Thankfully my mattress could be exchanged, but only after thirty days. So for the next three weeks I slept on the couch. Then I exchanged my mattress for a firm one.

In the meantime, I’d also discovered that I wasn’t as happy with the adjustable base as I thought I would be. I preferred my old bed. Under the terms of the sale, however, I was stuck with the adjustable base. So I had Glenmeadow set up my old bed in my bedroom and the Tempurpedic one as a guest bed in my study.

Six months have now gone by and I’m still happy in my old bed. But I have yet to have company to enjoy my new guest bed. In other words, I had an expensive lesson. On the other hand, my new guest bed will come in handy when I first come home after my transplant and have to have someone live with me 24 hours a day. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll even decide I like it.

Looking back, I call last summer my crazy period. After the shock of Gordon’s death, the news that I probably wouldn’t be getting a transplant any time soon was more than I could bear and it sent me off the deep end for a while. But I’m back now. In fact, I’m in the process of trying to increase my odds for a transplant by getting double-listed. More about that later.