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October 2017

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Medical Pillow and Another Visit from The Teenager

For a long time I have been having nerve pain in my shoulder from the way I sleep. I have never been able to sleep on my back and sleeping on side or front puts strange pressures on my shoulders and arms. And recently I have been getting sciatica in my left buttock and the back of my left thigh. And the arthritis in my hips and knees has been causing problems. There is no position I can sleep in that doesn't cause me some pain. I spend most of the night tossing and turning.

Recently I saw an ad for the Medcline system. It's a wedge pillow with a hole you can put your arm through so you don't put pressure on it while you are sleeping. It also comes with a J shaped body pillow to keep your legs and arms positioned properly. It was designed for people with acid reflux (which I don't have), but it looked like the perfect solution for my shoulder pain problem.

On Thursday I talked to my chiropractor about my sciatica again and she recommended a simple exercise I can do that should open up whatever is pinching my sciatic nerve. So I started doing that.

Then on Friday the Medcline pillows arrived. Sleeping on my side with my arms wrapped around the body pillow was very relaxing and comforting. Like what you imagine cuddling with your lover would be like, before you try it and your arm falls asleep.

Unfortunately I can't really fall asleep on my side. But since the hole in the wedge is designed for both left and right side sleepers there is enough room for me to sleep on my stomach and put both my arms in the hole. Then I can rest my forehead on the J pillow. This also solved some issues I have been having with my Bi-PAP machine. The new facemask on my new machine has been giving me a lot of trouble, getting pushed and pulled out of alignment all night. With the new pillows I have a lot less trouble with the face mask.

One initial concern I had with the wedge was that sleeping on my side at an incline put all my weight on my left hip, the one with the worse arthritic condition, and the sciatica. Sleeping on my stomach solved that problem, but bent my back uncomfortably, and put more pressure on my knees. So, I positioned the small wedge that I bought years ago, to elevate my knees at night, to elevate my hips instead. This took all the pressure off my knees!

This is a complicated structure of four pillows I have to clamber into. But it feels like it was designed for my body and last night was the best night of sleep I have had in a long time. Even my sciatica didn't bother me last night!

In other news: The Teenager agreed to spend his four day weekend helping me clean again. I picked him up on Thursday. On Friday I made good progress on the kitchen and he broke down a lot of boxes in the living room for me. Today we got rid of the recycling. I hope to make more progress tomorrow.

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