Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Changing My Bed

When I came to Calgary to stay, my fourth coming to this place I might add, I had made the commitment about where I wanted to live, and how I wanted to live. My first three arrivings were marked by their temporary nature; temporary apartments, temporary furniture, temporary transportation. This last time, in the fall of 2012, I planned on making Calgary my home.

In that effort, I finally went out and bought real furniture; not furniture for free from Kijiji or low priced from the thrift store, not furniture I hated but was sufficiently cheap that getting rid of it would be easier and less expensive than moving it back to BC or into storage. I bought my Ikea Phoang chair, the one in which I can no longer sit. I went out and bought the leather couch and chair I had always wanted. I went out and bought a spare bed for my guest bedroom. I went out and bought a classic looking bed with headboard and footboard along with matching dresser for my own bedroom. This was to be my home, furnished the way I wanted.

When I bought the mattresses for my own bed, I bought comfort and quality. I bought a good, solid box spring to go on the bedframe. I bought a soft yet firm European pillow top mattress to rest upon. All of this was done with a view to living with these purchases for a very long time. Since I was going to be here a while, I thought, I should get stuff I can enjoy for that while.

Unfortunately ALS is once again having its way with me. I am rapidly reaching the point where I can no longer safely transfer from my wheelchair to my bed. That solid box spring and comfortable EuroTop mattress rise up about 8 inches higher than the seat of my chair. In order to get into bed, I must stand, or at least force myself vertical in a pale imitation of standing, then rotate and slump backwards onto the bed. As the weeks and months have gone by, that slump has been getting more and more difficult. These days I have to hold on tight to the M-rail on my bed just so I don't slide off after slumping on.

Of course the solution to this comes in two parts. First, at this stage where I can still do some sort of sideways transfer, I will need to get rid of the box spring and replace it with a small, shorter, pad-type box under my comfy mattress. This will do while I can still make the trip across. However at some point even that will become impossible. At some point I will need a lift to get into and out of bed. At that point I will probably spend a lot more time in bed and will need something adjustable, something where I can make the bed sit up on my behalf. At that point I will lose my bed, having it replaced with the cold, hard frame of a hospital bed.

I'm going to have to change my bed.


  1. I hope you can discover something that will work for you. Will one of your friends help you shop.

  2. I have a nearly new hospital bed with remote controls and comfortable mattress that we inherited from Als mom. You may have it when you need it and Anita and I could bring it to Calgary. Although I hope for you that you wont need it for a long time. Hospital beds are single beds and that does tend to cramp a persons lovelife somewhat.

  3. I'm thinking of going for lower beds, so that you could transfer a bit easier if it's from a chair, but the difficulty in that would be that it will be too hard to get up back again in the morning. So I think a level bed would fit. I also agree with the commenters above; you might need a friend to help you out with the purchase and adjustable hospital beds might also be feasible. But whatever you choose, I hope that would fit your current needs and future needs too.

    Roberta @ Glendale Mattress Central

  4. Same with you. When I buy a mattress, I make sure that it’s made from good quality materials. The bed is where we ease everything away after our long and stressful hours, so it’s better to find something that will provide us comfort, right? Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying your stay at your new home.

    Dante Storey