Thanks to My EDS Pain, I Finally Remembered I Need a New Mattress

Karen Del Vecchio avatar

by Karen Del Vecchio |

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Last fall, I repeatedly woke up quite sore, and it finally dawned on me that I needed a new mattress. Great! Easy fix, right? Well, it should have been — if I hadn’t forgotten to do it.

You might be wondering, “How in the world do you forget to purchase a new mattress when the one you have is causing you pain?” It’s a fair question.

I knew it would take a little time to buy a new mattress, so I flipped the one I had to a side I hadn’t used in a while. That made a big difference, and I began sleeping comfortably again. And so, amid all the chaos of last school year, the long-term idea of needing a new mattress completely slipped my mind.

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This Past School Year, I Had to Prioritize Self-care

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago. I haven’t been sleeping very well and have been waking up extra sore, but I’ve mostly been chalking it up to stress. Thanks to my chronic fatigue from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), I’m usually so tired by the end of the day that I fall asleep easily, but even still, I sometimes struggle.

Then one night as I lay in bed, I realized it felt like I was in a crater. I finally remembered, “Oh, I was supposed to get a new mattress!”

Stupid, right? Don’t worry, I totally agree. But honestly, I have a pattern of doing that kind of thing. If I’m super sore and having an EDS pain flare, my mom might ask if I’ve taken any pain meds. Nine times out of 10, I won’t have even thought about it. Same for when my seasonal allergies are particularly bad. I take daily medicine for allergies, but occasionally I need something extra. And again, I usually forget.

I suppose it’s because my mentality in dealing with EDS is often to just power through. That’s not a good option for everyone, but it works for me. I get busy, I keep moving, and I don’t focus on my soreness or my sinus headache.

But while, generally speaking, I don’t think it’s a bad trait, there are times when it causes me to put myself through more than is necessary. It’s OK to take appropriate pain meds when I’m extra sore. And there’s no reason for me not to take action to relieve my sinus headache. I have to remember to be better about these things. No one with EDS, no matter how mild or severe their symptoms, needs to deal with more pain than they have to on a daily basis.

And in case you’re wondering, my new mattress arrives next week.


Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.

Comments

Gomati avatar

Gomati

Just curious - what kind of mattress did you get? Have been thinking I probably need one too ~

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Karen Del Vecchio avatar

Karen Del Vecchio

I ordered one from The Original Mattress Factory - I've always had good luck with them!

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Donna Wildman avatar

Donna Wildman

Thank you for this! I have missed your articles and this one really hits home right now. I have lived my whole life doing this without knowing that I have hEDS. I just got diagnosed 2 years ago and now being almost 60(in November) I have worn my body out being so physical. Just recently I am finding that I can't remember if I took my meds. I keep thinking this is dumb, why can't I remember? I am in pain, maybe that is it, but if I did take them, I shouldn't take any more, so I take the over the counter stuff to help-not, but better to be proactive. It is so hard to stop just "pushing thru"! I am such an active person(rather was) that it is hard to be good! I have to keep telling myself it is ok to Not get on the roof to clean it. Making a list of all the con's it will create over the pro's. The imperfect perfectionist is not happy, but that is ok. Life is a classroom and boy, to I have a lot to learn all over again! Thank you for all you write about!

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Karen Del Vecchio avatar

Karen Del Vecchio

Thanks, Donna! I'm so glad that you enjoy reading my columns. I'm also on the journey to being an "imperfect perfectionist," so I totally get what you mean!

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