At my present age, I’ve lived through the Age of Aquarius, the Ice Age, the Stone Age, most assuredly the Dinosaur Age – however, this new Age of Recycling, well this is not real! I, as many in the rest of the world do, feel like we have been put in the clothes dryer and somebody turned us on the spin cycle!
As a child growing up in hard times (the ’30s through ’50s), I remember recycling newspapers, tin cans, bottles, and taking them to some unknown depository to be recycled and made into something else – better (?). As times and progress advanced it was learned that even human waste could be recycled and made into a food process. OMG! Is that where Grey’s Poop-On comes from?
If you don’t have enough experience in recycling, just wait until you get to your first nursing home experience, and your first mattress. In my other life, we had plain mattresses our mothers (and then we) reversed weekly – head to foot, then flip over side to side, to preserve it as mattresses were expensive. My parents were married and had the same mattress for 25 years. I was married 20 and only had two. My husband at 180 lbs. and I at 102 lbs. had Posture-Pedics and they were great. My guy was a “sprawler”, edging me inch by inch to the edge each nite. (I then realized the true purpose of those little rope handles on the sides! Had I not hung on, I would have been on the floor.)
When I entered the nursing home, I was put in a crank handle bed on a mattress with a center hole second only to the north rim of the Grand Canyon! Soon as I bought into a private room on the rehab unit, I received an electric bed and a firm mattress. I had reasons for the switch, as I had cervical lumbar spinal decompression, three hip surgeries over the years, and a neurological condition since birth. I had to get used to a horsehair backboard mattress for stabilization.
Over the 10 year span, at least five mattresses were employed and an air mattress was deployed (commiserate to a WWII life raft!). It ran on an air motor from a 1-10 max comfort level (?), with no allowable sheet to warm the ice cold surface. Though it was different, no one prepared me for the four hurricanes in six weeks and the malfunction of back-up generators, which cut power to the bed. I sunk into rubber up to my earlobes! It was a horrible experience and I screamed bloody-blue hell to get me back to the horsehair back board!
More years passed and again it was time for a change. Two years ago, I was put on a pliable smooth rubber or vinyl mattress – it seemed good except each time I put the electric bed in a sitting position, I slid down to the middle and had to be pulled up several times a day. I began to wonder if I’d ever get a mattress that was comfortable in any position. Finally, my back and the CNAs could take it no longer and my complaint echoed to the powers that be. I was promised a new mattress not once, but three times.
After a hot and heavy care plan meeting with the department heads, out of the fairy dust a boxed new mattress was placed on my bed. This sucker was seven inches thick, with a heavy fabric covering which tore the guts out of me when the aides tried to pull me side to side and up and down. What the hell?, I thought. I called one of the trusted staff and said, this cannot be the same mattress I’ve had for the past two years – I want my old mattress back! I didn’t want to be dismembered by the new one. The trusted one assured me that if I’d seen the old mattress, well it was so conclave they had to put it in the dumpster – it was no wonder I’d been in pain.
Wait a minute…are you telling me the old mattress was not new when I got it two years ago? Silence. Then…I got a “dead bed” two years ago and now I have the new mattress I should have had then? Suddenly, my head was back in the spin cycle! I was in shock – the trusted one said a quiet yes, affirming that when a patient leaves (willingly or not), their mattress is sanitized by housekeeping and recycled to a new resident’s room. The new resident is unsuspecting that the mattress in question might not be new, until they begin to complain.
This is the ultimate recycling of your life and if your hinder-binder breaks down or any other injury occurs, you can bet your bottom (if it’s still there), “they” will never tell you. Ask questions about what lies beneath your back and butt, hips and legs. You may not need an expensive MRI or a myriad of pain pills – just the proper new equipment.