The image of the oversized, ugly hospital bed looms in my head and I can’t quite allow it’s image. It’s the horrible foam mattress with the waterproof rubber exterior that somehow gets to me. It’s the hole in the center of the mattress so you can’t roll over. It’s the side rails that squeak with the hinges that never seem to work right. It’s the foam pads they place on them for seizure precautions that get stuck in the rails. It’s all of these things and more. I know because I slept on a few of them when I stayed with Dear Son. When I wasn’t sleeping on one of them, I was sleeping on a sofa that turned into a bed. Sounds more comfortable than it was, since it was more like a plywood panel padded with vinyl. My back would hurt so bad when I slept on them, that I could hardly walk the next day.
But Dear Son’s current bed was no longer working for him. The bed didn’t sit high enough for the Hoyer Lift to fit under it. I tried different casters to raise the bed but it didn’t work since the frame kept buckling. I tried three different frames however none of them worked. I tried lifting weights to stay strong to continue lifting Dear Son. But in the end, it was pointless. I needed to use the Hoyer Lift for lifting and no amount of weight lifting was going to help me lift his 150 plus pound body indefinitely. After all, he is still growing, getting heavier and taller by the minute.
I went on-line and found a beautiful bed. It was even a demo which made it less expensive. I was hoping that I might be able to get it approved by the insurance and it wouldn’t look so bad. But it was not going to happen. So I went to our current durable medical equipment vendor to see the bed that our insurance most likely would approve. It was a “long” twin bed, with a metal headboard and footboard, not nearly as bulky as I imagined. I asked for split rails, instead of a full rail to make it easier and safer for Dear Son. The vendor assured me the mattress was “very firm”. He told me to try it out. I layed on the mattress. It was better than the old ones in the hospital but it was still very uncomfortable, or should I say, horrible.
The bed will be here in a few days. I have decided I will try and make the bed as nice as possible. I am going to try to use Dear Son’s current mattress, which shouldn’t be a problem, as long as I don’t raise and lower the head or foot of the bed. I don’t need either of those right now, I just need to be able to raise and lower it to make dressing and changing easier for me. And I need to be able to get the Hoyer Lift under the bed.
I am going out to get some new sheets and bedding for his new bed. I am thinking about ways to upholster the headboard and footboard to make it look less institutional. I think I have that resolved. I am going to make it look as much like a teenager’s room as I can, trying to get Dear Son excited about this latest transition.
It’s not much fun when you bedroom begins to look like a hospital room. I already have the IV pole, the feeding pump, the diapers, changing pads, wipes, etc. I suppose adding the hospital bed won’t really matter. The only thing left is having the nurse come in the middle of the night to give his meds. I have avoided that up to now choosing instead to forgo some sleep for my privacy.
But what will I tell Dear Son? That is the question. Your home is not a hospital. Your home is the one place that you have that you can come home to and everything is exactly as you like it. You “create” a home. It’s not a hotel, it’s not a hospital, it’s a home. It’s where you come when you get “out” of the hospital. It’s the place where you look forward to sleeping in your “own” bed. But when your “own” bed is a hospital bed, what is there to look forward to? What will I tell Dear Son the next time we are in the hospital? How nice it will be to sleep in his own “hospital” bed?