DISABILITY CHALLENGE: SLEEPING
(Recliner-Lift Chairs - the unconventional solution to comfortable sleep.)
Sleeping sans cocoon. In a rehab hospital bed, plus a cocoon of rolled towels and intricately positioned pillows, pain from my accident-ravaged limbs subsided somewhat to allow sleep. Coming home four months later to a regular flat bed, I spent the first night desperately trying to duplicate the hospital bed's positioning and still awoke shouting with lightning bolts of back pain so awful that I didn't notice my shoulder, knee, and ankle.
Conventional bed out. Now what? To avoid that horrific pain I sat up in an office chair that tilted, put my legs up over a TV tray with a pillow on it, and slept 20 minutes at a time while I scoured the internet for a hospital bed to purchase. I needed a permanent solution, not a temporary rental. I had $1000 to spend--decent, motorized hospital beds were over my budget by several hundred dollars, not to mention shipping. Besides, even cocooned in the rehab hospital bed and being administered narcotics, I hadn't been pain free. And the meds were a thing of the past.
I reluctantly switched from searching hospital beds to far less than ideal Geri-chairs. I knew they weren't the answer: at standard chair height, I'd need help in and out of the thing, they're not comfortably cushioned, usually upholstered in vinyl, require manual repositioning, and almost the same price as a hospital bed.
I nearly bruised my sleep-deprived brain trying to think of what would raise me up like the hospital bed did. Then I smiled, knowing the solution was at hand, as I keyed in search words for the motorized chair my uncle had discovered when arthritis had ravaged his body.
Lift recliner did the trick. Boom! Up they came. The most comfortable, fully motorized, smooth motion reclining, velour upholstered lift recliners. And at that time, the top of the line model was just within my budget. Sold!
My life-saving chair arrived six days later, free-delivery to my driveway. (Fee for inside delivery.) My landlord unboxed it, brought it inside, plugged it in and skedaddled, so I could sleep.
Success! Sleep I did. It took 20 seconds for me to get the chair to recline from fully raised, and not many more seconds before I drifted to sleep for 28 blissful hours. I rose as smoothly as I'd reclined, without pain.
The lift recliner was my best choice; I live in it. My reclining position is similar to that of the hospital bed, and the support of chair arms has virtually eliminated my shoulder pain.
Will insurance/Medicare cover a lift recliner? Possibly; only partial reimbursement after up-front payment, if the patient's circumstances meets certain criteria. I paid for mine out of pocket, and consider it the best investment I've made since becoming disabled.
I basically live in my recliner. I bought a second for upstairs. With ongoing physical limitations and discomfort, these chairs allow me to sleep without pain, rise without help, and relax in comfort and ease.
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