Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Falling off my soap box

As anyone who follows my prolific but nonsensical tweetings already knows....I got my mattress yesterday! It's official, I'm in love with Tempur. BendyCat seemed keen too, she being a tad arthritic of the hip, but then bed is her favourite place anyway. I think she's still there now. 

But, Tempur. Omigod. Tempur. "How shall I compare thee to a summer's day. Thou art more lovely and more temperate"* Did I mention I love Tempur yet? Except for one thing, Tempur, your website is terrible. Get that sorted and a twitter account set up immediately. It's no fun tweeting endlessly about my love for you when you're not there to benefit from it.  I'm boring myself back into bed droning about Tempur so I'll shut up. After this next declaration of love at the least. I tried other memory foams, oh how I tried, Tempur being about a zillion times more expensive than the other memory foam mattresses and toppers available. There's a reason for Tempur's high price, and it's that it doesn't feel like other memory foams. With most memory foam products they mould quite nicely to your body in a soft kind of way, but they aren't particularly supportive. Tempur somehow manages to combine soft moulding with a secret wizardry which means your body is well supported in it's moulded place. Even someone like me who could out sleep wriggle any sleeping toddler. I'd heard that Tempur products can be a bit hot and sweaty, which may be a good state to achieve in bed, but is less desirable when it's your bed doing it to you. Or maybe not, I s'pose it's all a matter of perspective. I wasn't too concerned about the hot, sweaty thing as I tend towards the ice cube end of the female spectrum. Confirmed by last night needing a hot water bottle to add to the warmth of a 15 tog duvet and a purry BendyCat. 

Ok, that's my Tempur love in done. I promise. They make you keep the box for the 2 month trial period but that can be chucked out as there's no way I'm ever letting this mattress out of my grubby paws. GangstaGuy pointed out there is a flaw in that logic as I have puny little sparrow hands** but you take the point. I love my Tempur. And I love you all very, very much for helping me buy it. 

Fortunately Tempur delivered my mattress well before I had to leave to go to Pain Clinic yesterday. The good news is I don't have to go back again. Woohoo! It's sort of implied in the name that it won't be the most cheerful of experiences but I seriously object to the pain of being fleeced of £2 for less than 30 minutes parking. I'd be far happier about it if the money went directly to the service I was going to use rather than being used to send endless stupid letters back and forth or employing more managers and somehow denoting them as front line workers.*** At least the nice clinic clerk went to get the parking thingummyjig from the machine for me as you can't pay either inside the building or at the exit forcing you to walk or wheel. Another stunning example of accessible design in our public sector. You'd think it might've occurred to someone somewhere that people going to a Pain Clinic might not be the sprightliest. But then that would involve actually putting some thought into these things beyond how much money can be made. Did I mention the good news is I don't have to go back again?! 

Dr Pain and I had a nice if slightly depressing chat about financial deficits, how far the new ConDem government will cut back on public services particularly the NHS and welfare and the implications of such cuts for services like the Pain Clinic. Dr Pain is a consultant of the old school, a nice man who is interested and interesting but the whole experience confirmed my feeling of the inadequacy of the current model being used for pain management. The role of medicine is important, a cornerstone of pain control and should be done by a doctor rather than a nurse, just as the exercise role should be undertaken only by qualified physiotherapists. But, they are not the people who should be delivering the management part of pain control. Physiotherapists and doctors are naturally going to think and act in a traditional medical model manner, which is all well and good for medicine but not so much use in helping people find ways to successfully live with their chronic pain conditions. Some Pain Clinics use expert patient schemes and most try to deliver some kind of pain management course but the lack of success of these is because they aren't being delivered by the very people who can understand and teach the necessary pain management skills themselves, people successfully living with chronic and painful conditions. With welfare reform being high on the list of the ConDem government's plans to savecut benefits, money will have to be spent on more innovative ways of helping those with chronic conditions into the workplace, and lack of appropriate pain management is a barrier to work for many. The future of successful pain management lies in Pain Clinics being able to directly employ such patients to deliver services to other patients. 'If life gives you lemons, then make lemonade' is a tough enough lesson to learn from someone in the same boat as yourself, but one guaranteed to patronise and push away if delivered by someone without direct experience of it. 

Whilst I'm on my soap box...the idea to scrap current job broker schemes is an excellent one, but could we do it properly and save some money by actually using the current single provider we already have. Y'know, those JobCentre things? I'm no economist, in fact my grammar school education has rendered me unable to add up further than the number of fingers and toes I possess, but I'm very, very certain that it will cost less and be more effective to put some money into Job Centres and tap into the skill of the advisors who were all doing the job of private job brokers far better until New Labour decided the whole thing should be taken away from the Job Centres and put into private companies. You may have that snippet of widsom for free Iain Duncan Smith, but please, please do me a favour and employ some actual currently unemployed people, particularly crippled and mental claimants to help you reform the system to one which will actually work and protect those in need of protection without driving us all off to Switzerland.

Dr Pain seemed sure that the withdrawal symptoms 'should have stopped' by now. He's a nice man so I didn't tell him that I've tried telling my body what it should and shouldn't be doing before now with very limited success. Ok, outright failure but limited success sounds so much more positive don't you think? What's that you say? Deluded. Yeah, maybe. I kept this stream of consciousness to myself during the appointment all the better to bore you with afterwards. Dr Pain suggested that I remain on a twice daily 10mg dose of Oxycontin as a 'holding dose'. I sort of mumbled non committally and went away fully intending to do no such thing. I haven't spent months going through this Oxycodone fuelled nightmare not to finish what I started. There is also the fact that on nothing more than sheer, gut instinct I feel Oxycontin is contributing to the problems I'm having at the moment. If at some point in the future, perhaps when the weather gets colder, I am unable to control my pain I'm happy to go back onto stronger forms of pain relief but I don't want to do that without being damn sure I haven't got another option. The Jobbing Doctor will perhaps be pleased to hear that I came away from the 'specialist' appointment with an increased confidence in my GP's ability to handle opiate withdrawal in a far superior manner than the Pain Clinic's. Now I need to somehow pass on that confidence to my lovely GP who is understandably inexperienced in the management of a complex Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and for it perhaps less sure of her own ability in this particular situation.

You'll have to excuse me now. I need to go and make love to my mattress. 

* Sorry Will, it's shit I know. I can hear you turning your, and my, future graves from here.
** I know. GangstaGuy is a man who comes up with the most creative of (un)complimentary descriptions.
*** I have no evidence for this, but I'm damn sure NHS trusts are busily involved in such activities already


alhi said...

I'm glad the mattress is as good as you thought it would be. Sounds as if you may be fighting BendyCat for it though. Keep the box for her to sleep in:)

And now I must return to my marking hell.

Uncle Norman said...

I share your love for the mattress of dreams. It was a luxury purchase some time ago. I have spent so long sleeping on hard ground and in horrible places that I felt I owed it to myself. I like going to bed now.


Lankylonglegs said...

Bed has been my happy place for a long time now, I would rather give up sleeping than risk losing my Tempura mattress XD. So pleased that you love yours too, had hoped you would.
Jo x

steph said...

LOL to your last line.

Very happy to hear you got your fab mattress even though I played no part in it.

Slinks away with tail between legs

Achelois said...

Jealous of your mattress - so so jealous and I don't even do jealous.

Does EDS gene have - we love cats written into it.

My brain is mushed so will have to return to re-read the post.

I agree entirely about the pain management clinics. My feeling is that for people like 'us' they have little value. But I am cynical on that front. Follow your dream with regard to oxycontin.

I am off to cuddle my new kitten - I love love love him.

Take care BG and sweet dreams. I am so pleased for you that you have your mattress. jealousy aside!


BenefitScroungingScum said...

Alhi: hehe, BendyCat is more likely to make ME sleep in the box and take the whole mattress for herself ;) Hope your marking less hellish!

UN: I'm glad to hear you have somewhere soft and comfortable to sleep...at least when you're at home ;)

LL: Oh yeah, I'm with you on that one x

Steph: There's to be no slinking on this blog my love ;)

Achelois: It's ok, jealousy is allowed for things like this. I'm jealous of your gorgeous kitten!
Tempur do a 2 month, no obligation trial. You put down an £80 deposit and after 2 months they either collect it and return your money or you keep it and pay balance. They do offer a pay monthly scheme too and of course you can get it without the VAT which makes a significant difference in price. To be honest it's so amazing that I'd willing spend another year saving to buy one if I had to. I hope there's a way you can find to get one. Hoping things start to improve for you v soon, BG Xx

Rach said...

Mattress sounds just perfect and so pleased it is delivering what you need...xx