Leave Off the Last S for Scoliosis


My mattress is trying to kill me.

First I thought it was my yoga teacher. When he said through his thick accent:

Now we do easy peasy.

Easy peasy? I thought he was just making stuff up. It wasn’t until the third time he said it I realized he was saying “Easy Pigeon.” If you are unfamiliar, easy pigeon is a move where you sit on the floor and bend one leg under the other so you form a… oh what does it matter, I can’t do it anyway.

Never mind the fact that I had never seen a pigeon bend into the position I was now failing at.

But I thought it was yoga that was causing my back pain. Then I thought it was my desk chair. But after 4 days in a hotel I realized it might be my mattress. I started to wonder how long one should go before getting a new mattress.

I polled my friends on how long they keep their mattress fully anticipating that I knew the answer.

Apparently ... The correct answer was not 15 years.

Not even close.

Most people said around six. Some people said as long as ten. One woman said she gets a new mattress every other year. That seemed excessive. The only new thing I get every single year is a new bodily ailment.

As soon as I realized the problem was my mattress and that I should have gotten rid of it around the same time I graduated from college, I tried to fix the situation.

I flipped and rotated my mattress, which, I realize now, flipping a Queen size mattress is a two-person job. I almost knocked every single thing off my walls while simultaneously trying to avoid a hernia and being pressed to death if the thing fell on me.

After a couple of nights of continued back pain I went info full out panic mode. What could I do? For some ungodly reason I thought it might be best to sleep on the floor.

A note about my sleeping habits.

My favorite sleeping position is what I like to call the iceberg. My head is outside the sheets on the pillow on the right side of the bed, while the rest of my body cuts a 90-degree angle down to the lower left corner of the bed. This will ultimately be a problem if I end up marrying a woman taller than 4 foot 3.

The floor space next to my bed does allow for the iceberg position. It doesn’t allow for much at all.

I set myself up on the rug next to my bed, trying to give myself enough padding so as not to immediately regret my decision.

I roll out a yoga mat, a blanket, and lay out my duvet. I get onto my make shift bedding and then fold the duvet over myself so it looks like I am sleeping in some kind of flat bread sandwich.

Which I’m sure, if possible, would have been a better solution.

After 5 minutes on the floor I start to regret my decision. I try some mental calisthenics to convince myself this is good for me. I think of research I have never read. I think about my friend Sophie. 

She slept at my apartment the night before she ran the New York City Marathon. “I'm a floor sleeper she kept saying.” “That's not a thing!” I would reply.

I stand by my argument.

However, I wake up the next morning for work, not feeling like I was kicked in the back by a large donkey. Instead I feel like I received a series of soft kicks from a collection of very tiny donkeys.

As I got up and examined my bedding situation I saw that it looked like there had been some kind midnight sleepover thrash dance. Which, seeing as I can’t watch myself sleep, there might have been.

It was at that point I realized I couldn't continue sleeping on the floor.

But when I got home the next night I couldn’t bring myself to lay in my bed. It was like doing something I knew was bad for me. But it was sleeping! I had to sleep! When I eat 5 donuts in a row there’s no need biological behind that. Sleep had to happen. I couldn’t just not sleep.

So I slept on the floor again the following night. This time with an additional blanket under me which made absolutely no difference.

I was at a loss.

My bed, my best friend who had been through everything from puberty, through adulthood had suddenly become public enemy number one. I couldn't bring myself to sit or lay in it. I had gone 15 years with never a thought of a new mattress and suddenly it was all I could think about.

I found myself just staring at my mattress. It didn’t look bad. It looked fine. And when it was naked from sheets it looked new. Nothing about it said “donkey kick” yet that’s what it was delivering to me night after night.

I had planned to use my tax return for a vacation abroad but instead I was going to have to spend it on killing the donkey that kept kicking me in my sleep. I was going to have to buy a new mattress, one of the most enjoyable and confusing endeavors.

To be continued…