The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Archive for Shopping

What’s the Rule of Thumb?

Than Ball, my own work, photo taken by me.
Image via Wikipedia

This is a fun site to visit, Rules of Thumb, if you have a few minutes and want to be entertained as well as informed. They have nearly 60 “rules of thumbs” in the health section. All of these are short, and I wouldn’t bet my life on them but they are interesting.

For example if you want to determine the effectiveness of a calcium tablet (of a particular brand), the rule of thumb is stated as. “To see how long a calcium tablet will take to break up in your stomach, place a tablet in a few ounces of room-temperature vinegar and stir vigorously every five minutes or so. The tablet should disintegrate completely in 30 minutes or less. If a tablet remains mostly intact after a half-hour, chances are it won’t be of any value to you.” The source given is Consumer Reports, USA

Another interesting rule? As a rule, men will have figured out approximately what an item will cost and will have the needed amount or more waiting on the cashier. Ladies on the other hand, will wait until they are told what the needed amount is and then open their purse or clutch and dig out the money.

You can also look up topics like “durability.” For example, the rule of thumb about wearing shoes is that if you switch back and forth between three pairs of shoes, they will last as long as five pairs worn out one pair at a time.

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Pillow Talk

A while back I was contacted to see if I would consider trying out a couple of Tempur-Pedic™ pillows and writing a review on them. Of course, I said yes. I’ve always been curious if the Tempur-Pedic™ pillows would be comfortable, as I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, but the risk of buying them and then not having them work had deterred me. Plus, I love pillows. To find a place to sit on my couch you have to move pillows. To sleep, I have a pillow for my head, another special kind to prop my arm up and two Squish pillows to rest my (naturally fused) wrist on.

I’ll admit that I am also a bit of a princess who can feel a pea in her bed, so I knew it would be an interesting experiment. I typically use a large, stiff pillow that hold the weight of my shoulder off of my shoulder, which need joint replacements sooner rather than late. I flip my pillow over a few times a night, so as soon as it is squished down a bit, I flip it for maximum support.

Most of us have heard about Tempur-pedic, but I didn’t realizejust how many credentials they had. For example:

  • Tempur-Pedic® has the only mattresses and pillows recognized by NASA and certified by the Space Foundation as well as more than 75,000 Professional Medical Customers worldwide.

And important to us with a chronic illness?

I was sent two pillows.  The first one I pulled out was the Comfort Pillow. It felt like something I wanted to immediately collapse into. And I did. I was sitting on the couch as I unpacked it and told my husband, “I want all our couch cushions made out of this!” It’s heavy yet very soft, made out of viscoelastic material. (Don’t wack anyone with this pillow in a pillow fight!) You sink into it a bit, but it doesn’t collapse under you like a feather pillow (which I don’t prefer.) You don’t become submerged in it. It holds it’s own. This pillow would have been the perfect home comfort to have had when I spent a week in the hospital last fall.

Like anyone with an illness, it took me a few days before I even decided to try out the pillows because I knew that they may not work and I wasn’t willing to give up the possibility of any sleep that I might have. And then when I started to use the first one, the Comfort Pillow, I thought something smelled funny. Was it the cat having a litter box issue again? Nope, it was the pillows that had a chemical smell. A sticker that accompanied them said that they may have a “slight odor remaining for our manufacturing process. It is completely harmless and will dissipate over a short time with regular use.” The smell did go away closer to two weeks of them sitting in the corner of my room, and now it’s fine. That said, if you have any chemical sensitivity issues, the smell may likely not be “harmless” for you and should be a consideration when buying the pillow.

The Comfort Pillow (price range $79 – $159) pillow wasn’t stiff enough for me to be able to use as my regular pillow to hold up my neck, but I absolutely love it. Every night I go to bed early and will read 1-3 hours and this is the pillow I put on top of my regular pillow so I am propped up a bit and yet every sore muscle feels completely cushioned.

The second pillow is what most people think of I think when they hear Tempur-Pedic™ (at least I do), the Neck Pillow (price range $79 – $159)  that has the memory foam. The first few nights I slept on it a few hours (waking up frequently) and eventually it ended up on the floor and I grabbed my older pillow.) But each time I use it, it becomes a bit more comfortable. In the end, this may become my regular pillow. I think it depends on how my body is flaring on a particular night or how much my shoulders are throbbing. I frequently use Voltarin gel on my shoulders to try to relieve the pain, so it would be difficult for any one pillow to meet my variety of needs that change from day to day. I found that it wasn’t quite thick enough to hold the weight off of my shoulder, but if I put a very thin pillow underneath it, it was more comfortable.

Both pillows are a welcome addition to my arsenal of trying to find comfort when flaring with a rheumatoid arthritis flare. Some nights I have slept on the couch because I couldn’t roll over in bed or pull myself up. When I’ve had a bad cough, my chest has flared so badly I’ve had to sleep sitting up on the couch all night. These very cozy pillows will be a welcome part of those nights to find the most comfortable positions as possible.

I suggest visiting the Tempur-pedic website to find out more about their pillows. They also sell beds, and office and travel products. See something you may want to try? Find out where a store near you carries it, and go find a bed and lay down for awhile. Although finding a pillow can be difficult (who wants to pay $100 for something that may not work?) you can discover rather quickly if this is one of those pillows you will sleep on, read with, or hold for arm support.

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