The month of November, 2011 I watched my body get sicker and sicker and sicker. I had all kinds of pain when I got up in the mornings — back pain, shoulder pain, leg pain, ankle pain, feet pain. My feet didn’t work normally for hours at a time, and I was hobbling through stores, getting groceries or shopping. If I’d sit too long at work, say half an hour or an hour, my “feet don’t work” symptom would be back, even during the day. My feet were swollen most of the time.
And, gentle reader, no, I do not have health insurance and did not see a doctor.
I noticed sometime in November that now there was a swollen hard lump at the back of my left ankle, a spot that developed exactly right above where my Earth Shoes ended. They’re all built on pretty much the same template, and the lump was right above the top of the shoe at the back. It was tender and painful and swollen.
At times it felt like my feet were on fire.
I remember driving home from my office on December 1. It was cold out, I had the heat on in the car, just blowing on my face and arms, not the feet, and my feet felt like they were on fire. They really did. I’ve never felt such a sensation before.
When I got home I took off my boots and looked at my little swollen feet. They were getting red now.
I really had to do something. I really had to.
The little explosions all over my body, something “going off” in some cell in my body, like a firecracker, constantly, was still going on.
I went to bed, as usual, in my *brand name* memory foam bed, and those feet that felt like they were on fire? Felt like they were going to explode from the fire (inside them), as soon as they touched the bed. THAT had never happened before.
I jumped right back out of bed and blew up my air mattress, found my sleeping bag, and slept on the floor in my home office.
The next day I looked up the manufacturer’s website and learned all about how to prove that your mattress needs to be replaced. You need to prove that the mattress has a “valley” in it and the website shows how to do that.
So I jumped through all their hoops: filled out the claim form, got the original receipt out of my file, scanned that, took the pictures with the mattress on the floor and a broom handle and a quarter positioned as the directions read, and sent it off. And waited.
And meanwhile I decided, over the next few days, until this is resolved to my satisfaction, to begin charting my symptoms on my calendar.
October 30: left for trip; no sleep on *brand name* memory foam mattress
November 4: slept on *brand name* memory foam mattress
November 5: Pain. Rotated mattress, first time ever since June 2010 (when mattress was delivered).
Week of November 6: Foot pain, leg pain, ankle pain
Week of November 13: Foot pain, leg pain, ankle pain
Week of November 20: Foot pain, leg pain, ankle pain
November 23-24: getting really bad
November 25-28: slept on air mattress; less pain
November 29: Slept on *brand name* memory foam mattress
November 30: Extreme pain. Felt like feet on fire. Slept on air mattress.
December 1: less pain; driving home, feet felt in flames
December 2: Feet feel better this morning; less pain, less swelling. Called*brand name* memory foam mattress manufacturer; claim going. (Took pictures, submitted claim form.)
December 3: Very worried about swelling feet & ankles. Laid on sofa with feet above heart for an hour — it helped.
December 4: Slept on air mattress placed on top of *brand name* memory foam mattress. Woke with feet in pain, but better than it would have been without the air mattress.
December 5: same as above, plus achilles tendon pain, swollen — but not as bad as it has been. Ankles not swollen this morning. Bottoms of feet & achilles tendon painful to walk on after sitting at desk for a period of time (an hour or so).
December 6: Slept on air mattress atop *brand name* memory foam mattress. First trip to the bathroom: foot pain in bottom of feet (tendon; tendon not working; swollen a bit, feet; ankle tendons not working. Then on stretching, pains alleviated, feet work again, only a little residual foot pain (swelling). At the end of the day, back of ankles swollen some during day. Not much swelling at night.
December 7: Slept on air mattress on bed. No back pain when rising. Feet not much swollen. Ankles did not function upon rising. Did breathing, got up, stretched 5 minutes, stood “up” then “down” on feet, and then walked OK. Bottom of feet tendons not so sore this morning.
One week since last sleeping directly on *brand name* memory foam mattress.
December 8: Slept on air mattress on *brand name* memory foam mattress. Ankles stiff and non-cooperating upon awaking. Reduced after 15 minutes of stretching.
December 9: Same as 12/8. Noticed a bit of swelling feeling at the end of the day at ankles and legs.
December 10: Same as 12/8. Back of ankles stiff & sore & not cooperating first thing. Swollen bump at back of left ankle still swollen & painful. End of day: legs swelled, hard to walk comfortably.
December 11: Slept on air mattress on *brand name* memory foam mattress. Left ankle swollen lump @ back — walked flat-footed at first, then okay. Back of ankle still swollen lump.
December 12-15: Same.
December 16-18: Same. Lips swollen.
December 19: Same. Lips swollen & blistered.
December 20: Same with feet/legs/ankles. Lips swollen & blistered. Mouth sensitive. Lips very sensitive & feel burned.
December 21: Same with feet, etc. Lips swollen & burned feeling; eating salad with vinagrette dressing — painful. Lips hurt. Cracked & bled. Had a channeling with Shelly Dressel and as a result, took *brand name* memory foam mattress out of the house and put it in the garage. Went to Wal-Mart, bought a package of body cleanse herbs. Beginning to take body cleanse herbs as a result of the channeling.
December 22: Same with feet, ankles. Prickly feel in mouth & body.
December 23: Same / herbs.
December 24: lips improved, otherwise same with feet / taking herbs.
December 25: same / herbs.
December 26: Same / herbs.
December 27: Prickly feeling going away. Same with feet & taking herbs.
December 28: Same with feet, taking herbs. *brand name* memory foam mattress removed from garage, shipped back to manufacturer. Noticed, while interacting with*brand name* memory foam mattress, that prickly feeling came back in my mouth, until I stopped interacting with anything that touched the *brand name* memory foam mattress. I tossed the fitted sheet & mattress protector that I was “going to take to Goodwill”.
December 29: Same with feet / taking herbs.
December 30 I stopped charting this.
All this time I wasn’t sure if it was the mattress causing the problems — I was pretty sure it was the mattress, but was it just because I wasn’t sleeping right in it? If I slept on an air mattress on top of the *brand name* memory foam mattress, would that fix it? I slept better sleeping with the air mattress on top of the *brand name* memory foam mattress, so is that what it is? Or is it the *brand name* memory foam mattress itself? The chemicals?