Bugged

itchy spots 0919

Years ago I bought a Sleep Number bed from a woman so desperate to sell me things that she had to be working on commission. Sleep Number will only sell at their own stores, so that’s obviously their choice to pay people in that manner, and then it turns out that for all the money you spend, you get a lot of plastic and foam parts and two inflatable air mattresses.

Years after I bought the bed, but still years ago, we had a cat named Squinty who contracted and ultimately died of kidney disease. In her last few months she started having bladder issues, and her favorite place to pee became beds. So at some point I had to wash the top cover of the Sleep Number bed, a piece of fabric that zipped to a bottom piece and is really all that holds a Sleep Number bed together.

I washed in cold water and air-dried this crucial bed piece, but when I went to put it back on the bed it no longer fit. I cobbled it together as best I could and lived with the bed awhile longer, but eventually gave up and went looking for a new mattress. I imagine I could have purchased a replacement cover from Sleep Number, but that poor woman reeking of desperation pretty well put me off wanting to make any further trips to a Sleep Number store. Not to mention the huge amount of money the company commands for astoundingly mundane parts.

Sleep Number’s idea of a box springs is a bunch of plastic pieces that snap together, so that’s going to last forever, which I guess saves me money there. I went to Miller Furniture, where Tracey sold me a regular ol’ mattress that I put on the Sleep Number box springs, and everything has worked fine.

Until I moved.

Covering the four parts of the “box springs” is yet another vital piece of cloth, the middle of which is some sort of ribbed, sticky-ish vinyl substance. It turns out, without this sticky-ish piece, the mattress slides all over on the plastic base. And it also turns out, for reasons I can’t explain, that once that cloth, which works like a contour sheet, came off, it’s never going to go back on. I didn’t even wash it, although I really should have.

I thought maybe it was just me, but last night when I stripped the bed clear down, Lynn and I both gave the ol’ college try to fitting this sheetish thing back on. It’s not going on without ripping, even though we tried to make sure the four plastic quarters are as mashed together as they can be. So it’s only half on there, and the mattress is sliding around as it has since we moved.

And why were we doing all this last night? Because my entire body is festooned with itchy bites of some sort, and I am blaming cats who go outside and then spend their remainder of their day lolling on my bed.

I don’t know that this is the cause, but something here is giving me itchy fits. All over both thighs, inside one ankle, up on my chest . . . I itch like I have chicken pox. (Which I had when I was six. I’ve also experienced the joy of shingles. Maybe this is a reprise.)

The itchy spots seem to be sprouting by the second. The other afternoon, when I had been wearing a sock, I found one itchy bite on my ankle. A day later it was three bites, and while I was showing that all to Lynn last night there’s now another round red spot nearby. She’s wondering if maybe it’s a rash.

All I can tell you is they itch, and Sting-eze, children’s topical Benadryl (left over from shingles) and whatever anti-itch cream I found in my bathroom each offer about 10 seconds of relief.

And when we combine this with my sacrum that seems to be halfway to my left shoulder . . . well, I am not a happy camper, and sleeping comfortably seems to be out of the question.

The sacrum thing is weird. I mean, it slips out all the time, although rarely this badly. I am mostly blaming screen reclaiming, although I think it was a one-two punch of reclaim followed by officiating.

What’s weird about the sacrum is what I can and can’t do. Lifting really isn’t a problem. Anything above the waist works pretty well. Below the waist I can barely lift my left leg. The most difficult thing I’ve done the last couple of days — seriously — is try to get my pants off and on.

We took the truck to town yesterday, because I wanted to get a chair and bookcase out of our storage unit. The truck has a clutch, and every time I went to shift gears, I had to reach down to my leg to manually lift it enough to get on the clutch.

(All will be well tomorrow at 3:30 when my chiropractor fixes me, but in the meantime I am counting how many hours I have left to go.)

We came back with a chair and a bookcase, but neither were what I intended to fetch. The chair I wanted, another hand-me-down from Grandpa, is his office chair, a solid antique made of some serious metal that is heavy heavy heavy. And it was way at the back of the storage shed, which is so full with things that aren’t fitting in this larger house that the “walkway” to get back to it is no wider than 15 inches.

So I took the wooden chair sitting on top of Grandpa’s chair, and that will have to suffice until I feel ambitious enough to re-organize the storage shed. I’m sure that if judicious placement is used, rather than tossing things in as we got to them, we can make that work a lot better. But I have plenty of other things to unpack and rearrange first.

Then I wanted a bookcase, also boxed in by other items. And somewhere in here, before I told Lynn I was fetching a bookcase, she surmised this, sighed heavily and confessed that she just bought me a new bookcase.

But the new bookcase, which is here but not assembled (intended as a surprise for next week), she thinks to place in a hallway, and I wanted one for my room, so we by-passed the one I wanted (which is too tall to fit under the window, but I was going to put it there anyway to see what happened) and went for one we could reach.

By the time we got it home and I cleaned it, I decided it definitely needs to go back to the giveaway pile, but I went ahead and dumped books in it anyway. I have to say, even though the books are tossed in there randomly and it’s not the case I wanted, the room suddenly looks much better. You all can put every last book you own on your Kindle and feel smug, but my life is better when I’m surrounded by books. If only Dusty would install shelves in my library, then we’d be cooking with gas.

And if I would stop itching, and my sacrum would go back where it belongs, I might be cooking with gas, too.

kid books 0919

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