Bedroom tour


So recently, I shared this photo on my blog Facebook page:

I thought it was another case of me being quirky…which let’s admit, I am very quirky…but a lot of other people commented that they too had to sleep with water and that they also didn’t think they did this before RA.  It was funny and cool, I never cease to be amazed at the things I am taught by other patients.  

It made me wonder what else I may do that we don’t necessarily realize we have in common so I thought I’d show you a few more habits of mine that are perhaps a bit quirky but perhaps may be surprisingly familiar?

So welcome to my bedroom, the place where no magic happens. (Sorry, I grew up watching MTV Cribs and couldn’t resist. But I kept it PG, right?) But I’m starting with this room because this is where the most important thing for my overall health happens: sleep!!!

Right before I took these pictures, I caught myself going to make my bed and straighten up a bit.  I stopped because that’s not ‘real.’  If you were to come to my house as a guest, it would be clean and tidy, bed made, shoes put up.  I do vacuum and dust weekly. But especially when I’m tired or not feeling good, this is what it looks like.  Sorry Mom, but let’s keep it real here.

So, here is my bed.  It’s not on the bed right now because it’s hot today but it’s not unusual for me to have a down alternative duvet on top of all of this.  I can’t sleep if I’m cold.  I get cold very easily and it makes me achey.  I also like the weight of all the blankets, especially if I’m flaring.  I feel like it keeps me from moving around much when I’m sleeping and when you flare, nothing sucks as much as rolling on to a painful joint and waking up.

I also have a very particular pillow formation.  Let’s call it the T.  Sometimes I also put either a pillow or a foam roller under my knees.  I like my pillows like this because it’s a good neutral back and shoulder posture but also because I don’t move around much in this position.  

Yes, the theme here is that I don’t like moving around much when I sleep.  I go through phases when I have a very hard time falling asleep so it’s important to me that I stay asleep once I’m out.

I also have a humidifier that I run pretty much year round.  I get super dry and it’s incredibly uncomfortable.  I don’t know if it’s a function of RA though as I do remember feeing that way even when I was a child. 

Here is my bedside table.  Yes, the drawer always stays open like that.  Mainly because I have so much crap in there that half the time I can’t close it.  Yes, I will admit that there’s nothing in the other three drawers.  I just realized that.  And no, I honestly don’t know why I don’t use them.  

Even worse is the fact that even with the full drawer I can’t shut, the only things I use in that drawer are my glasses and the remote.  I’m just now realizing I have a Bible in there…hotel chic I guess? 😂😂😂

Anyways, the water bottle is ever present and full.  I prefer it with lots and lots of ice cubes as well as a little bit of lemon juice.  I use the BioFreeze on anything that may be acting up before bed, I really like the combo of that with a heating pad.  I also use peppermint oil under my nose and Vicks on the bottom of my feet.  My sinuses can be awful and perhaps it’s placebo effect but the Vicks on the bottom of my feet at bedtime works miracles.  The fuzzy socks are to save my sheets…and because cold feet aren’t fun.

This is my closet.  This section on the left is my as needed supply area. I just named it that though, it’s the best place to stash the things I sometimes use.  Heating pad is awesome, I actually have several, and I have ice packs in my freezer.  I love those things, switching back and forth between the two really helps when I hurt and the heat alone is good when I can’t sleep.

The foam roller I use sometimes to stretch sore muscles but more commonly use under my knees to take pressure off my lower back and hips when I sleep.  The tennis ball is great for almost trigger point like massages of sore, knotted muscles.  

I do a lot of restorative yoga and I adore my yoga wheel.  I pull that out simply to stretch but it’s also good to change things up if I can’t fall asleep.  Sometimes just getting up, doing some stretching and trying again is all I need.

That back massager…I would seriously pay someone to stand in my room all night and use it on my back.  It is amazing.  

The eye mask brings me to the last thing I need to sleep: pitch black.  If I could build my dream bedroom, it would be a cave.  I have thick curtains over my blinds but sometimes I still need help via the mask.  Sure, I usually wake up with it wrapped around my head but I’m really light sensitive when I can’t fall asleep.

So that is the grand tour!  Do you see anything familiar or have similar things you need?

13 responses »

  1. Humidifier yup, biofreeze yup, foam roller yes although sometimes it is in the den so I am guilted into using it instead of just sitting, lotions yup, open drawers you bet ( they’re hard to open), water and tennis ball yep, a well lived in room….always.

  2. Water bottle, morning meds, foam roller, pillow stack, fuzzy socks, mini tens (the battery size so I can fall asleep with it on and not strangle myself with cords), a little ball roller massage gadget, oil instead of lotion, and I’m desperate to change my drawer handles because opening and closing is too much on some days (but all three of mine are stuffed).
    How’s your by the couch set up?
    Blankets, cushions, water bottle, another ball roller massage gadget, a powered tens machine, my nightly meds (in a toiletries bag) and a circulation booster which I slide back under the chair when I’m done to pretend I’m not decorating RA style everywhere.

    • Haha! My couch setup is pretty basic- I do have some firm pillows that I use to make sure I have enough back support as well as a couch desk contraption to put my laptop on. I have a selection of heating pads, some live upstairs and some downstairs, that I carry around with me. Another tennis ball.

  3. I’m the same with water, and no, i wasn’t before RA – I think I did like to have water by my bedside before but I rarely drank it. Now I drink most of it every night. I would LOVE to be able to not move much when I sleep, but I move a LOT and no pillow formation is going to stop me. However, I’m VERY fussy about my pillows – they have to be in just the right place and of course the right pillows. And funnily enough, and I really don’t think we can blame RA for this, I have a top drawer crammed with tons of stuff, mostly medications of one kind or another, and two draws below which, although they do have stuff in, are full of things that I NEVER use. Can’t remember the last time I opened those drawers!

  4. Pingback: Bedroom tour | All Flared Up: An Arthritis Blog | Arthritis 411 Guide

  5. My nightstand is very similar. Water.. Lots of water. I used to hate it but after my RA diagnosis and all the meds I am thirsty all the time. I actually just started on Philocarpine which is helping my dry mouth, eyes and nose. Actually just added Sjogrens to my list of issues. I can actually have a conversation without sipping water every few sentences. Heating pad, massager, lotion, and socks are always close by. Just recently started wearing a mouth guard at night. I seem to tense up and “hold myself” alot due to pain,and I find myself clenching my teeth. Now at least during the night there is some cushion and now I dont wake up with my jaw and neck so tight and stiff.
    I was diagnosed with RA in 2011. This is my first time to start reading blogs. Life is extremely hard and I have been scouring the internet to find others who have been through what I am in the middle of. So happy to find that there are others out there who are sharing their stuggles and victories. Thank You all!

  6. Vicks is fantastic and not as excruciating as some other products when coming in contact with mucus membranes. Ben-Gay is a wonderful tool of the devil that I used religiously in sports, but now I rely on Vicks as I can use that on knees, feet, elbows, hands and nose all at once while not asphyxiating. Ok, so the eyes do water but they don’t burn like I’m in the seventh level of hell as they would with Ben-Gay. Biofreeze is fantastic but too slippery for my fine motor skills. Vicks is thick and slow, which is perfect for me. Water is a must, especially when I’m in the two-day crossing of the Methotrexate desert. I’m on day two of this week’s trek and parched as usual though out of the fog enough to (hopefully) write coherently and on topic. Thanks for the insights and recommendations.

  7. So here I am, sipping my coffee reading through your blog and I realized I’m all caught up! I really enjoy your writing…thank you so much for giving insight into what RA looks like for 20/30 somethings that have full time jobs and active lives. It’s been a pleasure reading, keep up the good work!

  8. I just found your blog today and I am the SAME WAY about the light. Omg. There are like 3 lights outside my window and even with blackout curtains, the gap from the curtain not being right up against the wall screws it up. Plus any tiny little light in my room, like my husband’s phone charger if it’s facing my direction. Oh hell no!

  9. Water – YUP! And I can’t sleep without my Hibermate sleep mask (the old version – forget the new version!). I don’t use the Vicks, but I might start after reading your description. Humidifier? ABSOLUTELY! Magic? Well, I’ve found a bit of “magic” nearly every day is essential to my mental health!

    Pillows – I have a memory-foam contour pillow, a “squishy” pillow, and 5 dogbone pillows (3 long, 2 short). I have to fix them in a special way. My pillows help me not move very much, as does the cat!

    Cat! A Cat is essential to my health! Our new kitten is learning to sleep against my neck to keep it warm. When she grows beyond the “I gotta play every 3 hours” stage, she will be a wonderful addition to my comfort accouterments.

    I may have to get the down-alternative duvet, but my husband sleeps hot – he needs the ceiling fan on all night on high! We have a California-King memory foam bed. There are times I really miss the waterbed we slept on for about 34 years. The heated mattress was wonderful!

    I guess I need to do a blog post in response to this post!!

  10. I just found your blog and adore it. I am in the middle of working towards a diagnosis of some sorts from my rheumatologist. All signs point to RA but that has not been officially said yet. In the meantime I am struggling to endure with high doses of steroids and pain meds. A lot of the things you describe here are things that make me feel “safe” and comfortable – i.e. the heaviness of the duvet, water by the bed, fuzzy socks, Vick’s. The one thing I have become so attached to is a warmie (stuffed puppy that you can heat up in the microwave). I adore it on my wrists and ankles. Thanks for sharing your world with us. I am hanging in this space of unknown feeling like people around me don’t understand so reading your blog is very helpful.

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