Sunday, November 13, 2011

PillowGate: Losing and finding a place to lay one's head

For reasons too private to discuss, I left my home a mere two weeks after the delivery of the wonderful Stearns and Foster mattress I blogged about this past summer. I took my rattan pillow with me, and I managed to sleep peacefully at times, have nightmares at other times, continued to function, and to dysfunction as well.

The day of moving into my own apartment approached, and my friends (especially the one who had given me a place to stay) held their breath in anticipation. After all, I had been telling them I would feel so much better when I settled into my own place. But what I didn't know was that the person who had gifted me with the cherished rattan item would suddenly decide she didn't want me to have it anymore.The weekend I moved, I sent it back to her.

PillowGate, dubbed as such by my daughter, ensued.

Because I have helped other people look for a rattan pillow, I knew that finding one is virtually impossible. I got angry. I yelled. I cried. Most of all, I lifted things out of necessity that someone with neck and jaw problems shouldn't do. It's difficult to enlist the help of family and friends and then stand by and watch them work. Plus, I had been working out. Confident that the .0001 inch of muscle added to each bicep would allow me to lift things without injuring myself, I trudged on.

The first night in my new place I couldn't sleep because my cervical and jaw pain level was so high.  Night after night I swapped pillows all night long. Finally one morning at 4:00 I gave up, got up from the recliner, and tried to figure out how to work a Swiffer wet jet minus necessary batteries. I turned on the television and brewed a pot of Joe. When I heard someone talking about cervical issues, TMJD, and pillows, I thought I had gone back to sleep and was having another nightmare. But wait... I could smell the coffee!

I walked closer to the television and watched the graphic explaining how this pillow would help my neck. I looked up at the ceiling, wondering if God might be talking to me. Thinking that perhaps He was, I called the toll-free number to They were experiencing unusually high call volume. Hmmm. Could there be more pillow-fighting athletes out there, other than my friends who have trigeminal neuralgia and facial pain? Perhaps. Not wanting to be in pain any longer than I had to be, I purchased the "firm" pillow via Internet.

Just three days later, it arrived. I followed the instructions by putting it in the dryer for a few minutes before I used it. After a few nights, I realized that a pillow that was actually too high existed. It gave my head and neck great support, but too much of it. I called MyPillow and spoke with a representative and learned that I had ordered an item sized for a linebacker. She helped me select another size, and I am hoping that it will be delivered tomorrow.

I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I am using an accessory pillow. Some nights are better than others. Those of us who experience facial pain know a pillow is something to lose sleep over.

To my friends and family who offered tons of love and support while I made one of life's most difficult decisions, thank you. I love and appreciate you. Even more thanks go to the Lord, who watched over me in my frailty and angst.

March 2013 note from Kathy: more than a year later, I can say that MyPillow has made quite a difference in cervical and jaw pain. My mom also purchased one, and she has noticed a marked improvement in her comfort level. We have the firm pillows with blue writing on their tags. To my knowledge, these cannot be purchased from anywhere but directly from the company. 

Have you visited my website?


  1. Oh sweetie, I hate to hear of all of the problems you are going through and I hope things get better quickly. I also have a problem watching people do the work I would normally do so I understand your need to help them even if you hurt yourself but try to take it easy when you can.

    Your friend (ex-friend I hope) that took your pillow back that was gifted to you... is an indian-giver and a real jerk! That just makes me so mad!

  2. Things are going well, but it's been stressful along the way. I'm taking good care of myself. What about you?