Photo Credit: Jewish Press

But he was never surer of anything in his life. He said I should replace the mattress that day, or, if I couldn’t, I should start sleeping with a board under my mattress. I don’t have a board, nor can I lift one.

And he told me this on a Friday. I didn’t have time to buy a board, and I didn’t have room to move my mattress to the floor, because I had company for Shabbos. My in-laws. Eleven people in total. (I have a lot of in-laws.) That’s a lot of cooking and long, shmoozy meals. That helped my back, in my backless armchair. Apparently, whenever something happens in my life that makes cooking for Shabbos more difficult, my in-laws decide to come over. They also keep coming over right after we have babies.


Luckily, they also happened to bring along some camping equipment for my son, who was about to go to camp, so I slept on top of his bedroll for three nights.

Not what the doctor meant, it turns out.

One morning, I woke up, got off the floor, and started getting dressed, and while I was putting on my second sock (of two), my back seized up, worse than ever before. I couldn’t move at all that day. I just spent all day in bed, sock halfway on, trying to find new positions from which I could abortively try to get up.

I then spent basically the rest of the day waiting for my wife to get home, sustaining myself with some awesome pareve chocolates that she apparently keeps in her night table. The good news was that we’d previously arranged for her to meet the mattress lady that day on the way home from work. The idea was that she’d come home with mattresses, I’d lie down on them, and presto, my back would pop back into shape!

So my wife had to go test out mattresses herself. She ended up settling on an extra-thick mattress that was personally recommended by the woman selling it, who said that this was the one she herself uses, and she has a bad back because she schlepps mattresses around all day.

Point is, my wife comes home with this huge mattress that she has to somehow schlep up the stairs and put down on top of her husband, who can’t get out of bed. Luckily, I was in her bed, pigging out on chocolates.

She was okay, though. She enlisted the help of two yeshiva guys, who awkwardly helped her drag a mattress up the stairs to find me lying there, unhelpfully, with one sock halfway on.

And then I had to spend 45 minutes commando crawling onto my new bed. Which wasn’t easy, because it was a thick mattress. I had nothing to grab, so I kept accidentally pulling off the sheets and pulling the mattress on top of me.

Anyway, I ended up in bed for another two days before I was able to crawl to an actual doctor. I eventually found out that I have a herniated disc, which I’m pretty sure has nothing to do with mattresses, so now I have a new mattress for nothing, apparently, and there’s no way the lady will take it back after I explain that I was stuck in it for three days.

But it’s just as well. My point is, get a new mattress. An old mattress might be bad for your back, and if you wait until your back goes, you won’t be able to get the new mattress into your house, because those things are heavy. You want to get a new mattress before you reach a stage where you have to commando crawl onto a mattress that’s higher than the one you’re dying on.


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