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It's better to slide than bounce

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck

 I fell in love with the bed the minute Fred showed it to me. It was big, imposing and solid. It reminded me of my fiance, Tom, who, like the bed is big, imposing and solid. I knew I had to have it, but I also knew Tom needed to approve it. After all, he was going to sleep in it as well.

I was living in Chiefland then, but we’d just closed on our house in Williston and in just a few months we were getting married. Neither of us had a bed frame. Both of us had our respective king-sized mattresses setting on box springs setting on the floor.

I took Tom by Vickie and Fred’s Almost New Furniture the next day and led him to the back where the bed waited. After giving it the once over, he said he liked it. Fred priced it right and the bed was ours.

The only problem with it was the color. It was a pale finish, and because it was used, showed some minor wear and tear.

I asked Tom if it could be painted and after a consultation with his professional painter sister, Jane, said it could be.

The months wore on. We got married. The bed was tucked away in the garage and again our mattress was atop  box springs setting on the floor.

And then Tom started his project. For months he lovingly and laboriously sanded, painted, glossed each and every part of that bed until at last we could move it into our bedroom.

A mammoth four poster, it fit well in our room. However, we did not realize that the headboard posts were taller than the footboard posts and when assembled it didn’t fit.

Tom came to the rescue in minutes and simply swapped the posts and at last we had a bed.

I had purchased a new comforter for it and once made, I stood back and admired our bed.

That night, I wondered what I had done.

At 5’4”, I couldn’t simply get into bed. I had to jump on it. The elevated frame combined with mattress and box springs made it almost 42 inches from the floor.

We brought in the Rubbermaid kitchen step to make it easier for me to retire at night.

And then this summer, my darling husband came home with a real wooden two-step bed stool to simplify getting into bed. It was perfect and made retiring so much easier. I didn’t need the stool to get out of the bed since I could slide right out.

Then earlier this month, it happened.

The alarm sounded for work. I rolled over, turned it off and instead of sliding onto carpet, in my half-asleep state, my feet hit the top rung.

And that’s all she wrote.

 I fell catty wampus down the top rung to land on the bottom rung with my, uh, bottom. At the same time my neck clotheslined the night stand and then I pitched into the wall, barely missing the marble window sill. I fell face forward into the stack of decorative pillows against the wall.

I screamed. Tom was elsewhere. I lay there then slowly stood. Nothing was broken but my hip, neck and forehead were sore already. I knew bruises were imminent.

I hobbled out to the den, where Tom asked what was going on. I told him I fell out of bed. He laughed. Then asked if I was OK. Then laughed again.

“It’s tough being old,” I said.

In two hours I hurt everywhere, but especially my bottom and neck. I could see bands of red where bruises would soon be. I moved gingerly for days. A few friends offered wheelchairs and walkers. I suggested a bed with one of those pulley things to raise up.

Tom asked if he should remove the stool. I thought about it but refused. Each morning when I awaken,  I make sure I am fully awake before I slide over to the edge of the bed and carefully slide onto carpet.

I always give that slick stool an evil eye as I slowly step onto it every night to climb into bed.

In spite of the near catastrophe that early October morning, I feel it’s safer to use the stool than get a run-and-go and jump on the bed: bounce too high and I could impale myself on one of those posts.

Someone suggested I get rid of the bed in order to preserve my health.

Not a chance.

It will be easier to sleep in football padding. Stay tuned.