King-size mattress could end couple's restless nights

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

While recovering last month from my tonsillectomy and septoplasty -- a surgery to straighten a deviated septum -- I vacated the marital bed in favor of our guest room.

Mostly it was because I was petrified at the thought of The Other Half rolling over and hitting my nose. My buddy Joy described a septoplasty perfectly: "You come out of the anesthesia, see people across the room and immediately think, 'Those people might touch my nose.'"

The other reason was less self-centered. During my week of recovery, I was in one of two stages: knocked out by painkillers or awake and wishing I was knocked out by painkillers. (Frankly, I wasn't surprised to read the following week that a nurse was convicted of writing herself prescriptions for the same stuff I was taking. I'd like to have my senses dulled for today's staff meeting, for example, but my painkillers ran out.) I didn't want to wake Mr. Half with my constant routine of medicine, Popsicles, Listerine and cable shopping channels.

The septoplasty was to fix the Three Stooges-type snoring that had forced my husband to wear earplugs every night. Interestingly, he also snores, but trapping the sound in his head using foam earplugs doesn't wake him.

I don't snore anymore. I don't even drool, because I sleep with my mouth shut and breathe through my nose now. I returned to the marital bed the perfect sleeping companion: silent and with a generous layer of fat to provide cuddliness and warmth.

But now I either want my own room or the king-size mattress I've always dreamed of. I want a mattress so big that it could be rented to WWF Smackdown on Thursdays for professional wrestling. I want a mattress so big that The Undertaker could be in bed with me and I wouldn't know it.

You get the picture.

Don't get me wrong. I love my husband and often wonder what such an attractive man is doing sleeping with me anyway. (Then I remember that no female in her right mind would put up with his music choices, clothes buying and other activities designed to make him feel 20 instead of 30.)

But he is simply not the quiet sleeper I am now. He tends to move around a lot. I often awake in the middle of the night with only one corner of a sheet over me while he rests in a cocoon-like covering of all our bedding.

My grandparents have had the right idea all along.

When they were younger, they slept in twin beds pushed together. That means they were close but had their own covers. And with Grammy working swing shifts, it was important that her comings and goings didn't shake Pop-Pop's mattress.

Now in their 80s, they simply have their own bedrooms. Comfort tends to win out over closeness when you've lived for eight decades.

The problem is, there's no way a king-size mattress will fit in our little townhouse bedroom. And I want to sleep in the same room as the man I love.

So that settles it.

Bunk beds it is.

I get the top.

Heidi Hall is managing editor of the Southeast Missourian.

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