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GERD pillows


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#1 Clementine

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 01:58 AM

Hello,

I am going to buy a pillow to elevate me at night to eliminate having to raise my bed.
I want to do this for my husband's sake. It hurts his back, and he already has back problems.
There are a lot of pillows out there. One in particular that I found was really expensive ($200) but if it works, I will get it. After all, it is a small price to pay and cheaper than buying a special bed.

What kinds of pillows do you use? I know Janey has mentioned before she has all these special ways she sleeps..but I cannot remember.

Thanks,
Clem

#2 Margaret

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 03:47 AM

Hi Clem ,

My son uses a hard, wedge shaped foam pillow( 2'x2' square) that is slanted to 4 " higher in the back. He puts his head pillow on top of that to raise him up a little more.

Take care, Everyone.
Margaret

#3 jefa

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 04:43 AM

Soft pillows piled up can actually make it worse.

Like Gareth, I use a firm wedge, too, though it lifts about 10 inches at the back. I put my normal pillow on top of it, so it is just like the bed is elevated. You can get them quite cheaply. Most come with a zip on cover and mine came in a pair for about £20. They are probably cheaper in the US. I had similar problems with my husband and his back.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#4 janey

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 04:46 AM

Hey Darlin',
I have a foam wedge pillow that I've had for a couple of years now. It's a 7" high pillow, but I still have another pillow underneath it and then 3 pillows on top. Two of the top pillow are laid horizontally top to bottom on the wedge. This way I'm raise from the hip by having a pillow extend under the hip. The 3rd top pillow raises my head more. It works great as long as I sleep on my left side. My husband still gets a giggle out of it, but doesn't complain even though it makes him feel like he's got a wall on one side of his bed. :lol:

I only paid about $70 for it. I'll look back in my records and see if I can find the company that I bought it from.

Big Hugs,
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#5 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 04:53 AM

Hi Clem,

I do have to go on record that bed elevation is really the best way to deal with this, and the method that I use. Perhaps you have your bed over-elevated? You may want to try lowering it a bit to see if there is a nice mid-point that helps you without hurting your husband's back.

I believe the pillow-propping route, which certainly seems to work for some people, often worsens reflux in others since it puts increased pressure on the stomach. You don't want too much of a "bend" at the stomach level and then a gradual incline after that. When we tried the (failed) incline approach (first, for my husband), I went to a foam store and had one cut to our specifications. It was very inexpensive. And who'd think there are stores just for foam? But look in your yellow pages, measure out what you think would be the ideal incline for you, and take your measurements to a custom foam store. They cut it in minutes, right there on the spot.

I don't recall what I considered "cheap" then but probably under $25.
Warm Hugs,

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#6 Piper

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 07:15 AM

Hi Clem, My husband also had a problem with the bed being up so high so we compromised. We put the head up only one brick (about 2-3 in.) and then I put a foam wedge of about 5 in. on top. I use a very soft cushy feather pillow ontop. This way the bed isn't up enough to hurt his back and I don't have to use such a high wedge because I'm always sliding down the bed when they're too high. I put holes in my bottom sheets from pushing back up all night. I also use a small pillow under my knees. Hope you find a solution that suits you both. My Dr. wants me to go off of Nexium and I dread what's going to happen when I do.

Hugs, Piper

#7 Clementine

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 11:31 AM

Thank you everyone for the tips. Jefa, I love the idea of having a custom made pillow. I'll have to wait until we move to a larger town and check into that. I would like it if you all could private message me the brands of your pillows. The one I was looking at that was $200 was designed by a GERD sufferer and is supposed to have the right elevation and design to not cause more problems. Who knows. You'd think it would be so simple as to just raise your head...LOL. I am wanting something a little wider than your standard wedge. Nothing seems more annoying than rolling off the edge of it.

Piper, how come your Dr. wants to have you go of Nexium? I'd love to go off it but yesterday I tried to not take it just to find out, and sure enough I had heartburn. Good luck....maybe you will be OK without it.

xo,
Clem

#8 Piper

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 01:50 PM

Hi Clem, Well, I don't have a diagnosis and the last time I had blood work done it was all normal (first time in 5 years) so I guess he figures there's nothing wrong with me and it's not good to take nexium too long. However, when I had my EGD done I had erosive esophaghitis, gastritis and a hiatal hernia. I still have pain in my back every morning so I hope I don't end up with Barrett's or more difficulty swallowing.
Hugs, Piper

#9 canon

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 05:57 PM

Hi Clem,

Just to add a little to what everyone has said, my doctor also advises to use blocks to raise the head of the bed and not to use pillows. Some of the pillow suggestions must be working for quite a few people. I used pillows and wedges for quite a few years and I do have Barrett's esophagus now. Not sure it was the pillows, protonix not working after many years or just a bad progression of a disease process that doesn't quit. I have had the blocks in for a few months now and it does hurt my back. I have temporally gone back to the wedge till my back stops hurting and then try it again. I have to say I did not wake up with heartburn while using the blocks. Hope this helps you alittle.

With gentle thoughts.

Judy
A happy heart is good medicine.

#10 Lyn

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 03:33 AM

I have tried both ways and end up sliding down with them all. How do you guys stop that from happening? I took the wheels off the bottom of the bed, thinking that was only about 3", and I still slid down. I wake up often and climb back up. I use regular sheets. Maybe I should get flannel, so I stick to it better! Like a flannel board? So right now I use pillows, but not a lot. I do suffer no matter what. So, what is your secret to staying at the head of the bed? Lyn

#11 Purr

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 06:04 AM

Lyn,

I don't think there is a way to keep from sliding (unless maybe using alot of velcro!). I've had my bed elevated for several years and still have the sliding problem. If the adjustable beds weren't so expensive I'd buy one of those.

Christy
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#12 jefa

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 07:31 AM

I have found a solution (for my bed, anyway, which has a footboard and a headboard). I have tied up another pillow into a bolster and keep it at the foot of my bed, under my sheet and blankets. If I start to slip, I just push against this bolster - it is actually quite comfy against my achy toes. Sometimes I feel my husband's feet finding their way onto my bolster. :D
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#13 Clementine

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 02:01 AM

Sorry about the name confusion...um, I promise I know the difference between Jefa and Shelley, and I meant to address Shells about the custom foam pillow wedge...sorry!

I used to slide down the bed constantly, but now that I think about it, I don't have that problem anymore. Maybe I just got used to it? I know I did at first and it was not fun. I sleep on my back now and I used to sleep on my stomach, so maybe that is helping.

We have also looked at adjustable beds. They are crazy expensive and some don't even include the mattresses, it's just the adjustable frame you are paying for.

Thanks,
Clem