by guest blogger Donna-Marie Macchio, Greenwich Showroom Manager
Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt like you had been hit with the flu bug seemingly overnight? Your whole body aches, you feel chilled, just can’t warm up, your head feels heavy, your throat is red and highly inflammed and all you want to do is stay in bed? You trudge through your day, but all you can think about is getting back in to bed so you can rest easy.
I have been there. At first I thought I had caught a bug from a restaurant meal I had eaten the previous day, and was thankful as that sick day came to a close that it was finally time to go to bed. I settled in and hoped that I would feel better the following day.
Somewhere over the course of that night it became clear! We had just replaced the mattress pad on our mattress. We knew in a year or two we would be replacing the whole mattress with a new organic one but in the meantime, we needed to freshen up the old one. We had ordered a new replacement pillowtop mattress pad from a mainstream mattress company and had put it on the bed two nights earlier. Since I began working at The Clean Bedroom three months earlier, I have become more aware of toxic mattresses and bedding. I Googled “mattress off-gassing” and found a site where many people had written a description of their symptoms. There were a variety of mattress companies mentioned so it appeared to me that if that many companies were cited, there was a good chance that my mattress company was using similar materials. I learned that many people had experienced varied, harsh (including severe flu-like) symptoms due to the off-gassing. What I also learned was that as soon as they removed the toxic bedding/pillows/mattress from their bed (or slept in a different room), they recovered very quickly.
We immediately removed the new topper and packed it back up in the box, put it in the garage, and put the old topper back on. Since the old one had never made me sick, I felt it would be okay to sleep on it once again. If nothing else, it was a simple test to see if indeed there was a problem with the new topper being toxic. Much to my husband’s surprise, when we awoke the next morning, he no longer had a headache and I no longer had any aches, chills, pains, etc. I only had some residual soreness in my throat and some laryngitis, but other than that I was back to normal. Someone in the online posting had called her recovery “miraculous”, and that is exactly how I felt!
So what can make a mattress or bedding toxic? It could be the adhesives and glues that are used, the chemical flame-retardants, the petrochemicals in the synthetic fabrics and foams, etc.
I can now truly identify with customers that complain about not feeling well when they wake up, or those that are concerned about the right sleeping environment for their children and families. I am grateful for my connection to The Clean Bedroom because without my experience here, I don’t know how long it would have taken me, or a myriad of doctors, to uncover the core reason for my symptoms.
Up until my incident, I thought I was fairly savvy about healthy living choices, but clearly there is always more to learn.
Originally published March, 2012
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