Subsidies on beds?

I had an Oesophagectomy and Gastrectomy last January and everything has gone really well apart from I now have trouble sleeping a lot of the time - not necessarily due to reflux, thankfully I'm not plagued with that but due to ongoing discomfort in my back and side. I was looking into a tempur mattress but have discovered that they cost a fortune and at 28 it's just not something I can afford at the moment! Does anyone / has anyone know of any help given into the cost of specialist stuff like this?

24 Replies

  • Not as such, but I am told that Ikea do adjustable beds, and Dunelm Mill do mattress toppers..

  • Thanks for that - I'll definitely have a look

  • Hi. Not sure if this information will be of any help but l got an electric bed with the help of S.S.A.F.A. this is an organisation that helps ex-service personel and their families. So, if your Dad served in the military it might be worth a try. If you want anymore info or any of you others guys reading this please message me.


    Edwina x

  • Unfortunately none of my family are in the forces but good info for those who are thanks for replying

  • Hi I have a mattress topper and good pillows, I had my op january 2012 and I still have some discomfort at times but getting the good sleep helps so go out and shop ha ha xx

    Regards xx

  • Ha ha thanks I'm definitely good at the shopping part

  • It does get better over time and I had the same problem sleeping in the early months after surgery.

    I purchased a foam wedge and a v shaped pillow which helped a lot, I could sleep on my back propped up better than on my side.

    I also talked to my GP about it and we agreed that it was not all a physical discomfort issue, there was a kind of mind set , poss mild depression, that was also part of the problem so used a mild sleeping pill once or twice a week to ensure I had a couple of good night sleeps a week, it worked for me and stopped taking them after 6 months and have been fine since, now nearly 8 years out.

    Please do talk to your consultant and / or GP about this, they can help.

    Best wishes,


  • I'd really like to avoid taking pills but that might be a pride thing more than anything else!

  • Bob takes 7mg Zopiclone and a spoonful of Oramorph which on top if Fentinol patches and paracetamol, gets him a good night's sleep.

  • Hi Spanner,

    As Tempur is a branded name you can get less costly memory foam matresses that aren't branded. We bought one a few years ago before I had the op. Take a look at the memory foam warehouse as an example (link below) (this is where we bought ours).

    As an isde, I found the memory foam difficult to cope with for the first 6 months post op as it takes more effort to move position givent that it partially moulds to your body (had to swap temporarily for our old well sprung pocket mattress) but since then I've gone back to the memory foam and find it fine now that all the trauma has healed.

  • Wow thanks for that website recommendation those prices are about the same as a normal good quality sprung mattress so I'm definitely going to keep that in mind!

  • I found an adjustable support that is like half a sunlounger. It is quite good and my husband uses it withsupport pillows. A bargain it cost less than £20 and I think it came from Amazon. As it folds flat it is good if you are going away or anything. Benenden Health may help with costs and Macmillan could also advise you. It will improve!

  • Thanks for your reply - I'll definitely look into it.

  • My husband has been offered a bed and mattress free through the NHS in Shropshire. We organised this through our District Nurse as Bob has an overnight feed and has to be at least 45 degrees during the night. There is no 'means test' so it is worth enquiring.

  • Oh wow! I'm glad you got the help you needed and I hope Bob is doing well

  • Hi Spanner

    I'm really just confirming whaty other people have already advised you.

    Like you, I also had terrible problems trying to find a comfortable position. There are specialist beds around and yes they cost. I used the tried and trusted remedy of putting blocks under the front bed legs (better than bricks because you can adjust the height and not too many otherwise you slide to the bottom of the bed) together with a variety of pillows from a V shaped one to a mixture of hard and soft. You soon find out what's good for you and over time you can start lowering the bed and removing the pillows.

    Hope this helps

  • Thanks a lot for that - I've got a pillow wedge thing but it still doesn't seem to work but I'm game for trying anything!

  • Hi. You could try your local freecycle group or other giving group. There may be someone out there looking for a home for one. I must add, that I have one and it is not as good as you think it will be. Good luck

  • I think I'll have to have a try of them first - my current mattress is quite a hard one (which I preferred before my op) so I'm just wondering if it's a bit too hard for my back scar and ribs now!

  • This my first try at helping on here try looking at the site for ideal world I got mine there good luck

  • Ideal World? Thanks for that - I'll look into it.

  • Had the same problem with my rib and scare at the back after suffering for a couple of years got adjustable bed with memory foam and what a difference it made, got a pair for my late wife and me she had MS so was good for her also, the cost for the pair was less than £1000, but if you are ok with your bed a memory foam mattress starts around £100 just do a search on the net,hope this is of help to you, I am 13 years post op this month.

  • Wow 13 years post op!! It's stories like yours that gives me hope! I'll have a search on the net and see what I can find. Thanks for your help

  • Hi spanner16 , there is lots out there, I got one for a ederly neighbour a couple of years back, sorry it is 12 years post op this month, age getting my memory it was 2002 and 2001 when first started with the problem, I found my late wifes diary for 2002 and read all she had put in about my pre op chemo and my op, the chemo was the worse part for me.

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