I first met Leslie in March 2,000. Lesley informed me of her medical conditions, which were obviously severe, due to the discomfort in her face as she struggles to sit comfortably. Her complexion appears pale and her hair looks dry and dull, lacking lustre with evidence of greying. Lesley added that her hair becomes oily and requires frequent washing. Her nails show no signs of half moons and are lined. Perspiration at night and in the daytime is a regular problem, resulting in often waking with the bedding soaked. Her eyes are often watery. Blood pressure is High.
Lesley has been diagnosed with: Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, Lumber spondulosis. Lesley smokes twenty cigarettes a day and coughs intermittently since she developed asthnma 5 years ago. Long sight is good, but poor short range sight. Excessive Perspiration, which increases during coughing. Complete - blackouts sometimes resulting in a fall.
Lesley, who, aged 53 years suffers from very intense pain, 24 hours a day seven days a week and only manages two hours of sleep at night, due to severe discomfort and night-time-urination urgency, 3 to four times per night.
In the months that followed, Lesley's condition was observed to deteriorate rapidly and often became the topic of conversation at the table of our friends in Brixham.
Her spine is becoming more distorted, leaving her arched forward and unable to straighten up, due to intense pain.
Turning over in bed presents real problems and involves raising her knees and levering herself over in three stages.
Leslie's Brother has to help her out of bed every morning due to her further deterioration at night and a problem with her balance on rising from bed.
Dressing has become increasingly more difficult due to Lesley being unable to raise her arms above shoulder height and unable to flex her shoulders back.
Her lower spine and left side are where she experiences most discomfort and pain. From her right hip, down the outside of her leg to her toes is affected constantly by a sharp pain also, though less severe than the left side
This presents a considerable challenge when even a fifty yard walk uphill, aided by a walking stick for support and to assist with balance, requires a rest for two to three minutes due to intensified pain in spine and legs. Her asthma is also aggravated and her breathing becomes laboured. Watching Lesley navigate a small kitchen reveals the severity of her mobility problem. She mostly sits and complains about her pain and discomfort.
Lesley informed me that she no longer has a bath and uses a shower, because she cannot get in and out of the bath anymore.
Carrying shopping further aggravates her discomfort. Her R/ hand has always been weak with pins and needle type sensation. Opening screw caps with her right hand is not possible. R/hand thumb sometimes devoid of sensation.
When the weather is warm and humid, it causes problems with her asthma. When the weather is cold and wet, in the Winter, she is in more severe pain than normal.
Medication: Morphine, Tylex, Salbutamol, Beckatide, Hormone replacement therapy- H.R.T.
Lesley eventually raised her bed by six inches at the head end on the 27th June 2,000.
Found I am able to get out of bed on my own.
Slept better but spent a night at friends and slept flat. I experienced severe pain resulting with my brother having to help me out of bed in the morning. The pain lasted the whole day and the medication did not work.
No pain in legs at night and daytime pain improved, but during the day it becomes progressively worse, but not quite so bad as before.
I am walking more, but with additional aches due to increased activity. Perspiration unchanged.
Meeting with Lesley.
Lesley's appearance appears to have changed, her complexion looks healthy with more colour, her hair looked shiny and more body. She also noticed that her hair is becoming less oily.
She appears to be more upright in her posture and expresses less pain in her face when she moves around. She is standing longer and is obviously more active than before. Her medication remains unchanged, yet she mentions that she is in far less pain than before she raised her bed. Heather, her friend, commented that she had been forgetting to use her walking stick. Judy, my wife also noticed her carrying her stick.
Overdone the walking, while her family was visiting, walked about a mile involving a steep hill from Brixham to her home. Leslie could not have done this before she raised her bed.
20th July "I saw my doctor today and took your information to him. He replied; 'This is the famous bed I have heard about'.
"I do not have much pain now and have reduced my medication by half. I can now walk up the hill without stopping".
"I sometimes forget to take my walking stick with me. One day, I had walked to the top of the hill and then sent my Brother back for my stick, which I had left at my friend's house".
"My sleeping has improved to between 3 and 4 hours".
"I have no pain in my legs whatsoever when retiring to bed and I can turn easier, not so much of a struggle".
"My Brother still helps me out of bed on the odd morning. This is a vast improvement for me, though my balance is still poor in the mornings".
"I can now lift my arms above my head and flex my shoulders back". Which she demonstrated with ease, saying; "I have not been able to do this for fifteen years"!
My wife and I, and Lesley's friends have noticed that she is not complaining about pain and is now more agile, navigating the garden and home with comparative ease. She also is sitting more upright than before.