Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Anti-Suffocation Pillows

photo via

As you know, I am prone to subverting emails that carry horrific information by opening them, reading them, digesting them and then coldly and methodically mocking them. Said horrific information includes nearly everything related to epilepsy, particularly SUDEP, that lovely acronym for Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy Patients. And while I'm enough of an Italian -- and a southern one at that -- to have embedded in my genetic code a proclivity toward deep suspicion and a concomitant belief in the power of jinxes, I use sheer willpower to over-ride those impulses and get down to it.

Let's discuss.

Today's horrific email came, once again, from a wonderful website dedicated to all things epilepsy, The lead article is titled Electric Shutdown of the Brain: Is It A Cause Of SUDEP?. Now, if you've been a reader of this blog for any amount of time, you'd know that this is a subject that quite literally strikes fear into the heart of a parent of a child with uncontrolled seizures and a person who struggles with seizure control. And up until quite recently, information about SUDEP was relegated to hushed whispers -- there was very little information at all until, I believe, a group of dedicated families in England started shouting about it. It wasn't until very, very recently, in fact, that there has been a positive plethora of information about SUDEP -- not so much answers or cures or huge understanding of it -- but recognition and awareness about it, along with suggestions for prevention. In any case, I clicked and opened the article, scanned the contents in a vain attempt to find anything new and -- actually -- found something new.

Anti-suffocation pillows.***

I don't think you need me to explain what anti-suffocation pillows are, but I did go onto the UK website and will be ordering a couple very soon. When I do these things -- open emails about sudden unexplained death in epilepsy patients (SUDEP, again!), note my own daughter's high risk of SUDEP (override the Italian peasant jinx mentality in seeking information!), scan for information that I don't already know (why, why, why don't they know more about these things?), skip over to foreign websites about anti-suffocation pillows (!!!!!!!), use a Coin Converter to see how much said pillows cost in U.S. Dollars (cool tool!), wonder if the material they use for the cover is gross, imagining some kind of thin, motel paper like consistency (feel sheepish that aesthetics trump survival for an instant!), wait to order because the pillows are so expensive and I have to do some financial juggling, first (what if she dies before I order the pillows!) -- well, I am struck by the absurdity of this life I lead (and others like me) and filled with gratitude that I have a sense of humor that often trumps panic and paralysis.

Or should I say suffocates panic and paralysis?

***Anti-suffocation pillows available to order HERE.


  1. Oh my god. Every day I learn something from you. EVERY DAY!
    And what's that bed thing up there? Can I get one? Do you have to hire someone to stand by and constantly adjust the sunshade as the day progresses?

  2. Hmmmmmmm...those are some pricey pillows, but every single night I am repositioning Max's face out of a pillow. I might have to get the monster a special pillow too.

  3. I am really and weirdly fussy about my pillow and have paid at least that price so I don't think the price is that bad. It is comparable to any high quality pillow. I hope Sophie sleeps well on it. It looks comfy.

  4. I agree with Birdie - and your peace of mind is well worth it

  5. I think I've mentioned this on your blog before, but our next-door neighbors are one of the dedicated families publicizing SUDEP in England. They lost their adult daughter, Laura, to SUDEP six or seven years ago. I can certainly see how it would be a source of anxiety!

    1. Steve, I don't remember you mentioning that to me. Please extend my gratitude to your neighbors for their work, and I'd love to communicate with them at any time, so feel free, too, to give them my email.

  6. Interesting product, and if it works, it is worth every penny (pound?). For me personally, my bed, I am looking for pro-suffocation pillows ...

  7. Without the humor, all would be lost.

  8. Will be interested to hear what you think of them. (love the sense of humor of your readers)

  9. Never a dull moment in your world, is there, Elizabeth?

    I hope the pillows arrive fluffy and comfortable and Sophie finds them absolutely irresistible. And I hope that they come with a free drawing for one of those lounge thingies in the photo above and you win one that is exclusively yours to recline in while someone feeds you grapes.



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