This is inspired by a blog I read by Chronic Rants about showering it must have taken some guts to write and put it out there but I loved the honesty in it and so in support of the original article this is mine.
Before my car accident, I took life and health for granted. I loved to exercise and showering and/or bathing was done at least twice a day depending on how much I exercised. For a few years now I have been happy if I have just made it into a shower every day. So many people in the world hear their morning alarm for work and after a couple of snoozes or with a spring in their step off they set to have their morning shower or bath. For me the alarm strikes fear into me. I know my wife will be getting up for work and having showered herself and made a cup of tea (we don’t speak before the Tea, she is not a morning person, and my head would be taken cleanly off my shoulders if I did) we then go through what I used to consider to be the indignity of her helping to shower and dress me.
Having worked with my pain team, my consultants and psychologist I have accepted the help is needed and although I do still days of resentment, guilt and frustration I more often than not am thankful to have someone who does all this unpaid caring for me. She must be saving my government a fortune. We recently had our bungalow assessed by an Occupational Therapist and a number of recommendations were made. These have not been cheap and thus far have been fully funded from the pensions saving pot I have been paying into for many years. It is a peculiar system we have for social care in the united kingdom and I’m not going to debate it on my blog, but lets just say I am saddened that having been careful all our lives and saved hard and gone without certain “luxuries” we are penalised when we need support. We’d have been better off spending everything we earnt as then we’d have had the work paid for us.
Anyway I chronicled on here the progress of our bathroom being adapted, there is a socket in there for when I need a special toilet that does the cleaning for me, a large level entry shower so my seat can fit in it and my wife can help wash and dry me, I can sit and have my head shaved/beard trimmed, brush my teeth and I have a toilet frame to help me get up and down (for both number ones and number two’s that have to be done sat down.
With all this why does the shower strike fear into me, well it is simple really, it is the first activity of the day and it takes spoons from me. Getting in and out of a bath is not an option for me so a relaxing soak is only achieved by the hot tub, which in turn means I need a shower
The best thing I can suggest is to say tomorrow when you shower stop doing it subconsciously on auto pilot and think about every action that you take. From getting undressed, then the shower itself and the twisting and turning you do to wash all over, bending to wash certain areas of your body, the cursed soap drop, washing under your arms when you can’t lift them above shoulder height, and then when you’ve finished all this repeating it all over again when you are trying to dry yourself. and then The sweat is pouring off me at this point and it is like, why have I bothered just showering? All of this is done with help and then I still need to get dressed.
This time of year is my favourite though, flip flop season – it means no socks (so that is a spoon or two saved every day not having to have the pain of putting them on, and then flip flops easily slide on and off so a few more spoons saved if I venture into the garden or dare I say it the park. For me flip flop season is about April – March if I can get away with it (although more often than not it is July – September).
If I could I would get away with showering every other day but that just isn’t an option, it would however give my wife extra time in bed before work and less hassle to planning the day for me with clothes, socks and footwear.
I finish my shower and rest, then I dress and rest just to try and catch up with some spoon recovery.
Next time you have your showers though think about how much effort it takes!