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The endurance of showering.

May 7, 2011

Old age is not something you think about at the age of 23. Achy joints, thinning hair, inability to move in the way you used to, oh and struggling to put your own socks on. These are sadly very much a reality and a day to day struggle for me, and the hardest of all is washing.

I used to love a nice soak in a warm bath, I never took it as far as candles and scented bath salts, or a rubber duck for that matter, but I certainly did appreciate the relaxing qualities a good bath. I’ve not had a bath for well over a year, instead showers are the daily battle I now endure.

Battle and endurance, because quite simply heat worsens my symptoms, standing worsens my symptoms, moving about whilst standing worsens my symptoms. All of which can’t be avoided whilst taking a shower. Standing with hot water hitting your head, as you feel the blood vessels swell in your neck as they pound against the Adams apple in your throat. It saps your energy while you then have to find the strength to scrub yourself clean. You bend down to do your feet, sending your heart racing and head spinning at twice the speed, but now your on one foot…

I have finally, after months of experimentation found the best solution for showing, at least thats the best solution for me, but if someone else can read this and find it useful then that can only be a good thing.

– I now shower about 4-5pm in the afternoon, before tea (my symptoms worsen after I eat as the blood goes to my stomach to digest the food, so its best to not give yourself too much to deal with at the same time).
– Open the window into the bathroom to let air in and if possible leave the bathroom door open too, this will stop the room getting hot or steaming up.
– Get the shower to a warm temperature before you get in (not hot, but also not cold as this will start you shaking)
– Place a hand towel over the edge of the bath (this will become apparent later).
– Once in the shower wet yourself and then stand away from the water as you use the soap (if the water isn’t on you then you can take your time a bit more, as scrubbing quickly will only raise you heart rate) if your having a bad day then sit down in the shower and hand hold the head (it feels a little strange but I find this works best as you don’t have the water on you and you’re a lot more stable than standing).
– Wash yourself off with the water, trying not to spray heat on your neck (this for me is the worst place).
– Once finished pull back the curtain, stand up and then use the previously placed hand towel as a seat on the edge of the bath to sit down while you dry yourself. And sit still for 5 mins with the towel round you before you begin drying yourself. Allowing your body to stabilize a bit before drying will help no end.
– I normally wait until I’m out of the bathroom before I fully dress as I find it much cooler in the bedroom to properly dry my hair etc and struggle against my joints and muscles to put socks, trousers on etc.  

  1. Leslie permalink

    I’ve also started using an electric razor, not in the shower, and that decreases time spent in the shower.

  2. I bought a medical shower stool, like the kind for people who can’t stand at all, and that has helped immensely. I can sit on it with my feet up the entire time. I also keep a chair immediately outside the shower and dry off there. I should try the window open, that’s a good idea.

    Thanks for your blog!

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