The day has arrived

We, at last, have a shower that works!!! I haven’t quite made my way into it yet, as that would push me out of routine, and even though I am desperate to feel clean, I know that would make the rest of my day hellish. Having a shower is so exhausting, no matter how I feel now, I know I will feel worse after. For a healthy person, a shower is just part of everyday life. To me, having a shower is something that has to be planned, worked out fully in advance and done at the right point in the day. That’s the hardest part, I have to be sure I have enough energy to do those oh so simple things, like holding my arms above my head, long enough, to wash my hair. Enough internal energy to deal with the heat that drains me at a rate that I quite honestly can’t explain, as until you have felt it happening, you can’t imagine it. For me, the best time is around 3 pm. By that point in the day, I have done almost everything that is to me essential. It is a point in the day, that if it all goes wrong, which it can do without warning, well I can just sit on the settee for the rest of the day, or even, go to bed for a rest.

When you break down all the elements from simply being sure I have all the towels, gels, shampoos required, then getting undressed and going to the loo, before entering the shower, that on its own, is more running around than I normally do, before going to bed. Washing is a painful process. Put together the physical actions, the reaching, the bending, the pain that those needles of water can create as they hit my skin, in just ten minutes, I want to do nothing other than escape, but I can’t. Not until I am clean, my legs are shaved and my hair is both clean and conditioned. Showers used to be five-minute wonders, not now. Now I am stuck sat there trying to recover before I am forced back into action. I don’t think I can be out of that shower in under 20 minutes. When I do appear early, well, the work is only half done. Have you ever felt as though your very breath is being dragged out of you? The heat and steam formed by the shower does just that, so yes, I have occasionally, just given up.

I have thought many times about accepting Adams offers of joining me in the shower to help me get washed. On the surface, it sounds like an answer, but it isn’t, at least not yet. I have worked so hard since my body fell apart, to keep myself covered so that he can’t see, what weight gain and muscle wastage has done to me. I know that he says that how I look, isn’t what’s important, but I can’t even bear seeing myself in the mirror, far less letting him see me. So to me, there is no other way of showering, other than alone.

When I do come out of the shower, the work hasn’t ended as I still somehow have to get dry, apply creams and all things we women do, just to make ourselves look as good as possible, more importantly, feel as good as possible. That’s what showering really used to be about. Few of us really need to shower daily, it’s not as though we all do manual labour and are bathed in sweat throughout the day. Showering and washing our hair daily, is about feeling good. I physically can’t take all that daily. It would destroy me so badly, I wouldn’t be able to do anything else. Even though I only shower weekly now, the whole pleasure of any individual part of it has long since gone. Showering is my weekly nightmare and that is no exaggeration.

Even now, when I haven’t had a shower for 12 days, and my hair is beyond disgusting, I am still not looking forwards to it. A couple of days ago, I thought that I would be diving in there the second the plumber was gone. Now the time has arrived, I am once more as I am every week, sitting here dreading all of it. These days, Adam does all the running around for me. He makes sure that as soon as I am undressed, everything is there where I can reach it and need it to be. He will have checked that the suction cap grab rails in the shower cabinet are secure and everything is safe. He will be there to tidy up after me, dry my feet and apply cream to them, he even helps me dress. All I have to do is wash. ALL, who am I trying to kid? Nothing in my life is just “ALL”. Have you ever had a cap full of needles battering their way into your skull? No, well that’s what I have to go through, just to wash my hair, as I said, nothing is just “ALL”.

I will sit here. I will extend everything that I can, in the secret hope that it will be too late in the day. It’s a game I play with myself every time. I push it until the last second, then Adams shuffling and chatter will tell me that I’m not getting away with it, I have to move and just get it over and done with. I just wish that someone would invent something that would take all of this away. I don’t know what? Just something, anything that would change my weekly nightmare into at least just something I’m not keen on, but I don’t know what.

 

Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 30/04/2014 – Questions

Sometimes in life all we ever want are the answers, I often find when I feel like that that the best thing to do is not look for the answer, but to look for a new question. I suppose the best example of that is the oldest one I know, don’t “Ask why me? Ask why not me?”, the first is impossible to answer, but the second is the answer. Like everyone when I was first diagnosed, I asked myself the first question a million times and I actually found a million different answers, I could find more reasons than I wanted to admit as to why it should be me, I was pulling myself to bits because there wasn’t a real answer other than I was being punished. The three years before my diagnosis had been probably the happiest of my life, I had for the first time found someone……

27 thoughts on “The day has arrived

  1. Is there maybe a way of diffusing the water further to make it softer?

    I used to love baths but I can’t get back out now, so it’s showers. They take a lot of energy and I need to sit down for a while afterwards.

    Love and Hugs, 🐻 💙 🌻

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    • We bought one of those adjustable heads, but it doesn’t really make enough of a difference. I did try removing the head all together, so it was more like a tap, but that caused other problems. Sometime it feels like you simply can’t win. We all have to wash, but I think that for many of us, it really is down to the how.

      Like you, we used to have a bath, but it really did become impossible. I have a seat in my shower, which does help slightly, especially when it comes to feeling safe. When you lose your energy like that, it tough. Apparently, it’s perfectly normal for many people like us, to land up only showering when we have no other options left. Although I understand that, I honestly don’t know how they deal with not feeling clean.

      Take care (((Hugs)))

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m sorry to hear that didn’t work.

        It’s difficult isn’t it. I have mini washes with a flannel at the sink or the alcohol used for bathing the skin. I try to wash my hair on a different day so to conserve energy.

        Have you tried an electric epilator? The hair grows back softer and less. I’ve used the same one for eleven years now and hardly have any hair. 🙂 I just got fed up of the razor blade nicks.

        Hugs my friend. 🐻 💜

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      • I used to use one years ago.Personally, I found the pain just not worth the affect. Which coming from someone who has tattoos, doesn’t sound like it makes much sense. Mind you a tattoo is a one of, the epilator has to be used over and over. I must be reasonably lucky, I don’t get that many nicks 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • After a dozen times you don’t feel the pain anymore (for me, anyway). 😀 Sounds like you have a better talent with the razor!

        What are your tattoos of? I have my first one of a seahorse on my left shoulder, and a red maple leaf on my right inside wrist. I’ve a fascination for seahorses, such magical creatures and the fathers are left with the child rearing! The maple leaf signifies my love of Canada, where I will most probably move to later – either there or Scotland (my great-grandmother was Scottish and I remember a camping holiday we had there, it was magical!). I moved back to my childhood home – only Mum left now – but I wouldn’t want to stay here as it just isn’t what it used to be. It’s becoming overdeveloped with houses too large and overly bright lights that poke in your window while you try to sleep (they trigger my migraines). It wouldn’t matter if it were a town, but I’m living in a Norfolk coastal village. 😮

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      • I think everywhere is now over developed. Even here in Scotland, we have the same problem. The issue is finding the right balance. Being close enough to shops, hospitals and so on, yet finding that place which is peaceful and quiet. Adam and I use to dream about living in in Arann, then my health hit and dream went with it.

        My tattoos started like yours, one small one on my shoulder. I now have a full back piece, one arm piece down to just above my elbow, both shoulders covered and two pieces that come down over my shoulder and on to the top of my breasts. I also have several on my legs, they are all mythical, from fairies to Vikings and on into Giger, but ever single one is easily covered, so if I need to look respectable, I just need a shirt and trousers or thick tights. If I hadn’t thought that one through, I wouldn’t have gotten my last job. My boss went ballistic when she saw them one day when the office hit over 90 degrees. I took my jacket of and nearly lost my head in her rage. I managed to keep my job 🙂

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      • I am of the view that some immigration is a good thing because of mixed blood and the richness different cultures bring (my fiance is Greek / Canadian), but we have had too many people come onto our island. There is only so much space and resources – but you’re not allowed to say that for being called a racist.

        Wow, you love your tats! I take it you like the Alien films as well as Giger? (great artist). Ripley is the best female warrior on film! I like the Flower Fairies and some fantasy / children’s films like Legend (1984).

        Lol your old boss. I don’t see what the fuss is – the same for ‘fashion’ coloured hair. My family used to have a factory and the receptionist had punky black hair. One day the sexist pig manager (the one who always tried nipping the female staff’s backsides) complained to my dad, he said it wasn’t right she looked like that, and my dad said he liked it! Hehe.

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      • I like the sound of your dad, my kind of person.

        Yes, I loved the films but I adored his artwork. I remember totally freaking of my ex boyfriends when he entered my bedroom for the first time to see the entire bed surround right up to the ceiling, with his artwork. I don’t think I will ever forget the look of horror on his face. LOL 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. When my dad wasn’t stressed he was the most fascinating person to be around. 🙂

        LOL, that’s a funny story. 😀
        That scene is probably etched forever in his mind! 😮

        It’s lovely chatting with you – thank you! – I hope we can do it again soon. 🙂

        Hugs xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • I would say so, but grammar is all about context. Mine fails me all the time. Have you seen the site grammarly.com ? I type all my post into it and correct the worst. That’s on the free version, Who want to pay to be told their an illiterate idiot? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha, thanks for looking at it – and the tip – I’ve never heard of that site before. 🙂

        Living in Germany worsened my grammar. Their verbs are at the end of the sentence! ‘I am to the house running.’ I suppose it gives you time to be creative. 😉

        Just finished another short story. 🙂

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  2. Well I certainly can relate to the dreaded shower days. And yes, I used not give it a second thought. But now, well they are not the relaxing enjoyable time they used to be. But then what is…. My biggest problem though is sweating. I have talked about this so much that everyone is sick of the subject, husband, friends, family and let’s not forget my unconcerned doc.. I sweat all the time. I sweat just doing this, type. I sweat even while showering. That and the fatigue is why I quit go in to the pool, where I used to get the most rest and relaxation. That feeling of being weightless was wonderful. Until I started being hot and sweating constantly. I have gotten totally off subject. Sorry , rambling seems to be my thing lately.
    And yes I understand the not wamting my husband help, don’t want him looking anymore. Too depressing.
    I hope you have peace my friend.Anything more than that odd unreachable now days.
    Thinking of you,,Brenda.

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    • The shower issue I think is quite common, but I’m sorry I can’t help you with the sweating. Adam is an over sweater all his life, so I know what it’s like to live with. You have my sympathy as putting the two together, it must be really difficult.

      Keep badgering your doctor. I’ve found it’s the only way to get anywhere. I wish I could remember better, but I swear I saw a documentary about a body spray that was developed, not cosmetically, but medically. It didn’t block the pores, but worked on them chemically to produce less sweat. Sorry but I hate my brain, a few years ago, I would have been able to give you something close to the name.

      I hope your weekend is a pleasant one, take care (((Hugs)))

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry it takes me,so long to reply….really appreciate your reply. Will look for this spray. Hope you are as well as can be. I think at this stage, I mainly wish peace and happiness for you. I know it is impossible to hope for painless days, but I hope you are happy and have peaceful times. It really helps me to feel peace and happiness.
        Hope you have a good week.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel your pain with showers, the wheelchair friendly conversion that I have just had is the best spend of money as a family ever. I can now shower without overdoing things, without using up all my spoons for the day, and for the most part without massively increasing the amount of pain I am in as a result of the shower. Fingers crossed things improve for you soon.

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    • Sorry to ask, but doesn’t that leave you sitting in a wet chair for ages? I used to hate just getting caught in the rain for that reason alone. Got even worse when they gave me this wonderful cushion to sit on. The cover worked like a sponge.

      I’m glad though that it has made your life easier. We all need as many of those that we can find. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Showering and bathing are often nightmares for me. I don’t know how you do it without Adam’s help. I’m thrilled beyond belief on the rare days I can bathe on my own.
    Shower…never. Even with a seat, it’s horrific.
    The minute that water hits my head, spinning. It can cause vertigo faster than anything I know of. Why I can lower my head in a tub filled with water and it doesn’t make me sick, I do not know, but I’m grateful.
    But it has gotten to be so hard for me to get in and out of the tub. I’m lucky I haven’t cracked my skull open.

    For different reasons, I too hate the shower. I am terrified of the whole process. But if I’ve been too sick to get in the tub and I stink, then I’ll sit on that seat in the shower and hold on to the grab bar with every bit of strength I have and let Stuart wash me. (we don’t normally even attempt my hair on those occasions, as I said, thank goodness for pony tails.

    You sound like you do much more than I do to feel good. I’m so exhausted after bathing, I’m just getting some kind of clothes on and crashing. Sometimes it’s just a robe. No creams and stuff for me. I do still shave my legs, sometimes. Stuart has been known to shave my legs, this started when I had my hip replaced and since I know he won’t massacre me if I don’t feel well, then he can do it.
    plus he likes to give me a bath. Even though I’ve gained weight and my muscles are flabby, he still finds me attractive. for that I’m also grateful.

    may we both be able to keep up our hygiene without horrors

    Liked by 1 person

    • Showering is difficult, but I am still able to manage it once a week. I think if I had allowed Adam to see me naked sooner, I wouldn’t have the problems that I have now. It is one of those silly mental blokes that I know I am going to have to get over sooner rather than later.

      At the speed my health is shifting these days, I doubt I will manage much more than a few months, before the dreaded day arrives. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope when your dreaded day arrives you will find it isn’t as bad as you think. I hate the reasons you are feeling you need to get to that point.
        xo

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      • If there is one thing that being ill has taught me, it’s we all know when the time is right for anything and it usually, isn’t half as bad as we expect. It’s just the time has to be right (((Hugs)))

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  5. As I was reading this, all I could think was “Did I write this, and just totally forgot about it? And accidently got my boyfriends name wrong… A few times(hehe)?”

    Everything you said, I feel the exact same way.
    I call showers a “torture chamber”. For the first 3 yrs, I stuck to baths- for a few reasons.
    1) Peace of mind. I’ve blacked out a few times because the pain is so bad. Blacking out while showering? Definitely dangerous.
    If you’re taking a bath, at least you can’t fall and hit your head on any hard surfaces, etc.
    2) The temps. Are more regulated. Once you fill up the tub, that water is all the same temp.
    With showers, you have to worry about the Cooler temps before getting in, then the warmer temps once you’re in the shower. At the same time, you can feel bursts of cold air while showering- which hurts so bad.
    3) You don’t feel the water hitting you, like you would in the shower.

    Like you, I’m lucky if I get a shower once a week.
    I have probably purchased enough dry shampoo to keep each company in business. (But it’s a life savor).
    I also use “Shower Wipes” for the days between showers. They’re pretty cool- not only do you feel a little more refreshed and clean, but you’re able to heat them up in the microwave for a couple seconds to make them warm (instead of super cold, like most wipes).
    I’ll go in the bathroom and sit on top of the toilet, and take one of my “Special Showers”.
    -I use the “Shower Wipes” all over my body.
    – Spray dry shampoo in my hair. It gets rid of the oil, and also makes your hair feel cleaner and smell yummy!
    – Shave. I apply a very very small amount of a coconut oil and conditioner mix on my legs (if you use too much coconut oil, it will clog up your razor. I’ve also noticed that adding a small amount of conditioner helps with moisturizing & so it doesn’t clog the razor). I’m only able to use a razor once, then it’s either tossed or the blade is replaced.
    I get a bowl of water and put it next to me, so I can clean off the razor while shaving. (since my sink isn’t close enough to the toilet)
    – Then I apply my lotions & potions
    It is time consuming (along with showers & baths). But you have a little more control over all the variables we need to think about before doing anything.

    There are other times when I take my “special shower”, but instead of dry shampoo, I’ll wash my hair by putting my head under the faucet in the bathtub.
    It’s not as painful for me bc it’s not my whole body getting into the shower.

    Lately, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to get myself clean- a little quicker and with less pain.

    I’ve found that it isn’t as torturous if I fill the tub up, at least halfway, and then get in the shower. For the same reasons why I’d take a bath (temps regulated & the water from the shower won’t hit your lower extremities).
    I also add Epsom Salts to the water (I’ve always done that while taking a bath too). Not only is it a natural muscle relaxer (if you’re soaking in the water), but it’s a great way to get magnesium in your body (which is essential for chronic pain fighters).
    Taking a supplement is better than nothing, but your body doesn’t absorb all of the vitamins & nutrients from a pill.
    By soaking in Epsom salts (even if it’s just your feet), your body is absorbing all of the magnesium- through the bloodstream.

    I’m not going to lie, it’s not always comfortable when it’s just my feet in the water with Epsom salts. But the short term & long term benefits of the Epsom salts are worth it.
    If you put the Epsom salts in and give it 5-10 min, you won’t feel the salt in the water anymore, but no worries! You’ll still get the benefits from it, w/out the added discomfort. 😊

    Thank you for sharing your experiences on here. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who has to plan my entire day around taking my weekly shower. 😕

    And I hope I was able to provide a little help for others experiencing this as well.

    There are many products out there now that makes these kind of things a little easier. It’s just not always easy finding out about them.

    I look forward to checking out more of your blog! 🙂
    I hope you’re having a low pain day!
    -Heather Lynn
    A fellow CRPS Fighter

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    • It wasn’t until I wrote this post, that I discovered just how many people can’t bear the pain of a simple thing like having a shower. The same can be said about so many things I have written about over the years. I use to often hesitated before writing think that people are going to think I am mad. These days, I just write as I know without a doubt there will always be someone who totally understands. We are never alone (((Hugs)))

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