Shower confessions…

There are some things that you may not know about someone living with chronic illness.  The reason it’s not talked about is because a lot of these things we consider humiliating or embarrassing.  I’m sharing just one of them with you today.

We don’t shower every day!  What!?  That’s crazy right?  A shower is supposed to make you feel better, isn’t it?

Emma-Stone-Easy-A-Singing-in-Shower

Well, before I got sick, I actually thought the idea of not taking a shower every day was disgusting.  Yeah, I still think it’s not cool and somewhat disgusting but something as simple as taking a shower is a task that now takes all the strength and energy I can muster.

Sound like maybe I’m exaggerating?  I mean, how can something that usually makes most people feel better actually be so difficult and dreaded?  I know exactly what you mean, but I am not exaggerating or being dramatic.  I used to LOVE showers!  It was my favorite time of the day, well besides sleep.  It was “me” time…my haven.  It energized me and gave me optimism to face the day.  Hell, there were times I would take a shower at night too…just to wash the stress and worries of the day down the drain.

Now, I have to build up the courage to step foot in the shower because the first five minutes is the like it is for everyone else…COLD!!  Only now, it’s not just “uncomfortable”, it’s painful too!  No one likes being cold, it’s annoying.  But when you’re like me, being cold is now painful.  I could write another paragraph about this, but trust me, it hurts!  Just getting naked before getting in the shower has me covered in painful goose bumps.

I then have to brace myself and face the shock of the water hitting my skin.  Each initial drop feels like being stung by a bee.  After a few minutes, it diminishes to being poked with a thumb tack, so I begin washing my hair.  This alone is exhausting, reaching above my head, scrubbing and rinsing and I haven’t even gotten to the conditioner yet.  Some days I skip the conditioner just to be that much closer to being done.  That’s what leave-in conditioner is for right?

Psycho-by-Hitchcock-1

Now I have to actually wash my body.  At this point, I need to sit down on my shower chair because not only is my balance that of a 1-year-old trying to learn to walk but I would not be able to stand the entire time it takes me to shower.  Trust me, I’ve fallen too many times!  So, lather up the washcloth…reaching again and bending, trying to twist to reach my sides.  All while still being poked with those annoying and sometimes painful thumbtacks, I mean drops of water.

By this time, I’ve convinced myself that I might as well endure this torture a little while longer to shave my legs, that is, if it’s a particularly good day…otherwise it’s rinse and get the hell outta there!  If I managed to shave my legs, I feel like I just completed a particularly difficult Zumba work out….but I am not in the clear yet!

Now I have to get out and face the painful goose bumps again *sigh* and just when I managed to warm up a little after that intense work out.  Most of the time I reach outside the shower and grab the towel leaving the curtain closed so it’s not so cold, but this doesn’t work all the time.  I dry off as quick as I can while sitting in the shower chair.

Then if I’m feeling brave, I put on some lotion and get dressed.  After all of that, there is no energy left to blow dry my hair or style it and forget make-up!  I’m lucky to put socks on and it’s back to the couch to recover.  So now maybe you understand that a nice hot shower isn’t necessarily going to make us feel better.  It can actually sometimes make us hurt even more!

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19 thoughts on “Shower confessions…

  1. Oh yeah, I understand this perfectly. Hubby had to carry me into the shower and all we had to use was a step stool from the garage to sit on: a little scratchy, a little dirty, and covered with paint chips. I had him run the water before I got in there and after I was done, hand me a towel before we turned off the water. He thought I was kinda strange. I’ll bet you all understand why!

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  2. I a mm actually scared to take a shower when I am home alone because I have fallen out several times and I can’t take a bath because I can’t get out by myself…….showers are less often tha n I like unfortunately!

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  3. I am a former nurse, and I can tell you that many, many people are too sick and weak to shower or take a tub bath. Pain is just one manifestation of illness; there are many other manifestations that can seriously compromise one’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs).

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  4. I cannot imagine how it must feel for you being a burn victim. I don’t have that experience…however, I do know what it is like to have an autoimmune disease. When you have an autoimmune disease, it’s not simply one thing that keeps you from doing the things you want to…it’s your body fighting against you from the inside. My joints and several discs in my back are non-existent. There is no cushioning, just bone on bone…so yes, it hurts to move as well as well as other things I mentioned in the post that keep me from showering every day.
    I cannot describe the exhaustion that I fight every day. If it were just painful to shower, I’d still be taking showers every day. And yes, there are days that I want to throw in the towel, but I do my absolute best to remain as functional as possible.
    I am not saying that I don’t clean myself, I do obviously, but some days that means a sponge bath instead of a shower or bath.

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  5. Wow..seriously even burn victims shower. I.know. I am a burn victim and when the day come I use pain as an excuse not to shower, then I am ready to throw in the towel (pun intended)

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  6. Yes! Exactly Terrie! And there are days that taking a shower is just out of the question because of pain or I’ve just attempted to do too much that day. I need to learn to make that a priority and let the dishes wait or have someone else help with them.

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  7. I know exactly how you feel and sometimes I cannot even get dressed all the way, I literally have to lie down and rest after showering. I hang my towels over the shower rod so I don’t have to get out of the shower to dry off and it seems to help a bit. Shave my legs? what do you mean shave? hahahaha yeah not very often I confess do mine get shaved.

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  8. Expressiveponderer, you are so right! I would shave my legs every day before I became sick. And yes, there are some days I unfortunately don’t have the energy or strength brush my teeth. Thank God for Colgate Wisps and baby wipes!!

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  9. And then there’s the not shaving for wayyy too long by regular people’s standards. And have you ever skipped brushing your teeth because you just don’t have the strength in your arm, and the vibration of an electric makes you dizzy?

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  10. Gods, yes! And plastic jugs to wash your hair over the sink lol.
    Ask your boyfriend to imagine having a shower whilst suffering from the flu when you have cramp in your lower back, after working out too hard at the gym and with lead weights on your wrists 😀

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  11. I actually look forward to getting my legs waxed. The warm wax feels very soothing to sore legs/muscles. And it is a great exfolia torn as well. If you gave a European Wax Center near you, their wax doesn’t hurt at all and they are very convenient and flexible regarding scheduling.

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  12. Thanks! I was trying to explain why it is so difficult/painful for me to take a shower to my boyfriend the other night so I decided to write about it. I have had other spoonie friends agree with me, that it just sometimes isn’t worth the spoons. Thank God for sponge baths!

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  13. I don’t know if I could handle someone waxing my legs…I hate getting a pedicure! But that definitely would cut down on the shower time!! Finding any way you can to make it easier or more tolerable is always a good thing.

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