So what composes of a huge day when you only live in bed? Having a shower.
It’s such a huge amount of energy output that I only have a shower about once a month now.
How bad does it get before I have this shower? Really bad! I smell about three kinds of onions under my armpits, and my top starts feeling like canvas at the front at the top because of dropping so much food on myself for weeks and not changing it. I do change and wash my underpants more often. But not the rest of my clothes, they simply take too much energy and I figure I’ll just make them dirty cuz I’m dirty.
I’ve got two stretchy silky skirts I wear in bed cuz they’re comfy and they don’t catch fluff on them. I rotate between them, and wash one at a time while I wear the other. And I like wearing stretchy long-sleeved t-shirts in all different colours in bed all year round.
So how do I shower here? I get two towels and put them on my wheelchair. I take all my clothes off (which takes a lot of energy). This hurts a lot because I’ve got three shoulder injuries on my dominant shoulder from transferring in and out of the wheelchair. I wheel right in front of my shower chair then transfer into the shower chair. I can’t do this when my paralysis is more advanced. I can’t have any showers then. Then I pull the shower curtain between me and the wheelchair. And I turn the water on squirting onto the wall first cuz it’s cold to start with and I can’t run away if I spray myself with ice water. 🤣 Then I position the shower nozzle so it’s spraying my back from above. I soap up a sponge with liquid soap and wash the most important parts first in case I run out of energy. I don’t wash all over. I don’t have energy for that. Water does that good enough. Then I put shampoo on my hair with my non-dominant hand and let it sit there a while, then slowly rinse it with the water through my long hair. I do this twice. The second wash is definitely bubblier. I try to wash my face with it too. Then I get the hose down and rinse all the soap off me, and I’m finished. I’ve just got to dry my arm pits to put deodorant on, and get to bed where I can drip dry. It helps to sleep at that point. I get dressed an hour or more later when I’ve got some energy.
Things that help:
•brush your hair before you shower, to make brushing later easier. Especially if you’ve got long hair like I do.
•using liquid soap (less energy)
•not scrubbing every bit of skin every shower, but focusing on a different part each shower, aside from the essentials
•not having the water or the heating too hot- although it may feel great it uses more energy.
•having towels ready before I shower
•showering on days I don’t have other activities on, and days I can rest the following days as well if needed.
•Not bothering drying or brushing hair or dressing straight after the shower- they can wait.
•putting a towel across my pillow to help it stop getting all wet.
•Being gentle on ourselves. There are a lot worse things than being dirty. And we’re clean as much as we possibly can be.