…. And whilst this may not seem like dramatic news, for someone who hasn’t felt able to bathe or shower for a few weeks now it’s quite an event.
The fact that I can’t wash myself every day might seem like something to really wrinkle your nose at, and I may have myself before I was ill, but it remains the reality of my situation. Even at “good” periods of my illness, disregarding how ill I am right now, I can’t manage to shower / bathe / wash every day. It’s a bunch of spoons I can’t manage. The movement involved is tiring and painful. The change in temperature and noise of the water makes me feel dizzy, sick and confused. I have to prepare in advance for washing my body because I can’t get in or out of the bath by myself, need to rest for a long time after as it wipes me out so much, so need to be scheduled in around any activities planned. Our current rental property has a corner bath which no stall or chair that social services can think of will fit in, so I have my showers sitting on the floor of the bath. Even the thought process is exhausting.
I use a lot of face wipes and baby wipes to make up for not washing as regularly as healthy people. And dry shampoo comes directly from the original gods.
I’m writing all this because I’ve realized I’m ashamed of all of this. And obviously it’s worse currently so feels all the more embarrassing. But what on earth am I feeling embarrassed about? I can’t help being ill, and making sensible decisions on my abilities day to day is logical. I can’t manage everything, and why should I expect that of myself?
So right now I’m in the bath with tea (I’d love a G&T right now, but sadly that doesn’t work well with morphine), some trashy TV on my laptop on a unit (if you haven’t experienced watching TV in the bath, yoy haven’t lived, my friend), and I have a face mask on (another little bit of help to make up for my body care not keeping up to healthy standards). There has to be a lot of Good Enough when it comes to personal hygiene when you are a spoonie. Just like in every other area of your life, you have to make some sacrificing. Your illness will take so much from you that you just have to deal with what is left.
I haven’t worked out whether I feel up to washing my hair properly yet or just dipping it in the water, but we’ll see. For now, I am feeling glad that my legs allowed me to get in the bath at all tonight, and my joints are accepting being in the bath. I haven’t been able to crochet today but hoping maybe I can a little later. I’m going to drink this tea and be glad I can swallow properly again this evening as my jaw wasn’t letting me earlier.
Little steps. Little moments. Lots of patience.