I know most of you have probably seen at least one meme telling you about how hard it is for most of us to shower, and you’re thinking “seriously, you’re getting clean, the water is warm, feeling clean is nice, it takes 10 minutes, what is your problem?” Well, let me educate you. We can hit this from two angles, the first is stiff and sore joints, the second is fainting, passing out, black tunnels. Whatever you want to call them the shower taker either ends up on the floor or sitting down trying hard not to fall on the floor.
Let’s start with a stiff and sore body. First we have to schlep around and get all of the clothes we are planning to put on after a shower (which for me usually consists of pajamas because when I’m done showering I usually need to take a nap). Then I go in the bathroom, grab some towels turn on the shower and wait for it to get hot (if I step into cold water my joints will freeze and I don’t mean they’ll be cold they will be stuck, as in no movement). Finally the water is burning hot (not great for my Sjogren's skin but awesome for my joints. I walk into the shower (this is a luxury for me, when we built this house we made sure our bathroom had a walk in, standing shower). I’m luckier than most because I don’t have to pick my leg up that foot and a half to clear the bathtub like most people do. Can I mention how many times I've caught my foot on that and nearly clobbered myself trying to catch my balance or just completely fell into the tub? I have about a 1 inch lip on my walk in shower and I still manage to catch my foot on it (no, my middle name is not grace).
So now remember, we are just standing in the shower, either you walk in or you lift both legs over the side. By this time we are already tired and we wonder if being clean isn't overrated and consider hosing ourselves off like a dog in the backyard, its good enough for them. I am able to stand though I have a low seat in my shower, which is helpful. Of course if it wasn't so low it would be more helpful, I’d say I sit on it but what I really do is free fall until I land on it. Most people however have a shower chair. Now you would think this would be a good idea, and for the most part it is other than when you want to be out of the water you are in and vice versa. I’m sure if you use a chair every day you get a pattern down and can pretty much get cleaned up quickly, I however am not that person.
When I had foot surgery and I couldn't get the cast wet I used the seat in my shower. This was seriously a comical act that my husband appreciated very much. If I used the shower head the water would pummel me in the face, if we pointed it further down the water didn't reach me, we pivoted it up and it hit the wall behind me over my head. After my first act of frustration we decided lets get one of those handheld shower heads this is a perfect idea, pats on the back all around. At least until we got one and the hose wasn't long enough….I hadn't quite figured out how to wash my hair one handed keep the shower head in the other hand and try not to get my cast wet, I seemed to be at least one arm short at all times. So, I would let the shower head go and wash my hair with both hands only to find that the cord on the shower head wasn't long enough. So, I couldn't get the shower head without standing up on a foot I wasn't supposed to be standing on. It’s a good thing I couldn't get it because I’m sure even with a short cord I still could have wrapped that around my neck at least a couple of times and never had to worry about showering again. After that I just decided to be dirty forever, The End. Not really, but I did give it consideration (seriously).
So, where were we? We’re in the shower chair, right. So now we've gotten clean by some stroke of luck and it’s time to get out of the shower. You would think because our joints and muscles are nice and warm we’d jump out of our chair and dry ourselves off and get on with our day. Ha! Have you forgotten we are now wet and need to climb out of the tub we had trouble climbing into, have I mentioned we’re wet? (To those of you who dry off in the bathtub, extra points for you, I still bet your hiney is wet). Very gingerly we hoist our wet body out of the chair and slowly lift both legs over the side of the bathtub while saying a Rosary and throwing in a few Hail Mary’s (can’t hurt and we need all the help we can get). Whew, we made it out of the shower, we lived we’re done. Um, hold up there, this is where that “hey were you hydrated before you took that warm shower” comes in. Because if you weren't you’re going to become very up close and personal with your bathroom floor (hope you've recently cleaned your bathroom). This is what I call the dark tunnel zone, where you breathe fast stumbling towards anything that you can sit on because you haven’t cleaned the bathroom since last week and you share it with your husband (‘nuff said).
Then we take what I call “My first shower break” oh, you didn't know showers had breaks? Well, either they do or your shower has faceplants and well, that’s a lot harder to bounce back from (punny). I have to either be well hydrated or bring in a full bottle of water when I take a shower because I need to replace that much water after I shower. If I don’t I have to suffer through a break, then a trip downstairs and a trip back upstairs which requires another break and I still have one more to go. Believe me when I say I do not forget the water anymore. So, I’m sitting and drinking and trying not to pass out, good times. Ten minutes have passed my hair is dried into a curly, freaky mess and I’m finally ready to get dressed. Oh yeah, did you forget? We never did manage to get dressed before the dark tunnel enveloped us and made us hyperventilate while we shuffled across the room looking for the first place to fall, I mean sit down. Get dressed, breathe heavy, sit down, catch breath. That was a short one.
Now it’s time to try and do something with the mess I call my hair which is curly, not brushed and dry. I have noticed my hairstyle keeps on getting easier one of these days I’m just going to get my head shaved bald and then I’ll just shine it up like a cue ball. In the meantime, I grab a rake and try to get through my hair since it’s dry. I quickly give it a 3 minute pass with the blow dryer and sit down to breathe again. When I finally get down stairs I will finish blow drying it with my fan set on high (not kidding). My heart has finally stopped beating like a jack hammer and I’m clean, and exhausted. I work my way down the steps and head for my room, I sit in front of the fan for about 10 minutes trying to stay awake so my hair is dry enough to take a nap. I’m finally clean, it only took me 45 minutes, every bit of energy I posses and some I didn't posses at the time that I have borrowed ahead on, hence the nap. Three hours later I wake up clean refreshed and ready to start my day at 5pm in the afternoon.
So, if you ever wonder why we say showering is hard, there you have it. Lots of people say I have to shower every day, to that I say you are a better man than I. After being sick for a while you learn how to get clean without having to crawl into that torture chamber. I love the feeling of clean, the warm water sliding down my sore body, the fresh smell of soap (the only one my body doesn't break out in hives from) and most of all I love clean hair, but sadly I can’t start my day at 5pm every day. To those who say it’s a necessity, more power to you…I would rather use my energy too get some much need things done, like clean the bathroom floor just in case I end up spending quality time with it in the near future. To each their own, but the next time you think what in the world could they be talking about showering is hard…well, read this post again and you will be reminded of our daily struggle.
Whew, I’m going to go take a nap…just writing about this has made me tired…thankfully not tired enough to pass out.