My MS is a pain in the arse sometimes. It rears it’s ugly head at the most inconvenient moments – like when I am sat in the board room of a meeting at work with some senior managers and my head starts to wobble like the Churchill dog.
It can be a very disruptive force – what can seem like a mundane and straightforward task to people who do not have MS can be an enormous challenge to someone who does. One of the examples of this is showering and bathing.
My husband recently was in the shower and I offered to help him wash his back. He retorted “only when I’m old or an invalid”
At this point I was somewhat upset about his reply and explained that showering was something that I really struggled to do and made him take back his words. If he wasn’t my husband I would have gone to town on him about it to be honest. I struggle with standing for long periods in the same spot, the heat of the shower, the effort of washing, slipping on the surface of the bath and the challenging of getting in and out.
Just finding the motivation to even have a shower can be a challenge if all of my energy is being used for my other more essential tasks like attending work or eating. One of the things I’ve noticed more recently about the shower is a wobble and sway and catch my balance a lot. This is a lot more of a challenge when I am concentrating on washing my hair!! And how hard is it to wash your hair when you have no energy!! And oh my word – the side of the bath is like a huge wall to scale when you have heavy and painful legs!!
One of the massive factors I find about the shower and the bath is that the heat makes my fatigue worse. The issue is that I also suffer with the cold too and so warm showers are a must. I am torn between wanting a hot shower and then the heat making me sick!! I read somewhere that MS used to be diagnosed by testing for heat intolerance and I can well believe it!!!
When I was trying to explain to my husband about some of my showering issues, he suggested that I take a cold shower. This would be a simple solution but I suffer with the cold too – it seems my body is cruel and challenges me more with the fluctuation in temperature more than the actual temperature itself. If I get too cold it seems that I may never be warm again!! My Ms makes me suffer when my ideal temperature swings by only a few degrees north or south… which is a bit of a pain in the bum. (Do you get this???!!)
One of the things I have been trialling to overcome this is (a) having less showers and using baby wipes and dry shampoo and (b) having showers in the evening only if I have enough energy for them. I have simply stopped showering in the morning because a bad shower experience can ruin my day. I don’t feel that I am justified not turning up for work, missing a gathering with family and friends just because I have had a shower. I am not sure that people would understand that as an excuse!! To be honest, it even sounds a little bit mental when I type it out here… do you even know what I mean?? What have you done to combat your showering issues??!!
Anyway – let me know!! I would be interested to hear what you think and if you have the same problems.
All the best as usual and catch up soon for the next blogs.