That is the question……
I’ve never really opened up about some of the personal issues that arise from having a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia.
Well now I will.
Let’s start with showering/bathing.
It sounds like something so easy and simple but for people like me it really isn’t. I have to work myself up to having a shower or bath; both physically and mentally because it completely wipes me out.
Showering:- I cannot stand in a shower, I have to have a bath/shower seat because standing makes my back, hips and knees hurt so much that any further standing required in the following days is impossible.
Washing my hair is a god damned fucking chore. Reaching up above my head – even while sat – is a strain on my back, neck and shoulders. Forget double washing because…. Just no.
Then I move on to actually getting myself clean – my skin is combination which means I have to scrub/exfoliate every couple of weeks; this leaves my skin in a painful state not to mention the act of actually exfoliating in itself.
My face needs exfoliating every time I wash it… Which hurts like hell buy it’s a necessary evil if I don’t want my skin to flake off over everything.
Bathing:- This is a whole new ball game because if I get into the bath….. I can’t get out. I’m not physically able to lift myself out because it hurts me too much. So again I’m stuck on a shower/bath seat which doesn’t actually sit me in the water but above it which defeats the object of having a relaxing bath.
Shaving any part of my body is like a fucking work out.
Contorting myself into unnatural positions so I don’t miss a line of hair, lifting my arm above my head so I can shave my under arms and leave them sore and painful because every razor I have ever used does that.
I need a nap before and after I have a bath or shower. I need a breather while actually in there and if I decide on an actual bath then my mum (who is my carer) has to help lift me out.
It’s embarrassing and I feel like at 30 (I hit that milestone on the 11 march) I shouldn’t be like this.
Ya know what I actually do and what other Spoonies do but never say so? We use wet wipes. A lot of wet wipes. I shower or bath once a week. I wash my hair in the sink when I can be bothered and I shave myself as and when necessary.
I actually feel ashamed to say that.
A lot of able bodied people won’t understand just how mentally and physically tiring it is to take a shower or bath.
It takes me about an hour on a good day and on a bad day there is wet wipes and dry shampoo.