As I endured and labored through my shower this morning, it occurred to me that many that of you who are reading my blogs, may be a friend, family member, coworker or may be curious….wondering what it really is like to have lost control of your body to a hidden condition such as Fibromyalgia/Polyarthralgia/Chronic Pain Disorder/IBS and the like.
I remember life way back when….when taking a shower was a joy! It was something I never really gave a second thought…..following the shower with lotion and then styling of my hair.
Fast track to the present……
After putting off the inevitable…..I know that I MUST finally take a much needed shower. I only got about 2-3 hours of sleep….the throbbing, stabbing, burning and itching throughout my body made it impossible to find a comfortable position. By morning when it was time to get up, I was dealing with muscle spams….in my hips, thighs, calves, feet, toes, hands, fingers, arms and back. Gentle stretching under the heated blanket did not help.
I managed to eat a small bite of breakfast…..then rested in my recliner….waiting for the spasms to let up….at least enough so that I could shower.
I then began the long, painful trek from the living room to our bathroom. Thankfully, I am blessed to have a large walk-in, handicap friendly shower….complete with the extra handles to ease access. This is very good as I am still quite unbalanced.
The water is turned on and I am ready to get in….thankfully today I do not forget what I am doing…..I don’t spend an eternity trying to remember what I am supposed to do! LOL
Instead….I enter the shower…..to begin a marathon. Using every ounce of energy and focusing all effort….I manage to wash my hair (which has been cut…..now sporting a pixie style since I cannot manage a hair dryer….let alone attempt to style it)….my arms are throbbing….hands and fingers stabbing as I work the shampoo into my hair and rinse.
I am thankful for the bench….without it I could never make it! For now….I must attempt to shave…..been too long (yes…ladies I know you get this)…..Somehow I manage to handle the razor and get the job done…..I am now exhausted…..
Turning the water off I stand for a brief moment….that feels like an eternity….leaning against the shower wall. Now the hard part! To dry myself off! I will be honest….there are times that I simply cannot bear this and must have help….today I probably should have asked my hubby for assistance….instead I endured the burning and throbbing….the mental weariness of using every ounce of will power to get my towel and dry off.
Slow unsteady steps with hand against the wall take me the counter where my clothes await.
Yet another long deep breath…..using the counter as assistance I somehow manage to get my clothes on…..
Thankfully all I have to do is lift my tired and throbbing arms so that I can “comb” through my hair with my fingers as the stabbing pains tear through them.
Oh man! I haven’t brushed my teeth yet! So….another deep breath as I slowly and methodically prepare the tooth brush and brush my teeth….while leaning on the counter….reminding myself to breath as the stabbing and throbbing sensations course through my arms, hands and fingers.
Now it is time for the long, slow, painful walk to the living room….the knives cutting through my feet….as spasms once again take hold of my legs….shuffling like a zombie…..I slowly walk what feels like miles…assisted by my walker.
Time to rest…..must now try to relax….while the muscle spasms move to my back as well…..it will be at least 45 minutes before I will be able to refill my water…..