Let’s talk showers….

“Wow! I feel so refreshed after that shower!” said no person with POTS, ever. Showering is not a relaxing pastime. Nor is it ever possible to have a ‘quick shower’ with POTS, so let’s forget that idea right off the bat. Showers take time, preparation and energy. Lots and lots of energy.

First things first. You have to ask yourself, do I REALLY need this shower? Am I going to be in close proximity to other human beings? Will a GP or member of the opposite sex be poking around anywhere? Am I 100% sure I can no longer get away with wet wipes and dry shampoo? If the answer to any of those is NO, hold off on the shower.

Next ask yourself, do I have the energy? Do I have the time? Am I well enough? Again, if the answer to any of these is NO then leave the shower. It’s not worth the risk. Wet wipe, dry shampoo, deodorise, and pray to whichever God you prefer that you don’t smell too bad.

So the stars have aligned and everything has fallen into place, today is the day! You will be clean!! First things first, the prep. I try and lie down for a rest before my shower, in preparation for the ordeal to come. Also I hydrate and make sure I’m in the middle of my midodrine dose, optimum time for exertion. If I’m feeling particularly with it I’ll strip off while laid on the bed. If not I end up teetering on the side of the bath, desperately trying not to lose my balance whilst removing my two pairs (minimum) of socks.

Suitably undressed it’s time to hop on in the shower!! (Because it’s just that simple, NOT) Hold on to anything and everything. Ideally a handle. But if not use the sink or a handily placed husband or partner. Whatever you do DO NOT grab onto the shower door. This will end in your naked wet body hitting the floor at speed.

You’re in!! Woop woop!! If you’re lucky you will have a shower chair. I, unfortunately, am not lucky. My shower is over the bath and there is no chair that will fit. If at all humanly possible I will stand in the shower. However, if I’ve ignored my own advice and pushed myself to shower when I shouldn’t, I often end up sat in the bath with the shower over me. This often makes me shiver uncontrollably as my legs are out in the cold air and not under the nice warm water. Fun times!

Notice I said warm. Not hot. Hot showers are things I dream of. They’re like a paradise just out of my reach. I can’t do hot showers anymore, my body punishes me with hives and syncope if I try.

Ok, so you’re finally in the shower. It’s about this point I usually need to pee. Do I really want to go through the rigmarole of getting out of this bloody shower?? I’ll let you answer that one.

Now it’s time to wash. First things first, let’s get the hair out of the way. Get your shampoo, try not to swear too much when you drop it (again), if possible use your handily placed husband to pick it up for you. Otherwise, try and have several shampoo and soap options, so if you drop one, or five, you aren’t having to bend down to get them. Wash your hair as quickly as possible as raising your arms is not only painful, but induces your symptoms. As the soap washes down your body swoosh it about in order to give everywhere else a clean. Grab your razor and go to town on those arm pits. Consider, for a millisecond, shaving other places. Then sigh and realise you’re done. Your energy ran low about the point you got undressed, and now you’re running on empty. Maybe next time?

Shaking uncontrollably grab onto the sink, your husband, anything. Keep a tight hold onto everything at this point, everything except your dignity. There’s no place for dignity with POTS. We laugh in the face of dignity! Stumble, clamour or crawl towards your bed. Preferably wrapped in a towel, but don’t fret if that’s too much effort. You’re in your own home, a bit of nakedness is fine!

Finally you made it! You’re freezing and wet, but you’re clean!! Congratulate yourself as you collapse on the bed and rest, whilst contemplating if you can cancel your plans. Because now you’ve showered your done!

What about drying yourself, you ask? I just peed in the shower and didn’t bother to shave my legs (again), do you honestly think I’m gonna dry myself when the air will take care of that for me?! Nope… Besides, the ‘just dragged through a hedge backwards’ look suits me.

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20 thoughts on “Let’s talk showers….

  1. Love the description of the prep and esp the decision. So me. I wonder if people have an idea that I have to schedule in showers on rest days.
    A few things that might help you or others: Have you discovered shampoo caps? Microwave and then “wash” hair…No shower required. See complete care shop. Cleans hair even after a week of dry hair shampoo 🙂 and didn’t leave my longer hair in a tangle, which I thought it might. Feels nice too as it warm! I also found a bath board to go across bath- depending on your bath (how wide edges are if you don’t want to fall on your butt) . It might help you out if you are using over bath shower. Sitting makes the biggest difference, second only to magic midodrine 🙂

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    1. I now take ivabradine too. But a neuro problem has left me even worse! Since this post we had to move to an adapted house and my husband often washes me. I need to try these caps! Might do a review on here. I like to review anything I think is useful for us.

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  2. Reblogged this on Through My Eyes and commented:
    This is pretty similar to my shower experience only I have an adapted shower compleate with shower chair but I know if I’m not feeling 100% having a shower will make it worse!

    I didn’t have a shower today even though I needed one.

    So next time you think I look a bit rough don’t judge I’m not a skank I just can’t shower.

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  3. Great article- I have never seen it written down before what we go through! God bless wet wipes, but seriously after some days you feel stinky even if you are not.
    Am lucky enough to have grab rails, a chair and a helpful husband, but even then I can only shower once a week, because it completely wipes me out for a day at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Go out in the fresh air and walk!”……”a relaxing bubble bath!”…….and that “refreshing shower”…..oh, how good it was to read your post. I have fibro, ME, and agoraphobia. It was such a huge relief for me to read that there is someone else who has “by wipe baths” and all the rest that you wrote. Thank you…..immensely comforting.

    Alex

    PS and seriously……why do people who *know*I have agoraphobia think that it is helpful to suggest “nice walks”?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I find I get really grumpy as soon as I get too hot in a bath, even before the weakness kicks in with my POTS but it does help my Reynauds and Epsom salts help with my restless leg/nerve spasms. Really great article that lets people see average daily things are never ‘just’ average daily things. Xx

        Liked by 1 person

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