Just Another Post About Showering
Personal hygiene remains on the list of THE hardest tasks we must do and it’s not a ‘one and done’ thing because these are tasks that we must repeat regularly.
Do you wash your hair while showering, or do you subscribe to the 2-step process of washing your hair one day in the kitchen sink and the next day showering from the neck down? I have heard from both camps, and I have tested both methods, many times.
When it comes to choices, my preferences change on a day-to-day basis depending on how I am breathing at the moment. There are days when I can’t wash my hair or shower and when even a birdbath is almost too much effort. Those days are becoming much more frequent than they used to be.
Plan of action
My current plan of action is as follows:
- Planning and making sure that every towel, washcloth, and bottle I need will be within reach.
- Put out clean clothes or PJ’s to get ready for after my shower.
- Meditating for about the same time I anticipate it will take me to shower. It helps me to clear my mind of anxiety.
- Review the process in my mind. I imagine how it will look and feel to get ready, step in, and feel the water with its perfect temperature on my feet and my legs.
- I use a shower chair, a terry robe, turn my 02 up, have my husband on alert, and have a chair waiting for me to sit in when I am done.
- I keep the tub plugged to soak my feet in anticipation of doing a pedicure. If you cannot take care of your feet, talk to your doctor about getting help. Feet are important.
- A handheld wand and having the taps within my reach really help me to gain control over the shower. I have total control over the temperature and water pressure.
- Sometimes I turn the water off just to sit and catch my breath. If I am already short of breath, and I have not stopped to regain my breath, it is impossible for me to put my arms over my head to shampoo.
- I use grab handles in the shower.
Life after your shower
Although at the time it may not seem so, there is a life after your shower. Once the shower is over and I get out of the tub, I sit on my chair or my walker. I am in no hurry to start moving.
My purpose is to sit long enough to catch my breath and regain control of it. Using my terry robe and a small hand towel for my hair, I wait. If my 02 has been turned up, I should be OK in no time.
Catching my breath
It takes lots of energy to have a shower and sometimes I find it necessary to have a short rest using my BiPap and reading for a few minutes. This is one way I can easily regain my strength.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to COPD?