Saturday, 21 February 2009

It's the little things..................

................ that I find quite annoying. The things we all take for granted. Like having a shower. I promised that I would be open and honest so here goes.
I have various things around the house to help me. I have two banisters on the stairs for me to use when going up and down. I have a selection of implements in the kitchen, for opening bottles & jars etc. I have a perching stool, for me to use when I am doing things like cooking, ironing etc. I have a bath board, which is a seat across the bath, so that I can get in and out more easily and I can sit whilst having a shower. I also have a hand rail over the bath to help me stand up and to hold onto whilst I am showering.
I was mortified when these things were suggested to me. I didn't need anything to help me. How ridiculous. But actually, I couldn't have a shower if it weren't for the items I have in the bathroom. Even with those things, having a shower is a real issue for me. I don't shower for it to be refreshing and revitalising. I shower because I have to. It takes an enormous amount of effort, but also it's the little things that are a problem. The water itself on my skin. I can't always gauge the temperature. Quite often I have it cooler than I think it is because the water on my skin feels like needles being stuck in me. And then drying myself afterwards, boy can that be painful. I remember an occupational therapist telling me once that I should rub my skin frequently because that will help with the sensations. You try rubbing your skin when it feels like someone is stabbing you with thousands of needles and then tell me it helps. 
Washing my hair can be difficult because my head is sensitive. Then drying it - holding the hair dryer....! Although I have these aids in the bathroom, quite often it is a struggle for me to get out of the bath. Martin is a great help with that! He is not always around when I shower though, but that doesn't mean I don't do it! Having clothes on can be a painful event at times, although I have tried to programme myself not to think about it - that's better than going around naked!!
In the kitchen, I was forever asking Martin to open tins and bottles for me. Until he bought me a magic tin opener that just sits on the tins and with the press of a button takes the lid off. I often burn myself on the oven, because I just don't realise that my hand is on something hot.
As I say it is the little things that people take for granted, that can be really difficult for a disabled person. But that doesn't stop us from doing these things. It's amazing what is out there to make our lives easier, as long as we are not too proud to use it. There are still things that I find difficult to use because I would rather struggle than admit I need the help. Even behind closed doors, where no-one can see me, my pride takes over - daft eh?!!
And then there's my car................... but that will be the next post!!


  1. Hello Amelia,

    Thanks for this post, good for you using aids to help you.

    It is amazing how the simple things like having a shower have become difficult and painful.

    Hope you have a good day today.


  2. When my MS acts up, I do not have enough strength to use a blow dryer on my hair. It's something most people simply cannot believe (if they don't have MS). You're right -- it's the little things.

  3. Yes, I have trouble with my hair dryer. I can start off ok, but then the damn thing will get heavier and heavier!! It is hard for people to appreciate.