THE ODDS (Debbie Does ALS)


Showering at DX +26 months

Showering has become one of the hardest parts of the day.

Cecilia helps me get ready; she turns the shower head so it is on my favorite jet, she helps me take off my shirt, and she unhooks the bra. Then she disappears.

I can't help but catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror -- what has happened to me thus far is laid bare (ha ha, pun intended). I make a point of only looking at my eyes, sort of a survival trick. Peripheral vision being what it is I'm still able to see "the big picture." I look away.

I can still do for myself here in this little, private space. While seated, I soap up the altered face towel, the towel on my lap and the soap held carefully in my left hand. Washing is slow, deliberate, and frustrating. My arms just don't go where they need to go -- try imagining not being able to wash your shoulder or your neck without employing some convoluted maneuver. It is fatiguing.

I think I've mentioned before that I wash my hair by resting my elbows on my knees as I bend my head over. For the most part this is effective but I will confess that I spend a long time rinsing out the shampoo. I love the feeling of the water on my head; the shower jet I use provides more sensation than I get with my weak fingers. It is so relaxing I hate to stop.

Interestingly, while I am feeling so relaxed my mind begins to wander and I start with the "why me?" line of thinking. Pity party thoughts circle, sometimes landing, trying to sneak into my head. Most days I am able to shake them off and replace "why me?" with "why not me?" Most days.

Drying off is no walk in the park either. The towel is heavy and hard to hold. Not being able to wrap my hair, I once again bend my head over and press the towel to the top of my head. When I am finished, however, and lotion has been applied (another exercise in frustration) and the towel has been hung up (on the doorknob) and my nice fluffy slippers are on my feet, I'm just happy I was able to do it all by myself.

(NB: This entry began to take shape during my shower last night. It was much more comprehensive, introspective, cheesy. As it was put down on this virtual page I cut much of what I was going to say. You can thank me the next time you see me. Hugs and kisses to all.)

No comments:

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter