The Humble Shower

Let’s talk showering for a minute. There are a multitude of things I wish I could go back and fully appreciate pre-M.E. Things like the feeling of your feet hitting the ground when you run, or the vibrations of music thumping through your chest. One not so exciting thing I miss, is having a simple shower. It should be such a mundane everyday task, a bit boring but critical for self-care. Now it gives me anxiety.

Since when is it so damn difficult? Hair washing has become the bain of my life. It’s turned into a good thing that I rarely leave the house because that means I am free to have a greasy pineapple on my head for as long as I please. I’ve taken to washing my hair on a weekly basis, the day before I see my boyfriend like clockwork. Thursday = Hair Wash Day. Not going to lie, if I was single I’d leave it longer, because why not.

Around the stage of applying conditioner, I start to feel a bit sick, and a bit sweaty. Have you ever felt sweaty while in the shower? It’s a very odd sensation. I am not a fan. At this point my arms are feeling heavy, and they tingle. My legs are going a bit numb, and I can’t breathe properly. Think the exact opposite of a Herbal Essences advert, and you’d be about right. I adore the moment a hair washing shower is over. That might sound like a ridiculous thing to say, and well that’s because it is, isn’t it? But it’s true. Sitting on the floor afterwards makes me feel like my lungs have opened back up. It’s as if I’ve spent the last 15 minutes submerged in water, never mind just standing under it.

Now I’ve had help washing my hair before (thanks Mum), but it remains something I would like to do for myself by myself. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Feeding myself, washing myself, and going to the toilet by myself are my hard limits. Please M.E, do not take them away from me. Hair drying I’ll admit I often need help with (again, thanks Mum) but hair washing is a different story.

I can’t believe I used to take having clean hair for granted - now I think it’s glorious. It’s so soft and shiny and makes you feel like a whole new person. People will forever say to me on hair washing day “Have you had your hair cut/dyed/done something different with it?” to which my response is always “Nope, it’s just clean”. I find it amusing. The feeling of freshly washed hair outweighs the difficulty it takes to get there, but I’d still like to make the experience a bit easier on myself. In the hopes of doing so, I started googling shower aids. We bought a shower chair last week. I sat on it for the first time today, and bawled my eyes out. My mum always told me the shower was a good place to have a wee cry if you ever felt like you needed one. Today that advice was apt.

So there you have it - I’m in need of a shower chair, at the ripe old age of 22. I’m trying to find a way to be ok with that.

#cfs #chronicfatigue #chronicpain #spoonie #PEM #chronicillness #mecfs