Winning the Shower Battle. This is one MS battle that will really make or break your whole day. Yes, there are many ways to bathe. A shower is my favorite. For me there is nothing else like the feeling of water washing away the world outside the bathroom door. Even if it is only temporary. Hopefully the world does not invade with the shouts of your kids fighting. I can’t do anything about your kids fighting, but I do have tips for the shower which might get you back out of the shower before your kids fight.
Shower Chair. My bathroom was built when large glass surround showers and corner soaking tubs were hot items. They sound nice, right? Well the ledge for stuff is pretty far from the water flow. I have a shower chair with a seat back and arm rests in the shower. I was advised to add the chair so I could sit and shower. It is a good backup, but I found for me it takes less energy to shower standing rather than stand up after showering. I do use my shower chair as a scrubber, shampoo, and body wash holder. The chair makes the shower a manageable size.
Shower wand. If possible change the shower head to one that can be a hand held wand with its own on/off switch. The attached hose should be long enough to reach a seated spot. There are shower wand holders you can suction attach within easy reach of the shower seat. One of these holders helps a lot. Positioning the wand holder just right can even hold the shower wand in a lower targeted shower head position too. Why not turn the shower into a spa experience?
Grab bars. If you have balance issues or a foot/leg that doesn’t like talking to your brain, you need grab bars. At least one in the shower and one out of the shower to help you move in and out. I like to have one to hold onto during the shower. If you have a seat or chair a grab bar positioned to help you stand up also helps. I found having a temporary grab bar helped me figure out the best permanent grab bar size, orientation (vertical, horizontal, slant), and locations. Be careful, these temporary grab bars may loosen before you are ready to remove them. I take a temporary grab bar with me when I travel if I am unsure about my destination’s grab bars. For an away from a wall grab bar I use my rollator with the brakes fully locked.
Soaps & shampoos. I look for pump style large bottle dispensers for my shower soaps, shampoos, and conditioners. This avoids having to open and close the containers with wet hands. I dropped a lot of caps on the shower floor. Consider multi purpose, 2 or 3 in 1 formulas too.
If you have trouble reaching a spot, there are wand versions of most scrubber types. These do require a bit more maneuvering space, range of motion, and a little more balance.
Non slip options. There are many choices available. Originally I was advised to use shower sneakers to keep from slipping in the shower and on the tile floor. This just did not work for me. I decided to look for something that did not hold water, would stay in place, and did not have a feature that would catch my toes in the shower. I found a loofah textured mat with suction cups that had a low profile. Outside of the shower, I went with a small carpet mat with a good non slip backing. I take this mat up between showers. When the mat is down I use my locked rollator to help keep it in position.
Drying off. I had a short terry robe recommended to me when I broke my arm. The idea was that it would help dry and then stay on hands free as I used grab bars to get out. I took the suggestion a step further and tried a hooded terry robe. I had problems maneuvering the robe inside the shower. The robe stuck to every wet surface it touched and some parts always landed on the shower floor soaking up water and getting heavy. I also tried a cozy velcroed wrap with similar results. After much trial and error I found a quick dry, light weight towel was best. I drape it over my shoulders like a scarf to start. I get dry and the towel never touches the shower floor!
Cleaning the shower. A long, telescoping handle scrubber is essential. Remember that hand held shower wand? You guessed it! The wand is great for rinsing the shower. To keep the soap scum at bay, I lightly scrub the shower walls at the end of a shower if I still have time and energy to spare. I use a little body wash. I found the same soap as the build up works well. I break out the super cleaner later when I have a fresh amount of energy.
I hope these tips help you win your shower battles when your body and MS agree a shower is a good plan. Hopefully the world outside your bathroom door will give you a break and let you have your shower too.
My MS Tips/Hacks.