Monday, October 27, 2008

Recovery success! - I took a bath!


I took a bath last night between innings of the World Series.

Doesn't seem like a big deal,, until I say it was the first bath I have been able to take since Easter.

This year I have been so sick, first with pneumonia, then the reaction to the pneumonia meds interacting with my psych meds. I lost control of every muscle in my body, and was unable to attend to any type of personal hygiene for a very long time with out assistance.

I had started taking showers by myself in July, and could only stand in them for about 1 minute at a time. Eventually it went to about 3 minutes without feeling like I was going to fall, and now it's about 5 minutes.

But a bath had alluded me. I just didn't have the upper body strength to lift myself out of the tub. I tried once a week for months, going into the dry tub,, and it would take me a long time to get out. it sounds silly. But I love baths, they relax me and comfort me. And sitting in a dry bathtub, in my sweats, trying to twist and turn around, and try to lift myself out of it, with the phone next to me in case i really couldn't get back out- was humiliating. But I kept on trying, kept on, kept on.

And last night I sat down in the tub and tried to lift myself out. And for the first time, since March, I lifted myself out in a matter of seconds. So I tried it for real. Put some water in the tub, donned my clothes, tied my hair up in a scrunchie, stepped in the tub. Lowered myself down, and squirmed down against the back of the tub, feet resting by the faucet. It was heaven, sheer bliss, to feel the water all over my body and soak. Just close my eyes and soak.

Eventually the water got cold, and I could hear the TV in the other room announcing the scores. It was time to get out.

I was hesitant. I hit the stopper with my big toe, and the water began to go down the drain. I lay in the tub a few more moments, hedonistically enjoying the last bits of water against my skin. When the water had mostly gone down the drain I put both my arms out on either side of the tub, raising my palms down and counted to three. Then tried to lift myself out of the tub.

And did it. I was able to stand up in a matter of seconds and reached for the fluffy green towel hanging from the shower curtain. I wrapped it around me and stepped out of the tub, on to the bath mat, and proceeded to dry off and change back into my clothes.

And I felt like I just climbed Mt. Everest, only without a
Sherpa.

A bath. A simple thing. But the biggest accomplishment I have made in a very long time, since I had to re learn to walk again.

10 comments:

AA said...

You go, girl!

tigerleo said...

Woohoo!! Congrats and happy bathing :)

Gianna said...

I get it, dear...

I've got hubby that helps me out...

glad you can manage on your own now!

Dano MacNamarrah said...

Susan~We only have a bath in the house. We are building another bathroom with a shower. When I'm sick, the effort of getting wet is too much...

Congratulations on your achievement. I understand the struggle. My balance has been so off over the past decade, I have been unable to stand on one foot.

Doesn't sound like much, except I can no longer ride a bike, have to be careful as I dress, would not be able to try yoga and pray that I don't have to do a field sobriety test!

A couple of months ago, I did it. I stood with my left foot just off the floor for several seconds. Next, I gingerly rode my bike around the block. As a former bike messenger, this was pretty pathetic.

But for me, it was winning a marathon.

Emily said...

Congratulations! I've just started following your blog, and you write beautifully.

Anonymous Drifter said...

yay! congratulations on your achievement.

Clueless said...

Hooray!!! The crowd roars!!!

I do have a question though. Do you want the sherpa next time?

Immi said...

Way to go!
I understand well and those "little" triumphs are so sweet :) Yay!

Christa said...

Glad you had the great joy of washing your hoo-ha in a bath.

We often forget how much the little things mean in life until we are unable to do them.

I am very happy for you and even happier you were able to bath on a night that the Phils kicked some serious tookus.

Jazz said...

Good for you, Susan!

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