Sunday, 21 June 2009

What A Shower

Every so often someone comes up with an idea to improve my life – whether I like it or not.

In recent months I have been unable to use the shower-stool attached to the wall in our bathroom because I keep falling off it. The whole losing my balance thing has made showering the dangerous option when it comes to personal hygiene. My ingenious solution has been to have my showers dangling in the sling under the hoist, like a kind of dope on a rope. The problem with hanging in a blue nylon net-like sling whilst being hosed down by carers is that it is both uncomfortable and inefficient. You are inevitably somewhat scrunched up, with straps cutting into all sorts of intimate and unmentionable bits of you. And, when you are hanging like the catch of the day, it can be difficult to get the sponge in to all the... er. . . nooks and crannies, so to speak. Oh, and it can chafe.

Anyway, the occupational therapist was horrified when she learned of this situation and felt duty bound to do something about it. The result has been the arrival of an enormously large blue shower-chair on wheels, that takes up nearly a quarter to the bathroom floor space and needs to be wheeled out whenever anyone else wants a shower or whenever I want to use the bathroom at all. This shower-chair can tilt and be manoeuvred to allow all over access when showering. It was sold to me as being both more comfortable and as saving me a transfer on shower days because it is designed to fit over the toilet.

On Friday Kalapo and Godfrey dutifully and carefully hoisted me from the bed on to this monstrously huge chair and negotiated me down the hall and reversed me in to the bathroom toward the lavatory. Suddenly I felt cold porcelain smash in to my coccyx. Kalapo and Godfrey tried again. Perhaps if they pushed harder? They tried. I can tell you from personal experience that porcelain is not in any way malleable. The shower-chair may well be huge but it is not, as it turns out, particularly high.

In the end I was hoisted from the shower-chair to the toilet and back again and then wheeled directly into the shower whereupon things proceeded as they should. I was tilted, spun, hosed, sponged and towelled before I knew it.

It was only later that Polly pointed out that the shower-chair had extendible legs.

At least I'm clean.