Bathing Can Be Exhausting
As an OT I did not know how tiring a.m. care is because I never watched a stroke survivor do one task after. Here is why bathing leaves me feeling refreshed instead of exhausted and frustrated.
Washing. I do not struggle to soap up a washcloth one-handed or chase a bar of soap after I drop it. I pour shower gel on a nylon poof and knead it a few times to get it soapy. To wash my sound arm, I use a gross grasp in my affected hand to hold the nylon poof. I do not struggle to wring out a washcloth one-handed. I hang the nylon poof on a suction-cup hook, hose it down, and let it air dry. I use shampoo suds to wash my face.
I press down on the nylon poof that is resting on my thighs to squeeze out suds so my sound hand can soap up my crotch. Before I could hold the shower hose with my hemiplegic hand,
I used my forearm to press the shower hose against my stomach to rinse my crotch. Water runs downhill. This freed my sound hand to deal with the nooks and crannies. If my husband was alive I would still want to bathe this private part of my body.
Drying. My towel rack is next to the shower so I can reach it while sitting on my shower chair. I drape the towel over one shoulder while I dry my arms and trunk. When I get out of the shower I stand to dry my crotch with the towel draped over my shoulder. My shoulder carries the weight of the towel so it is easy for my sound hand to manipulate the free end. I never hold up my affected leg to dry it. I don a terrycloth bathrobe which dries my buttocks and thighs and I let my calves air dry while I brush my teeth and comb my hair.
Dressing. For the 1st year after my stroke, dressing was easier if I rested after bathing. I laid on the bed in my bathrobe with a towel under my wet hair and listened to music on the radio. homeafterstroke.blogspot.com