Wednesday, July 26, 2017

CEREBRAL PALSY STORIES: Keeping Up Squeaky Clean Appearances-Taking A Shower

Showering! It's a dirty job but everybody has to do it!...Even those individuals who are disabled like me. Since I am disabled from having had Cerebral Palsy all my life, I do have to have my dad help me in getting my weekly showering needs taken care of.
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For us, there are two important things that help make all of our lives a little easier when it comes to giving someone like me a shower. The first is that the shower in my bathroom is a roll in shower instead of a bath tub. For people with disabilities of any kind, having a roll in shower in the bathroom is much easier to work with in the long run as compared to a regular bath tub.  The second thing that makes it easier for me and my family is that we also have a shower chair for me to sit on that we can more or less easily maneuver into the shower without too much difficulty.

Another thing that I should point out about the roll in shower and the bathroom that I use in my house is that when we first into the house where my family and I live at now, the bathroom that I use for all of my bath rooming and showering needs was not fully accessible enough at that time to meet my specific bath rooming needs. Just to give you an idea as to when my family and I moved into the house we currently live at -we moved there in December of 1995 when I was 8 years old.

As I mentioned above, the bathroom that would eventually become mine to use was not fully accessible for me to use at the time when we first moved in. To overcome this obstacle of what would be an obvious remodeling job to the bathroom in order to meet my specific needs, we enlisted the help of the San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center who provided us with a grant to help pay for the bathroom remodeling job. For the record, our house has a total of 2 bathrooms. The one that I use for my needs and another one that my parents use.

To make a long bathroom remodeling short, it was successfully remodeled pretty soon after we first moved in to meet my needs for the most part and it's pretty good to me in the 20+ years that I have been using it.

Getting back to what this post is really about though and that would be how I take a shower, when it comes to my weekly showering needs and routine.

During the  week, my routine usually begins with an initial shave, a full body scrubbing, and cleansing with help from my dad, Darryl. On Saturdays, I have what is without a doubt the most relaxing one of the week that get to have. That is because on Saturdays, my dad will give me the opportunity to have a nice relaxing spa day in the shower to start the weekend in which I do the best I can to my capabilities and or abilities to give myself a shower. The main reason why I don't get to have a spa day during the week is because there is simply just not enough time to take advantage of the benefits of having a spa day.
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When I have my Saturday spa days, I am usually able to wash my body with a wash rag consisting of the upper portions of my body including my face, arms, chest and stomach. I can also wash and scrub the upper parts of my legs right up to about to where both of my knees are. My disability with Cerebral Palsy does present some physical challenges for me in that I am pretty much unable to thoroughly wash the part of my body that my dad and I like to call the nether regions which includes the private parts on the front end of my body and the buttocks on the back end. 

Another thing that is sometimes physically challenging for me during some of my showers is that either one or both of my legs or feet will go numb from having to sit on the shower chair over a prolonged period of time. When this happens, it will usually take a while for my legs and feet to wake up and for the numbness and tingling sensations to disappear. By the time that I am transferred back into my wheelchair, the numbness and tingling sensations in my legs and feet will usually dissipate and go away once I am back in my wheelchair safe and secure.

Once the soap scrubbing with a wash rag is complete, the next of my spa day Saturdays is for me to grab the shower head that is connected to a water hose so that I can be able to rinse off the soap that is still on my body at this point. During this time that I use the shower head to rinse off my body I should also point out that just like mostly everybody else, I sometimes do sing in the shower while I rinse off just for fun and to help relax me even more than I already am at that point during my spa days.

After I finish the washing and rinsing off portions of the shower, my dad will then come back and help me with shampooing my hair and brushing my teeth with an electric tooth brush. Once that is complete my showering usually comes to an end and all that's left to do dry off and get dressed with my dad's help once again.

To help dry me off and get dressed, my dad will help me do so while I'm still in the shower. 

Once the drying off phase in the shower is finished, my 
dad will then roll me back over to my room to help me get dressed and ready for the rest of my day or night. What I wear usually depends on what time it is during the day. If I have my shower during the morning or if we have to go somewhere afterwards during the afternoons or at night, then I will usually wear my regular articles of clothing just like everybody else such as a T-Shirt, shoes, pants, shorts, leg braces and so on. If I don't have to be fully dressed to go out somewhere, then I will usually wear just my T-Shirt, some socks and a pair of boxers or briefs so that I can relax and be more comfortable during the night at home.

After I'm finished getting dressed, my dad will then transfer me back into my power wheelchair so that I can be free to roam around the house again on my own and get on with the rest of our day or night in our life until the next time my showering schedule returns. With that in mind, it's time to wrap things up and for me to get ready for the next wash, rinse and repeat cycle of my weekly showering routine.

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