The Shower Seat

When he suggested it, I couldn’t hold back my tears. I knew it was something that he’d been thinking on. I had too. But that didn’t make it easier to hear out loud.


See, showers are kind of a thing for me these days. I can no longer wash my hair every day, because it’s just too much of an energy expenditure (probably for the best since it’s not good for your hair anyway…but I used to enjoy washing it, so it did it daily). When I do wash my hair, I generally make it a few minutes under the water before I’m bent over, gasping for breath, heart pounding, bracing myself on the wall. This is not only uncomfortable, but terrifying as well.


I’m no longer comfortable showering when Hubs isn’t at home, because I’m afraid that just a few more beats per minute would send me over the edge. The edge of what, I’m not sure. Will I pass out? Will I have a heart attack? Do 24 year olds have heart attacks? Hm…


So normally, I make it most of the way through my shower (stopping to rest a few times) and then Hubs, God bless him, will finish rinsing out my hair. Because at that point, I just can’t do it. My hair is so thick and heavy and long. The shower is so hot. I’ve been standing for 15-20 minutes already. My whole body hurts. Some days, just the sensation of the water hitting my skin makes me want to cry. And I just. can’t. do it.


So my sweet, amazing hubs does it for me.


But when he suggested it, I couldn’t hold back my tears.


Memories of afternoons spent with my sweet Granny Fontella before she passed flooded my mind. My sister and I used to take turns going and giving her a bath, because she was old and frail and needed the help. Just like me. And she always sat on her little shower chair. The same one that my hubs had just suggested to me.


I know that a shower seat seems like a silly thing to be upset about. It might really help me (and Hubs) out, after all. Maybe, if I can sit in the shower, I won’t collapse in a worthless heap once I get out. Maybe I could shower whether Hubs was home or not. But it’s the principle of the thing! Shower seats are for Granny Fontella, not me. A shower seat means that I’m weak and feeble. A shower seat means this is real, and I’m very sick.


I don’t want a shower chair. I don’t want to need a shower chair. I don’t like feeling like a 92-year-old woman. I want to be able to wash my own hair, for goodness’ sake!


But sometimes in life, you don’t get what you want (imagine that). Sometimes, you just have to make do with what you’ve been given.


I’ve been given an undiagnosed, chronic illness.


So, I can cry because I may need to purchase a shower seat for myself in the near future. Or I could choose to be thankful that my husband cares enough about me to make tough suggestions. I could bemoan the fact that I’ve lost so much independence. Or I could be grateful that I have people who are willing to step in and care for me when I can’t.


Today, I’m choosing thankfulness. Even if I have to use a shower seat.


UPDATE: I actually wrote this some time ago. Shortly after, I decided that although I love having long hair, it needed to go. I chopped nine inches off (enough to donate to Wigs For Kids!), and have been so happy with my decision! Though Hubs still has to rinse my hair for me occasionally, I can sometimes get through a whole shower without asking for help! And in general, there is so much less to fuss with. Yay!


I still haven’t been brave enough to purchase a shower seat yet.

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