For the first day or so after losing the use of both my hands I continued to shower in the same way as I have for the last two years. I do this alone, with someone nearby to call if I get stuck or have a ‘ticcing fit’.
But when I tried to wash my hair without working hands I realised it wasn’t going to work. All I could do was hold an open bottle of shampoo over my head till some came out, and then rub my head haphazardly with the backs of my hands. Clearly this was no good, so I’m now asking my agency carers to wash me, and it’s brilliant!
I’d always resisted this sort of intimate personal care before, thinking I was managing on my own (which to some extent I was). But all my fears about it being a big step backwards in terms of independence, or being embarrassing, were straightforwardly wrong. I’m lucky in that I know all my agency carers well and that they have a good understanding of my needs and preferences already.
They’re brilliant at fitting into my usual cleaning routine, but also at making sure everything gets washed. My feet have never been so thoroughly soaped, and having my hair carefully washed by someone else feels great. At no point has it been awkward, I’ve just felt relieved by how much easier it is.
I’ve decided to stick to asking just my agency carers to do this rather than any of my personal assistants who are also friends, but my view on this might change and I’m keeping an open mind. I’m keeping a super clean body too!