As a child I used to have a bath every night. We didn’t have a shower when I was little so soaking in the tub was a regular part of my bedtime routine.
But I don’t often have baths any more. I prefer to have a shower in the morning to help me wake up and feel ready for the day. Showering’s much safer, too, because my tics sometimes suddenly intensify, leaving me unable to move or speak – not great if you’re submerged in water at the time.
Tonight, though, I had so much pain in my back and hips that I was struggling to sleep. The heat packs I use at night to help with the pain were cooling down very quickly. So I decided a hot bath was in order. My support worker ran it for me and helped me in. I lowered myself down using my inflatable bath cushion.
I kept an emergency alarm close at hand and left the door open so my support worker Lily could hear if I got into trouble.
It felt lovely. Being totally surrounded by the warm water made a great difference and my body was able to relax and get comfortable in a way that’s felt impossible recently.
After a good soak I raised myself up with the bath lift and dried off. Even though the pain quickly resurfaced the feeling of relaxation and relief remained.
Because of the risks involved I’ve come to see baths as treats, but I reckon it’s time to bring back bath time and make adjustments so that a safe soak can once again become part of my routine.