When I’m in bed, I sometimes just stay still and pretend there’s nothing wrong with me. I pretend I’m just lying there waiting for an excuse to get up. It helps me relax, offers me a bit of peace now and again. The opposite of this is being stripped naked, transferred to a chair and wheeled into the bathroom to be washed down by two people you have only just met. To say my first shower didn’t quite live up to my expectations would be an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, to wash my hair for the first time in five weeks and to feel the familiar feeling of water running down my back was great but this was certainly the most helpless I had felt for a while.
The wash was being taken by Dave an occupational therapist, and Mim a neuro physio. The reason they were in charge and not the nurses was because washing wasn’t the only reason I was in the shower. Sensory work is an important part of my recovery and the shower does offer an unexpected opportunity to do some more rehab. Running the shower head around the body is a good way to map both touch and temperature perception. The process revealed that although I couldn’t differentiate hot and cold on my right side, my left side was progressing and starting to feel more regular.
Later that day I learnt that there was a hairdresser on the ward, and seeing as my hair was now clean, I managed to collar her to sort out the monstrosity that had developed on my head. Despite the traumatic start to the day, I was going to bed clean as a whistle, with a new lid and a feeling that some palpable progress had been made on my left side. I suppose what I’m trying to say is; no matter how bad the task may make you feel at the time, if it results in any sort of progress then it’s worth it.
P.s. Hairdresser did a surprisingly good job considering the awkward angle and Baz staring her out.