I have been waiting for my bathroom to be converted into a wet room, or at the very least have the bath ripped out and a stand-alone shower to be put in its place since my application for a Disability Facilities Grant (DFG) last October (2019) following my relapse. There is usually around a 6 month waiting list but since someone decided to eat a bat (or whatever story you go by about the Covid-19 transmission), it has taken a back seat amongst the DFG backlog that’s been created. I had my occupational health assessment at the beginning of August (hurrah!), and whilst there is still quite a backlog for any work to actually be carried out, just finally being contacted by an occupational therapist is a start and I was offered an alternative until that wet room day finally comes. Enter the bath lift…
I have used bath seats before, but I have never got on with them as quite frankly, I don’t feel secure enough sitting on them and find that its more hassle than it’s worth. Each to their own on this though, as many people have positive experiences. With it being about 5 years since I last used one, I have progressed since then and haven’t entertained the idea of trying them out again as I couldn’t get on with it when I was in a ‘better position’ with my MS if you will. Like with my scooter which was purchased in December (2019), the bath lift, if I’d known about their existence that is, is something else that I should have introduced into my life a couple of years ago.
Whilst yes, quite a few new editions have entered my life in the past year or so, this however isn’t a reflection on them now needed due a sudden ‘rapid progression’ , but more a case of them being absent from my life over the years. Whether this is down to me being ready mentally to embrace that scooter, walker, bath lift etc. is down to utter stubbornness, or not being aware of them and/or the benefits that they bring to enable me to lead an as independent life with symptom management is neither here nor there. They are starting to enter my life now, and that’s the important thing. This does all come down to the true acceptance of my reality, and the time that it has taken me to reach this point. I seemed to have jumped straight into anger and depression of the ‘5 stage grieving process’ and this is where I set up base. I would always opt for alternatives which would lie on the distraction side accompanied with alcohol, ‘good times’, and denial to escape mentioned reality. A reality that I thought would always pass like a fart in the wind.
Over the years I have had many incidents in that bath; slipping over (even with a bath mat – now that’s quite the skill), going dizzy when I’m whipping my hair back and forth giving it a good wash/condition, or even just standing there still, trying to master a gold medal balancing act when shaving my legs, or simply just not having the energy to hold myself upright. I could go on, but you get the gist. I do however like my baths, and something that I tried to hold onto. Of all the things that this disease has slowly removed from my life; it taking my bath time with a good film on the iPad placed on my bath board with a glass of wine whilst sinking into a sea of bubbles, is taking it a step too far quite frankly.
Like the scooter, the benefits this bath lift has bought to my life has been a favourable addition. Disability or not, I do feel that these are the way to go! I sit there chilling, taking my time and my legs are finally getting a proper shave! Winter months or not, I have that choice again.