Handicapped Self Care

Morning all. Hope you are well. I’m settled in at the desk for a bit, to recharge the devices that make my serenity complete. I’m fresh out of the shower, and felt that it was important to write about self-care.

Inside the house, I walk with a cane, and around the yard, there are times I use a walker with a seat attachment. Pain increases throughout the day, but here is how that works. Keep in mind, there are days when the wheelchair is a must both inside and outside the home. I just can’t.

The walker or cane work best for heading to the necessary. There is a small step between the main level and the bathroom. The bathroom entry is not big enough for a wheelchair to pass through. When this house was built, there were no HA rules in place.

For personal cleaning, baby wipes and a wand are not luxuries. For basics, I keep a little table in front of the throne, and have a small washtub I fill at the sink. I keep wash cloths and soaps handy. The bathroom sink is about 2 inches to the left of the clearance from the throne, and it is very handy. I use the basin for both dental care, with a small cup of water, and to wash myself. I wash first, then do teeth. Once finished, I flush the gray water down the stool.

Baby wipes never go down this drain, they go in the garbage, as does toilet paper. Our home is so old, that even tissue clogs the lines.

For shower days, I have a bench inside the bathtub. Our shower is on a longer hose, so that I can run it from a seated position. We have a shelf on the outside of the tub where towels, washcloths and toiletries reside. I keep a loofah wand there, to clean the extremities I can’t physically touch. I do place a washcloth down on the bench, and once I am done showering, I dry off on the bench, and apply lotion where I can. There is a wand applicator for lotion on my back and lower legs.

Our washer and dryer are in the bathroom. This is such a blessing. We can switch loads over quite easily with a trip to the restroom. Out of the shower, that wash cloth I sat on, and towels etc.. go directly into the washer. Since I use both commercial pads and cloth baby diapers for incontinence, I always have a load of laundry to do daily.

To get dressed, instead of a body spray I use an anti fungal application. I know, this sounds gross, but for over a decade, I would have wounds in areas where skin touches skin. Using this, my skin is now healed. I now use it as a preventative. I also use a spray deodorant. My arms don’t work the way they used to.

To put on socks, I have a device that I put the sock on, then drop it to the floor. I then put my foot in and pull the straps. The device applies the sock, and I can then repeat for the other leg. For undergarments, I have a hook with a reaching tool that saves me so much pain. I use it for under garments as well as moving shoes so I cam put my foot in. It also had a shoe horn, so I’m able to get into shoes.

For upper body undergarments, much swearing is involved. Sadly, there’s nothing I can do to improve this system. For buttons, and zippers, I have a combo button hook and hooked tool to help me do those things. This item lives in my purse when I am away from home.

Facial care, note, I’m still sitting on the throne, at this point. I apply any creams or lotions, and hair removal from this seated position. I have a little shaver that reduces facial hair, and I keep it with my hair clippers.

Now for the hair on my head. For years I wore it long. I do kind of miss my long hair, but brushing and combing my hair was so painful, and not just from a scalp perspective. Now, about twice a month, I give myself a crew cut on better pain days. This way, washing my hair involves a wash cloth, and not 10 minutes of hell. I wear quite a few head scarves, simply because they keep my head warm.

For dressing, since most of the time, I wear dresses, they go over the head. I make sure that they are cut so that I can easily get in and out without too much pain. However, pain is always involved. If I am wearing a fast fashion shirt and a skirt, it’s almost always a pullover the top versus the cardigan or button up version. Skirts are where my little button hook tool shines. Most of my skirts get a button closure and a zipper. This is simple, and slick.

For other self care, please keep an eye out for tomorrow’s post. Hugs, I have to cut this in half, and rest my hands for a bit. Take care, huge hugs. -L