I cannot remember the last shower I took where George was not in the room to make sure I was safe. The severe vertigo episodes from the Meniere's has made it so I often lose my balance and I get drop attacks. So, having George nearby during a shower is a safety issue. When we remodeled our bathroom in 2008, we had a permanent classy handicap bar installed, though George miscalculated the height and it is several inches too low. So, we have placed removable grab bars that I can use to steady myself, but they would not hold my weight if I were to grab them while falling. Additionally, a couple years ago, while spending a couple of weeks caring for me, my in law's bought me a shower chair so that when I am weak I can sit. But, now I must have George present to help not only because of my extreme weakness but also because a few weeks ago, George came home from work to find me on the floor after I had tried to take a shower by myself and had fallen from a Meniere's attack.
George is in the midst of his busy season. He is only home awake two hours a day, six days a week. When he gets home, he is mainly caring for me. I have a lot of guilt related to this because I know he would just like to plop down on the couch and relax but he loves me and wants to take care of me. I have had family, friends and my counselor all tell me to drop the guilt and I am attempting to, but if you would step into my shoes you find it is not so easy. I see George's care-worn face on a daily basis. So, because of my sadness and frustration at my limitations and necessary dependence on him, I often go without some basics. This is embarrassing, but true: I usually go four to five days or more between showers. I'm not really doing anything to get dirty, but still, we all feel better when we're clean.
So, today I was stubborn. I honestly can't remember the last day I showered. I know the reason is a combination of the days blurring together and the fact that it has been a while . I did not have any vertigo, so I felt safe I would not fall from the Meniere's and midday decided to attempt taking a shower by myself. As I got out of bed and gathered my clothes I felt quite shaky and weak. I got through the shower okay, but as I was getting out, my legs were starting to give out from under me. I sat down, threw my clothes on, made it to the bed, turned on the television and immediately fell asleep. My body was so worn out that I slept for quite a long time. On days like today, taking a shower is a work-out.
I would love to hear your stories of how you have had to be dependent on others, how it has made you feel, and how you have coped emotionally. I know that I am not alone, but it would be a great comfort to hear others' stories.