As an OT I did not know how tiring a.m. care is because I watched stroke survivors do only parts of a few a.m. tasks.  Here is why bathing leaves me feeling refreshed instead of exhausted.

Washing.  I do not struggle to soap up a washcloth one-handed or chase a bar of soap after I drop it.  I pour shower gel on a nylon poof and knead it a few times to get it soapy.  To wash my sound left arm, I use a gross grasp in my affected right hand to hold the nylon poof.  I use a hand full of shampoo suds to wash my face.

To wash my crotch I press down on the poof resting on my thigh to squeeze out suds.  I did not begin holding the shower hose with my affected hand.  Initally I used my forearm to press the hose against my stomach.  Water runs downhill.  This freed my sound hand to deal with the nooks and crannies.  If my husband was alive I would still want to bathe this private part of my body.  I do not struggle to wring out a washcloth one-handed.  I hang the nylon poof on a suction-cup hook, hose it down, and let it air dry.

Drying.  My towel rack is next to the shower so I reach for it while sitting on my shower chair.  I drape the towel over one shoulder to dry my arms and trunk.  This means I drip less water when I get out of the shower.  In standing I dry my crotch with the towel draped over my shoulder.  My shoulder carries the weight of the towel so it is easy for my sound hand to manipulate the free end.  I don a terry-cloth bathrobe which dries my buttocks and thighs.  I air dry my calves while I brush my teeth and comb my hair.

Dressing.  For the 1st year after my stroke, dressing was easier if I rested after bathing.  I laid on the bed wearing my terry-cloth bathrobe with a towel under my wet hair.  The time passed pleasantly while I listened to music on the radio.

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