I have to admit that my chronic back and knee pain issues have drastically influenced how often I take a regular shower. I have to avoid baths, due to chronic urinary tract/kidney infection&stone problems, so showers are it for me.
Unfortunately, I can't stand in one position for very long, so I have a bench in my tub to sit on when I take a shower. I have the water flow split so I can divert part or all of it to a lower level, with hand-held hose unit. I have developed almost a "phobia" about having to get into the shower because, although the hot water feels good momentarily, it's very tiring and my muscles/joints ache/cramp up as soon as I get out into the air. Thus, out of a month's time, I may only shower on three or four occasions...the rest of the time it's sponge baths for me. When I have to wash my hair under the faucet, I literally have to force myself through some serious anxiety, sometimes having to fight a full-blown panic attack. That's probably my biggest struggle, because I can't stand to have hair that isn't squeeky clean...and I've got A LOT of hair!
I think part of my anxiety comes from associating taking hot showers every time I got a migraine, something that I did several times a week for years, starting when I was a teenager. I still get migraines frequently(multiple times a week), but I realized that the muscles in my head would cramp back up as soon as I ran out of hot water. So, now it's lots of smaller sponge baths during the day, alternating soap and water with anti-bacterial wipes. I do use baby powder, and occasionally athlete's foot spray, when the weather gets really warm, because my skin gets irritated due to the heat. I sleep naked, so everything gets a chance to air out ;-), and I must not be too funky, cuz my very OCD boyfriend would definitely let me know otherwise.
Also, when my health allows, I do physical therapy in the pool at the YMCA, and make use of the whirlpool, steamroom, sauna, and handicapped shower. By the time I'm done at the Y, I'm shriveled up like a prune, so I must be completely squeeky clean, down to the very last pore.
I really wish it the bathing process wasn't so problematic for me. I so miss the days when I was married, wasn't disabled, and had a house with a fabulous jacuzzi tub that I could relax in for hours at a time. I'd light some candles, put on some soothing music, and be able to totally release any stress that I might be carrying around. That was so long ago, it almost seems like it was another lifetime and happened to someone else.
Hopefully, I can get better control of my pain issues, so my anxiety will subside enough for me to regain a more normal grip on my bathing habits. I can keep my fingers crossed anyway. It's also good to know I'm not the only person out here with this kind of issue. Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences on this "delicate" subject. I guess it would be pretty embarrassing if I was the only one having this sort of problem.
Wish me luck!
•On Disability for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ, stomach problems
•Divorced, 46, spawn-free
"THE WEATHER IS HERE, I WISH YOU WERE BEAUTIFUL." -Jimmy Buffett