A few days ago, my friend R came over and did some work for me in my bathroom. I’ve been in need of a handheld showerhead for a while, so he picked one up for me, along with a few other items to make my bathroom a safer place. In days past, I would have been able to make these changes to my home without anyone’s help. I enjoyed going to the hardware store and searching the isles for the items I needed to do different jobs around my home: paint, brushes, tools, fixtures. Then I would come home and get started on my project, and over the course of a weekend or a few weeks, I would work for every hour I could until I finished. When I did finish – regardless of how good or bad the outcome – it would fill me with pride to know I used my hands to get the job done.
The showerhead R got me is quite nice. Before buying it, he did a bit of research and sent product descriptions for me to review and choose the model I liked best. The one I chose is lightweight and has a six-foot hose, so it’s easy to manage in the shower. The main selling feature was the variety of spray settings. It has eight different spray settings including two different massages and one just for shampoo rinsing. I think I’m most excited about the shampoo rinsing setting than all the others, because I’ve let my hair grow a lot since my illness started so washing my hair is a pain – this showerhead might save me from chopping it off.
The other things R got for me are some grab bars. Last winter I fell in the bathtub, and since then I’ve been using a shower chair when I take a shower. Unfortunately, I’m still not one hundred percent steady on my feet. The occupational therapist I saw in the spring had written a recommendation for me to have grab bars installed in my shower to help with my balance and keep me safe while standing on the wet surface of my bathtub. I had hoped that after surgery, I would be strong enough not to need them, but that’s not the case. The grab bars R bought me are amazing. They don’t require any drilling into the bathroom tiles for installation. They have super suction pads that lock on to the surface of the bathroom tiles. The sealed grip is so strong R couldn’t make them budge.
My bathroom is a safe place now. I have a shower chair, an anti-slip mat on the bathtub floor, a handheld showerhead, and, thanks to R, grab bars on the walls to prevent me from taking a fall like the one I did last winter. In a strange way, I feel motivated to get better and stronger so I don’t have to depend on these tools to do something as simple as taking a shower. However, having them does give me a chance to be gentle with myself because I remember blaming myself for falling. I harshly chastised myself repeatedly for not paying attention to what I was doing before I fell – completely discounting the possibility that I might have fallen because I was lightheaded from my pain medications. I blamed myself, even though it all happened so quickly, it would have been impossible for anyone to stop the fall. As much as I wish I didn’t have to use these new tools, I’m glad I have them. Because I remember the force with which I landed on the bathtub floor; how sore my hip and shoulder were for weeks after; and my immense gratitude that I hadn’t hit my head as I fell, and I don’t want to have that experience or those feelings again – ever.
OutKast – So Fresh, So Clean