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Anyone else having trouble bathing regularly?


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Taking a shower has been difficult to say the least.  I feel like I am going to either tip over, pass out, or I am to weak to lift my arms up long enough to wash my hair (not to mention using the blow dryer afterward!).  I have cut the crap out of my legs trying to shave them between the combination of not having good motor control yet and balance problems.  I usually run out of hot water because it takes me three times as long due to weakness, confusion, and in-coordination.

 

I feel so disgusting not being able to shower daily.  When I first got home from detox I went 10 days at a time between showers the first month.  Horrible!  During the second month it was about every 5-7 days, the third month was the WORST.  Could make it in there only every 7-10 days again.

 

I am 4 months out from my last benzo tomorrow.  It has been 5 days since my last shower.  I desperately need to get in there but I am having such bad balance today, I am afraid I will fall and break something and make the suffering worse.

 

I tried baths, but I could not get all the shampoo/creme rinse washed out of my hair, and ended up having to stand to shave my legs anyway.

 

Anyone else care to commiserate with me and share your bathing nightmares?

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Oh yes...me too.  I have to really psych myself up to take a shower...even harder to wash my hair as he noise and the engery it takes to hold up the hair dryer does me in.  The water banging against my skin is too stimulating and it feels claustrophobic being trapped in there behind a shower curtain.  I am in and out in about three minutes.  I have read other posts where this is a problem that effects many of us.  I used to love to stand in the shower until the hot water is all gone.  I hope it passes soon....

 

Donna

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I went days without showering as it was too hard. I was too weak, dizzy etc.

You can buy a shower seat, bed bath beyond has a plastic one for 34 bucks. That helps.

Also, a warm washrag with soap at the sink hitting the main spots helped a lot to.

 

I used a lot of head bands and didn't worry about my hair too much. Washing/drying took all my energy. I used a shower cap to keep it dry on days i did shower.

 

I stopped shaving... it was too hard to bend over to do my legs.

 

Witch hazel under the arm pits helps freshen things up.

 

Make sure you change your pajamas as often as you can. Even if I didn't stink, they did from all the sweating....

 

I know its no fun to stink, but if you can allow it to just be, and not stress to much over it, it won't add to your anxiety. You are healing, doing the best you can. Some days you are going to be "ripe." No big deal. :)

 

 

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I am still tapering, but also dread having to take a shower.  I get one in every other day, but it takes EVERYTHING some days to do it.  Let alone blow drying my hair afterwards (or it'd be a wild mess - and I still have obligations with kids and school to do).  The other day I had to sit on the floor and blow dry my hair.  It is such an awful feeling.  It can be a balance issue or more of just having enough strength for me to do it.  Did you have a tough time during tapering or was it just after you dropped your last dose?  I hope this does not get worse as time goes on for me!!

 

Best of luck to you and continued healing!

Lisa

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lisa67 - I went to a detox and basically cold turkied (which I do not reccommend).  sammycat - thanks for the shower cap strategy!
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Taking a shower has been a problem for me from the beginning of my taper--worse near the beginning because it was wintertime and I was constantly chilled from adrenaline rushes/fluctuations in body temp.  Also,the shower itself felt like a kind of physical assault and I got really claustrophobic.  

 

Like you Lisa, I shower every other day and it takes all I have.  Blow-drying my hair is so exhausting I have to rest afterwards--something about keeping my arms over my head for any length of time.

 

Personally, I think that here in the U.S. many people overdo the cleanliness thing.  I think it's ingrained in many of us from a young age.  You don't really need to shower every day unless it's hot and/or you've been exercising, etc.  It's not good for your skin, especially as you get older.  And it's really hard on your hair to wash it every day unless it's extremely oily.  I'm not just saying this to make you feel better even though I hope it does.  I relaxed my self-imposed hygiene rules since benzo w/d and my hair/skin are all the better for it!  

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I echo all your concerns and sentiments....it takes me an hour to just get up the courage to take one and then sometimes, I just can't.  I have a fear of it and it seems to be fairly common among us benzo people. 

Hoping2BFree

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My Mom told me the same thing about us Americans taking more showers than is necessary in an attempt to make me feel better about it.  But 7-10 days is a little excessive to go between showers.  I have been washing up good using wash cloths daily, but I still feel scummy and can't wait till I can bathe at least every 3 days.

 

Does anyone think that because I detoxed off benzos (Cold Turkied) after being on them for 20 years, at a high dose for most of it, is the reason why I am going longer between showers compared to other buddies?

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I have heard quite a few people talk about how showering is hard for them but showers actually make me feel better for some reason.
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Perseverance,

 

Where did you go to detox...if you don't mind me asking?  Just curious.  Baths do make me feel better and then I do a quick shower at the end to get my hair clean.  That might help too.  Who would have thought that something so basic would be such a challenge?  We appreciate the days that we can manage it!!

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Hi, I sort of dread showering too...it is mixed. I have nerve pain that the shower makes worse, but it helps the tight muscles. I also have balance problems and it feels like the floor is moving so thats not good. I get really dizzy and need to sit in the shower. I relate to problems with shaving, I have cut myself so many times. Sometimes I only shave one leg and do the other leg the following day...thats weird I know. I pretty much force myself to shower everyday, its nice to feel clean and it passes time. I have showered pretty much every day since detox, well I feel really warm most of the time too and get a little sweaty. I also shower because I dont want people to think I cant take care of myself properly.
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At 4 months out from detox I'd say you're doing pretty darn good.  I also went to detox and didn't start showering regularly until I HAD to go back to work at just over 5 months free.  

 

I remember in the early days not even showering for the doctor appointments.  My dad had to drive me, I would just get up out of bed (after a night of zero sleep) and walk to the car, put the car seat back and close my eyes.  I didn't even comb my hair or brush my teeth!!!    I have NEVER in my life been this way.  Up until then, I would always shower daily, fix my hair, put on make up...always.  

 

I think this process is one of shifting priorities...we are just so sick for so long that what others deem as the basics we realize just aren't anymore.  Our priorities consist of trying to force food down to maintain a decent weight, hoping for sleep, using the heating pad daily and trying to keep the anxiety at bay and our depression from melting into suicidal tendencies.  No one who has not been through this herself would ever understand why showering only once a week is normal.

 

When I got a bit stronger, I learned to just do a sponge bath, put a headband in my hair and brush my teeth sitting on the bathroom floor.  At some point all pride goes out the window and you just don't care what anyone thinks anymore.

 

If it gives you any hope, I am now almost 14 months benzo free and am able to shower daily without an issue.  You will get there...even those of us who went to detox eventually get to the finish line.   :angel:

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Dear Perseverance,

 

showering is a nightmare for me.  I echo everyones sentiments about feeling weak, unable to life my arms to wash my hair, shave my legs.  Then there's the drying off, blow drying my hair, putting my moisturizer on.  It is the most dangerous time of the day for me - I could easily fall and break something - seriously.

 

The other problem with the shower (which I call the "torture chamber") is it sets my neuropathic pain into orbit - I sting and burn all over from the stimulation - and then putting on clothes feel like their made of chicken wire - scrapping me with every step.  However... I do shower and wash my hair every day.  Even yesterday when I had a terrible stomach flu and was in horrible stomach pain and weak, on top of benzo withdrawal I did it.  Nothing fancy - washed my body/hair just blew dry the crap out of it (no styling, I could barely stand).  But this is my thing - I have to be 100% clean every day - I can't stand my own sweat and filth so I force myself with all my might.

 

You know what? Medical supply stores have these body wipes that you can heat in the microwave - they use them in hospitals.  They have aloe vera in them so it's kind to your skin.  You may want to consider something like that.  If I had some on hand yesterday I might have just opted for that.

 

So, this is a very common problem for so many of us, and I'm glad you brought it up.

 

I hope you feel better soon Hun.

 

Sara :smitten:

 

 

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Thanks L123, your post was especially meaningful to me as we both detoxed from benzos.

 

All of the posts were extremely important and helped me out tremendously. You all have helped me to stop stressing about it so much.  I am seriously grateful.  I can only do the best I can do and not lose sight of that. Yes, this experience is truly humbling. All of your support is invaluable! Thanks to you all!

 

Please keep the posts coming - I have received such great wisdom, tips and advice discussing this subject!

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Dear Perseverance,

 

Like you, I too, detoxed off of opiates, neurontin, anti-depressants, benzos and for me, Ambien too. Big time, Ambien. I more or less cold-turkeyed and it was BRUTAL, though at 10 mos. is MUCH better now.

 

I'm chiming in because I don't see too many replies from the male perspective -- not that it matters. But I thought I'd chime in nonetheless.

 

I didn't have a huge problem with showers, though it was definitely a chore. But I didn't have it as tough as you. I was a bit dizzy, fatigued etc. and as Leslie put it, my main chores in life were trying to stuff some kind of food down myself (I lost 45 lbs.) and trying to get a bit of sleep and not become suicidal with all the anxiety and depression.

 

Anyway, for my 2 cents, I think that rapidly detoxing off all those meds has EVERYTHING to do with what a rough time you're having. Try not to worry, though -- 'cause the worst is already behind you. It'll be a long road, but believe me, it gets better and better, over time. And most of all, don't worry about the showers. They're just a small symptom of what you're going through. You'll probably be chomping at the bit to take a couple of showers a day in a few more months -- just because you can. But until that time, don't be hard on yourself.

 

This is probably the hardest thing you'll ever have to go through. The death of my parents wasn't even nearly this rough. Nor was living through my wife's traumatic brain surgery just a week after my mom's death. I gotta tell you, it'll all be okay. It really will. You don't have to do anything but just do whatever you can to keep hanging in there... in other words... all you have to do is find a way to stay sane while passing the time and time alone will take care of the rest.

 

At 10 months out, I am not fully well. But I sure ain't all that sick. I now sleep 7-8 hours a night (not great sleep... but hey, it's sleep) whereas, I went 7 straight nights without a single minutes sleep at detox. I now go to work every day and haven't had a sick day since last July. And I ain't no hero, that's for sure.

 

So, if I, along with all the other buddies you'll find here can make it this far, you can too. Everything will come back... just a lot more slowly perhaps that we might wish. But I'll tell you one thing, it sure does make a person appreciate the little things as they come back... laughing again, having compassion, feeling peace again, feeling exhilaration again, losing the sense of fear, feeling hopeful again, feeling loving again. Believe me, it all comes back and those are the things that matter... even if you are stinkin' up the joint in the meantime.  ;) ;) ;)

 

Take care and best wishes,

 

Albie

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Hi Perseverance!

 

My bp dropped a lot after my c/t. So I couldn't get up without passing out. Thus, no shower. Then I could shower, but I just felt like I couldn't muster the energy and would go 5 days a few times like you without one. Who would have ever thought even the thought of a shower could be that exhausting. I finally had more energy and showered every couple of  days when I was stronger and it felt good for my head. But I had to work up to that. The steam cleared the muck feeling out of my head as much as it could. I smelled clean, I would put on my clean pj's and.............................go back to bed lol. (I was toxic sick.) I could eventually shower everyday. What you're feeling is normal. xoxoxox

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I suffer quite bad with balance problems. I also suffer with jerks at times but have learned to sit in the bath and use the shower to wash and rinse my hair.I'm out within seconds like clockwork I am.I also have my hair cut very short, as Summer is approaching and I hate to be hot. I cut it myself one what as sight it looked :o as I had very long hair. Now I have a friend who trims it regularly....Even though I have trouble keeping my head still. Perseverance is certainly the Best Word you can use......

My husband also bought me a battery razor or you can also use an electric one. This will stop the slashing of your legs or under your armpits.....its all to do with your co-ordination very commen in w/d.

As things hapen in w/d you will learn how to cope and do things as you feel that day or time (strategies).....Also I could'nt use a can opener so my husband bought me an electric one as did not have the strength to open a can.....all these thing will help you along....

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Tess -It is amazing how much ingenuity comes out during this process.

 

Albie1-Thank you so very much.  Your similar history and progress really hit home and lifted my spirits.

 

Vancouvergirl -I laughed out loud when you said how exhausting even the thought of a shower can be.

 

I am getting that perspectives on what is important at each stage of this process have to continually change and be flexible in order to maintain sanity.

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yes there was a time when i could not get in the bath.it was like a phobia couldnt do it.sounds mad when i finally got in shower i remember thinking why does the water hurt my body as it sprays down strange.felt better for it though but so weak ang tired.ended up getting hair cut short still is cos it is such hard work drying it .dryer to heavy arms sore no strenght.still a bit like that now at times.can feel very heavy and need to sit.keep going u will feel stronger soon.good luck
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I am getting that perspectives on what is important at each stage of this process have to continually change and be flexible in order to maintain sanity.

Boom! Well said. That's it exactly.
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[25...]

What about a shower CHAIR?  that is what i use.  They sell them at the home health care stores.  you can sit and shower and wash your hair. 

it's very handy!!!!!!!!!!!  not so intimidating especially with the balance problems.  you feel safer. 

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  • 5 months later...

Thank you Perseverance for the link to this thread......  This is sooooo comforting to know i am not alone in my shower phobia.  it is too exhausting; overwhelming right now. 

So i'll join the stinky but benzo free club!!!

XOX

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YES!!!  ha, I haven't brought it up, but I've only been showering 2x a week since Feb.  Originally, it was barely even possible for me to do that, and now I can definitely do it but it's still a lot more effort than it should be.  Luckily, I'm not a very smelly person and I already was wearing my hair pulled back.

 

;)

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yes i do,, i cannot relax enuff in the water like i am supposed to,, it is ok cuz no one has to smell me anyway!!!!!  >:(

when or if i ever get better i will sleep in water of the bath,

 

blessings to u,

ccg

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