When Did Showering Become Such a Thrill Ride?

Debi Wilson avatar

by Debi Wilson |

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Faith of the Mustard Seed

My morning ritual of showering for a fresh start to my day has progressed to a once-a-week occurrence. Like everything else that my multiple sclerosis (MS) affects, less shower time is not by choice.

I take sponge baths daily of course, but actual showers are reserved for when I have enough energy for the scary, slip-and-slide thrill ride known as my bathtub’s shower.

With my basket of showering supplies, towels, shower seat, and bathtub mat positioned just right, I double check that the bathroom rug is secure. Now, I am ready to go.

A few years ago, I purchased a shower seat that has been a godsend! I now can take longer showers and also use it as minor support for moving around.

While showering, I need to make sure the exhaust fan is running and the temperature of the water is not too hot. Heat and MS do not mix, and if I forget to do either of these, my energy is drained more quickly. In a hot and steamy bathroom, I begin to move at a snail’s pace and my breathing becomes stifled.

Lately, lifting my legs in and out of the shower has become more difficult. It is one of the scariest moments of showering for me. Getting my leg over the side of the tub can be such a chore. Those with MS know what I am talking about. Those without it may laugh and say, “What?”

It’s scary when legs feel as heavy as an elephant’s, with minds of their own. When standing for any duration is a challenge, worrying about my leg getting stuck halfway is not laughable. Also, when I stress that my legs may give out when I go to step down, it can all be terrifying.

I have one grab bar that helps me quite a bit, and we are in the process of installing grab bars for our walk-in shower. I haven’t been able to use that shower due to a lack of grab bars, and their installation will be a major improvement in my quality of life.

Many programs in various areas can help with home and disability upgrades and modifications. Check online to see if your city or state has these. You may qualify for free assistance with your disability needs. That is what they are there for, to make life easier for the disabled.

Everything can be adapted to meet my ever-changing needs for me to have the best quality of life possible. I look forward to my new shower, but my energy level still will be a concern. But there shouldn’t be any thrills involved, and that’s OK with me!


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Charles-A Rovira avatar

Charles-A Rovira

The problem is not the shower but the tub.
I'm getting my bathtub torn out and replaced with a shower with a seat so I can sit comfortably.
I'm also getting the floor replaced from those slippery tiles to some heavily textured pieces of slate with lots of grooves and natural ridges so when I put my foot down, I can be comfortable and reasonably sure that my foot will not try to suddenly slip to the other side of the bathroom.

Debi Wilson avatar

Debi Wilson

Sounds like you have a good plan Charles!
Thanks for sharing!
Good luck, Debi

Amy Silverston avatar

Amy Silverston

The problem with most disabled bathroom kit is it looks awful. Kueco make 'no barriers bathroom' range. Not cheap but looks very nice. See http://www.keuco.eu/UK/EN/KEUCO/PRODUCTS/p487927l4/NO-BARRIERS_BATHROOM.html

Most non-slip floor tiles are also horrid, like a municipal swimming pool changing room. Porcelanosa non slip floor tiles look exactly the same as the wall tiles--I have the same style pattern on walls and floor. See http://www.porcelanosa.com/uk/floor-tiles/non-slip-floor-tiles.php

They feel like cat's tongue, ie like fine sandpaper, though you cannot see what is making them that way. The way to clean them is with a kitchen broom and soapy water,as they will ruin a sponge floor mop. But you can walk on them safely when covered in water.

Debi Wilson avatar

Debi Wilson

Thank-you, Amy! Good information! Debi

Jimmy Sparks avatar

Jimmy Sparks

Try these. I use them. They are extremely helpful. Whenever I travel, I use them in the hotel. Saves my life.

Moen Suction Balance Assist Bar Go to Faucetdirect.com or other such suppliers.

Debi Wilson avatar

Debi Wilson

Great, thanks Jimmy! Debi

Carol avatar


I have had a walk in shower installed in my bathroom (we call it a wet room in the UK) I also have a bath with a bath lift. I had all this built before I moved in six years ago (I’ve been told it looks like a hotel bathroom)
Unfortunately, I now have to have assistance with washing my hair and dry my legs and back. I never though it would come to that but I’m pleased I had a lovely bathroom built at least I have nice surroundings when having a shower or use the loo!

Debi Wilson avatar

Debi Wilson

Sounds amazing Carol! Debi

Michelle B avatar

Michelle B

I have fibromyalgia as well as MS. In the last few years I have developed allodynia on my back, which causes it to feel like an open scab, like I have no skin. When the water from the shower hits me, it’s like a million needles poking me. I now use a hand held shower wand which allows me to control where the water hits me. Even so, I only shower when I must because it is still exhausting. I typically have to nap after.

When I first was diagnosed I had many concerns about how this would affect my abilities, having a problem showering never crossed my mind.

Debi Wilson avatar

Debi Wilson

Hi Michelle,
I'm sorry you have to go through all that! I do relate to the showering and I never thought it would be a problem for me either. Thanks for sharing and good luck to you! Debi


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