Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Soothing Power of the Shower

Moving to our new home this month meant parting with my bathtub. Although I was excited to be crossing into the exciting new territory of homeownership, I was sad that the house we were purchasing only has a shower. For those of you who deal with chronic pain and sore/stiff muscles, you probably know how amazing a long, luxurious soak can be, especially after a stressful day. Add some Epsom salt to the water, and you have a glorious haven you wish you never had to leave!

During the worst of my flare ups, my bathtub was literally a lifesaver and kept me sane. I have been known to take 4 steaming hot baths in a single day because whenever my body is immersed in hot water, the pain eases and the stress seems to melt away! Consequently, I was quite scared that I had lost this glorious reprieve forever--or at least until we could afford to have a bathtub installed.

As soon as I stepped into the shower of my new home, my worst fears became reality. The water was so limp that my inner aches and pains weren’t interrupted for even a second. The idea that I might have to go for years without a soak hit me hard, and I literally sobbed. All the physical, mental, and emotional stress of our move was difficult enough. But to live without one of the few things that make my fibro easier? It was more than I could handle!

This week, however, has changed my opinion of the humble shower forever! My fiancé suggested that we go to Home Depot and pick out a new showerhead. I was extremely skeptical that a simple showerhead change would make that much difference. Still, I relented and tagged along. If there was a chance, no matter how slim, that I might get back some relief from my fibro symptoms, I was all for it!

Perusing the bathroom aisle, my spirits sunk again. I couldn’t believe how expensive some of the showerheads were, and I knew that since we just went through all the expenses of moving, we were obviously on a budget. After reading package after package, I was about to give up and go home. But then a showerhead caught my eye. It wasn’t very fancy looking, and it was only $29.99 (small change compared to some of the other selections). Nevertheless, the package guaranteed that this little showerhead could increase your shower’s water pressure up to 30%. I was sold!

On the ride home, I cradled the bag protectively in my lap, eager to make the showerhead swap. My fiancé went straight to the bathroom with his tools and went to work. Shortly after, the shiny new shower head was gleaming at me, beckoning for me to come and give it a test run. Despite my eagerness to try it out, bedtime arrived much too soon, and I was forced to anxiously wait until the next morning to take a shower.

The next day, I awoke at 6 am, super excited to try out our little shower upgrade. The moment the water hit my body from the new showerhead, though, I realized the wait was worth every second! The massaging setting was the most amazing thing I had felt in ages. It was as if my body was wrapped in total bliss! The tension and pain in my neck and back melted away. The muscles in my arms and legs, tightly cramped from hours of packing and lifting, relaxed. And my headache faded as the water massaged my scalp. Never before had I thought a shower could feel this soothing. And never again will I ever underestimate the power of a simple, affordable showerhead upgrade!