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The bath is too hard and my arms and legs hurt

Baloo
Baloo Member Posts: 63

What a baffling disease. Whatever the exercise was, the one that kept my arms and legs strong enough for using the bath, it has gone. Whats gone is strange because its not like I don't move around either, because I do, except it's mostly around the house these days. I climb the exercise steps, 12 minutes until out of puff, no problem. I lift the kettle to brew up regular, multiple times a day, a bit of a struggle, but I'm a man, I can do it. But step into an empty bathtub, and I can't get in. It might as well be crawling with tomb raiding spiders, or carved from carbon dioxide ice. Can anybody cure this Ablutophobia.

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,639

    I can't cure your arthritis, Baloo, but your bath problem could be solved by a bath lift. I used one for years until I got my walk-in shower. Have a look here though lots of other disability shops are available. https://www.completecareshop.co.uk/bathroom-aids/bath-lifts/electric-bath-lifts

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 63

    Yes stickywicket. Trying to decide on a suitable modification like a chair makes me feel nervous too. I'm warming to the idea that a daily visit to the bath to exercise appropriate movements might solve it.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,639

    Why not enlist the help of an occupational therapist? You can self-refer by looking up your local council's Adult Social Care Dept.

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 63

    Escalating to an occupational therapist is an interesting idea @stickywicket. Gaining strength for anything special in between relapses is a bit of a challenge. It's such a short time to get fit, something like 10 days.

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 63

    Still working on how to get in and out the bath @stickywicket . I'm unlikely to qualify for social care occupational therapist as it needs two things I can't do, but I will ask anyway and see what they say. Meanwhile I found some arm and leg squat exercises I can do without much difficulty. What really gets me (so far) is being too stiff to sit on my knees in the bath or even get up and down off the floor. Maybe I can get the flexibility back if I keep trying things out. Its not like the floor is no longer there any more, it most certainly is.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,639

    Try googling 'Bathing Aids' and see if there's anything that would help.

  • DebbieD
    DebbieD Member Posts: 2

    Yes, my OT said to self refer to social services and ask for a home assessment. They may be able to advise and help with small adaptations.

    I have a shower over my bath and bought a bath board (goes across the sides of the bath), and a grippy mat for in the bath. I then sit on the side of the board and swivel round and lift my legs over the side of the bath whilst sitting. It feels pretty secure. If I’m feeling good I stand to shower (I still could use having a grab rail fitted). If not I sit and shower. Getting out I sit, swivel and lift my legs over. I have a bath step with a handle to help me get out as my feet don’t touch the ground. So that’s how I shower.

    i really miss having a bath and am trying to work out if there is a safe way of moving from the bath board into the bath and then using it to lean on to stand back up. There are options of in bath chair thingies but I’m not sure about them yet.

  • crinkly
    crinkly Member Posts: 91

    Like stickywicket I have a simple bath-lift that sits inside the bath and has a seat that can be set level with the top of the bath so you use in the same way as DebbieD's cross-bath board. A rechargeable battery then allows me to lower the seat until I'm just a fraction above the bottom of the bath and the back-rest reclines so I can enjoy the warm water on my back. Not precisely the same as having an independent bath but very close and easy to use - especially if you have a little more depth of water in the bath than usual.

    In addition to a home assessment you might visit a disability showroom and ask to see what commercial options are available - there are a number of variations and not all are too expensive to be achievable with a bit of extra saving. (I used my DLA.)

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I had a home assessment from the Council Adult Care department and ended up with a wet room being put in for me complete with a seat in the shower, a raised WC and handrails etc. In addition other adaptations were made around my bungalow.

  • Moira
    Moira Member Posts: 17

    I gave up on baths ages ago. It was just too difficult, especially on holiday.

    I use a shower now and when I book rooms in a hotel always go for a walk-in shower. I really enjoy my showers. If necessary you can get one with a flap down seat.

    Some councils are willing to put in extra equipment/wet rooms but many just don't have the money. It depends where you live.

    Good luck with whatever path you need to take.

    Me I love my shower.

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 63

    Adapting the bathroom sounds like a big long term solution both myself and the Mrs struggle. Right now I can reached kneeling in the bath but that hurts. Shifting from sat on the side of the bath was doable @DebbieD .Best to watch it done on the internet. Meanwhile what I can say is this. Its prompted me to get some athletic knee support pads and they are amazing. They took all the pain off and I can kneel in the kitchen to reach down into the fridge. Its an effort, but Knee supports are amazing. Not sure I would wear any in the bath, probably not. Dropping myself into the bath from sitting was dooable but requires upper body strength in the arms and at least one good leg, to gain enough leverage on the sides of the bath to get back out to sitting again. Im going to practice a few times without water and see what happens. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jjVrb7HEvY

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 63

    Ok that wasn't easy with real water in the bath and I nearly didn't make it. Dropping into a bath full of water from sitting was a bit scary, and reversing it was a bit more scary. On a scale of 1-10 around 4 scary spiders and around 9.5 sheer effort and mini workout. I noticed my aches were a bit worse afterwards and got me worried about potential trauma. Thats probably where the fear is coming from, and I aught to listen to it and practice some more. But I would have to say the sense of achievement was also pretty high.

  • LizB12
    LizB12 Member Posts: 37

    @crinkly After a disastrous attempt at having a bath, after quite a few years without, I bought a bath lift that sounds similar to yours. I had heard that an Epsom salts bath is very helpful for arthritis. I found it very scary sitting on the bottom from standing, with my husband’s help, and jolted a bit. I started with lower back pain a week or so after and was diagnosed with inflammation of the sacroiliac joints. When I remembered my first experience in the bath I realised that I hurt my coccyx too😫. The doctor says that it may take months to settle so please be careful @Baloo. I have had a few baths using my bath lift so look forward to more when my pain lessens again. I have bought a special cushion to ease it.

  • crinkly
    crinkly Member Posts: 91

    I'm not sure I understand why you had that problem, LizB12. I have used my bath lift a lot and had nothing similar happen so perhaps we are writing of different aids. A paraplegic friend has also used one for many years without mishap but it would be inappropriate to quote maker and model here. Neither of us needs help in using the seat.

    To begin with the seat is level with the top of the bath and has side extensions that overlap the bath sides (allowing transfer from a wheelchair). The user, from outside of the bath, first sits sideways on the bath lift then turns, lifting the legs over the side of the bath so feet are in the water. The hand held rechargeable 'remote control' lowers the seat slowly, giving time to stretch legs in front until the seat is close to the bottom of the bath. The side extensions fold upwards as the seat is lowered. If the control button is not held down the seat doesn't move and there is no jolting as it reaches the lowest point so everything has been achieved smoothly - never any sudden change from standing to sitting in the water, which you seem to describe.

    I hope this makes sense as I can't see how my bath seat would cause the issues you describe. Maybe I should have explained how it operates in more detail but I will be careful.

  • LizB12
    LizB12 Member Posts: 37

    Sorry @crinkly if my post was confusing. I meant that I had the jolting experience when I had my first bath, before I bought my bath lift. The bath was deeper than I thought! Your bath lift sounds exactly like mine. I find it so easy to use 😊

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 63
    edited 6. Oct 2021, 19:03

    @crinkly @LizB12 thank you for you comments it's good to know we are not alone. I jumped in the bath again. Oh no, I didn't. The risk of injury is incredibly high like you say, and it has to be taken real slow. There is something very delicate going on that seems to make every single activity a risk not just the bath. Thats how it feels, and it's very real. The first time my legs slipped away getting in, and the second time getting out I had to wonder how I ever managed to get out last time. I'm not surprised you got injured @LizB12 and hope you find a way it can recover.

  • LizB12
    LizB12 Member Posts: 37

    @baloo. My thoughts exactly. Thank you, my lower back etc is feeling much better this week and feel more positive about continuing baths using my bath lift and returning to little walks.

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