When basic personal hygiene becomes an accomplishment for which you pat yourself on the back, you know you’ve reached a level of questionable humanity. I hit that level this time last year.
The first year of my chronic pain condition, or neurological condition, or whatever the hell we’re calling this constant hurt these days… is something of a blur of medical appointments, tears, battles with insurance, and wasted hope. It wasn’t until my first hospitalization at the Jefferson Headache Center that I feel like my journey with this pain began. I could read back through this blog to see what my pain levels were and how functional I was before that hospitalization, but I don’t see the point. If I don’t remember it, it means that it was nothing compared to the hard-hitting come back that my pain made last Autumn.
I was pain free for about three days last year. That’s what I get from my hospital stays, about three days. Hardly worth it now, but when I’m in those three days it’s heavenly. After those three days, however, the pain does this thing that really fucks with my head. It creeps. It lingers at the edges. It pokes at me and prods and plans. After approximately 6 weeks of semi-functionality where I begin to feel like a real, live woman again, the level 10 days start.
From November, 2013 to May, 2014 of last year, I was barely human. I was bedridden. I lived in pajamas unless I had to go somewhere and then it was a huge ordeal to plan my medication so that I could resemble something human. In January, I started having autistic meltdowns on a pretty regular basis. Everything was bad.
Bathing was a huge accomplishment, and for the first time in my life I started leaving the house without bathing.
After May, post-second-hospitalization, and during the sunny, funny size week golden period of semi-functionality… I bathed so very frequently. I showered too. It was wonderful.
Alas, when my brain decided it was done letting me be a person, the personal hygiene glory had to come to an end and I was once more confined to my bed and days of dry shampoo and diaper wipe baths.
Today was Wednesday and I bathed. The last bath I had was on Sunday. I have not showered or bathed in any way in between. I have changed my jammies. I have cleaned my face and kept my hair wrapped.
People came to my house to watch a television show, so I wanted to look like a person.
Bathing is what I accomplished today.