Showering with a Migraine attack may not seem like a big issue, but it definitely can be. What I write is often inspired by conversations I observe in the online Migraine community. Not too long ago, a woman in a Facebook group mentioned that she had nearly passed out in the shower while showering with a Migraine attack. She’s not alone.
Many of us have had similar problems. I have, and the physical issues led to even more emotional Migraine baggage. With my independence already compromised so often, problems with showering safely hit me hard.
From online discussions, I know other people with Migraine feel the same way. Many of us have trouble showering safely during Migraine attacks, and for those of us with Chronic Migraine, that can be as often as daily. Migraine takes enough away from us, but here it is again. Raising its ugly head and making showering feel like a luxury.
This has been a problem for me for many years now. There are several issues that can be problematic. Those that are most problematic for me are:
- bright bathroom lighting,
- feeling dizzy or off-balance, and
- allodynia that makes it hurt to touch some areas of the body or even to brush my hair.
My husband would have done anything to help me, but it’s a real blow to the independence to have to ask someone to stay in the bathroom while I shower. Plus, there have been times when his response was to tell me, “If you’re not feeling steady, maybe you should skip the shower today.” What? Ewwwww. No way.
Enough! Frustrated, but not willing to let Migraine disease take anything more away from me, I set out to make my bathroom safer and more friendly toward showering with a Migraine attack. Here are some of the things I did:
- Asked my husband to install a dimmer switch for the overhead lighting.
- Put a couple of fragrance-free candles on the counter for times when the overhead lighting is just too much. These candles are in glass jars to reduce fire risk.
- Asked my husband to install a hand-held adjustable shower head similar to the one in the photo above. It can be put in its mount and used as a regular shower head, or taken out of the mount and held in my hand. The water flow is also adjustable. It can be a soft, gentle flow of water, or it can be a shower massage.
- Put an adjustable height shower stool in the tub. The legs on the stool are adjustable, so it can be low and close to the bottom of the tub, or higher, making it a bit easier to sit down when balance is an issue. It takes up little space, so it can be taken out of the tub and stuck in the linen closet, or it can just be left in the back of the rub.
- Placed a small cabinet next to the bathtub. The top of it is big enough to hold a few things I might need or want. During a Migraine attack, I often fill a large travel mug with hot tea. Then, when I’m done bathing and washing my hair, I can sit on the stool, enjoy the hot water streaming over me, and drink my tea.
These simple changes to my bathroom have made it a bit of a haven. It’s functional and comfortable, AND it’s safer than it was. The changes have given me back the ability to shower independently, which has become especially important since my husband passed away. Regaining that independence is a victory over Migraine disease, and every victory leaves me better able to face the other challenges of living with Migraine.
Do you have other suggestions for making our bathrooms more comfortable and safer? If so, please leave a comment below, and share them with us!