Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A shower

The water turns on, and you wait for it to heat up while you do your exercises for your ankle. Counting 20 of them. That's how long it takes to get the water to warm, is twenty times onto your toes and back, and doing that helps with your ankle strength. Then you step in.

You were careful to bundle your hair first. That way your hair could stay as dry as possible. But without a good stream of water you have to be careful still. You don't want to let your hair get wet. Then you have to deal with it drying. So you are careful about where you stand, and where the shower head points trying to be as careful as possible.

Lots of little beads of water, hitting your skin. You feel every one of them. They're very uneven. You're very aware of every bit of how uneven the temperature of your skin is too. It's not comfortable. The shower pressure knob has fallen down again, and you turn it up. It's not as bad at full pressure, there are more little beads of water now. It's less uneven. It doesn't feel so wrong.

Even closed the shampoo bottles are noticeable, and the smell is getting to you, especially combined with the heat. If you turned the heat down, your entire body would be in pain, both in terms of muscles tensing into spasms, and in terms of the beads feeling like little knives cutting into your skin. So instead, you let your head rest against the side of the shower, as you become more light headed, the smell overtaking you, making you more and more nauseous and your head start to pound.

But, you need to get clean. So, you force yourself up, and put some of the body wash in your hand. This is another place you're careful, only getting the hypoallergenic stuff. Other things the smells stick around afterwards, and the feeling of the shower that lasts after is increased. But, you wash yourself, as quickly as you can, carefully holding yourself up. You need to be careful that you're fast, but at the same time, you need to be careful not to fall over with the nausea, lightheadedness, and vertigo, that has set in. Rinse. The pressure is more noticeable the longer you're in here. You need to get out, but if you're not clean the entire thing has been a waste. You're almost done. Make sure to get through it. Face, okay, clean your face. Because washing your face in the sink is even harder than this. Any water from the shower falling on your face feels like an attack, so carefully control it with your hands. Get your face wet, wash your face with something carefully unscented. Go to rinse, and accidentally put your face in the stream, it hurts, it feels like your eyes are being attacked. It's okay, it's okay. Make sure your hands are rinsed, and splash your face with your hands, over and over and over again. And after your are sure its clean of any of the soap-stuff another three time. Eyes still won't open because they don't trust it. Just carefully clear the eyes with water and your hands, show them its okay. Open your eyes. It's fine.

By this time you're wobbling, you don't trust yourself to stand. Are you clean yet? Finish quickly if not. Get out as fast as you can. Grab your robe and put it on. Trying to actively dry would be like ripping your skin off, so instead you have to make due with drying with a robe and time.

Go to walk upstairs, but now you've lost the ability to see. It's been too much. You managed to get out without jumping out in order to vomit this time. That's not always been the case. But that doesn't mean you got out without other...challenges? Okay, you want to get up to your bed, because you feel like you're going to vomit, you can barely understand what ground is, and now you can't see. So...feel around in front of you, you know your house. Find the railing to the stairs. Hold careful as you walk up the stairs. The railing changes most of the way up the stairs. Try to figure out how to deal, and just crawl the way up the stairs then. You make it. Get back up, and feel the way to your room. Find your bed, and fall onto it. Head pounding, you feel safe now.

You have somewhere you can just dry now. You can wait it out. You can let your head stop spinning, and stop pounding and go back to normal. You can let your stomach calm down. You can let your sight return to normal. Pull your blanket over you, despite the risk of it getting wet. Now, its just the time to get over all of this. Now its just recovery.

Vision comes back reasonably quickly. The others, take a while. If you try to rush drying then it feels like you're attacking yourself. If you try to get dressed before you're done drying, then your clothes don't stop attacking you even after you're done drying. But its better within the hour.

Except, there are still aftermaths. Your skin still feels wrong. It feels almost disconnected and overconnected at the same time. It feels too rough. Every touch that is made you feel for so long after its made that you don't even realize when its stops because it just keeps going and going and going. And its not pleasant touch, its that creepy crawly this is a bug crawling on your skin and its wrong, except multiplied. It's the feeling the bad part of tickling with out any of the parts that make you laugh, and it doesn't stop, it just keeps going and going and going, no matter what is touched. And then there's pain, pain from touching simple objects. Pain from touching something as simple as paper. Discomfort from touching the air. The only way to keep is under control at all is constant motion. Then those pains and discomforts and the creepy crawlies of every last hair, and cloth, and misguided object, and thing you bumped into, are overwhelmed to some degree.

Things aren't always easy. But, its what's needed.

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