Sponge bathing

Jemima37

Senior Member
Messages
230
Likes
433
Location
UK
I have had CFS for about 2 years. I used to shower everyday and wash my hair daily even with cfs, then earlier this year I had to lower my standards and do them every other day. Since the beginning of September I have been unable to shower daily or every other day. My CFS hit a very bad crash after the heat wave and I have been quite unwell with anxiety and depression this year which lead to a major crash.

I noticed at the end of the summer everytime I showered I was feeling so out of breath and just absolutely exhausted for the rest of the day. It would often trigger panic because I felt so poorly just for taking a 5 minute shower and that was sat down on a stool. I had to stop showering because every time I had a shower I was feeling really ill so my husband suggested sponge baths. I lie on my bed and he washes my body. We've been doing this for a few months now yet I still beat myself up and cry everytime he washes me.. I feel I'm lazy, disgusting or a burden to him. He washes my hair once a week too as I can't manage that as often as I always did which also makes me feel disgusted with myself as I've naturally very greasy hair and it snot trained to go more than a day even being forced to once a week washes haha .we do the body sponge washes eveey other day and the day i between I use some sensitive baby wipes for my pits etc...

My husband reminds me I'm clean, never smell, always wear clean clothes daily etc.. Yet I still think it's wrong I'm having sponge baths. I'm forever comparing myself to well people on tv, instagram etc.. Who have long fresh washed hair and having baths every day. I'm such a perfectionist and at 39 it's been hard for me to accept this year my cfs got to a more moderate level prior I guess it had been mild to moderate but I wasn't in long crashes like this year. Its been tough accepting.

Can anyone reassure me I'm still clean and does anyone else have to do this?

Thwnk you.
J
 
Messages
2,097
Likes
4,246
Location
Japan
Can anyone reassure me I'm still clean and does anyone else have to do this?
I choke back tears nearly every time I have to do this.

When it's not quite as bad, but showering is still difficult, my Wife offers to help me. In spite of the appealing offer of a beautiful woman lathering me up :D, I usually decline.

It is so demoralizing to need such help.
 
Messages
6,178
Likes
15,631
Location
Alabama USA
I worked as a hairdresser all my life. I know this is hard, I have been through times like this as.
The last year I have been working towards taking my baths unaided. I understand the shame we all feel when we must get so much help! You are not gross, your husband would probaby tell you if you were.

I just Googled this subject; there is all these reports that state a daily shower is bad for your skin! Twice a week is what the dermatologists are recommending.

Humans have only been bathing every day for the past few decades. Think about how hard a daily shower would have been! I sold shampoo and conditioner, soap and body products. Much of our personal grooming is not really necessary and we do it because it is marketed to us. The common way we used to bathe before indoor heat and plumbing was maybe once a week. Back then sponge baths were normal.

My hair, I once washed every day because my curls would snap back up and not be unruly. Now I brush it and last year I was using dry shampoo between washing my hair. That helped. The oils will adjust to less frequent washing over time. In the meantime get your husband to pick up the cheapest dry shampoo they make and give it a try. (I use the one in the pink can)

If you PM me I have some other more private girl ways that might help.
 

Jemima37

Senior Member
Messages
230
Likes
433
Location
UK
I worked as a hairdresser all my life. I know this is hard, I have been through times like this as.
The last year I have been working towards taking my baths unaided. I understand the shame we all feel when we must get so much help! You are not gross, your husband would probaby tell you if you were.

I just Googled this subject; there is all these reports that state a daily shower is bad for your skin! Twice a week is what the dermatologists are recommending.

Humans have only been bathing every day for the past few decades. Think about how hard a daily shower would have been! I sold shampoo and conditioner, soap and body products. Much of our personal grooming is not really necessary and we do it because it is marketed to us. The common way we used to bathe before indoor heat and plumbing was maybe once a week. Back then sponge baths were normal.

My hair, I once washed every day because my curls would snap back up and not be unruly. Now I brush it and last year I was using dry shampoo between washing my hair. That helped. The oils will adjust to less frequent washing over time. In the meantime get your husband to pick up the cheapest dry shampoo they make and give it a try. (I use the one in the pink can)

If you PM me I have some other more private girl ways that might help.
Thank you. I have sent you a pm.
 

Neunistiva

Senior Member
Messages
412
Likes
2,137
I haven't had a shower or a bath in 4 years and my mother shaves my hair every few months, when I can handle it.

Right now I have patches of shaved spots on my head because I crashed badly when we tried to shave it 4 days ago. They say I look like I have been mauled by a bear.

I am a 30-something woman with no hair whose mother brushes her teeth every day. So what? Nothing scary happened :) Nothing scarier than having severe ME/CFS anyway.
  • Change your clothes regularly,
  • brush your teeth 2 or 3 times a day,
  • wash your hands many times a day,
  • keep areas where you sweat clean - feet, armpit and groin area,
  • get rid of your hair.
There's no need wash other areas of your body so often, especially if you're not very physically active and don't go out much where you pick up dirt and germs from other people.

Think of this as an opportunity for personal growth and setting your priorities straight. Shiny instagram hair is not important.

And please don't feel like you are a burden. Everyone should feel proud for doing as much as they can, not for doing as much as others can.

Hang in there. This illness is difficult to handle on so many levels.
 

Jemima37

Senior Member
Messages
230
Likes
433
Location
UK
I haven't had a shower or a bath in 4 years and my mother shaves my hair every few months, when I can handle it.

Right now I have patches of shaved spots on my head because I crashed badly when we tried to shave it 4 days ago. They say I look like I have been mauled by a bear.

I am a 30-something woman with no hair whose mother brushes her teeth every day. So what? Nothing scary happened :) Nothing scarier than having severe ME/CFS anyway.
  • Change your clothes regularly,
  • brush your teeth 2 or 3 times a day,
  • wash your hands many times a day,
  • keep areas where you sweat clean - feet, armpit and groin area,
  • get rid of your hair.
There's no need wash other areas of your body so often, especially if you're not very physically active and don't go out much where you pick up dirt and germs from other people.

Think of this as an opportunity for personal growth and setting your priorities straight. Shiny instagram hair is not important.

And please don't feel like you are a burden. Everyone should feel proud for doing as much as they can, not for doing as much as others can.

Hang in there. This illness is difficult to handle on so many levels.
Thank you so much.

Great advice and made me think differently.

I do brush my teeth 3x a day, go toilet myself,. Wash my hands and face myself, get myself dressed, feed myself etc.. So I've alot to be proud of.

As a wife and mum I feel a burden and a let down, it's hard. I've 3 kids all in their teens, they're great and so supportive but the guilt can be tough. I'm lucky to have them.

J xx
 
Messages
1,570
Likes
5,926
Location
Massachusetts
Can anyone reassure me I'm still clean and does anyone else have to do this?
Oh dear, I was dealing with the shower struggle earlier this year (check out the thread here: https://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/bathing-is-hard.61970/). I got a lot of reassurance from people on the forum that daily bathing is not an essential activity to be clean. And I got some good suggestions for keeping clean without the strain of taking a full shower. Now I shower every other day or every two days. And in the interim I wash my face and armpits in the sink, and just wet my hair for a few seconds with the handheld shower head (it's curly, so if I don't do that I'm really wild and woolly!).

I've heard that there are some dry shampoos out there that are good for days when you don't shower. They may help absorb oil and make your hair feel less greasy.

Try not to be so hard on yourself. Showering is really hard. And even the people on instagram don't look perfect in real life (and I doubt that they all have a bath and wash their hair every day--I remember reading somewhere that Kim Kardashian only washes her hair twice a week). Perfectionism is something hard to have with ME/CFS. I felt that way when I first got sick, although my perfectionism centered around housekeeping. It was one of the first things I taught myself to let go (although it wasn't easy, and some days it still isn't easy).

So you're clean, and you're in very good company!
 

Moof

Senior Member
Messages
742
Likes
2,024
Location
UK
Can anyone reassure me I'm still clean and does anyone else have to do this?
You're still clean. And I have to do it as well.

I'm old enough to have grown up in the 1960s. No-one ever showered or bathed daily then. It wasn't lack of money or bathroom facilities – though many of us didn't have either – it just wasn't normal. People bathed and washed their hair once a week, and just had a flannel wash the other days.

We didn't smell, because we washed often enough and we wore clean clothes. (When you meet people who really do smell bad, it's not their body, it's their dirty clothes.)

Then TV advertising became widespread, and the industry realised they could easily con all of us into thinking we smelled bad, so that we'd buy their deodorants and cosmetics.

It worked. We fell for it. They made a fortune. And 50-odd years later, we still think we smell bad if we don't plaster ourselves with unnecessary chemicals at least once a day. The whole thing's hilarious. We probably even suspect that it makes us fat as well.

So think of yourself as mounting a resistance to the advertising industry. Or starting a revolution. Whatever works. Say out loud that you're clean, you're beautiful, you're fierce, and you're not listening to their bloody lies any more!
 

Jemima37

Senior Member
Messages
230
Likes
433
Location
UK
Oh dear, I was dealing with the shower struggle earlier this year (check out the thread here: https://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/bathing-is-hard.61970/). I got a lot of reassurance from people on the forum that daily bathing is not an essential activity to be clean. And I got some good suggestions for keeping clean without the strain of taking a full shower. Now I shower every other day or every two days. And in the interim I wash my face and armpits in the sink, and just wet my hair for a few seconds with the handheld shower head (it's curly, so if I don't do that I'm really wild and woolly!).

I've heard that there are some dry shampoos out there that are good for days when you don't shower. They may help absorb oil and make your hair feel less greasy.

Try not to be so hard on yourself. Showering is really hard. And even the people on instagram don't look perfect in real life (and I doubt that they all have a bath and wash their hair every day--I remember reading somewhere that Kim Kardashian only washes her hair twice a week). Perfectionism is something hard to have with ME/CFS. I felt that way when I first got sick, although my perfectionism centered around housekeeping. It was one of the first things I taught myself to let go (although it wasn't easy, and some days it still isn't easy).

So you're clean, and you're in very good company!
Thank you so much, so reassuring.

I really appreciate your reply. You've been very kind.
 

Jemima37

Senior Member
Messages
230
Likes
433
Location
UK
You're still clean. And I have to do it as well.

I'm old enough to have grown up in the 1960s. No-one ever showered or bathed daily then. It wasn't lack of money or bathroom facilities – though many of us didn't have either – it just wasn't normal. People bathed and washed their hair once a week, and just had a flannel wash the other days.

We didn't smell, because we washed often enough and we wore clean clothes. (When you meet people who really do smell bad, it's not their body, it's their dirty clothes.)

Then TV advertising became widespread, and the industry realised they could easily con all of us into thinking we smelled bad, so that we'd buy their deodorants and cosmetics.

It worked. We fell for it. They made a fortune. And 50-odd years later, we still think we smell bad if we don't plaster ourselves with unnecessary chemicals at least once a day. The whole thing's hilarious. We probably even suspect that it makes us fat as well.

So think of yourself as mounting a resistance to the advertising industry. Or starting a revolution. Whatever works. Say out loud that you're clean, you're beautiful, you're fierce, and you're not listening to their bloody lies any more!
Thank you so much.

You are right and that's very reassuring.

I find myself counting the weeks since my last shower and crying.. Worrying I'm not a normal person etc.. My husband showers every other day. My teens shower every day at least once but my daughter showers just twice a week because she says there's no need to shower every day. I like her style. She's 13 and always smells nice and clean and has beutiful hair.

Growing up we showered just once a week. My mum never bathed, just flannel washes we she hated showers. Again she never smelt.

Thank you for reassuring me it's ok. I'm forever worrying I'm at risk of skin issues or uti if I'm not clean enough in areas that need proper shower cleans.

Ju
 

Moof

Senior Member
Messages
742
Likes
2,024
Location
UK
You know how everyone tells women what to do? Like, we should start a daily practice of meditation or eating clean or massaging our cellulite (although not all together, because that could start an earthquake, which would be dangerous, and we can't have women being dangerous). I think we should start a daily practice of Giving No Fucks.

I think we should all Google pictures of women who clearly give no fucks, like Rosa Parks or Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Boudicca or the Virgin Mary, and then start taking pictures of ourselves giving no fucks. Men who feel they might, on occasion, have given rather too many fucks are welcome to join us.

I'm sorry I'm so annoyed, and I'm sorry I've hijacked @Jemima37's thread, but advertising. And Brexit. I'm sure you understand.
 

ahmo

Senior Member
Messages
4,622
Likes
7,098
Location
Northcoast NSW, Australia
I shower once a week, whether I need it or not.;) And just heard from a friend who's now doing it every 2 weeks. If I'm going to meet anyone, or go to shops, I use vinegar on a washcloth and get my bits. Hair is generally the thing that makes me shower today. But my hair has also become way beyond my ability to manage, since I'm lying most of the day, and have weak arms so don't spend time on it except for good brushing. I think I'm not far from not caring at all.:whistle:
 
Messages
6,178
Likes
15,631
Location
Alabama USA
I wear my hair long, I am accustomed to it and feel weird when it is short. The good part about long hair is that I can put it up if anyone is going to see me! Best part I don't have to go and get regular haircuts.
The oil adjusted after a while and it takes two weeks for it to get dirty looking. Showers really take a lot out of me for some reason.
 

vision blue

Senior Member
Messages
222
Likes
208
And here I thought i'd have the record for not showering or bathing for 1 year and 4 months, but looks like i've soundly lost to the 4 year stretch. Both triggered flares of one sort or another, and the electric sensations to head i got were so bad i just could not risk it anymore. Ah, wanted to say more, but really need to try to take a nap, though of course will be too noisy. Quick thing on hair- after a few weeks of not using shampoo, it stops being oily.