Sometimes I cry in the shower

There are times I wish everyone would just go away and leave me alone so I can clear my head and distance myself from all the drama, arguments and chaos in the world; to find such a place where I can cry as much as I need and let out a scream or two from time to time—even if only for 5 minutes. Now that would be amazing.

It’s not always easy finding that perfect spot. The place where no one else is hanging around to judge you for simply being you. For me, that place just so happens to be in my shower. Somehow I am able to have my own little pity party in the solitude of the bathroom away from the world as water gushes down my face. It just seems easier to think and cry in the shower. I have washed many tears down the drain in my lifetime.

Lately though, showers haven’t been so freeing. This may sound weird to some of you, but much of the skin on my face, arms and legs has become so hypersensitive that even water hitting me from the shower head hurts. And when I say hurts…I mean HURTS!

I’ve been pointing the shower head to the side wall and filling a large cup with water to rinse the shampoo out of my hair. It makes bathing a bit more complicated, but if I don’t want to smell like a skunk on a hot summer’s day, I change and adapt.

It seems Multiple Sclerosis is good at making simple things, complicated. Who would have guessed that clipping your fingernails could become a near impossibility to accomplish by yourself? Or that things like signing a check, picking up the mail, vacuuming, getting dressed, or even brushing your teeth require more time, energy and help than ever before?

I never really thought about doing those things in the past. I just did them without realizing how much I was truly taking for granted. But today, many things have become a challenge for me to complete. It’s as if each day, as I pull back the covers to get out of bed, I start my ascend to the top of Mount Everest. I don’t always make it to the top as the day comes to a close, but I press on anyway.

Multiple Sclerosis is the disease that keeps on giving and taking away. But regardless, I refuse to let it limit or define me.

REMEMBER: You have this terrible, pesky disease called Multiple Sclerosis and it’s trying to take over your body, but you are not MS. You are an amazingly courageous person that can still love, dream, laugh, and hope for a better tomorrow.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  

About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

42 replies
  1. Shirley
    Shirley says:

    I can identify with so many of these posts. I, too, tried PT, but my back and shoulders began to ache, so I quit. I also have dizziness problems, so PT was a problem for me. When I get depressed, I ask God for strength and thank him for my blessings (yes, we all still have them). He always answers my prayers. God bless all of you.

  2. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    You know what? I have to say, that sucks!!!!! It’s ridiculous and a bunch of crap that you ( and others) know the pain you have to face in cleansing your physical body!!
    Here’s the thing, in reading this, my thoughts (along w/ 🖕) are this. While showering, cleaning your body, your tears of pain are also cleansing your insides, your soul! Is this comforting to you? I bet not and wouldn’t blame you if you think this comment is a crock of….well you know!!

    I met with MS back in 2011. It took my marriage, my independence, my family, and many friends. I have been told, I’m sick and can’t do anything, it’s all in my head and even, that I used it for an excuse. Here’s the thing, I have learned and absorbed a tremendous amount of information about my MS. I, like you Ms. P, have learned to find the positive, the humorous things that this disease wants to knock me down with. It won’t happen!!! Sure, there are days, months, etc. that I found myself depressed, isolated, exhausted and what I call absolutely stupid!!! I’m sure those reading this can relate!! It can drive one insane sometimes however, it a sad way, knowing there are others out there that can relate and understand, is a true blessing within it self.
    I’m sorry that you have found, once again, where MS. has shown its ugly self in a different form and wether you know it or not, you have shown, by opening up and sharing on this page, that you are incredibly strong!!! your honesty and strength has brought comfort and smiles to those that can relate!!! Keep smiling, Keep crying, Keep moving on!!!!!
    Many blessings to all❤️

  3. Annette Phillips
    Annette Phillips says:

    Penelope- I’ve been reading your posts almost daily since I discovered them. Thank you very much. It makes me feel a little less alone. I was blessed with this MS since 2001, officially, you’re right, every day is a new challenge. There is no standard, that I’ve noticed these last16 yrs. Here’s looking forward to more “good days”. God bless you.

  4. Sue James
    Sue James says:

    Thank you so much for your daily posts, I look forward to reading them as I find them very helpful.
    I was diagnosed 22yrs ago and as much as I can still walk, there are so many things I can’t do it struggle with but I don’t notice straight away when something becomes more difficult, it’s only when I look back at the things I used to be able to do.
    I’ve had the painful skin a few times over the years but I was given gabapentin about 10yrs ago and was recently swapped into Lyrica, both of which have suppressed the pain (to a degree) so I don’t have it quite so badly when it recurs.
    Keep up the good work, we all love your posts but first and most important of all, make sure to look after yourself 💕💕💕

  5. Delores Midolo
    Delores Midolo says:

    It hurts me alot to take a shower and I over heat and it takes forever to wash,I am weak all the time,I bare get out of shower and then I got to dry off,when I am over heated and can barely do the task! So I don’t get a shower that often! I wash up at sink little at a time ! It is Hell

  6. Robert Krone says:

    I was just at a cabin for a week where I couldn’t shower, but I did bring baby wipes to wash myself with. Had to do that a couple of times in the Army when I was sleeping outside without showers, so it wasn’t my first experience doing that. We had a tub there, but I need a transfer shower bench to get in a tub now. The baby wipes won’t help with washing hair though.

  7. Elizabeth Karroll says:

    Not too long ago, I started to notice that just having a too small shirt hurt my skin. I didn’t give it much thought till I hoped in the shower. I just couldn’t believe that my skin could actually hurt. But it does. Thank you for putting a validation to this. Ms P, I pray for you daily! When you that is going through so much, still writes to help the rest of us.

  8. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Hi all. I use to love my showers. It was my own time. Showers was my best friend that never let me down. And now because of ms I can no longer shower on my own with our carers. And it hurts the worst pain is when the water hits my head. Only In some parts. I always love water. So now I swim.

  9. Aileen Brown says:

    Am a bath person and have always done my thinking crying etc there showers are when I don’t have much time and someone us home with me as have a shower over the bath and had a couple of near misses losing my balance but live a hood soak – being in water whether it’s the bath pool or sea makes me feel almost normal

    • Annette Phillips
      Annette Phillips says:

      I’m like you Aileen. I love a fantastic soak with Eucalyptus Epsom salt. My joints and muscles feel like they’re getting the attn. they’ve been missing.

  10. shari
    shari says:

    Hi Penelope, Everyday you write you inspire me to be a better person, to be aware of those who do love and care for me and when I want to yell out to feel the releif of venting, I remember your words and courage. You make me a better person.

    On another note I am wondering if it is possible to access more older posts ? There was one around the 9th of Aug. this year that I would like to read once again, if this requires more work please do not do anything, I am inquiring because your writing is so uplifting while being so real. Thank you once again.

  11. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    My heart aches for you. It is so inspiring that you are so open to sharing and can put a positive spin on things .Have had the monster for 27 years now but am ambulatory though need to use a walker for balance and scooter for all distances. After 25 years on copaxone started having reactions weekly and as SPMS now no meds . Met folks who swear by LDN. Does it work??? Don’t have any great miracles to share but have taken it for 3 months now. Never experience allot of pain but now muscles in back get tired from minimal walking. Go to PT and going to try yoga. Suffer from low grade depression so see therapist weekly as meds hate me. Listen to meditation many times a day and at night. Amazon has allot of Belleruth Napersak’s even one on MS which are comforting.

  12. Leslie Beaver says:

    I feel very fortunate. Because pain and an inability to sleep are not parts of my MS reality. Not that all is fantastic. But my personal glass is still half full.

  13. Sue Smith says:

    Ah Penelope I have a tendency to curse and swear in the shower that’s very freeing too! Isn’t everything so flaming difficult and it shouldn’t be should it? Your posts do make me feel less alone but I wish I could do something to help you as much as your posts help others. Xx

  14. Joelle Brouillette says:

    THANK YOU so much for your posts !!!!! You are so totally relevant to my life… is so hard to explain what is going and why ! I know they want to help but sometimes they just can’t !!! God bless you!!!!

  15. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    Yes, Penelope, I understand. What used to be simple things, are now more complicated. To go out for the day, I must get up 3 hours earlier to be ready on time. I’m finally ready to go, and am exhausted from just getting ready!

  16. Leah
    Leah says:

    Oh Penelope, you’ve just made me tear up learning that the shower water hurts you.:( Crap, finding solace in the shower has become a pain…what next? When I shower…which seems to take me an eternity, I can’t afford a good cry as I need to have my full attention in the stall so I don’t fall. I can’t even imagine what it must be like for you when you say that the shower spray pains your skin. When I’m too tired to take a shower, I give myself a sponge wash and use dry shampoo to clean my hair…perhaps this could help you? Take care:)

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