When taking a shower hurts

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, pain and chaos in the world; to find such a place where I can cry as much as I need to and let out a scream or two from time to time—even if only for 5 minutes.

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 crying 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 have 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 and off my body. It makes bathing a bit more complicated, but if I don’t want to smell like a skunk I have to change and adapt to the strange things multiple sclerosis does to me.

It seems MS is good at making simple things, complicated. Who would have guessed that clipping your fingernails could become a near impossibility to accomplish all 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 journey 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. If you ask me, it’s pretty selfish. But regardless, I refuse to let it limit or define me.

REMEMBER: You have this terrible, often times debilitating, disease called Multiple Sclerosis and it’s trying to take over your body, your life…but you are not MS. You are an amazingly courageous person that can still love, dream, laugh, and hope for a better tomorrow. I’m loving, dreaming, laughing and hoping with you.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  


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.

8 replies
  1. Peggy
    Peggy says:

    All tbe comments and your article are so rifht about all of it! Yes tanks for such Postive Thoughts Penelope Conway
    I too rook all that for granted as i type this with my left hand sonce dominate right one sometimes works….

  2. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Thanks Penelope a good hand-up. The main problem in the shower is the lack of mobility and I have help from a group over here that cares for people who can’t do things for themselves. This has been good for both of us as Janice doesn’t have to get up all the time This is one of the ‘joys’ of PTSD (PTSI). I have been fortunate that skin problems have been at a minimum level for me and it’s something I don’t need.

  3. Bernadette
    Bernadette says:

    I thought no one gets that, many people look confused when describing what you just in such a positive way portrayed. We must keep on keeping on.

  4. Claudette
    Claudette says:

    Thank you. It would seem a few of us are going through this right now. So frustrating and ANNOYING. Such is life with MS. Adapt & Overcome has become the new motto in our support group. Sometimes it’s just really hard to do.

  5. Randi firestone
    Randi firestone says:

    I appteciate and empathize with your journey
    Thank you for the encouragement to have a wonderful day!

  6. Meeya
    Meeya says:

    Really hard to believe you did it again… and described exactly my day & the thoughts I’m having today!
    Sitting on my couch now, crying, glad to be home alone, & hugging you from far away… 😙

  7. Renita Adams
    Renita Adams says:

    I’ve been dealing with super sensitive skin also. It’s driving me nuts. At first I blamed my dog, thinking it was fleas or mites. Then I thought maybe it’s bedbugs. The dermatologist stated it’s your MS. Well… thanks a lot MS. Another nerve wracking symptom. Anything with lace around my neck or chest is out of the question. Even some of my sheets that cost a lot… I can’t use. I have found a menthol lotion at Walmart that helps calm the skin. We just have to keep on keeping on in this battle and pray a lot. Love….Renita

  8. Em
    Em says:

    I completely understand. I too have a similar problem on my scalp. Gabapentin (prescribed for neuropathic pain) helps a little, but some days (like today) it feels as if my scalp has been scalded.
    It’s really annoying that such a seemingly simple activity as taking a shower should be a major achievement in overcoming the effects of MS. Major achievement it is though. A victory over MS.
    We will keep fighting!

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