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


11 replies
  1. Carla L Broadbent Rogers
    Carla L Broadbent Rogers says:

    Showers…..they have become a major production…….Lots of baby wipes, powder, and washcloth wipe downs…..thank goodness my dogs and cats understand. Every once in a while I will get an assist. A little sloppy and rough, but it is with love. Be well. Sweet smells to all.

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

    Thanks Penelope we do have a different life now. I get help with showers and dressing as I can’t always do that and it gets harder for me to do. I am grateful for their help and tell them that so they don’t get messed up with others that don’t do that.

  3. Roland R Clarke
    Roland R Clarke says:

    I admire your perseverance in the face of MS. It does take so much away. I’ve now found nail-clipping hard/impossible, and stupidly, opening bottles and even packages.

    I fear I smell like a skunk or worse as I can no longer take a shower. I rely on other people to transfer me into our walk-in bath – and that happens rarely. Left doing strip washes which are hard to do.

  4. Vicky
    Vicky says:

    I used to take 2 showers a day without thinking about it. Now i take 2 showers a week (i exaggerate for effect) but pretty much the truth. My dogs will tell me i stink and then i know its time to shower.

    It still blows my mind how much i took for granted.

  5. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    You wrote exactly what i go through…i thought it was just me & i was a bit crazy. A shower can take all my energy its crazy and forget about when i have to wash my hair i dread it. MS is hard but we are stronger & have learned how to adjust our life so we can live our best life. Thank you so much for sharing

  6. Mari Löf
    Mari Löf says:


    You are a true warrior. When you discribe the shower… I feel the same thing, but i try to keep positive and let the tears run down my cheek.
    Thank you 🙏🏻
    Best wishes from Mari in Sweden ☀️

  7. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    My shower can be my sanctuary, the place I can go and cry in peace, without having anyone ask, “What’s wrong with you now???” But sometimes it is not so relaxing. Sometimes the water hitting my skin hurts and makes me cringe and tense up so bad. The only thing I can compare it to is the reaction some people have to the sound of fingernails scraping on a chalkboard – while it may not be exactly the same kind of pain, the reaction is similar. It hurts in a way that is so hard to explain.

  8. Leah
    Leah says:

    I completely understand where you’re coming from. Clipping my fingernails and toenails is so difficult to do let alone paint them. It’s a task just to get in and out of the shower too. In fact, I had quite the fall last month just trying to transfer myself from my shower stool to my scooter which gave me a huge bruise and hematoma on my arm. Thankfully, Arnica lotion and granules healed it, but it took a full month to do.
    I used to enjoy taking a shower, now it’s something I dread doing. Thanks for sharing your story:)

    • Peggy
      Peggy says:

      Oh how i agree with you and Leah…clipping nails? Who would’ve thought that was an impossible task? Much less painting?!
      Showering was enjoyable but now a task that has to be done. But as thoughts for today…you could get killed in the shower! I grew up with a tub no shower curtain. Can still remember 1st experience at 14 staying at friend’s just as Psycho came out ( only saw preview) and pulling the shower curtain! OMG 🤔 now our home has those glass doors on them i insisted they were installed!

    • Penelope Conway
      Penelope Conway says:

      I’m so sorry about the fall transferring. I have done that myself more times than I can count. Glad you are mending. Transfer falls aren’t talked about as much as they should be. xoxo


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