When it’s time to go home or move house or take a little vacation you will need to focus quickly on what’s important to do yourself at home, safely and explore the practicalities of taking care of your business.
Before I was discharged from hospital last year, the kind people monitoring my health and on-going care took a field trip to my condo in Calgary to make sure it had all of the safety features I would need to continue my journey back to awesome without mishap.
A Shower or bath is something you will use every day or at least several times a week- so thinking through the logistics is an undertaking worthy of your time. Once I had my bathroom in good order, the OT from the hospital nodded his approval and asked me to test it out by stepping into the shower using the new handrails, sitting down on the new shower bench and mimicking how I would get washed, rinsed, dried and out of the shower (want to feel like a child again? have a stroke). At one point he paused, gazed skyward and posed the following question to me “Looks good to me but …
how will you clean
He was right! how would I do it especially when all slippery with soap? If the Voyeur in you is waiting for a detailed discussion of process – as a New York friend would say forgedda-bout-it.
Lets just say my options are limited but I manage to take care of that business just fine. (thankfully I have one good hand unaffected by the stroke, which is helpful)
Which brings us to yesterday’s adventures with wax. Even if you are feeling like Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables) once felt “in the depths of despair” your hair and nails will continue to grow and need regular attention. My suggestion – dig in and get a routine in place. On weekend passes out of the hospital I had regular hair and nail appointments every two-four weeks for wash and blowout (what my Mom would have called a wash and set in her day) and mani-pedi’s (I like the gel/shellac version which last about four weeks looking amazing). You will want to keep your fingernails short – trust me on this one. I have been a nail-biter all my life until the stroke – no more biting – just long beautiful nails that get caught in everything.(As an aside: Try OPI Big Apple Red or Bogota Black Cherry for a happy punch of colour – I smile every time I look at my hands)
I still fumbled my way along with a razor and a little help from my friends (PSW who came to visit daily when I first went home and of course my husband when I got twisted up in knots or got too many small cuts trying to do it myself.
So today’s epiphany is all about the wax.I’m a big fan of gritting my teeth and just getting the job, whatever it is, done. So yesterday afternoon (otherwise known as half price waxing Wednesday at Spa 901) was all about just getting it done. To my normal routine I added a half leg wax which is from ankle to knee and in preparation I’d been growing my leg hair for several weeks. I’ve been shaving my legs all my adult life and I’d only ever had a leg wax once and that was before leaving for Fiji to get married over 10 years ago. I remembered it was painful. I just didn’t remember quite how much as I flinched and grunted my way through what was only about 10 minutes or so of actual activity. At one point I asked for a brief pause to touch my legs for a bit of instant gratification to give me the courage to carry on.
(As an aside: this reminds me of when I was a newbie skier on the hill at Lake Louise for the first time. Terror-stricken I had found myself on an icy advanced run and snow-ploughed my way to into a rolling ball ending in a full-on “yard sale”. Then I picked myself up, somehow, stood straight and looked around at my flung out gear – poles, gloves, ski’s – and looked down the hill – and I said to myself “there’s only one way down that hill at the moment an you have to get yourself there – grit teeth, focus and just do it). Yesterday was like that – the job was started and needed to be finished no backing out – just – do it. And I did. And made my next appointment for five weeks out. It just gets easier from here with the main job done its now just maintenance which is sure to be – easier – right?
Feature picture is me feeling awesome in Toronto at good friend’s Don and Brian’s about a year before the stroke took that smile off my face.