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The Attack of the Shower Chair
By Susan Leck

(Page 1 of 2)

My husband Bud had Huntington’s Disease. I was his caregiver. One of the hardest things for Bud was to have to depend on me or anyone else for toileting and hygiene.

Bud hated not being able to get into the shower any longer, and I was determined that this was one thing he could continue to do---we just needed to make a couple of adjustments. Bud’s bathroom was a half bath---toilet, sink, and a small shower. The bathroom was so small that when you tried to get into the shower, the door would only open about half way. I would help Bud get into the bathroom, close the lid on the toilet and sit him down. I would undress him, then maneuver him into the shower.

Bud had reached the point that he could no longer stand in the shower, and resigned himself to the fact that he would have to have bed baths, giving up the pleasure of being able to shower. I decided that he did not have to lose this also, that all I needed to do was put a shower chair into the shower, then he would be able to sit on the stool while I helped him with his shower.

With this in mind, I purchased a shower chair and a hand held hose, to replace the shower nozzle. Once I had the shower nozzle replaced with the hose, I helped Bud into the bathroom, sat him down as we usually did, got him undressed, then went to put the shower chair into the shower. Upon reflection, it does seem reasonable that someone would have FIRST put the shower chair into the shower, knowing that space was very limited. But, no....not me. Bud tried to tell me that he did not think the shower chair would fit, but being a very stubborn person, I was determined to prove that I was right and it could be done.

Of course, since the door would open only half way, the chair was too wide to slide through the door. Bud sat there in his birthday suit chuckling and saying, “I told you.” This of course, only made me more determined than ever.

After about 15-20 minutes of battling the chair at different angles I hit upon the solution---lift the chair over my head, step into the shower, then set the chair down. The idea seemed simple enough, in theory. I grasped the chair, hoisted it over my head, and started through the half open door. Oh no,...the legs hit the top of the door. Simple, all I had to do was squat, with the chair over my head, duck waddle into the shower, stand up, and set the chair down. But that was not to be.

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