By Susan Leck
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
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.