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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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What do you do in the shower??

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Ok, this might sound werid but what do you do when you take a shower? I have a chair from when i shattered my knee and still use it. But i hear that some people balance on one leg. :o

Is it hard? Safe? Does anyone use a shower leg? How do they work?

Thanks! :D

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Shay,

Ok.... Showers we all take them me I have never had two feet to stand on.... lol no pun intended... When I was young I took my showers standing on one foot never fell in the shower thank god.... When I was a teenager and I was pretty much done growing I would use my old leg for a shower leg, swim leg and beach leg you can have your prosthetist make one for you as well. Four years ago my husband bought me a shower stool and I have not worn a shower leg since. It is nice to sit on the stool and shower having the water run down the leg and get a nice soapy lather.. I personally don't recommend shower leg on a regular basis. Slip hazards are so great when you add water so I don't recommend standing on one leg in the shower and 100's of amputees fall and hurt their distal end and end up having revision surgery. I have met a few of them and they have told me if only I had done this and not this etc. Be safe in the shower and around swimming pools....

Brenda

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I've had a new shower put in - the old one wasn't safety glass which would be dangerous if I fell (not that I have).

When putting in the new shower we had a hand rail - a small one put just inside the shower, for me to hold onto when getting in and out of the shower. We also had a folding shower seat fitted to the back wall - this seat is small and indiscrete yet can support up to 200 Kg - It is the same colour as the shower wall and when folded up is almost unnoticable.

When showering, I alternate between standing and sitting - depending on which bits I'm washing - or how I'm feeling.

The last thing I wanted when modifying the bathroom was something that looked like a 'disabled' bathroom. It had been suggested that we get a full wet area bathroom, but we were dead against that as it did not fit in with the era of our house and was over-the-top in what was required.

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I don't have shower rails in my shower a friend gave me two rails but they are not really what I was looking for and my husband has never installed them because once they are in they are in. The other thing my husband bought me was a pull down shower head so when I'm sitting on the stool I don't have the water pelting on my head. I know that when you add these things to your life it's like saying you are disabled and believe me I don't concider myself disabled so think of them as safety devises. :P

Brenda

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Hi everyone,

a very good point! To be honest I've never really thought about it.

I have a handle on the wall, a bath bench and a small seat that fits in the bath. Once in, I take out the seat, just lay soaking in the foam/water. I did think it weird at first, because my stump (rak) used to 'float'.

The bath bench is ideal for toiletries and of course, a mug of coffee. :)

Somehow, I don't think a shower would be the same. And agree that 'showers' have potential hazards.

Best regards

Steve

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I used to shower standing on one leg, but since my knee op on my good leg I can't stand on it for very long before it gets tired and threatens to collapse. I'm going to get a shower stool so that I can once again enjoy my showers, and its also a lot safer as pointed out already! ;)

The ones that attach to the wall and fold up when not in use sound good.

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I forgot to mention in my previous post that with the folding seat set at the height it is set at, I can stand in the shower with one knee on the seat (guess which one). I found that standing on one leg was not only tiring but I tended to lose my balance if I shut my eyes.

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Good question, Shay, and good responses everyone!

Having fallen on my stump once (an extremely painful hotel experience), I am cautious around wet floors. I replaced my shower doors with a curtain and purchased a large bath bench with a back on it. It is stable and I can sit on it and then swing my legs into the tub. (Funny, insurance didn't pay for the bath bench - they consider it a convenience item - even for an amputee!). Then I installed a hand held showerhead with a 6-foot hose and put a holder on the wall next to the bench to hold the showerhead. This way I can sit in the water to stay warm, use both hands to wash my hair, and reach it without standing up. The showerhead usually falls from the wall holder when the water is off, so I rest it on the bench, or after I am on dry land, I place it in the regular holder. My holder is clear and only cost about $5, but you can also purchase metal adjustable bars that the shower head slides up and down on. The larger bench is more cumbersome, especially in a small bathroom, but I like the safety. Eventually I would like to replace the tub with a shower and install a folding wall bench. It may look handicapped, but I care more about being comfortable in my own bathroom. Nothing like a long hot shower or bath!

Does anyone have a good solution for traveling? Hotels usually have a small, unsteady bench available, but what about traveling to family and friends? Has anyone purchased a small, foldable bench? I assume (usually a bad idea) that once I get a shower leg, I can just pack it and take it along. (I wonder what airport security thinks when they see a leg in your checked luggage?!?)

Have a great day and stay clean!

Deb

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Hello fellow Synovial Sarcoma Cancer Survivor (Deb T),

Has anyone purchased a small, foldable bench?

They price out between $65 and $100. To rich for my blood. I use the XeroSox prosthetic cover and swear by it. It was a big step in my road to independence. Cost is between $32 and $39. Purchased mine from MediChest.com, but you can get them directly from XeroSox. I still request a shower chair at the hotels that I stay at so that I have an additional chair in the bathroom to work from. The XeroSox is all that I use in the shower. Have the same setup at home. Here is a great related topic on the forum: Summer/Travel Tips with Prosthesis... We had fun preparing for a support group meeting topic and got lots of useful travel information for it. I love to travel ! ! ! !

Good wishes and best regards, :blink:

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Thanks Johnny V for the tips on traveling. I am venturing out on my 1st cruise with my sister and found those tips very helpful.

Phyl

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I am an aka - I have never used anything for the shower....I now have a shower unit only in my home downstairs and a garden tub upstairs....I use the shower the most. I have had shower/tub units in the past and I have always been one to "hop in" and balance I guess. :D Wow, it never ocurred to me that others use equipment....nor did it occur to me to get safety glass in my current shower doors....all things that I probably should consider.

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I just use a plastic patio chair with no arms on it. It's just the perfect width and height for the tub. I've heard of the shower legs, but how would you wash the stump?

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I've always been able to balance on one leg. The hard part is getting in and out. If the surface is slippery I'm just a little more careful. I've had a couple of spills but not bad ones and only when I'm not being careful.

Cat

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HI EVERYONE

My shower floor is raised, so I wheel my wheelchair up to the edge and then stand on my leg and slide down to the floor which I sit on to shower, I have a movable handpiece and a rail on the right hand side which is the amputated side of where I sit. I then put my leg over the step ( which is raised) and stand on one leg with the help of the rail and plonk down into the wheelchair. Works very well. By the way the raised floor was a mistake by the builder long before I had my amputation so in the end it was a good mistake ( if you know what I mean).

Regards Jenny

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I've got a bath board, supplied by the occupational therapist. It fits across the bath and can be taken in and out by anyone else using the bath. Our shower is above the bath, so like Lauren I sit on the seat whilst taking a shower. The shower head is removable, like the telephone type so I hold it in one hand and wash myself with the other. When you've finished washing you can swing your legs over the side of the bath, still sitting on the bathboard. I must admit, this was one of the the things worrying me the most about having the amputation (I've not had it yet, but can't stand up because of the pain), but having the bathboard has been a godsend.

Hope this helps a bit.

Regards.

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I had to comment here, because of brians question about washing your stump. I dont have a shower leg, have a stool and shower head that can be hand held, works great...BUT sometimes like today, when we just got home from camping and my stump felt grimy inside my socket, I just stand at my bathroom sink and wash it under the hand facuet......not unlike shaving your legs at the sink, for the girls in the group. The funniest thing to me is that whenever I am standing at the sink without my leg on I prop my stump up on the counter next to the sink. I suppose it helps that I am fairly tall for a woman, (5'10") and it is the perfect resting place, height wise. So when I then wash my liner out I just throw my stump up on the counter and have MUCH better balance while my hands are wet.

Hope this helps someone.... ;)

Judy

LBK

Utah

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I too use the trusty bathboard. I sit on it, swing myself into the bath and then shower, or sit on the board to shower quickly. Problem with sitting in the bath is that when it comes to pushing myself up onto the board when i have finished it can be quite slippy, or if i am tired and i don't have as much upper body strentgh then i have slipped, not too badly but i have had a couple of scares. :(

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Josh has never had a shower he has been a bath boy from way back (both my other two children shower though)He sits on the edge of the bath and swings over and in, its never been a problem.Eventually he will want to take a shower though so its been great reading all your comments.

Debbie

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Hi

I have a shower over the bath and can hold the shower head, as a bilateral b/k I either kneel or sit in the bath for showering. I have different methods of getting in and out the bath, years ago there weren't any aids given so you had to use your upper body strength. Afraid I am a bit like, I think it was Brenda who said, she didn't want a "disabled" bathroom, we may be selling the house in a few years so want to keep it as ordinary as possible.

Hotels are a whole diff. ballgame though!

Ann

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Errr, Ladycapulet, is that a bulky shower bench or derriere??!!?? :P :P :P :P :P

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A little of both. Before my amputation I had a fairly average size booty...now (as I've mentioned before) after having the hemipelvectomy it's like one HUGE butt cheek on my left side.

So I got plenty of my own padding :D

I have found that the non-padded shower benches get to slippery and I have fallen off of one. So padded is the way to go. It can still get a little slippery but I have been fine.

:rolleyes:

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