Tips for bathing and showering with PH
We asked people with pulmonary hypertension for their advice on bathing and showering. Read on for their advice…
“I use a stool to sit on when showering and washing my hair. I have an IV pump, so I make sure I have the line well wrapped with clingfilm, and then place the pump on a chair nearby, outside of the curtain.” Judith Wilding
“I have a bath board to shower with. It’s a white board with a small handle on the side that fits across my bath [which has a shower head]. If I’m having a bad day I can use it, but if I’m having a good day and I can stand, then I don’t tend to use it.” Debbie Taylor
“I have an IV line and when I shower, I stand with my back to the shower spray, directing that at the top of my back to avoid the water running down my chest and wetting my dressing. I hold the shower head by hand to direct the spray to rinse myself.
I never use an ‘overhead rainfall’ type shower as I can’t easily control the flow of water, and if my dressing gets wet it needs to be changed – and that’s just an extra job I’d rather not do.” Cas Lawson
“I only very occasionally take a bath as I find my heart races for quite a while afterwards. If I do, I only take a shallow one and keep the door open so there’s no steam, and so I can call for help if I need it.
We have changed our shower to a double headed one, with a fixed overhead and a handheld one, so I can just stand under the spray or hold it to shower if I’m sitting down.
I no longer have an IV line, but when I did the handheld version was essential so I could keep the water away from my line as much as possible. I used Press’n Seal [a brand of food wrap] to keep the line dry, which was easier to remove than ordinary cling film.” Julie Royle
“I find baths and steam make me breathless, so instead I stick to showers and have the door open to remove steam. I also have a shower chair so I’m not wasting my energy standing up. And I have the shower head hanging up and pointing down, so I don’t need to hold it and can just sit under.
Using 2in1 shampoo and conditioner, instead of separate ones, reduces activity. And I dry myself on the shower chair, so I’m sitting down. Then I lay down immediately afterwards, to rest, before getting dressed. Finally, showering in the evening is my top tip – if I shower before bed at night, I can rest and sleep straight afterwards.” Sarah Marshall
“I have a thick towelling robe, which I put on when I get out of the shower, then go and lay on the bed. Once I’ve had a rest, I take it off, and hey presto, I’m all dry without any effort.” Paula Joanne Smitham