If you’ve ever tried to get a physically handicapped person into a ”regular” shower and then wash them, you know what I’m talking about when I say it’s one of the hardest things to do. After a couple of years of searching out different options, we finally have a modified shower for David!
Can you imagine lifting a 6 ft. flailing and twisted body over a 6 inch shower threshold and then trying to get that Dystonic body seated on a shower chair? That is what Marshall did for the past 2 years a few times a week. I had to stop a couple of years ago when David’s Dystonia escalated.
Angels by the names of Jay, John, Bruce and their Sudanese friends, came to our house and performed what seemed to me like a miracle! I wish so much I had a “before” picture of the shower (and maybe one of Marshall trying to lift David into the shower. But that pic might possibly be mistaken for child abuse from the way it would appear.)
They had to remove the threshold, the shower doors and frame, all the tile from the bathroom floor and the shower, the very old and leaking shower pan. By replacing and lowering the drain, they were able to slightly lower the shower floor.
Now, with the shower floor slightly lower than it had been, they were able to retile the shower floor and the bathroom floor with beautiful and up to date tiles. Then they put a small hump of tiles between the shower and the rest of the bathroom to contain the water. The wheelchair rolls over the threshold beautifully! And last, we put a curved shower rod up (like the ones in hotels) to give plenty of room in the shower.
It’s just beautiful! And what an answer to prayer!
The First Shower
We were so excited to show David the bathroom and try it out with him. The first night we used the shower wheelchair. We thought it would be perfect since it has a seatbelt, armrests, wheels, and breaks. Well, you would have thought we were torturing the boy! I never heard such yelling and carrying on from David! He did NOT like it! We felt like we were back at square 1 trying to figure out how to make this work and to help David feel secure in the shower.
The next night as I was putting David to bed he pointed to the shower wheelchair and indicated that he did not like it. I asked him if he wanted to try the regular shower chair at which he gave the thumbs up, one of his helpful ways of communicating.
So the next morning I place the shower chair into the shower and wheeled him into the bathroom. With the new lower threshold, I was able to wheel the wheelchair right into the shower and place it perpendicular to the shower chair. Holding onto the grab bar it was so easy to help David ease onto the shower chair. And there was no yelling and moaning!
I thank God for the men who came and were willing and able to create exactly what we needed! It’s amazing how a modified shower can ease the stress of shower time for a physically handicapped person!