This is a tough one to be open about. It’s easy to be like, “Oh yeah, I’m totes disabled”, but to let people know the severity of the disability via letting them know how you combat chili pits is mildly depressing. My hope is that maybe someone else who is going through something similar may find something they find useful or even find someone in me to make them feel better about said chili pits.
Here’s the deal. I can go up to MONTHS without bathing. My illness kind of waxes and wanes symptom wise and they all hit at seperate times or all together. This means sometimes I am unable to care for myself properly. Even getting up to pee can be troublesome without the help of my SO at these times, so bathing ends up out of the question. The heat from the shower is especially taxing because ehlers-danlos/dysuatonomia can make you very sensitive to temperature changes and heat especially makes my symptoms worse. It causes the blood to pool in my feet which means there is less blood in my brain which means…. ZzzZZZzzz….
Anyways, now that I’m done trying to justify my lack of bathing with the truth even though I shouldn’t have to, but this shit makes me feel super uncomfortable, lets move on to the point here.
There are some great things you can find to make yourself feel a little bit cleaner and to make sure that you are still semi taking care of yourself on your bad days. Some days it may even be hard to do even one of these things, but I have found that if I can even do one thing it can make me feel extremely accomplished for that day. I’m going to post of list of things I keep next to the bed for times when things get rough and explain why they come in handy even though it’s probably super obvious!
Face Cleansing Towelettes: I personally really enjoy the exfoliating kind. It’s nice to be able to scrub the built up gunk/sweat off after a couple days of zero upkeep due to a migraine or vomiting.
Eye Makeup Remover: Pretty obvious, I personally usually have a build up of two day old black makeup scum around my eyes. Moderately helpful to have something that will get it off without needing to scrub at my eyes.
Toner: I tend to have pretty low maintenance skin, but I do find witch hazel to be super effective for any little bumps I grow. Sometimes I just slap it on my face when I’m too sick to do anything else just to mentally make myself feel like I’m being somewhat proactive against potential breakouts.
Face Oil: I use oil then lotion due to dryness. I’ve found it helps and the extra pampering is cathartic.
Face Lotion: Always moisturize after you wash your face!!! Yes, even you Mr. Oilface!
Chapstick: I would describe my lips as gravel like. It’s nice post vomit, etc to keep them from splitting. I was using EOS, but they stopped working? Obviously use whatever works for you personally.
Baby Wipes: To bathe yourself with. It’s a depressing prospect, but it works. A face wipe will work too in a pinch.
Hand Sanitizer: Works great for killing armpit bacteria!
Body Oil: Oil actually gets into the skin, lotion forms a barrier. So, doing that helps keep up appearances and honestly makes me feel a bit better about myself when I’m not morphing into an alligator.
Body Lotion: Because dry, itchy skin. Got to keep dat eczema under control.
Dry Shampoo: Works up to about the first week or so of not showering.
No-Rinse Shampoo: It leaves a strange film in your hair, but it works. It’s great for after surgeries or other long periods where you are unable to bathe regularly.
Tooth Brush: I like to keep one next to my bed along with a cup, a bottle of water, and some tooth paste. It gets the job done. They also have those little plastic ones you can use real quick in a jam, CVS or Walmart should have them.
Mouth Wash: For when you just can’t brush. I’m looking at you right shoulder subluxation. ಠ_ಠ
A Mirror: Obvious. Much helpful.
Hair Brush: Or just cut off all your hair. It’s what I did and I will tell you I am down shoulder injuries due to the lack of brushing needed. A+, would recommend.
Hair Accessories: You know, ponytail holders, clips, whatever you need to keep that shit out yo’face.
Deodorant: Obvious. I go for clinical strength so if I miss a few days it really doesn’t matter.
Nail Clippers: My toenails seem to grow really fast and then I end up maiming my poor SO with my death claws. Not super cute.
Extras: Emory Boards, Buffing Blocks, Nail Polish, Tweezers, Lip Scrub, Facial Mists, Body Sprays, Leave-In Conditioner, and whatever else your little heart desires to cover the chili pit smell and the stem the seepage of the human body greases.
PS- If you want to get super high maintenance, you could get something like a Tria which is an at home laser hair removal device. Otherwise, growing to love your body hair is a thing you may need to do with this kind of lifestyle. Personally, being sick has helped me get over my self consciousness involving my arm hair. They are not nearly as hairy as 16 year old me thought they were apparently and I have since grown them out. Silver linings!! Or something.
Now lets be honest, I do not get all this shit done everyday. It’s just way too much right now, but doing what you can when you can will and does help a lot. Let me know if you can think of anything else I can add to the list! And as always, sorry for grammatical and spelling errors as I cannot re-read my posts at this time.