Being strung up in traction presents a few challenges when it comes to bathing and generally keeping oneself clean and fragrant. Personally I take a cat’s view of personal hygiene and like to be thoroughly clean and tidy at all times. That, as I said, can be a challenge when your movements are restricted and there’s no access to a bath or a shower. I had thought about trying to lick myself clean but that was never going to be a sensible option since I can’t reach my toes.
So, after a particularly hot and sticky night I thought I might prevail upon the ward staff to wheel my bed out of the hospital and down to the nearest car wash which they could then push me through so that I could have the refreshing feeling that only a good bath or a shower can provide. I whiled away a few idle moments thinking about which wash program I should go for. Should I have the basic cold wash or opt for the deluxe version with under wash, steam cleaning and a wax polish finished off with a manual rub down with a copy of Auto Trader? On reflection I decided that this wasn’t really a goer on health and safety grounds.
Instead of an automated wash I decided to ask the nursing staff if they could give me a good old-fashioned bed bath. A bed bath is a rare thing in today’s NHS hospital. In these enlightened and cash-strapped times the bed bath has gone the same way as castor oil, matrons and starched uniforms. These days someone simply brings a bowl of warm water to your bedside, throws a J-Cloth at you and says: “Call me if you need your back scrubbing.” After that you’re on your own.
You can imagine that with restricted movement and a 10kg weight dangling on the end of your leg, that washing is more akin to taking part in It’s A Knockout than having a freshen up. So for this reason I asked for a bed bath, especially as my favourite nurse was on duty.
The good news is that I did get a bed bath… of sorts and the nurse didn’t make a bad job of it. In fact he was quite thorough. That was the bad news. You see, I hadn’t counted on getting the wrong nurse! But there we are; beggars can’t be choosers, as they say.
So here I sit with my scrubbed cheeks, feeling slightly more human and only in need of a hair wash. Now that will be interesting. Anyone with any smart ideas how I could enjoy the full salon experience from the comfort of a hospital bed should email me with their suggestions. There’s a bar of carbolic soap for the best idea.