View Full Version : Temperature and Showers
08-28-2001, 09:10 AM
My boyfriend is a complete C5 and is just over a year into his injury. He lives with me and we are having some problems regulating his temp when we do a shower. I already shut off the vents, have a small space heater that I make blow towards him, cover every body part that I'm not working on, work as fast as I can, put him right into bed under warm blankets, have hot soup and hot tea and his temp still drops to 95. Then it takes hours before it comes up enough to make him feel better.
How does everyone else handle this? Is it just a permanent part of life? It takes so much out of him I have a hard time getting him to want to let me give him a shower. http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/confused.gif
08-28-2001, 02:37 PM
The first year or so after my injury (C5/6) was the worst as far as temperature is concerned, so I know exactly what you mean. Temerature regulation is still a battle for me, but it has become much less of a problem. I can offer the following advice:
1. Use a heating pad under his head after the shower. I use a heating pad daily, and I find that they warm me up quickly and safely. Make sure that he has temperature sensation everywhere the pad touches.
2. In the shower, keep warm water spraying over his head and shoulders at all times, except when it's necessary to spray elsewhere. I get cold quickly, but keep the water on me feels great and keeps me warm. I also find that I reach what I call a "warmth plateau." I'll finish the actual bathing part but sit there with the water on me until I get warmed sufficiently. Again, make sure the water isn't too hot.
3. Don't wash his hair or face in the shower everyday. I used to get significantly colder when my hair was wet, so keeping my head dry kept me warmer. This isn't a big problem anymore for me, but it helped way back then.
4. Shower in the morning. To this day, showering right before bed chills me to the bone. If you shower in the morning, you get dressed and get up in the chair -- moving around warms you up faster than laying still. Even during the summer I am cold when I first get into my chair. I blast a little heater on me for 15 minutes or so and then I'm set.
5. Wear a winter hat, even in bed. It looks goofy, but it's warm. You lose a lot of heat through your head, so cap that thing!
08-28-2001, 06:22 PM
Excellent advice, Clipper. A buddy of mine wears a winter hat in bed sometimes too as he gets colder easier than I do.
These things tend to become less extreme as time goes by, in my experience. But getting cold and staying cold can still be an annoyance. It makes me wonder why I live in New York once winter sets in. http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif I gotta get back to the South.
Tell your boyfriend about this forum. He might get some good info from some of us 'old-timers.'
08-28-2001, 07:14 PM
Clipper has some good suggestions. I live here in Minnesota, and keeping your head warm definately has an effect on feeling and staying warm. In the shower does it make sense to wash the face and hair last? Sort of a shower done backwards. Do the lower body first and work upward, therefore keeping the largest body surface dry and warm the longest? Then dry off quickly and wrap up. Wrap a towel around the head right away. One thing that worked for me when I used to work the night shift and had chilly patients was to put a couple of light weight cotton blankets (called bath blankets in the hospital) in the dryer for a few minutes to warm them up (like those nice warm blankets they put on you in surgery) and then placing them around the person and cover with regular bedclothes. It was comforting to the person, they warmed uop, and slept like babies. (EMK)
08-29-2001, 09:49 AM
Thanks for the advice.
I can't fit the whole chair in my shower at one shot so I wash his feet and legs first, dry him off, pick the chair up and turn it around and wash upper body then hair last. I blowdry his hair so he isn't sitting there with a wet head. I put towels that I warm in the dryer on the parts I'm not working on. Maybe he will get better in time??
I've tried to get him to log on, first when it was spinewire and then when it was cando and I mentioned it again last night. Maybe he will soon??? I hope so, I've learned a bunch just reading.
08-29-2001, 01:17 PM
He may not want to hang out with a bunch of gimps online. http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif I know, I've never been the kind of guy to hang out with others with SCI that much. One of my best friends is a quad, but he and I were never a part of the 'gimp community' in our area. It's not necessarily a bad thing--sometimes people with SCI can get so caught up in just hanging with others with SCI that they forget how to deal with the rest of the world (in my humble opinion).
08-30-2001, 10:17 AM
On the days that I get chilled after a shower I use a heat pack around my neck. They are easy to make, have someone sew a tube about 18" long put in about a pound of rice. Close the ends, split the rice 3 ways, separate & sew. Nuke it about 2 minutes, warms me right up.
Fish#3 - Hey, look. Howard's being eaten