The answer seems fairly obvious. I use to hop out of bed, put the coffee on, jump into the shower, get ready for work and then off I went. I never gave it a second thought.
Today, I don’t hop or jump anywhere, I no longer work, and yes, to bathe or not to bathe requires much thought, consideration and compromise. If you have never heard of or read The Spoon Theory, read it here. Bathing requires many, many spoons for me.
Not only do I have the pain and restrictions from RA, but I also have skin tightening and itching from Scleroderma. Both are aggravated by water! So, it comes down to whether or not I think I’m smelly and dirty – of course I’m not!! I do change my clothes and still wash the obvious areas. I actually have about 2-3 showers/baths a week and I think that I’m doing well. The energy it takes to undress, bathe, sometimes shave, dry, lotion, dress, hair etc is sometimes all I can do in a day. Sad maybe, but I prefer to spend my energy doing things that give me a least a bit of joy.
When I have doctors appointments, yoga , or social get togethers, I bathe. Sometimes I resent feeling that I have to. To have a shower and go to the doctor will wipe me out for the whole day and often longer. The exception to this is if I have a long, hot bath with epsom salts. I crawl up and out of the bath (literally), put Tiger Balm on every joint and recline in my chair with heating pads. It feels great!!