My neck and (especially) ears are cold,
because I pinned up my hair
because I took a bath
because I didn't want to wash my hair today
because it is all falling out
My bathtub here is huge and has jets. I did not want a whirlpool tub, but all the houses seem to have them here, except the one that had a soaking tub, which I liked, but Shawn didn't like that house. Well, it was smaller than this one, and our furniture doesn't fit here, so it's probably a good thing I listened to my husband.
He also told me that with Lupus, I might enjoy a jetted tub. So the other day I set out to take a luxurious bath. I've got it, I might as well use it. Right?
I don't think our hot water heater is quite big enough to fill the jetted tub. But I worked on filling it up with warm water, and I added some scoops of Epsom salts to soothe the aches while I soaked. Then I thought, "How about some essential oils, too? How about peppermint? That might feel good on the old joints." And I sprinkled in a few drops.
As I lowered my body into the tub, I immediately felt a sense of panic. The peppermint oil on my skin burned, but then it made me feel cold. Either it was the peppermint oil, or the fact that there had not been quite enough hot water, but I realized that I was breaking out in goosebumps.
You are supposed to soak in Epsom salts for 20 minutes, so I dutifully checked my cellphone for the time and, shivering, sunk down to my neck, hoping my temperature would adjust.
I found myself gritting my teeth, furrowing my brow, and counting to pass the minutes, "Seventy-eight, seventy-nine, eighty, eighty-one," went my thoughts when I checked in on them, and I wondered why I did not remember having started at one, or even ten. I willed myself to relax but found that my skin was too cold, or too burning from peppermint, or something.
Finally I reasoned that a bath should be relaxing, and since this ordeal was stressing me out, I should try to find a remedy. I drained half the water out of the tub and turned the tap back on. After about three gallons of cold-to-lukewarm had run in, it finally got hot. I lay back and swirled the warmth around to mix it in. Things were looking up. Even the uncomfortable peppermint oil had been diluted in the process.
I felt better. I thought, "Perhaps I ought to try the jets." I had a niggling fearful thought about used jets in a used whirlpool tub in a used house, but I pushed it aside and turned them on. I leaned my head on the back of the tub and closed my eyes.
Jets are loud. And they sort of vibrate the tub in a way that made my head ache after a few minutes. I opened my eyes and looked around. Across the top of the water, air bubbles were rising, but they were sort of slimy, and something murky and brown swirled across their surfaces before they burst. A sludgy brown tub ring was forming around the edge of the tub, and it was especially thick, I found, right behind where my neck had been lying.
"Great," I thought. "I try to take a bath, and I end up giving myself a staph infection or something." I turned off the jets and began to drain the tub, turning the tap back on in an attempt to find a water source from which to clean myself after the disastrous effects of my bath.
Once dressed, I scrubbed the sludge out of the tub and went off to search Google regarding: "How to clean your tub jets." Thereafter I spent the rest of the morning running bleach and dishwasher detergent through my tub jets, and then cycling clear water to rinse it all out again. I also learned that if you are going to use your jets at all, you need to use them often, and keep them rinsed out and fresh, following up with bleach and dishwasher detergent treatments twice a month.
This seems like a lot of work and tremendous waste of water.
I am puzzling over ways to get some of this jet-maintenance water piped down onto our yard. It has rained less than 1/8 inch over the 6-7 weeks we have lived here, and the flora is crisp and brown.
It would be nice if we could replace this whirlpool with a simple soaking tub. But in the scheme of things, that project is on a timeline for after I'm dead.
Nevertheless, I did my frequent-bath duty today and took a bath again, in my now-clean tub. However, I only ran the jets when I was ready to get out, and then again with a cold water rinse.