18 Inches

18 Inches


Tread lightly as you enjoy this rehashed My Odd Sock…



Eighteen inches.  A foot & a half.

In golf, an 18-inch putt is no gimme, especially for Tiger Woods!  In football, a foot & a half can sometimes seem like a mile when going for a first down.

But I never -ever thought eighteen inches would become such a formidable barrier with my multiple sclerosis.


Use some scrubbing bubbles on that tub!


You see, that’s the distance I must hike my legs to get in or out of our shower.

It wasn’t a big deal for a long time—but now as MS has comfortably nestled itself in my body like a cat on a pillow—this foot & a half has become a stubborn challenge.

(Note:  “stubborn challenge” is a polite way of saying “pain in the ass.”)



Grab under the knee & hike the leg


For a couple of years, I’ve had to physically lift my right leg when climbing stairs.

At sporting events it is interesting to see the horrified faces of people in the stands watching me as I climb the stairs like a possessed Jeff Dunham puppet!


But on this particular day, I got into the shower fine, I just couldn’t get out!  After over-doing it during the day, it was a struggle to lift either leg (good leg-left, bad leg-right) over the edge of the tub.

A hand under my knee, I attempted to lift my foot over the mere 18-inch lip to no avail.

Both my right & left legs were both too fatigued to make the climb.

How was I to escape my wet imprisonment?


Living on the edge.

It would have been too easy to sit on the edge and lift my legs over–but that thought didn’t even occur to me!


I figured I had three options.  One, live out my remaining years in that shower as the “world’s pruniest man.”  Two, I could cut off my feet using a loofah sponge.  Or three, give it one more heave-ho.

And with that I hoisted my left leg out while dragging my right over the top.

Yes, finally I was free!

I was exhausted too.  And covered with sweat.  (Wait, that was water from the shower.  I hadn’t dried off yet!)


If you are wearing shorts, just pull on the legs to raise your foot!



It’s time to consider a shower chair, I know.  Just another way MS creeps in and takes over our lives.

What gives you the most trouble?  Getting into showers?  Up stairs?  Through doorways?  Climbing into cars?  All of the above?




With MS, the smallest steps sometimes seem to be the biggest obstacles we face.  It’s our job to find the way to get over those challenges.  And I know you will—because you have MS.  And like the rest of us– you’re a tough ‘ol bird!




7 Replies to “18 Inches”

  1. All of the above.

    Your description of getting out of the tub was heartstopping, yet ultimately recognizable. Been there, done that.

  2. Both my bathrooms had tub showers. It got to the point where I had to think about remodeling the bathroom. The tub came out, hand rails installed, hand held shower thingy, and a shower chair. I even got the handicap toliets, which are higher and easier to get up from. I loved my new bathroom, and I was lucky to have my parents pay for it. Fast forward 2 years, and I can no longer use this bathroom after never recovering from a major exaserbation and being confined to a power chair. A second remodeling would require tearing out walls to accomodate my patient lift and power chair. For now I will have to settle with a bed bath. **Note** If you do remodel, if you get a note from your doctor that it is a medical necessity, you may be able to claim it as a medical deduction fot tax purposes. Check with your tax preparer or the IRS.

  3. So true “the smallest steps sometimes seem to be the biggest obstacles we face”. Getting in and out of the tub (shower) is one of the hardest for me. We were considering a bathroom reno to include a walk in shower, but that’s too expensive! I told Hubbers…ah just take me out in the yard and hose me down a couple times a week! I wonder how much it would cost to get hot water running through the garden hose?

  4. Judy,

    Thank you for your comment.
    “Been there, done that”…we’re all in this together, aren’t we!

  5. I am fortunate that our 2nd bathroom has a walk in shower which works well for me with a shwer chair and as mentioned in one of the other comments a “hand shower thingy”. We also have the 17″ toilet stools which are a real help. I can tell you of a very embarasing incident in a public restroom with a much lower toilet. I hope you never have to ask strangers to help lift you off the toilet.

  6. I too have 1 odd sock with an AFO, Rt leg also. I find it easier to just grab the strap for most leg lifting situations, but the tub is as you said is a challenge. I was lucky to build a new home a few years ago so I could custom design and build the whole house for the future me.
    Keep up the great posts I’ve been a fan for awhile