After the fourth day, the topic of bathing eventually started to surface. I had been dreading this ever since I read about it in the instructional sheets the nurse had given me before we left. Sitting idle for all this time meant a basic sponge bath simply wouldn’t do. Mom could bathe like normal but the biggest concern was keeping the casts dry. In that aspect the tub was out of the question, not to mention getting her in and out of it without the use of her arms.
After hours of brainstorming, the two of us had discussed every possible scenario to accomplish this feat. The best we could come up with was clear wrap and duct-tape over the casts in the shower. The stand-up shower was huge and had two large frosted-glass sliding doors for easy entry. It seemed like a flawless plan in the beginning. After carefully sealing Mom’s casts in plastic wrap making them impervious to water, we decided it was time for the trial run. The plan was perfect except for one small problem. We forgot that my mother only almost zero mobility in her arms and hands to wash herself with. She would only be getting herself wet with no possible way to cleanse herself in her condition.
Being a good son, I tried once again to overt my gaze away from my completely nude Mother’s body. This made it increasingly difficult to assist her. I tried reaching only my arm in the shower, flailing aimlessly to hit her with some soap in an attempt to scrub her, but the big glass doors made things worse and water was getting everywhere. The last thing we needed was another slip and fall mishap.
Mom was getting agitated and finally shouted “Oh for fuck sake, just get in here with me baby!”
I wasn’t sure what to do. I just froze there hoping she was only kidding. She was not.
“I’m not getting in there and getting all wet.” I said in protest.
“Then just take your clothes off too.” She shot back.
Again I just froze not knowing how to tackle this. Was I about to get in the shower with my own Mother, naked? Mom just stood there waiting for me looking pretty serious. I began to strip and slowly slid the heavy door to one side.
“It’s not like I haven’t seen you naked before.” Mom said with a smirk.
The only way I could rationalize this was to blame the pain killers she was on. They were working, but they were obviously making her high as a kite.
I got completely into the large shower, slid the door closed and began to engulf myself in the warm water. It felt nice. Even though the two of us just stood there naked and wet, it gradually felt almost natural. After washing her long dark hair, I grabbed her sponge and squeezed a bunch of her pretty smelling female soap onto it. Neither of us said a word as I just stood behind her and started clumsily smearing the soap on her back. The awkward silence was almost too much to bare as I just stood there washing the same shoulder repeatedly. Finally Mom spoke up.