Q #115: What is it about a shower that makes you feel “more human”?

I should’ve known after a pulled shoulder wouldn’t let me sleep all week that it would make me susceptible to cold or flu (thank you depressed immune system). I felt it after leaving work yesterday to drive south and cover a co-worker who had surgery… sneezing my head off and making an emergency run for some DayQuil to keep me going (and hopefully curb what was coming).

No such luck.

The pain in my shoulder and constantly sneezing and blowing my nose kept me up for 26 hours straight. I finally was able to get to bed around 8am and got up about 1pm, and I’ve been in a half-asleep state all day. Hell, I’ve probably fallen asleep sitting up a couple of times in the past few hours, and actually went back to bed for an hour.

But I have to work tomorrow, so it’s time to bring out the biggest guns I’ve got when I’m broke: a hot hot shower, enough tea and honey to sink a ship, Ramen soup, and alternating between DayQuil and NyQuil. And IcyHot for that shoulder–that’s the worst part this time around. Funny how when you’re really sick (well, some people, me included) really don’t want to shower or anything. It takes a few pep talks to get me going because when I’m all light-headed and stuffy, a shower just seems like too much work.

When I started feeling the chills, I remembered a hot hot shower. And boy, I gotta say, I feel “more human.”

I don’t really think I know what that phrase actually means, or at least I can’t describe it, but after the hell of today and the lethargy, I had to get some caffeine in my system to stave off the headache and then went to shower. That’s just the best way I can describe it. Maybe it’s an illness thing.

Wow–a bath would be better, but a shower sure makes you cleaner.

I know I’m not the only one this works for, I just wish I knew WHY it works so well. At least for the first half hour or so afterward.

For some reason, water is helpful in a lot of capacities. I’ve lost count of the eccentric thinkers who’ve had their best ideas in the shower or bath (or what they thought were their best ones). And then the mere idea of getting a good shower when you’re feeling ill… what’s the deal with that?

I wonder if there’s some psychological tidbit, or some aspect of a ritual in there that tells your body that you’re trying to get back on track (and away from illness) by cleaning your largest organ–the skin.

That seems to be the online consensus.

Of course, there’s some issues there, too. Far too hot showers can make you feel weak and disoriented, which has happened to me on a few occasions. I just make sure to sit down and enjoy the heat and let the feeling pass (especially since my new shower lets me sit a bit).

Of course, now that it’s been more than 30 minutes, the positive effects are wearing off (dang it),but I’ve got a fluffy bathrobe and a good cup of hot tea next to me to help out. I’ll likely do one more tonight and one right before work tomorrow to really help wake me up (and get the snotty icky feeling out of my head).

Anybody else get that “more human” feeling after a shower or bath (or maybe feel the opposite)?

Floor’s yours…

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