The showers on Savannah

If you have ever used a public swimming pool or leisure centres showers then I am sure you can relate to this.

Firstly, you have to make sure you have all the essential items. Towel, shower gel, flip flops, clothes to put on afterwards including knickers and enormous nursing bar. Breast pads. Toothbrush and toothpaste and some moisturiser and deodorant. At every shower, I forgot at least one of these items. A toothbrush is ok because you can just go back later and clean your teeth. But forgetting your bra or trousers is slightly different. Then you have to think do I put my towel around me to walk back across three ward bays or do I put my pj bottoms back on and risk people thinking I have no clean clothes or am willing to spend all day not dressed. If you forget your bra then you can do the ‘I am carrying all of this in front of me for no reason look’ as you smile at nurses on your way back to your area. Just don’t try and wave.

Once you arrive at the shower and discover there is no hook for your dry items you realise you are going to have to hang said items on the side of the dirty laundry bin, that is for some reason only known to the NHS, kept in the wet shower room. Once you have carefully placed all items on the edge of the laundry bin you then turn to see the shower. It is a shower but it is sticking directly upwards and facing the ceiling. You take the head part of the shower out of the wall holder and turn the knob on the wall to test the water. Still fully dressed in pj’s at this point. Big mistake. You are now drenched. The shower spurts out in every direction, icy cold and full blast. This is going to be harder than expected.

After peeling off the wet pjs and placing them in a heap on the floor, making a mental note to ask your partner to bring some fresh ones for you later you return to the shower. This time carefully facing it away and down you turn the knob again. Coldwater. The only way to get hot water is to turn the knob all the way up. The water jets out as if it is trying to clean tile grout. You cannot let go. Do not let go. Also do not put the shower back in the holder on the wall as it will squirt everything in the room including your dry clothes.

So now you must hold the shower whilst finding your shower gel. Once located you must hold the showerhead between knees to use both hands to open the shower gel. Open shower gel. As quickly as possible wash every bit of body, one-handed with body puff or just shower gel and hands if nothing else is possible. End shower and step away feeling slightly better but not exactly clean and refreshed.

Turn around and see that your once mostly dry towel is now soaking wet from the shower spray. Do your best to dry your body. Fail and put damp clothes on to damp body. Clean teeth whilst wiggling around in damp uncomfortable clothes. Tie back unwashed hair and vow to wash it tomorrow. Moisturise face and spray deodorant. Congratulations you survived the Savannah shower! Now you are ready for another day in the wilds of the Savannah ward.

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