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The movie theater is pitch black...

Posted Sep 29 2008 9:09pm

The movie theater is pitch black, except for the aisle lights that illuminate the walkway for patrons seeking popcorn.   The last movie trailer has played and the audience settles in for the main feature.   The screen comes alive with the opening scene.

Our heroine, a young and vibrant redhead with long, curly locks(a respectable, intelligent, and classy redhead, not a vamp or vixen redhead)comes onto the scene.   She walks into her bedroom.   The lights are dim and the room is lit with a myriad of candles.   As light scents of spice mixed with apricots reach her nose, we hear the faint melodies of Alicia Keys in the background.   A scene for romance?

She seems cautious, perhaps even wary.   She looks towards the door of the adjoining room; that is where the music emanates.   She walks towards the door slowly and Alicia Keys is replaced with traditional B-horror film movie music.    Her heart begins to race, her hands begin to tremble. The pace of the music speeds up.   Ever so slowly, she continues her journey across the room to the half-open door.   She can see through the small opening that the adjacent room is also candle-lit.   It smells lovely and inviting.   She musters her courage and pushes open the door.

And then, she sucks in her breath and lets out a…


[Where is the amazing sound effects guy from A Praire Home Companion when you need him?]

Our heroine sees the most horrific scene ever, worse even than the shower scene fromPsycho. It is unimaginable, unbelievable, and she can barely bring herself to look.Remembering that the way shedeals with the monsters in her life, is to confront them, our heroine opens her eyes and takes a step forward.   And, then she sees it in full view. (Cover your eyes and be prepared)!


A bathtub? The Jacuzzi?  

Are you kidding??

Actually, no I’m not.   Can’t you see the danger lurking behind the guise of relaxation and retreat?   Doesn’t this photo just scare the daylights out of you? Won’t you lose sleep tonight because you have been exposed?   OK, so I stepped intoQuentin Tarantinomode a little too heavy there.   I’m being a little more dramatic than necessary.   But, honestly, I’m petrified of my bathtub.

I haven’t bathed in 63 days.   I don’t use the Jacuzzi to actually “bathe” though, that’s the purpose of the adjacent shower.   So, yes, I’ve showered.   I just haven’t enjoyed a relaxing bath in over two months.    When we built our very simple, ranch-style home, I told my husband it must have three things:   1) a wood-burning fireplace, 2) a nice-sized kitchen with an island in the center, and 3) a garden tub.   Now one of the favorite parts of my home sits useless.  

 M.S. patients often (but not always) have sensitivity to heat.  An increase in body temperature (e.g., caused by hot weather, hot bath and showers, or fever) can worsen symptoms or produce new ones. This occurs because elevated body temperature slows nerve impulse conduction, especially in demyelinated nerves”(Neurology Channel). These worries about heat sensitivity caused us to delay our scheduled trip to Cancun this year, and now they are keeping me out of the bathtub!   I’m still working through all the symptoms that have been left behind since my last attack.   I certainly don’t want to worsen them or to have new ones rain down upon my tired and weak body and soul. 

No two M.S. patients are the same.   I may not even be sensitive to the heat.   And, if I am, then I should just take cool baths.   (Yes, I predicted all your expected responses there).   Who really wants to take a cool bath – unless it’s 90 degrees out with 100% humidity?   I don’t take a “bath” to take a “bath”.   I enter into a new dimension when I hop into my lovely tub.   Its steaming hot water, warm enough that I can feel my blood pressure rising with each beat of my heart, is designed to soak away the stress and worries of my busy life.   A glass of wine and sometimes even dinner in the bathtub makes everything just right.   If the water is tepid – how soothing is that?  We live in the country, so our water comes from a well.   It takes almost a half-day’s ration of water to fill up that beautiful tub.   We negotiate my ability to fill the tub a few times a week, because – depending on the season and the level of precipitation – it often requires us to go without doing laundry or dishes in the same evening.   I’m not going to take the time or resources to fill up the tub, carefully mix together bath salts, oils and bubbles, to hop in, shiver for ten minutes and then drain the tepid water away.  

So, my only other option is to try it out and see what happens.   I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do so.   There’s always an excuse, a rationalization.   This weekend would be perfect, except I’m part of our live on-air auction this weekend.   Live television doesn’t work without the talent there – and without the talent showing up with her full faculties in hand.   If I attempt to take a bath this weekend and my symptoms worsen, well – that could mean bad news for the production.  And, the show must go on, s o, this weekend is out.   If I attempt to take a bath during the work week, I could be forced to need a day off afterwards.  We all know how I feel about that option.

So, the tub sits alone.   It looks like the school child who is ostracized by all the popular kids on the playground.   I sit on its edge and look at all the beautiful bottles of lotions and potions; I received two-stockings-worth of bath products during the holidays and they are just waiting to be tried out.   I long for our time together.  

 I will attempt a reunion in the very near future and I plan to journey into the tub with moderation in mind.   I won’t boil the water before immersing myself.   I’ll replace the glass of wine with a glass of ice water.   And, if necessary, I’ll hop out of the tub (despite the risk of trashing the bathroom carpets) and will hop into a cool shower when finished.   Maybe next weekend.   Let me sleep on it a little longer.

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