For me, happiness is a hot bath accompanied by a good book, candles and relaxing music. Maybe even a glass of wine or bottle of beer if the time of day is right and the planets are in alignment. I would be content to spend a part of every evening in this way – in fact I’d go as far as to say I would be delighted to spend my evenings this way even if I did start to resemble a prune. However, about a year ago, my mum told me a horrible story about a friend of a friend with myasthenia that has deeply affected me.
This friend of a friend had been feeling fine when he decided to jump in his tub to relax. But once he was settled in the hot water, his muscles went limp without any warning. Thankfully he had someone at home to help him out of the scary predicament otherwise the situation could have been dangerous. Lethal. As she shared this tale, I couldn’t help thinking about all the long, sweltering baths I had taken without a soul around.
I find it a horrible story because it has transformed a form of relaxation I loved into something sinister. Obviously I had read the warnings about being careful around extreme temperatures. But until I heard this story, I didn’t understand the possible impact.
I don’t have a bath in my current flat which was really difficult initially and still annoys me. This week, the upstairs neighbours have been away and I’ve been able to use their bath. In my excitement about being able to do something that I have been deprived of, I had a long bath on my own. It was only towards the end of the bath, as I started to feel hot and bothered, that the possibility of my muscles going limp struck me. What would I do? My voice would echo throughout the four empty floors if I shouted for help. Would the muscles’ strength come back eventually or would I need to wait for someone to find me? As you can imagine I didn’t hang around to much longer.
Although I was totally fine, Elaine was not amused when she got home. Probably about as unamused as I am about a favourite past time being tainted by my MG.