I recently bathed for the first time in at least 13 years.
In case you’re wondering, I haven’t walked around unclean in the ensuing years. Indeed, I’ve taken hundreds if not thousands of showers during that time.
You might also be wondering how I know for sure that it’s been 13 years and not 12 or 14 or 30. There’s an easy enough explanation for that as well. I moved into my house in 2004, yet I took my first bath in its tub only last week.
There’s an easy enough explanation for that, too. I followed doctor’s orders.
In case I haven’t mentioned it 12 or 14 or 30 times, I suffer from migraines. Although they’re not nearly as bad as they used to be, the fact that I still have them means all is not well, either.
I also battle insomnia from time to time. By time to time I mean dern-near every week. So, a doctor advised me to soak in warm water infused with Epsom salts. The doctor even recommended I drape a wash cloth around my neck, warming it in the steaming water whenever it cools.
According to the doctor, the baths will help me relax, theoretically keeping migraines and insomnia at bay. What’s more, magnesium has been identified as a natural remedy for migraines. And what comprises Epsom salts? You guessed it. Magnesium sulfate.
As of this writing, I can’t be sure if this new prescription is working as I’ve taken only two baths. In fact, it took me two weeks to actually try the cure because, you guessed it, I had a days-long headache and I didn’t think the powerfully-smelling cleaner I use to scrub said tub would help matters. (Yeah, you read that right. I hadn’t scrubbed my tub in at least two weeks. We’ll leave it at that.)
Furthermore, I had to make myself take the time to bathe. As I told the doctor, I equate lounging around in a warm tub with wasting time. He countered by mentioning the time wasted when a migraine sets in. The migraine I experienced last Sunday only reinforced his advice. After lounging in the bed and on the couch all day, I realized lounging 20 minutes in the tub every day didn’t sound so wasteful.
Or, as the doctor all but said, an ounce (or a couple cups) of magnesium sulfate is worth a pound (or a few minutes) of cure.
This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.