Seth has become terrified of the bath. Usually he loves it: he splashes merrily away and enjoys the routine of washing, drying and getting dressed in his pyjamas, ready for bed. Then at the beginning of the year I tried to give him a shower which he hated and screamed blue murder. For a few weeks after that he started to scream when we ran the taps for his bath. So the experience obviously had a profound effect on him. But eventually he got passed it.
Then Thursday night I lifted him into the bath and as soon as he was in the water he just started to scream as if he was being boiled alive. It was horrific. I lifted him straight out and Craig came rushing in and put his arm in the water. He confirmed it was simply luke warm. Seth continued to be extremely upset and his arms came out in a mottled red rash.
Seth gets very dry skin and suffers from eczema so we use prescribed emollient cream instead of soap. It was almost empty and quite old so I threw it straight in the bin and replaced it with a new tub of different branded emollient cream.
Seth didn't have a bath on Friday night but on Saturday as we got into the bathroom he started to get upset. He was very tired so I figured he just wanted to go to bed so I quickly gave him a 'strip wash'. Sunday night Craig attempted to give Seth a bath. He rinsed the bath first and used the new cream but, again, the minute Seth was in that water he just started to scream and his arms grew red.
Tonight I didn't put any cream in the water. I tried to prepare Seth by getting him to walk up the stairs and for the first time he cringed away from the first step. I carried him up and he started his terrified screaming (goodness knows what the neighbours think we're doing to him!). I persisted in undressing Seth trying to reassure him the whole time and then just got him to stand in the bath. But that was as far as I could bear to go and I just held him as Craig quickly ran a wet flannel over him, with him screaming the whole time.
What so we do? I have no idea where this has come from. I can't think of any bad experience he's had in the bath that could cause this. Do I persist like I did before and hope he gets over this fear? Before though it was the sound of the running water and once he was in the bath he enjoyed it. & what if it is actually hurting him? Can his brain damage be causing his nerves to send the wrong messages to his brain? In which case there is no way I will put him through that, but how do we know? The rash was only on his arms and could well be a reaction to his severe stress and not the cause of it.