Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Our MicroSilk Tub: Part 2

The last time I wrote about our tub was in October 2013. We got our MicroSilk after we bought our first home in 2011. Evan was only months old when he tried the tester tub and a year old when we had our own. So MicroSilk has pretty much always been a part of his routine. We have had our tub for over 4 years and I now can say that Evan is finally using it "on his own". Since Evan has been behind on the development track, could not sit independently for over 3 years, it was challenging to give him a bath in the MicroSilk tub. Even with the proper adaptive equipment for him to sit in, it was still nerve wrecking having him in a huge tub full of water. Then when I was pregnant in 2014, it made it impossible for me to reach and lean over to bathe him in the MicroSilk tub.

Fortunately with a new baby came some milestones for Evan. One huge milestone was his new found love of "crawling". He started army crawling around the house just at the perfect time; just when he could use a little independence as the new baby arrived. Another huge milestone was THROWING AWAY (recycling) the baby tub. The poor kid still got one bath a day in the baby tub, mainly because he was small enough to fit in and it was easier for me to bathe him without bending over. He obviously was getting uncomfortable in the little tub so we asked him if it was ok to get rid of it. He had no objections.

Since this spring, Evan has only gotten a MicroSilk bath and many times two of them a day! Thanks to his progress in the motor department, he is stronger and sits much better and safer in the tub than in years past. He has also grown a little bit, so now the water level isn't an issue when sitting on the tub floor or in an adaptive seat. And boy does this kid love his tub!

The benefits:
As I have written before, it is undeniable that this tub has benefits for the maitnence of his skin. The small oxygenated bubbles help with exfoliation and easily remove small scales without pain. The tub looks like a shaken snow globe within minutes of starting! Scales seem to lift easier and it is a much gentler way of exfoliating rather than aggressive rubbing with wash clothes or mitts. The oxygenated water must be a benefit to his skin becuase it is very noticeable when he gets a bath in a regular tub while on vacation or visiting family for the night.

Evan is in the MicroSilk 2x a day with a minimum of 12 baths per week. Many weekend nights we tend to "skip" baths due to busy schedules and becuase Mom and Dad need a little break. On weekday mornings he only recieves one cycle in the tub (20-30 min) due to our tight schedule- getting ready for school. On school nights, Evan takes a very long bath with at least 2 MicroSilk cycles and rarely gets out of the bath before an hour of time. As wonderful as this tub is, Harlequin Ichthyosis is relentless and that skin grows almost too fast to keep up with!

Another benefit of this tub is how it keeps the water at a constant temperature. To have a kid who can't regulate his body temperature, in a bath tub for an hour, would be tricky without this feature (never mind draining our water tank!) Thanks to the tiny oxygen rich bubbles, it keeps heat energy in the water maintaining the temp as it was filled.

Tub Maitnence:
This tub is known as a "green" tub. No cleaners or additives are needed when using the tub. But since Harlequin Ichthyosis is so severe, I tend to continue with my typical maitnence routine before, after and during the bath. While using the tub I will occasionally use a splash of bleach as directed by our dermatologist. Since Evan does not have the necessary proteins on his skin to kill harmful bacteria, it is important to use this in any type of bath. We use to use baking soda in every bath but now only use it in non MicroSilk tubs.

Before and after every bath I wash the tub with dish soap. I want to be sure the bath is clean before using. Afterwards, dish soap helps to cut the greasy Aquaphor and skin residue caked on the walls and floor of the tub. I will occasionally use bleach as needed while cleaning out the bath.

To maitnence the jets, Jason sells a green cleaner that can be run through the MicroSilk. I usually do this every few months or when I notice the cycles will not run a full 20 minutes. As we have a first generation MicroSilk, we also unscrew and clean out the filter every bath or the jets will not turn on.