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Thread: Quad independent bowel program

  1. #1
    Senior Member TerokNor's Avatar
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    Quad independent bowel program

    Hi there,

    I'm a C6/7 quad and I'm feeling very discouraged about being able to do my bowel program independently. I purchased a dig stim stick which I can use, and I'm able to use my thumb as well. The issue is that I use enemeez, a bunch of stool comes out, then I need dig stim to get the rest out. My aid says that she "pulls" out the stool, meaning she doesn't just do circular motions and then it comes out on its own - she says she manually takes it out. So, when I try using the dig stim tool or my finger I do circular motions but nothing comes out since I can't "pull" anything out, but when she does it a ton comes out. Any tips on this? I am independent with everything but this and I would like to be able to travel without my aid. If I can't become independent, I was thinking that when I travel I could hire a nurse in the place I'm traveling. Has anyone done something like this? Any advice would be much appreciated!
    C7 ASIA C from Transverse Myelitis. Diagnosed on 12/19/09.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TerokNor's Avatar
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    One other question... does peristeen stop the need for digital stimulation?
    C7 ASIA C from Transverse Myelitis. Diagnosed on 12/19/09.

  3. #3
    Although what the aid is doing is emptying the rectal vault more completely, she is also stretching the rectal wall. I would strongly encourage her to remove any hard stool, but then to do dig stim the correct way. You should get it completely emptied that way, and it is more physiologically sound. It may take a week or two to get it completely re-trained, but that is the way it should be done.

    I have known people who have hired nurses through an agency when they travel. Remember that they are new to you and don't know your routine, so you will need to be very specific about how you want things done. I would recommend that when you travel, you contact the nearest independent living center near there for recommendations about agencies to us and to stay away from.

    Peristeen should eliminate the need for digital stimulation.

    ckf

    P

  4. #4
    Senior Member TerokNor's Avatar
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    Thanks for the helpful reply. She claims that nothing comes out if she doesn't pull it out...but I'm going to try to talk to her about it. If persisteen eliminates the need for dig stim then maybe I should try that. I heard about it for the first time while browsing yesterday!
    C7 ASIA C from Transverse Myelitis. Diagnosed on 12/19/09.

  5. #5
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    My son absolutely hates dig stim. Sooooo, he does 2 Enemeez and pretty much gets everything out. I personally don't think it's the best for him, however it's his life and what do I know???

  6. #6
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    Hiring a CNA while traveling has worked well for me. I prefer to hire privately through Care.com (costs about $39 for the ad), or I use an agency. Beware that many CNA's aren't allowed to do dig stim, especially from agencies. I have very little experience with dig stim, usually didn't need it, and got bad hemorrhoids. I'd be uncomfortable with an unfamiliar CNA doing dig stim.

    Peristeen is worth checking out. I was about to do that, but got a colostomy instead (due to hemorrhoids). I'm C5/6. I still use CNAs but I'm independent with the colostomy, except for the wafer change which is every 9 days.

    If you can transfer easily, maybe you could just go naturally, with no laxatives. I did that for 3 years, twice a day, and it was much better than laxatives (enemeez or magic bullet), but was inconvenient (6am and 6pm for 20 minutes every day) and needed help with transfers. You might be able to train your body through diet (lots of fiber and water, avoid meat and cheese), and just find out what your natural rhythm is. For example, what do you think would happen if you didn't take the excess stool out. Would it eventually come out on its own, or would you get constipated? Can you feel when it's coming?

    Good luck. Keep working at it and you'll figure it out. The main thing I've learned with a colostomy is that eating and drinking definitely stimulate peristalsis, right away. You could use that to your advantage. A lot of people use coffee.

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