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Thread: Bowel Program

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Green Ridge, MO, USA
    Posts
    34

    Bowel Program

    My son, Luke, is 20 years old. Has anyone found a way to make the bowel program (Cripes! I hate that term) any more tolerable? I'm afraid that he is going to harbor hate for me until one of us passes from this earth over the damned "bowel program". We've done it from bed mostly, but we got a potty chair recently that slides over the toilet. It seems more natural. He has sensation and even sometimes pain around his anus, especially if the stools are very hard or large. He can feel the stool in his rectum and/or the sensation of it having been there. He just can't push it out completely. The whole thing is just so degrading, humiliating, unpleasant. His stools are still rather firm, but in comparison, I think it's just they aren't compacted together like people who do push more. I use an enemeez or fleet and digital stim and almost always have to do manual retrieval.
    Please, any suggestions for making it go faster, smoother, without yelling and tears. Someone please tell me that it will get better. We do the BP every other night and spend the in-between days apologizing to one another for such a nasty, traumatic time.
    Luke's Mom

  2. #2
    What level injury does he have? Best would be for him to do his own. He'll always hate it; it would be better if he were able to hate it on his own. Plenty of fiber, water, watch the painkillers as they are constipating. Maybe you could hire somebody like an aide to help with this? It's pretty personal for a 20 yr. old boy/man to have to share with his mom. Good luck.

    Can't stop the spirits when they need you/This life is more than just a read thru.-
    red Hot Chili Peppers

  3. #3
    depending on his level. w/ him having rectal feeling, there is a good chance he may be able to push it out. tell him while on the toilet to bend over and push a bit. feeling is key, and lots of water. 100oz or more.
    there are several of us on this site who are inc who dont need a bowel program.

  4. #4
    I just remembered there are tools available for people with limited hand function for supp insertion and dig stim, so they can do it themselves. SCI Nurse can help with that if you're interested. Before my 1 hand sort of came back, I found it easier to use Enemeez than any other type stimulant. I'm c5-6 incomplete, but I had complete injury hands for quite a while and I got by. A good OT can help too.

    Can't stop the spirits when they need you/This life is more than just a read thru.-
    red Hot Chili Peppers

  5. #5
    One senacot each night
    or every other would help
    to soften the stool.
    You don't want to soften
    it too much though, because he
    wants to be able to push.

    Joe

  6. #6
    This is a degrading topic but for the sake of science and somebody's peace of mind I'll give you 29 years of MY experience.

    I'm a c4 quad hurt sine 1975.

    1.) Take a colace (stool softener) 2 times a day.
    2.) Drink a lot of water.
    3.) 1 Ducolex suppository up the hinny @ 7:00 while in bed on my side.
    4.) *7:20 slide me on the shower chair.
    5.) Finished in 25-30 min.s (85-90% success rate)
    6.) Get a shower (wash feet only once a week, it toughens them up to prevent heal sores.)
    REPEAT EVERY OTHER DAY

    * Note, while on the chair blow your nose several times, rub your eyes, hold your arm(s) out in front of you a few min.'s to trigger that internal spark that makes those bowels move. Breathe throgh the nose as much as possible, it redirects pressure to the abdomen. Bend over forward slightly a few times.

    [This message was edited by Rusty Van Reeves on 11-20-04 at 12:01 PM.]

  7. #7
    In addition to all the great advice below, if his stool is constantly hard and firm, do a check on diet - is he getting plenty of fiber? Drinking plenty of fluids? Sometimes a bran muffin in the morning will do the trick.

    _____________
    If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. - Mother Teresa

  8. #8
    We need more information to advise you:

    -level of injury
    -current bowel program to include his diet, medications (all of them), routine/schedule, techniques used, and any special equipment used.
    -bowel care up on toilet/commode or in bed?
    -how soon after a meal is bowel care done?
    -what was his program in rehab? Did it work?

    If you don't already have it, get a copy of this booklet from the Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine and read it cover to cover:

    Neurogenic Bowel: What you should know

    I would also recommend getting a copy of the video "Accidents Stink!". It is a humorous look at SCI bowel care but also very practical. Bowel care is not pleasant, but it is necessary, and certainly better than having bowel accidents in public or wearing smelly diapers (which are currently the only real non-surgical alternatives).

    (KLD)

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