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Thread: "Bowel Program"

  1. #1

    "Bowel Program"

    My brother is still in the the SNF one of the problems that he struggles with is bowel, they do not seem to have him on a regular "bowel program". I have been reading that these are recomeneded. He has a terrible time with constipation, discomfort and his stomach is so distended that he looks to be about nine months pregnant. I have been taking him fresh fruit and vegetables and have started taking him cranberry juice because he has frequent UTI's. He gets a suppository every other day, prune juice every day, milk of magnesia, something similar to metamucil, he drinks water by the pitcher full. I think that I mentioned before that he is the only SCI patient in this particular facility, it is primarily geriatric patients, I am trying to get him transfered to a rehab facility and have him scheduled for an assessment. One of his nurses is working with me to try and come up with solutions to help him, it's very frustrating because they rarely see a doctor there and once a month see a nurse practitioner and we don't seem to be getting anywhere. Does anyone have any suggestions to help with this bowel situation?
    Thank you, Peggy

  2. #2
    Senior Member Aly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Radford, Va
    What types of suppositories is he using? I am not able to go with the oil-based suppositories, I use the waterbased kind (magic bullets) is the brand I use. I'm not sure this will help him, but I don't think it would hurt to try.


    The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
    Don Juan Matus

  3. #3
    Senior Member taj2002's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Indianapolis, IN, USA

    I sent you a couple of e-mails tonight. I agree, the Magic Bullet might be a key to a successful bowel program. Not sure about the discomfort and distended stomach. Have they checked him for some sort of blockage?


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    So. California
    My son uses 1 dulcolax supp. in the am, he takes a senna natural veg. lax 8.6 mg. 1 in the am and 1 in the pm, and he takes docusate sodium 100 mg. stool softner 2 in am and 2 in pm. So far, so good! It has been 10 months and he is pretty regular. Hope this helps!

  5. #5
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    bellevue, wa, usa
    Peggy, you're the sister of the year, and your brother is lucky to have you.

    Do you know if they're doing a daily dig stim for him? I can't believe they wouldn't know about this, but then anything is possible . . .

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

  6. #6
    Kate, Mombo, Trish, Aly,
    Thank you all, I'll be on the phone this a.m. with the suggestions. Please let me know if you think of anything else.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BeeBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    Peggy, do an internet search on Bowel Program. There is a lot of information out there (I know, I was surprised, too!). The VA has a free downloadable book. He may have to try different things, and it could take a few months, but the solution is out there.
    His stomach will appear fat now, he has no muscle control in his abs. "Quad belly". But that doesn't mean he doesn't have an obstruction. Especially with the pain and discomfort he's having. They should check for this and if he's not "going well", Miralax should turn the trick.

  8. #8
    Peggy - Any luck in getting him transferred to Craig or another sci facility? Once there the staff will teach all that's related to sci care including bowel/bladder. Professionals are what you need imo.

    Try Kenny Hosack at Craig Hospital: 303-789-8000.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
    Member The Queen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Indianapolis, Indiana USA
    Peggy, I too experienced considerable bowel problems with the schedule they put me on in rehab. Lots of water, lots of fiber, a supp. every other day...I was constipated, had hemmrriods, and lived in the bathrm because the supp's could work in 5 minutes or 5 hours..who knew.
    I didn't realize my bowels were not emptying completely...til one day they just stopped, I went to emergency room in so much pain, was put on morphine..looked like I was over 9 months pregnant as well. I had a colonscopy and was cleaned out, then put on Zelnorm and Glyco-Lax. Two a day for 30 days, then down to one per day. Made all the difference in the world, soft bowels. I go right after I eat usually. Hemrroids are gone. I am so thankful for that doctor, supp's aren't for me, would never use again. Zelnorm is for irrationable bowel, but I don't have that. I did end up with an ulcer from the bowel being clogged for so long. The doc thought it had been building up in there since rehab. I hadn't been eating much at all
    because I would stick out so far on the left side of my body it hurt to walk. Just thought I would throw that out there...anything for relief. Marsha

  10. #10
    I called the facililty this morning and the nurses told me they had no idea what I was talking about, so I went to the web, under bowel care and got a really good step by step procedure on digital stimulation and manual disimpaction. I then faxed it to the the facility with a typed and signed request from me that I would like for them to please try this method as per instruction after suppository, or enema and or stool softners per article. I also asked them to please call the doctor for an evaluation on the abdominal distention. I haven't heard from them yet. There are a few things that I have not had a chance to mention on this forum concerning this facility and my frustration and I use that term lightly. The long term care facility that he is in now is adjacent to a hospital, since he has been at this facility he has almost died twice once due to sepsis from a UTI according to the records from a catheter that had been left in for more than one month, the other time due to a narcotic drug over dose and susequent cardiac arrest according to the records. My brother is a quad and is not self medicating. He was overmedicated. The day that I learned of his injury I went to him immediately, I knew that day (March 30) that he was over medcated, since then with allot of my questioning his medication protocol has been changed drastically. Today he is aware and ready to participate in his recovery. My brother almost died in February of this year on both occasions in the records the doctors spoke with him about end of life issues. It broke my heart to read this about a healthy 42 year old man with no health issues prior to his accident. I don't think that I have to share with anyone on this forum what I think of the care that he received in the past, but what I have to concentrate on now is getting him the best that I can get him from here on out and hopefully get him to be the best to his physical and mental capabilities that he can be. He has a seven year old son that needs a dad to love him and I want to try to help him the best I can. I hope that this was not too inappropriate an issue for the forum. I still have not had a chance ot register as my head is still spinning and every day seems a new challenge. Thank you all for listening.

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