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Thread: Dig Stim

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2002
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    Dig Stim

    I do my bowels every morning. I use a micro enema, wait till my bowels start getting going, then reinsert the empty enema tube to stimulate. I don't use lube cause i find that it makes it hard for me to hold the enema, i use the enema itself to lube the tube of the enema.
    1. How long is it safe to stim for? I find that sometimes I need to stim for 20 minutes or so before anything comes down.
    2. How often? Sometimes I stim 4 or 5 times (with 3-4 minute breaks) and I get results every time until i end up with just runny faeces on the tube but no more plopping down the loo!
    3. Often I find blood on the tissue, not a lot though. I think it's because when I try to find 'the right hole' with the tube I sometimes miss and cause trama to the area. Is this dangerous?
    4. And finally! Often at the end of the session I stim just to check I'm empty and runny faeces gets on the tube, is this normal?

    Sorry to be so graffic but any answers would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member julran's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Gresham, OR
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    Questions...

    Is the micro enema a theravac?
    Do you insert the enema and then leave it in till it comes out on its own?

    If the enema is a theravac (or similar) then the tip could be a dagerous thing to be doing a dig with. (I would imagine) I was taught that you should only do digs with your gloved finger. And if you're a woman that using a device is unadvisable because of the threat of cross-contamination. This can be quite dangerous, not to your bowels per se but to your female parts. If you are leaving it in there until it comes out a couple of minutes later, I can't imagine that it would be necissary to do a 20 minute dig. Am I wrong? Do others have to dig that long? I was taught that you should only dig for 1 to 2 minutes with at least 10 to 15 minutes inbetween digs. I am sure that the nurse or dr will have additional advise and questions.

  3. #3
    Hmmm...well I use a suppository, then wait 10-15 min. until it disolves. Then I dig 3 times, 10 minutes between each dig, and don't dig for more than 30 sec. I use a digistim device. I then do a check, and occasionally another dig. This is how I was taught...

    "Each moment in time we have it all, even when we think we don't."
    --Melody Beattie, writer and counselor

  4. #4
    Senior Member julran's Avatar
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    How to perform a bowel program...

    This information is from "YES, YOU CAN A Guide to Self-Care for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury Second Edition" Put out by the Paralyzed Veterns of America. I received my copy while I was still in Rehab, it has been a real lifesaver at times. I use it more as a guideline now, I am more familiar with my body and what it is trying to tell me. But it might be good information for you or someone else that might read it. I do my bowel program every other day using a mini enema. The thought is still the same though.

    1. Do your bowel program after a meal or hot drink. Because this stimulates peristalsis to empty your rectum.

    2. Insert a well-lubricated suppository high up into your rectum with a gloved finger or adaptive device, placing it right next to the intestinal wall. (see attatched diagram) Remove any stool in rectum first if it is in the way of placing the suppository.

    3. Transfer to a toilet or commode, because gravity helps with emptying.

    4. Wait 10 minutes after insertion. Then do a digital stimulation by inserting a lubricated gloved finger or adaptive device into your rectum. With a circular motion, massage the anal muscle until it relaxes (15-60 sconds).

    5. You may need to do digital stimulation every 5-10 minutes, allowing stool to pass through the anal muscle.

    6. Do a final check with alubricated glove or adaptive device to determine if rectum is empty.

    7. Wash and dry the area.

    Hope this provides some helpful guidelines. Hopefully the nurse or doc will have more to say on Monday.


    P.S. I tried to upload the diagram but I kept getting an error. Sorry.

  5. #5

    Digital stimulation

    The main purpose and function of digital stimulation is to relax the anal sphincter to allow stool to pass. If you are up on a toilet or commode, gravity combined with your normal peristalsis (stimulated by a suppository) will help the stool then empty from the rectum.

    I teach digital stimulation by using the finger to very firmly stretch the external anal sphincter sideways (not circular) at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock, holding each position for about 5 seconds and repeating for up to 5 minutes, then resting 5 minutes and repeating as many times as needed to get full evacuation.

    (KLD)

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