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Thread: what is the big secret about bowel programs

  1. #11
    Senior Member amanda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Arkansas, USA
    my system includes getting a good amount of fiber (I prefer Dannon light and fit with fiber ---> ( ), drinking tons of water, and I use half a magic bullet suppository (learned that on here after having left-overs :P) every other morning.

    I know you've already been through more trial and error than you care to....but, seriously that is all one can do to figure out what works best. what is good for another may not be most efficient for you. I'm still adjusting my routine two and a half years after the fact. 90% of what I've learned has come from this site. who better to learn from than a been-there-done-that-this-is-what-I-learned....cha know? good luck with things! do you make a hyper link on here? couldn't figure it out...but, I didn't try to hard.
    "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
    - Alan Kay

  2. #12
    I too was having problems taking a full suppository. We figured out they're too strong for my body so I know only use 3/4 of one, 1/2 if I've had an accident the previous night or the morning of. It's been working really good. Maybe that could be your next change?

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Tallahassee, FL

    Talking Bowel Program

    As a former sufferer of any and all Bowel strategies.... I hate to say it... but it was running my life. I realize the proceedure I had is not for everyone... but I cant keep it to myself either! 3 weeks ago I had a colostomy surgery. I now dont ever feel sick, toxic, bloated, aweful or have the terrible pain that came from slow on little bowel movements. Since my surgery I have way to many other things to think about.... bowels are not one of them. Sorry your having troubles, I did too... but never again. Lastly.. I cant imagine now that I know what the other side is like.... struggling and going through it... I cant imagine going back to that. Mikey.
    Mike (Florida)

    Cant we get 1 do over?

  4. #14

    The scoop on poop

    My program took 3 months before I could feel confident to quit wearing diapers. My program is a little bit of everything people have said on this thread. First and foremost, I'm lucky to be T 7/8 inc. I have some sensation of "going". I have a "brown" bread for toast and either eggs or raison bran cereal for breakfast. Lunch is always rye bread with turkey and swiss with tomato as a sandwich and an apple. I have a dinner consisting of lots of veggies and some meat and again an apple. I take Metamucil(Blhhhhh!!) in the morning,and 2 colalace in the morning and evening. I drink cranberry juice(obvious reason here) water and pepsi. Use standing frame as much as I can stand it each day,do exercise,range of motion every morning and night and use a suppository each night for action. This so far has been the best results for me. I know my diet is very limited(gall Bladder a problem here) and I dont drink alcohol anymore(miss my Jack Daniels). As you have a higher injury,I'm not so sure any of this would benefit you. My diet was the biggest issue to settle on before I could start "dialing" my program in. It takes 30 min. to 1.5 hrs to finish. It beats and accident any day.Good luck and I hope you get an answer soon. None of this is fun, that's for sure...John

  5. #15
    what kind of things can i eat that have lots of fiber in them? i looked at the nutrition lables for the stuff i've been eating, and most of them only have 1 or 2 grams of fiber.

    i have a question about the milk of magnesia. my doctor said to first try drinking it one hour before my bowel program and adjust to find the right time. i read a post by the sci-nurse that said it is recommended to take it 8-12 hours before the bowel program. the bottle says it usually produces a bowel movement in 1/2 to 6 hours, but that is for normal people. the directions even recommend taking it before bed time. that either means i would have to take it before bed and go back to doing my bowel program in the morning, or drink it around lunch time if i want to continue doing my bowel program at night. i did try drinking it before bed once, but i've tried so many combinations of things i don't really remember how it turned out. if i were to give the milk of magnesia another try, and i drank it during the day, would it cause an accident if it kicked in, or will it remain in my system until i do my bowel program at night?

    one other thing i forgot to mention. when the doctor suggested i try 4 tablespoons instead of 2, i think it passed through and came out in my urine. i used the cherry flavor, and when i cathed right before my bowel program, i had cherry flavor looking milk of magnesia stuff come out right at the end. it wasn't a uti either because it didn't happen again, and i had no other symptoms of a uti. that was the last time i tried the milk of magnesia too.

    i don't know what I did different last time, but after doing my bowel program, i did not have the discharge of mucus and liquid that I usually get.

    i have read up on the colostomy procedure. it would be nice not to have to worry about doing a bowel program, but i don't like the sound of it. i don't want to do anything permanant to my body, and from what i've read, the longer the disconnected part of your bowels remain inactive, the less likely it is that the procedure can be reversed. it also sounds like from all the care that is required for the stoma and changing the pouch, that you spend about the same amount of time dealing with that as you would doing a bowel program. the only thing i haven't read anywhere is how long you can go between bag changes. i'm pretty active, and just the idea of having a bag of 'poop' stuck to me just doesn't sound like fun.

  6. #16
    ground flax a few times a week is a fantastic source of fiber. and its great for your heart and cholesterol. google it , there are many studies on its benefits. i sprinkle it on my mini wheats once a week and mix a teaspoon full w/ oj 2x a week

    i think if i didnt have the bowel control i have and had to do a bp, i think i would do the colostomy.
    Last edited by fuentejps; 07-28-2005 at 07:47 AM. rep
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
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  7. #17
    I was told that stopping and starting the dig stim confuses your body. THat you should do it for about 15 20 minutes without stopping. If you stop for too long your colon thinks it should stop. WHen you start again it has to start over and you may never get cleared. I have a much lower injury though.

  8. #18
    I know of no scientific evidence that supports this. I do not teach it this way either, and the clinical practice guidelines on bowel management in SCI do not indicate that this is an appropriate technique. I teach 5 minutes of dig stim, then rest 5 minutes, then repeat until empty. Dig stim has less effect on the colon than it does on the anal sphincter. The purpose of digital stimulation is to fatigue the anal sphincter so that it will relax and allow stool to pass. The suppository does much more for increasing colon motility and movement of stool into the rectum.


  9. #19
    Senior Member kickinglamb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    where no one has gone before...SW Pennsylvania
    Dear SCI nurse,
    what is the correct way to do digital stimulation? Should the finger be inserted . just inside the anus or the whole way up?
    My husband does my digital stimulation and he has a very large hands will this hurt me? Should we still use the five minutes on five-minute break?
    Sometimes it feels like it's really hurting me. I'm a C6 complete quad , and I have to use all of the tolls of the bowel program. Including laxatives, stools softeners, and suppositories as well as digital stimulation. I never feel like I've gone completely. Please help,
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    They shall run and not be weary,
    They shall walk and not faint
    Isaiah 40:31

  10. #20
    My bowels have been crazy in the past few days ... I bitched about it in a previous post ... backed up for 3 days, then it's been pretty much non-stop loose stool for the past 24 hours now. I've had to replace my soiled bedsheets 3 times within 4 hours (actually my mom did, and now she's really upset with me).

    When it starts coming out like this, what can I do to calm down my bowels? Also, what should I do to make sure I've completely gone? I tried sitting on the commode for a while (between 5-10 mins each time I dig-stim/manual evacuation) and then feeling to see if I'm completely empty (which seems I am) ... if I'm empty after two cycles, I get up. But, when it's loose like this, after getting up/walking around for a while, my bowels start moving again.

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