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Thread: 7+ hour bowel program

  1. #1

    7+ hour bowel program

    Hi everyone, I am a T5, been injured for a little over five years. In the beginning, my bowel routine took about an hour each morning (senna around 10 hrs ahead, bisacodyl enema, dig stim). After a bout of bedrest (6 months from a broken tailbone), it now takes me over 7 hours (senna 11 hrs ahead, magic bullet, dig stim). I have been doing it at night due to school and life. Every other night, my fiance and I only get about 5 hours sleep and it really drains us both (he is my caregiver). There has to be a better way. I have been to gastro doctor and Magee who basically told me to try different things. Yeah, when that means crapping yourself, not so much. Can anyone please offer me any advice? I would like to know what works for people with a similar level injury. Overwhelmed in NJ...

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Hmmm Keep the same med routine, but do your time in the morning?

    Your body could just be a morning pooper.. I'm am. So use your 7 hrs sleepen and just wakeup earlier.

  3. #3
    Wow, that is a long time for a BP. I wish I had some suggestions, but I'm sorry I don't. I feel for you and wish you the best of luck. You came to the best place there is for answers, everyone here is so knowledgable and very willing to help. I'm sure your answer is right around the corner.

  4. #4
    I am not able to do a morning routine any longer due to my schedule as well as that of my only caregiver. It would rule my life completely and I cannot afford it. Thanks for the input tho. Lots of love to the care, cure community...

  5. #5
    You are spending 7 hours on the commode???

    Are you timing your bowel care from when you take the senna (routine use is discouraged) or from when you do the bisacodyl enema and then get on the commode or toilet?

    Are you doing bowel care within 30 minutes after a meal?

    Have you tried anything other than bisacodyl enemas? Enemeez? Magic Bullets? None of these have an effect that lasts for more than an hour, so if it is longer than that, they aren't helping much, if at all, with your actual evacuation.

    How soon do you start dig stim? How long do you do it?

    What is the consistency of your stool? How much fiber do you eat daily? Fluids?

    At T5, why do you need help for bowel care?


  6. #6
    Hi Nurse, I am timing my bowel program from the insertion of the magic bullet. I do it after dinner at 8 pm. The digital stim starts 1/2 hr after the insertion of the bullet (after the bullet provides some evacuation). We do it during the course of the routine, as needed (probably at least 20 times). I know that it is said to only do like 5 stims, but it doesn't work for me. The consistency is from soft formed to a loose stool. I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cheese. I drink a decent amount of water (no soda, etc.). I used to be independent with my bowel care, but now I have to do it in bed because it takes so long (would hurt my back majorly in my shower commode chair) and I cannot predict its timing and finishing. Otherwise, I would, have, and very occasionally do have an accident. I go to college and lead a very demanding life. All the answers that I have gotten from health professionals, including specialists, have been to "try" other methods with no guidance really. I understand that my program is not ideal and could be problematic, however, I need it to work so that I can function. At this point, we are both worn out by it and I have to believe that there is a better way. I appreciate any advice or tips that you may have. Thanks, Angel

  7. #7
    Bowel care will generally take at least 2X as long in bed as on a toilet or commode. You may need to find a more comfortable commode chair. Up, you should be able to be independent in this as well.

    Dig stim should usually be started within 10-15 minutes after using a Magic Bullet suppository.

    Have you tried Enemeez?


  8. #8
    hoyer lift w/ a cut out sling over the bed this way you can lie down between "non" events.

    add miralax to your bowel meds take them earlier than usual
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

  9. #9
    I'm T5 also and I have changed mine a couple of times from morning to night. I won't do it again because of the accidents it caused. Your situation is a strange one. I never had a problem doing it day or night. I wish I had something to tell you. I think Liz has a good idea by taking it earlier and see what that does.

    I don't know if going right after you eat is such a good idea either.?
    T-5 incomplete

  10. #10
    7 hours is a long long time and I am sure you would much rather get the sleep!
    I wonder what would happen if you stopped taking the 'meds' for bowel care. Seems your diet is good - how do you think your bowels would be if left to their own schedule? I know it would be a trial and error thing, but maybe you'd get back to your regular previous routine. I only say this because I take nothing to help my bowels (aside from watching what I eat and drink), I also have to do it on my bed (spasticity makes it dangerous to do it on the showerchair/commode), and I find that I am pretty regular every 2 days. If I am not, then it is pretty easy to check first thing in the morning or last thing at night to make sure all is ok. My routine takes about 15 minutes when it does occur. And I very very rarely have accidents in between.
    I know that everyone has to find their own pattern, what works best for them. You are right to look for another answer - I hope that you find it sooner rather than later.

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