To boldly go where this daughter hadn’t been before…

Oh dear!  Day 6 dawned with no sign of any bowel movement from Ma.  The last one, if you recall welcomed me home after a couple of days away.  As mentioned previously, Ma is now scared of bowel movements.  I can’t blame her, I think I’d be the same.  That horrible feeling of having no control and the even worse feeling of thinking you may have an accident in public.

I’ve been ‘pimping’ Movicol and Actilax (constipation remedies) for the last few days in the hope that things may get going… unfortunately this hasn’t worked and Ma hasn’t wanted to take the prescribed dosage.  As she had an appointment today I used that as an incentive to get her to take some more of her constipation remedies yesterday.  Alas, this bared no fruit and we were up and down more times than a brides nighty during the night with her trying to go.  This increased her hallucinations and disorientation.  Each time I took her back to bed there was somebody in there.  She tried to get into my bed after saying that there was somebody in her room and wandered the house with her important possessions packed in ‘Cyril’ (her wheely walker). At around 2 I encouraged her to have another dose of Actilax and she stayed put and dozed (sitting up).

Nothing was working!  I knew I had one choice, which I didn’t want to make.  At 8:30am I headed for her chemist and got some suppositories.  Not where I wanted to go.  I text my sister for her advice and with one glove on (apparently you can do it one handed) I ventured fourth… and fifth… SIGH.  I decided to do this in the toilet, as she can’t turn on her side, and I thought I could at least get better access.  My first attempt was not a success… I should have had two gloves on as I couldn’t find where I was supposed to be going… After at last getting two in, she sat there for awhile and then expelled one.  I had to go back in….

After 40 minutes and minimal success, I had to put two more in.  I’m now an expert!!  At last we had some success.  She was starting to get very agitated and stressed.  She dropped which could only be described as a rock (sorry, but it’s true).  After this she started to feel better and her hallucinations decreased.

Will try again and get her back into a bowel routine.  I really don’t want to go through this again, the thing is she preferred me inserting a suppository to taking her medication.  I was hoping the threat of a suppository would be the threat to get her taking her medication… SIGH.  She says she will ‘do better’ with her routine… stay tuned.

Tips:

  • As hard as it is, getting them to eat foods high in fibre does help immensely. 
  • If they suffer from chronic constipation, like Ma, try and get them into a routine.  Seek advice form their doctor or the Australian Continence Foundation.
  • Ma’s high usage of pain medication exacerbates her constipation, learn what the triggers are.
  • Monitor your loved ones bowel movements.  Not pleasant, but it can save a lot of trouble in the long run.  Ma gets very very cranky when she hasn’t had one.  She also hallucinates and gets more confused.
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