caregiving nightmare.

Started by

Another weekly battle that I face is my mothers constant constipation. It's a weekly nightmare that I loathe, but have to accept. The latest episode (yesterday) goes as follows. I gave mother a heft glass of warm prune juice and two woman's laxative pills. Now, if these don't work immediately, then my mother gets frantic. She had no bowel movement overnight (she claims she had a sleepless night due to the constipation) today she got out of bed very early and wanted to go to the hospital. I always refuse to take her because the prune juice usually works, but this time I submitted and took her. I told the lady at the ER that she is severely constipated. While waiting in the lobby to be seen, mother wanted to go to the restroom......she had her bowel movement. She then wanted to leave (which we did). I told the admitting lady that she had a bowel movement and we were leaving. I also told her that this is a weekly thing with her and that it's just part of the hell that a caregiver goes through. This morning before we left home for the mother insisted that we go. She said if we don't go.....then she'll just sit there and die from the constipation. This is just a tid bit of the hell that I go through each day. I challenge any caregiver to "beat" what I go through in dealing with a VERY headstrong and controlling mother. I told her, "you're 88 now......give up on the control". My dedicated (not by choice) to being a 24/7 slave. It's getting to be very sickening because it's the same thing day in and day out. I'm not in a "normal" caregiver situation......I have to deal with a extremely moody, cranky and quite frankly.......a very mean person at times. Cussing and four letter words are quite common. Mother lets me have it with both to speak. I really think that perhaps GOD makes us caregivers suffer, so that when our parents die......then we don't feel so bad. It's almost like a relief when they pass on and we are absolved of this hell called caregiving. The curse continues.....


I want to mother was never normal with her bowel movements. Maybe once or twice a week. When she does have a bowel movement, she will say that very little came out....or she'll say nothing came out, when in fact she did poop. I used to give her milk-of-mag......but I refuse to clean up the mess afterwards, so milk-of-mag is not allowed in the house. I refuse to clean feces that is dripped across the carpeting/floor......I draw the line there. That is why milk-of mag is banned.
Roscoe, your problems take the cake. Nobody wants to clean up pee or poop. And having to discuss poop daily in gross detail? No fun.

Have you ever tried the fiber cookies? Metamucil wafers? Drinking the fiber down is unpleasant, but eating cookies is something she might be able to do. If you only give her one until you see how they work, you can avoid a messy clean-up.

Good luck to you.
Have you tried colace or miralax. There are some good "natural" laxatives. Or sometimes probiotics can make a difference. Sounds like Mom might benefit from some "poop pills"
Get her some Miralax - it's now over the counter. She takes it every day and it will keep her regular in a more gentle way than a normal laxative. My dad's doc recommended it for him. Get it at any drugstore.
Roscoe, poop was such a daily part of my life with my mom that it doesn't even bother me any more. I even get the poopy end of the dogs now!!! Try a stool softener. They acted well for my 80 yo mom. My mom had a discharge from taking a post breast cancer drug that didn't go away after she quit taking it. For 4 years I dealt with trying to get her underwear clean even though they were changed every day. Started using Poise pads and the stench was so bad, we went back to doctors. Found out she had a fistula....a tunnel from her bowels to the top of her vagina. So every day she had pussy, liquid stool leaking out, with no way on earth to control it. Because of back surgeries, she could no longer wipe herself, so I had to do that......not to mention I had to wash her repeatedly during the day, frequently changing the pads. She died a week before she was to have colostomy surgery. I think elders just have poop issues due to medications and diet. If it isn't enough poop, it is too much!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!
wow, and i thought dad and i butt heads! off the top, sweety, you need a mini vacay! ( vacation, even overnight in a hotel is a mini vacay when your broke) i recognize your stress. everybody is a bit different, but girl, i can clearly hear you ticking! ( meaning ticking time bomb, overstressed about to blow) when dad makes me like that i put the harness on my doggy and go to the learning a whole lot about seniors since i moved back here to help dad ( hes 87, still active, stuborn) first, she not fighting YOu, shes fighting loosing her youth. you probably say 'but thats not my fault shes older' true, but you have GOT to open your mind in a new way here. helping a parent is NOTHING like raising a child. you have to prepare yourself and realize its sad and scary when your body starts failing.
if she keeps saying she wants to go to the hospitol, instead of getting mad, try getting her a new doctor and TALK with the doc about whats wrong, what can you do for her. maybe she is sick, maybe shes not, but if you hear from the doctors mouth what to do when she wants to go to the hospitol, then you can get rid of a lot of the stress. also, straight up, you cant get frustrated with her. this is something YOU will have rework your brain to handle. shes not a kid. your not training her to be on her own. you are caring for someone thats going to get worse. i feel your stress i really do. but im learning to be a LOT more tolerant of things dad does,but i had to make my brain look at things different. he breaks into my room because 'theres no way a girl can put up a lock that i he cant bust through' and its an ego thing on his part. butting heads sure didnt work. i hate yelling,fighting. buying new door locks once a week was ridiculous, so i got creative. i turn on my camcorder sometimes when i leave my room. after showing him the tape of himself breaking in, it gave me a 'power' that didnt strip him of his dignity. make sense? dont be 'your 88 give up power' seriously, if someone said that to you, what would you say? you need to get creative and work WITH her. you take over each of her tasks as she needs you to. like, dad has this 'im not old' attitude and has a bad habit of proving this by doing things like climbing a ladder . or he starts a project, makes a mess, then walks away. so i just go in and finish whatever he started . since hes of he mindset that men know more about tools/repairs than women, this has really been a challenge for me. i cant tell this guy 'no you cant do that' hes an adult. i do put my foot down when it comes to ladders. he shuffles when he walks and trips on his big fat feet all the time and you want to climb a ladder? he challenges me. so i wait till hes asleep or leaves, then ill put the ladder in my shed .locked.
i know kinda long.. but girl you cant get frustrated with her. if you cant/dont want to rework your thinking, then maybe someone else should watch her.
good luck, your really not alone. you cant get mad. you just cant
oh, wanted to ask, an old remedy for constipation is a spoonful of KARO syrup. but ask a doc before trying this. but thats whats always worked in this family.
i dont understand the four letter words your mother is emitting roscoe. whiny bit*h are both 5 letter words. sorry, it just seems that your caregiving for a frail elder without having much empathy for the ill elder. get her some GD chia seeds at the cvs, lightly boil them in a scant minimum amount of water and mix them with pudding or a drink that she likes. my mother died from her digestive system shutting down and instead of comparing it to hell on earth, we changed her diet and kept trying things. rice is the most nutritious food on earth per the amount of energy required to digest it. my mother still died but she died surrounded by love and understanding . you have a defeatist attitude imo and honestly im trying to be helpful in my own patented way.
bet she calls you d*ck head. those are both 4 letter words. its all beginning to make sense..
I understand your pain, my mother also goes through bouts of constipation. I've learned the signs and symptoms and its never easy. Prune juice every other morning, stool softener daily, and last but not least Milk of Magnesia. The Milk of Magnesia works like a charm with only a half dose, but then have the dreaded clean up since she can't make it to the commode in time and refuses to wear the pull ups(depends). As disgusting as it is, I've learned to just go with the flow, no pun intended.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support