Elderly mother obsessed with bowel movements/constipation.

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I know I've mentioned this before, but it's getting worse. My 88 year old mother's
obsession with her constipation is getting totally out of control. It's a daily subject
with her. We could have never ending talks about constipation. Her bowel movements have been irregular for years. It seems like no amount of stool softners or fiber or certain food will help. Only the dreaded milk of mag. Prune juice sometimes and the same goes with laxatives. My mother gets downright rude and angry with me over this......as though it's my fault she can't poop. Cussing is very common when she goes into her "constipation rampage". I just thought I would write about this to let you all know that the curse of caregiving
continues on strongly every day of my life.

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My MIL was obsessed with this conversation and it kept getting worse....and more descriptive (disgusting)....my husband finally told her we don't talk about bodily functions anymore. He interrupts her now if she starts again and tells her to tell her doctor. so rude for anyone to think they can take over the conversation on the subject of bowel movements.....please...
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Have you tried chocolate and ice cream? My mother was constipated for years, then became a spastic colon patient....never able to leave house due to pooping until meds got it under control. Now that she has Parkinson's I have to limit her chocolate and milk intake as she poops too much. She eats 3 meals a day, I've cut back to 2 meals, because she doesn't burn it, she walks with walker and me holding onto her down the hallway 3 times a day, that's all the exercise she gets besides her leg lifts. So she poops in her diapers and it's too much time to clean her up every day. We are spending 3 hours in the toilet. We go through 2 packs of baby wipes every other day. So I limit her milk and chocolate and ice cream intake now and it's better. Sometimes I feel sorry for her and give in and give her ice cream when she had milk for dinner and I'm sorry the next day. I feel like I'm 87 years old and I'm in jail. I wanted to take care of her instead of put her in a home, but I don't sleep, I'm so tired I don't plan meals, just send my husband to the store 6 days a week, I don't go anywhere, do anything except babysit and cook, wash, bath, clean, and watch tv. She can't stand on her own, she broke her hip and doesn't remember that she can't stand up on her own, Parkinson's limits her movement now, she has Parkinsons and dementia. Silently screaming. I promised my dad I'd take care of her at home. She came to live with us 4 years ago, my husband is so good about it, but they we started seeing all these problems. She kept telling us that Dad was off his rocker, but it was mom and her Parkinson's. Now, I can go into her room at midnight to check on her and she's watching a porn movie. She knows how to buy a movie but she can't remember what I tell her about her pills. Screaming, can you hear me? And I can't be with my daughter who had our first grandchild, who is crying all the time, she's taking him to the doctor to figure out if he's tongue tied.......and I can't be with her because I'm taking care of mom. Her broken hip came between my daughter and myself enjoying her wedding plans and wedding. Then her stroke came between my son and his wedding plans and wedding. And now my grandchild. I feel like I've given up all my life plans and my mom had her life and was working until she was 65, unlike me, now that I'm taking care of her. My brothers and sisters can't help me, my sister was helping me taking mom 1 week a month, but she doesn't want to do that anymore. So, I'm ready to put her into a home. I don't want to, but I don't know how long she's going to live, she's 87, and my body is already breaking down, lifting her and taking care of her, my left ankle is swollen, my broken finger I can't fix because I need to take care of her, my left hand is swollen on the palm side, I've never had any health issues until taking care of her, and it seems I'm falling apart. But lifting a 160 lb woman is no easy chore. When all else fails, I use Dulcolax Medicated Suppositories. I use a glove and push it up there and hold it there for 5 mins....then have her sit on toilet. It's never let me down if chocolate and ice cream doesn't work. Older people don't like water and i don't have the strength to keep harping on her all day long to drink. She takes 19 pills and says that enough water, although she doesn't even finish half of 16 ozs of water. Hair on ends!
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Have you tried chocolate and ice cream? My mother was constipated for years, then became a spastic colon patient....never able to leave house due to pooping until meds got it under control. Now that she has Parkinson's I have to limit her chocolate and milk intake as she poops too much. She eats 3 meals a day, I've cut back to 2 meals, because she doesn't burn it, she walks with walker and me holding onto her down the hallway 3 times a day, that's all the exercise she gets besides her leg lifts. So she poops in her diapers and it's too much time to clean her up every day. We are spending 3 hours in the toilet. We go through 2 packs of baby wipes every other day. So I limit her milk and chocolate and ice cream intake now and it's better. Sometimes I feel sorry for her and give in and give her ice cream when she had milk for dinner and I'm sorry the next day. I feel like I'm 87 years old and I'm in jail. I wanted to take care of her instead of put her in a home, but I don't sleep, I'm so tired I don't plan meals, just send my husband to the store 6 days a week, I don't go anywhere, do anything except babysit and cook, wash, bath, clean, and watch tv. She can't stand on her own, she broke her hip and doesn't remember that she can't stand up on her own, Parkinson's limits her movement now, she has Parkinsons and dementia. Silently screaming. I promised my dad I'd take care of her at home. She came to live with us 4 years ago, my husband is so good about it, but they we started seeing all these problems. She kept telling us that Dad was off his rocker, but it was mom and her Parkinson's. Now, I can go into her room at midnight to check on her and she's watching a porn movie. She knows how to buy a movie but she can't remember what I tell her about her pills. Screaming, can you hear me? And I can't be with my daughter who had our first grandchild, who is crying all the time, she's taking him to the doctor to figure out if he's tongue tied.......and I can't be with her because I'm taking care of mom. Her broken hip came between my daughter and myself enjoying her wedding plans and wedding. Then her stroke came between my son and his wedding plans and wedding. And now my grandchild. I feel like I've given up all my life plans and my mom had her life and was working until she was 65, unlike me, now that I'm taking care of her. My brothers and sisters can't help me, my sister was helping me taking mom 1 week a month, but she doesn't want to do that anymore. So, I'm ready to put her into a home. I don't want to, but I don't know how long she's going to live, she's 87, and my body is already breaking down, lifting her and taking care of her, my left ankle is swollen, my broken finger I can't fix because I need to take care of her, my left hand is swollen on the palm side, I've never had any health issues until taking care of her, and it seems I'm falling apart. But lifting a 160 lb woman is no easy chore. Can anyone hear me? Helpless in CA.
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Lordy I hope I do not become my mother when I get old(er). The "bowel stage" lasted about 4 years with her and during that time we went crazy! Either she said she "didn't go for 4 days so that is why she had to take MOM" or she was all panicked because she had the runs. Of course the 1/2 bottle of MOM explained that. Then we had the accidents on the bathroom floor or in her pants because of it. Since she didn't eat more than 1/2 cup of anything a day, naturally she didn't have BM's much.
I'm thinking genuine constipation is a combination of slower bowels in the aged, plus the fact that their caloric consumption (for many senior poor eaters like Mom) is drastically less - but they still expect they should "go" every day and see the same volume in the toilet as when they were 20 years younger? Therefore, every "poo" is a great success to them?
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What is this obsession? Will we all fall prey to it in our dotage?
My mom rang me at work this morning to tell me she'd done a poop. What possessed to think I wanted or indeed needed to know that? She tells me every day, often in detail. Too much information!
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My mom has the exact same problem

The Only thing which has ever worked is daily intact of Miralax (polyethylene Glycol). This was recommended to her after a couple of ER visits because it got to be an issue.

On cap full with juice after dinner every night.
Problem solved!

She hates this, but she knows what will happen if she doesn't do it. I mix about 2 ounces of juice with a cap full and place it next to her dinner.
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Rawoufzdn553 - you are lucky your mother will eat what you make. Our biggest problem with mom was that she wouldn't eat good things no matter what we put in front of her! Yogurt, ensure, grilled cheese sandwich, broth from soup and sweets was all she ate for years. Oh yes, she went through a stage where the other thing she put in her mouth was smuggled milk of magnesia (bottles of it hidden all over her apartment) As dementia set in, she started to forget about worrying about her bowels. We don't know how she lived to 101 with the miniscule amounts she ingested for 20 years. She weighed 90 pounds!
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Home made porridge for breakfast always (cooked in water with many additives, wheat germ, barley bran , psyllium husks and seeds, flax seeds , add a tea spoon of peanut butter , banana , chopped apple , sweetened with a little honey . This and plenty of fluid intake keeps this problem at bay for us , my mom is 100 and we manage .
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I can empathize and am in the same situation....maybe someone told them they had to go daily or they would be sick....I just started listening, saying ok and walking away,, I'm trying to accept the behavior...as a illness, and know she can't help it....until someone comes up with a cure for obsessing. I think that's all I can do.
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thank you all for this discussion. I have had to learn about this "I can't go" problem recently. Some of your suggestions should help !
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