Constipation.......the battle begins!

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As weird as this sounds......my mother is constantly constipated.......all the time....she could be a laxative addict if I let her. She argues with me all the time over this.....like it's my fault. She always begs me to take her to the emergency room......cause she can't poop. It seems to be the topic of the day.....all the time.....let's talk about poop! It's an everyday thing with her....it's killing me....she can't poop.....she can't poop. The only thing she likes is when she had a big shot of milk of mag.....and the poop run's out of her all day long......yes, very gross. HELP ME!.......the curse continues!

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My sympathies - my MIL is an original recruit to this battle. Several times now she has been "de-pacted" in the emergency room -- every time she has been there for something else, a giant impaction shows up on x-ray and the ER staff "pulls out all the stops" to get her bowels cleared. And yes, its something she talks about constantly.

I am sure you have tried prunes? If she hasn't, you can always call them dried plums. They are a time honored problem solver for some of these type situations. 4 prunes in the morning - every day. I wonder if they make chocolate covered prunes?
I have been reading recently that fluids, like water (veggies and fruits loaded with liquid naturally) are more important than fiber in moving things through nicely.

Perhaps try encouraging fun ways to get enough for her to drink (through drinks and food that is wet... like watermelon, etc). I think it may be true for all of us... while we can try all the fiber diets, apple eating, laxatives... making sure there are enough fluids flushing through the system helps soften things up and get them moving.

Just a simple idea that may be of a little bit of help.
My husband with AD went through a couple of weeks of constipation with a suspected impaction. I won't go into all the details but after weeks of different strengths of laxatives and horrific bouts in the bedroom and toilet, things got back to normal. If your mom is REALLY constipated, it's better to try and cure the problem once and for all BUT then make sure she eats fruit and drinks plenty of tea/water to keep things regular. An impaction and serious constipation is terrible to sort out so it's better to pre-empt it. As you know using laxatives on a daily basis can lead to a bowel that won't work properly so tell her she will make things worse if she keeps asking for the laxatives for no reason.
Hi Roscoe, you could ask about Miralax. It is not a laxative, per se, my daughter has to take it at times and I am a nut when it comes to giving her meds and stuff- totally worry about it. But after talking to her doctor and reading up on it ,it seems a good solution. We give my daughter a salad with lunch (yes, we pack it for her school lunch- she has fridge access) and dinner almost everyday and that helps so we only have to use the miralax every once in awhile but I know there are parents on the forum for her syndrome (constipation is a big part of her syndrome) that use it everyday.

Foods to avoid-
Cheese
bananas
OTC cold medicines seem to be binding
white breads and pastas that have little fiber
apple sauce


There are massages that help stimulate the , er- you need to go. I still do them for my girl once in awhile. One is the paddle wheel. You just press firmly but gently on the stomach with one hand and rub down and then the other hand -rotate back and forth. I sing "paddle wheel paddle wheel make the poopy go. Paddle wheel paddle wheel, fast (and I would go fast ) and sloooooow (and go slow). I would repeat a few times. It works! If Mom says there is pain-- stop, of course and probably should get checked by a doctor. My own little ditty. :0) I don't think your Mom would like that but you never know. You can also rub in a circular pattern going to your left starting a little below the navel. ( "round and round the poopy goes where it stops nobody know, nobody nobody nobody knows"--not my finest work ;0) ).

My Mom also suffers but she used soooo many laxatives her whole life I think she screwed her system up and now cannot go without them.

Good luck.
My mother has 'hardcore' constipation......nothing works on her except for a healthy dose of milk of mag. As a matter of fact.....I submitted to her demands and just gave her some, mixed with prune juice. She tore into me almost the entire day.....calling me four letter words....cause she can't poop and I didn't take her to the emergency room (as she requested). It really made for a nice day.......she even told me to go f...k myself......88 years old......yes, it's true. She was never regular........maybe having a bowel movement every 4 or 5 days.......when she does poop she forgets about it the next day and starts the arguing with me again claiming she hasn't pooped in a week......when if fact she went the day before. It's totally amazing what I go through. A grown adult man......brought to a standstill by an old sick lady. I love my mother dearly.......but why does fate have to be so cruel on me?
Oh Roscoe, I don't know why fate can be such a stinker. (sigh) . Can you make a poop chart? or have a calendar for her poops and mark them with her - have her right there holding the calendar - as you mark it? I would write the whole thing out to help her remember---bear with me but- heck- you guys deal in a lot of poop so --- I would write
" Pooped in the morning after breakfast. Normal size. Normal color"
Maybe even describe it. You know why?- because I think our elders are obsessed with their bowels and want us to be as well and if we show them some interest in that area maybe they will be happy. I mean their lives have gotten pretty small- sleep, eat, poop- for a lot of them. Maybe we should share this with them. Just a thought. good luck. ((((hugs))))
We had one trip to the hospital. The absolute worst experience of my life. I really thought this totally untrained idiot nurse was going to kill Mom.
Now we use ground flaxseed. We have it in a shaker - like you would see for red pepper, larger holes than a salt shaker. Mom puts it on as often as she wants/needs. You can shake it on anything from salad to vegetables to meat. If you taste it at all it will be a light nutty taste. I personally can't taste it. It works gently, without any volcanic eruptions. This is important for us as Mom doesn't get to the toilet without one of us to lift her. This is not fun when the volcano is erupting. We found the flaxseed to be an inexpensive and gentle solution.
Roscoe - my MIL is constantly battling this issue too; her illness causes a gradual shut-down of the autonomic system, and the meds she takes for her Parkinsonism also can cause it so she's got two strikes against her, poor woman. Had to call in a visiting nurse once for a de-impaction... NASTY! Fortunately she likes prunes. We buy her the dried ones and she eats them almost like candy. We also learned from her doctor that Metamucil makes cookies. (She didn't like the regular powder mix kind) We bought a box of them for her to try and she loves them. We actually had to rein her in a little because she was going through them too fast (she loooooves sweets)...told her she needed to think of them more like medicine - one packet a day! They come in two or three flavors - MIL likes the cinnamon spice ones. Hard to tell how much they help because she takes the prunes too, but thought I'd put it out there.

Mishka - I had to chuckle at your suggestion about the calendar..it's a great idea! What made me laugh is MIL came up with a similar idea of her own, except she uses stickers....smiley face ones, cute kitties, flowers, etc. She hung a calendar on the wall just outside the bathroom door and whenever she has a BM she puts a sticker on that day. It was working great....so I thought, until one day I lifted the page up to change months and saw she had stickers plastered half way through the next month!!! Soooo, we're prognosticating our poops now? LOL!!!
Thank you all for a chuckle. It is sad I can find a discussion of poop to be amusing. I guess this is part of the caregiver's disease. But it is wonderful to laugh out loud in the midst of all this SH**!
hello,
I'm having the same issue. Mom calls them golf balls. Any suggestions. ?
Mom does not tolerate milk. Some of these liquid are not milk free. Does Miralax work as a laxative or more like a stool softener?
Thanks
Equinox

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