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As if it's not enough to be bombarded with all the craziness of being a caregiver......let's add to it another nightmare........the big 'C'.......constipation! Please don't mention that my mother is not getting enough roughage. I could feed her a sack of pine cones and it would not make her go. No food exists that would make her have a natural bowel movement and she does not have the patience to give to give it a try. The only way she goes is using a laxative. She absolutely cannot go without it. I know it's bad to use the all the time, but her body has got to the point where that is the only way. This may sound mild to all of you who do not have to endure this. Just imagine being a caregiver to a elderly constipated person. It's torture! But, as soon as they have their bowel movement......it's pure heaven.......they are pacified for a few days, until it all starts over again. Constipation is just another 'curse' that the elderly and their caregivers have to endure. I literally celebrate in my mind when my mother has a bowel movement because I know the days in between are pure hell. Don't mention to me about giving her Metamucil........it does not work on her. Besides, even if it would eventually work, she is too impatient to let is work. If she does not have a 'blast' soon after taking her laxative pills....the she freaks out. I would like to her from others in my same situation......a situation where NOTHING works to produce a bowel movement until a laxative is given. For any of you who have not gone through this (about constipation) then you should feel blessed. Some of you might think it's a minor problem......well, it's not a minor problem. In my case it's a nightmare. When my mother takes the laxatives.......that is what I call 's*** day'......that whole day is a stay at home day......so my mother can make her many trips to the bathroom. I just love my role as caregiver......the nightmare continues.

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You're all angels. I just think, angels are allowed to get hacked off sometimes too. xxx
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Reverseroles, I love how well you handle things. If we had a vote here, I would vote you as the Number 1. I know I couldn't handle what you do. Hats off to you.
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Roscoe, Btw, I agree with you windytown, I have been through a lot worse than that and am about to start year 7. My Mom would pull her pants down and pee on the floor even if it was the middle of the night, had a year of barely any sleep and had to get her to daycare to work fulltime at 7am, etc. oh dont even get me started. lol
Anywhoooo, probably 4 years ago I took my Mom to the Emergency Room because she was impacted. They put on gloves and pulled it all out. I swore I would never let my poor mom ever get constipated again! Miralax was recommended by her Doctor and yes its safe for everyday. (shes been on it for over 4 years) The colon is very long, you cant just give it here and there, you need to consistantly keep it moving and soft in its track. We started out wth 2 Tablespoons each morning and throught the course a year, Yes a year, we finally learned her correct amount, Yes through lots of accidents and lots of laundry and floor washing, My Mom now takes 1.5 tea-spoons every morning in 4 oz of real coffee (we split one). She then has prune pudding with her crushed pills in it and a 10 oz decaf tea and off to the bathroom we go. This takes me an hour because she could choke. Then I lift her onto the toilet, yes she cannot walk, or talk, and she goes pooppaloopa. If she doesnt go, I use KY and do what I call a very gentle pump & dump. Nursing homes call it the swirl to get them to go. She goes every morning no fail. I feed her 4 oz of prune juice everynight before bed warmed with a bit of sugar and Thick it so she wont choke. I also give her pills am/pm in my homemade prune pudding.
Prune Pudding:
1 1/3 cup prune juice
1 1/3 cup bran flakes
1 sm individual container of applesauce (1/2 cup I think)
(I add a tad of peanut butter and sugar but you dont have to)
just slowly melt it down in a saucepan on the stove until smooth. Add prune juice if too thick.
* I use a shot glass full with her pills in it am/pm
Hope this helps and please remember that if you are stressed its going to upset your Mom, they have great senses and dont want to feel like a burden, poor things need help. I wouldnt want to be with anyone who was disgusted by me, I rather die ! I treat my Mom with love and patience 100% even when I am stressed to the absolute max. We will all be in the same boat some day, "live and learn" and "we get what we give" Put yourself in her shoes please and if you cant do it, get a cna who can. We are all in what you call prison, emotionally and physically, but we do what we can out of unconditional love, and hire help when we can. Think of how she feels.
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Roscoe, To think that you have the biggest cross to bear on this website leads me to think you are very self-involved. How can you read everyone's stories on here and yet you challenge us to refute that your life is more miserable than the rest of us? Reminds me of the narcissists that most of us have to deal with day in and day out.

That's not normal and AC is our refuge. You've been on here for months and refuse to do anything about your situation. You have the funds to arrange for care for your mother while you attend therapy.

Are you really in a Bates Motel type situation, or are you just yanking our internet chains?

I find it really distasteful to call for a throwdown. That's yourself crying for help Roscoe. I hope you find it soon in whatever situation suits you best.
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Miralax. Start it every morning in her coffee or tea as directed. Start it AFTER her next laxative clean out. It will take a few days for her body to adjust and then she should be regular every day with NO cramping or blowouts...just normal gentle bowel elimination. You have to keep her drinking during the day to make sure gut stays hydrated and allows miralax to work.

You could alternately give her 400 mg of magnesium daily.

This should help alleviate this part of your caregiving frustration.
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sorry Roscoe.. called you Justin.. have no idea why.. Maybe I am suffering from the after effects of caregiver burn-out. I swear I lost so much of myself while caregiving,
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Give me time, Roscoe. Give me time. For now the practical side of my daily caring tasks range only from the tedious to the mildly disgusting, and it's the emotional traps I've fallen into, one by one, like I'm a case study for The Naïve Idiot's Guide To Taking On Things She Should Have Thought Through Beforehand…

Ok now to be serious. The reality of physical breakdown is disgusting. We're hard-wired to find it disgusting, and sure enough it is. In spite of that, you're still there, still handling all the boring, revolting jobs that need to be done to keep your mother safe, clean and comfortable, still caring. There aren't any medals available, so I hereby officially award you the right to be absolutely livid about it.

Oh God I hope nobody's going to get too competitive about specific examples, I'm not sure I can take it...
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Justin, No need for a throw down or a contest. We have all gone through some pretty horrific days, very few us have the parent who is like the sweet 100 year old we see on the Hallmark channel. I feel your pain, your frustration, have been there before and will be there again. From my personal experience it would appear your mother is definitely reading for assisted living or even a nursing home at this point. You do have a life and you need to live it too.
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Roscoe888 no one can beat the your challenge, but yourself. Caregiver burnout is what you are experiencing, yet you say who else will do it. Have you looked into other resources for some type of respite. You seem to want a life for yourself, but your committment to your mother's care is holding you back and I see resentment for doing it in your posts. Challenge yourself with "Enough is Enough" and try to find additional help and resouces.
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I'm ready for a 'THROW DOWN'........I hereby challenge any of you to beat the crazy.....bizarre life that I lead. You have all read my posts........who can beat my living hell???
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I just got back from the laundromat.......like a good 'soldier'......I washed and dried the blankets, sheets and the pillow cases.......then came home and put them on the bed. Now a nice and clean.......s*** free bed. Who else would do that.......see how I get it done.......then I wait for the next crazy thing to happen........and me the dumb ass will take care of that too. Maybe being elderly isn't as bad as we think......where else can you have a slave clean up after you, give you food and wait on you hand and foot? I think these old people have us all fooled. I'm thinking of getting a shirt made up to say......'S*** BOY"!
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I was just thinking......with this craziness of being a caregiver......where does someone draw the line and say 'enough is enough'? I detest cleaning up the bathroom mess.......I hate sitting her each day and not being able to do anything. I'm a prisoner who committed no crime, but yet I'm under 'house arrest'! I wanna travel, go shopping.....I wanna see things and I can't. Yes, someone has to care for her, but this is crazy. Everything would be really messed up if i had a normal life and had to work. Picture me living in another state......with a wife and kids. My mother does not realize how good she has it......what other son would devote his life to doing what I have done? Sure, I complain and rightfully so......but I'm here giving up my life so that she may have a life. I think about this every day.......just sitting here with her.....her constant companion......guardian.......24/7. Is this what I'm supposed to do? Is this the way it works........to just put my life on hold......quit my job? If everyone did what I did.......and put their self in my situation......this world would be in one hell of a mess! Again......I challenge any of you to beat my story.......no one compares to me.......(and believe me.....it's living hell).
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OhGodohGodohGod this is all coming my way sooner or later…. Roscoe you are not cheering me up!!! Please tell me one day we'll look back and laugh..? xxx
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The laxatives worked and 's*** day' held true! And I was in store for my piece of hell......I gave my mother the laxatives around 10 pm last night. Around 3 in the morning she was up telling me her stomach was killing her......soon after the many trips to the bathroom started. I prayed there was no mess in there when I checked later in the morning.......there was! My mother uses the Tena pads and on one trip to the bathroom a good the poop leaked out onto the pad.....while removing the pad the poop dripped long the floor as she was tossing the pad into the bathroom trash. She does not see well, so the poop was left on the floor by her and she stepped in some of it and tracked it along to her bedroom/bed and smeared it in her bed around the areas where her feet are (in the bed). I had to clean up the mess and scrub the bathroom floor and deal with the smell. Now today, I have to strip her bed down and take it all to the laundromat. I challenge any of you to beat the hell the I go through each day. It is amazing what I have to deal with.....am I being tested? I told my mother that she never has to worry about being put into a home because no home would accept her. The way she is.....it would never work out. Anyways, she is content now.....she had her 'blast'......this will last a few days and then she'll be being for her laxatives again.......until next time.......the living hell continues.
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My mother and I worked through a fairly serious situation recently with her abusing harsh laxatives. Surprisingly, what I learned is that she was not as addicted to the laxatives as she thought she was. What I did was get her to resume taking her Miralax every morning, then would give her some of the harsh laxative every other day if she needed. She was comfortable with this. The surprising thing is that after a few days I didn't need to give her any of the harsh laxative. Her body returned to having a movement every day or so with using only the Miralax. It seems like the laxatives were having the opposite effect on her being able to use the bathroom. Perhaps her intestines were reacting to the abuse -- I don't know.

I check the trash to make sure my mother hasn't been sneaking laxatives past me. She is bad to do things like ordering from the drug store when I'm not around. I try to give her independence, but I was afraid that she was going to damage her colon irreparably abusing the harsh laxative. Then we really would have had trouble.
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Live yoghurt is good for general gut health, I forgot to say. If her gut's fed up with being purged and therefore feeling a bit defeated and sorry for itself, a daily yoghurt might perk it up a bit. I know its lack of fibre makes it sound counter-intuitive but honest it won't bung her up.
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My mom had the same problem.. Finally hospice nurse suggested Mirilax an hour before breakfast every single day... Worked like a charm
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Dates. The fruit, I mean. My mother has three with her breakfast, and nowadays all the stoppers and starters are gathering dust on her bathroom shelf. If your mother happens to like dates in principle anyway? - it can't hurt to try.

But I really feel for you, constipation is just not funny. It wasn't until my great aunt got a hairline fracture at the front of her pelvis - for which she was given codeine, so you can imagine how that went - that I had it explained to me that this joint, the symphisis pubis, is pretty unstable at the best of times; so all the straining and distension can cause real agony. And that's on top of the generally feeling unwell, colic, backache and so on. Complete misery. I sympathise with you both.

Um, if this isn't getting much much too personal, whereabouts is she getting "stuck" do you think, if I can put it like that? I ask because the other thing that might be worth a try is the kind of pump-priming enema, no more trouble to the giver or the receiver than say a suppository would be, which might start her off gently but quickly? Doesn't go through her whole gut, and not like the ten gallon things they used to use in obstetrics in the bad old days. Consult your pharmacist, I think you can buy them over the counter.

The French take Vichy water. I hope it works for them. I drank it once in all innocence - the "water" bit on the label had me fooled - and wouldn't do it again even if I hadn't been for a month.
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Roscoe, I feel your pain. My mom won't even respond to laxatives anymore. We've had two trips to the ER in the past three weeks for fecal impaction. Last week it took two enemas and the doc manually digging the hard stools out. My mom was screaming in pain. We followed up with her internist and he basically said she is too frail for a colonoscopy and at her weight (85 lbs.) she is too frail for surgery even if they find cancer. He said to add fiber. LOL!, NOT! That doesn't do diddly squat, and you know what I mean.

Hang in there on poop day tomorrow. I'm sure the next ER visit is a few days off for me and mom again which is six to seven hours long. My prediction is Thanksgiving Day knowing these cycles. *sigh*

Just hate feeling so helpless and a slave to their colon!
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sigh
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It's not the pancakes that do it, it's the sugar free maple syrup that cleans you out.
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milk of magnesia.......never! not for my mother.....i have tried that before and it was like a chocolate fountain overflowing all day long......never. pancakes.....they don't work......like i said.....my mother could eat pine cones and nothing would happened. he system is so 'out of whack'.......2 or 3 laxative pills are the only thing that works. so......tomorrow when all of you folks lead your normal lives......think of me and my 's*** day'.......i'll be home again like a prisoner.......waiting for my mother to clean herself out with multiple trips to the 'throne'.......i love my life!
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MOM---milk of magnesia or Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc in pill form at bedtime. Sugar free chocolates have mannitol, that works. Sugar free maple syrup has sucralose, that works. If I have a nice stack of pancakes and drench them, one hour later it works like a colon prep, stay outta my way to the loo!!
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.......Eye Roll......
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im sure that ive mentioned softened chia seeds to you before. you might try some SOFTENED CHIA SEEDS.
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