What are the symptoms of a bowel impaction?

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This is a dreadful situation for anyone to endure. I know friends who have relayed stories of having to bring someone to the hospital when a very hard, dry stool cannot be passed and the staff having to remove the stool (don't really know how they do that!). A symptom is the feeling of having to "go" but no amount of strain and pushing allows the stool to pass. The best thing to recommend is that the person ingest two stool softener capsules (gelcaps) asap and drink a great deal of water, or hot fluids, or both, but alot. No sense in straining, it can cause bleeding, hemorrhoids, etc. Stool softeners are NOT a laxative. Their function is to draw water into the bowel and softening the stool so it can pass. A physician recommended that to my sister in law who has chronic constipation problems and now as a matter or routine, she takes two every night. Stool softeners are over the counter and everyone should have them in their home just in case.
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watery diarrhea
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Looked it up, this is what I found:
Common symptoms include:

Abdominal cramping and bloating
Leakage of liquid or sudden episodes of watery diarrhea in someone who has chronic constipation
Rectal bleeding
Small, semi-formed stools
Straining when trying to pass stools

Other possible symptoms include:

Bladder pressure or loss of bladder control
Lower back pain
Rapid heartbeat or light-headedness from straining to pass stool
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