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I thought I would get used to it but I am gagging and have totally lost my appetite. I was never a big eater but now my doctor wants to know why I am losing weight when I can’t afford to lose weight. It’s just gross to me. Why is this happening because I am a mom and changed a bazillion diapers?

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At the other end of the matter, I never got over the revulsion of cleaning my mother's partial denture.

And among the professional caregivers we met, most of them very good indeed and highly experienced, several were fine with anything in the diaper area but turned green and faint when it came to vomit.

We all have our individual bêtes noires, must be the moral of the story?

I'm not sure what to suggest, seeing as you have tried and given it time and it's not wearing off. I know hospitals use cardboard inserts for commodes - if you can get hold of these, would it help if all you had to do was change it? And then dispose of the old one in.. whatever way your local authorities say they have to be disposed of, I suppose.

PS, you can get them on Amazon, I just checked. Packets of 25.
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Oh CM,

I cannot handle vomit. I get sick myself and throw up. I understand completely!!!
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Because those billion of diapers were a result of your feeding of your loved little ones---and you just cannot equate a 'full adult diaper' or commode with the small diapers we strap on to our baby's tushies.

I get what you're saying. My DH was on Metformin for a few years for diabetes and he routinely had these awful blowouts. Did he ONCE clean up his own underwear? Not once. Just left it on the bathroom floor or worse, in the hamper.

Asking why HE didn't deal with this--he said "It makes me gag. I'll throw up" to which I inevitably replied 'how handy. you're standing at the TOILET'. SMH.

I have heard that policemen put a big glob of Vicks under their noses when they go to 'ripe' crime scenes. Maybe spraying a lot of Febreeze in the room before you begin, or burning a candle for a few minutes before, after and during cleanup duty. An candle burning- safely---really takes care of the odor better than those spritzer thingies. Or a wax melter with a fresh scent. Those can be left 'on' all the time.

Try covering the 'collection pan' with a paper towel and don't look inside. Dump quickly and flush and look anywhere else you can. Lysol will be your best friend, also spray cleaners with non-bleaching bleach.

Do you also have to clean up your LO after, or are they able to wipe, etc after using the commode?

Mother doesn't have the bedside commode, she wears a permanent catheter, I think it's worse, as she doesn't change it enough, it leaks a little all the time. Her whole apartment just reeks beyond belief. I do the Vicks thing, or open a window. She's not allowed to have candles.

Would having those toilet seat liners help? You know--the kind that most public bathrooms have. Maybe would help to keep the cleanup a little quicker.

Keeping the whole room/apartment clean will go a long ways to quell the smell, but I get you, cleaning up after a parent or spouse--I have just so much lovingkindness and no more.

Oh, and GLOVE UP. I can't believe the nasty jobs I have done without gloves on. I glove up now---that seems to help, knowing there's a barrier there.

Also, with babies, you know there's an end in sight to the diapers. Adults? Could be years and years. No wonder we get depressed!
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MidKid

I am so glad that I asked because I never knew about this Vick’s thing. Gosh, all of your post makes sense. Thanks so much.

Mom can usually still wipe herself. She needs help sometimes.
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We never went the commode route but I've read a few tips on the forum that might help
-keeping an inch or so of water in the pail will help to keep solids from sticking
-I'd add a little pinesol or similar to that water
-try a dab of menthol (vicks) under your nose when emptying
-are you using disposable gloves? (I was surprised how many aides didn't even though I provided them)
-keeping her regular can go a long way to making the task less onerous, when my mom needed intervention the smell and mess went from bad to extreme
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Cwille,

Thanks for your tips. Never thought about using gloves because I wash hands immediately after. Should I?
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I think using gloves puts a psychological as well as a physical barrier between you and the ick - I found that helpful.
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I will try it. Thanks.
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Great suggestions here.
Fortunately, I never had that bother me (good thing, as I was a nurse for 40 years!). But my mother would gag and fuss when she did 1 weekend taking care of her mother. I gave her a break from bedpan duty (when I was 11 years old). I thought she was funny as she’d get all grossed out!

Some people are sickened by the “sight” of the excrement. In that case, keep the lid on the pail, open the toilet seat and pour while looking the other way. Close the lid and flush.
Some are sickened by the “smell” of the waste. (I’ll assume you don’t have a problem with pee). If you use a couple inches of water with any good smelling product (like Pinesol, Lysol, Fabuloso, etc.) in the bottom of the bucket BEFORE the person evacuates, it helps with the smell and the ‘sticking’ problem.

I would also suggest you wear gloves AND a mask.
I remember taking care of a poor patient that had half his face rotted away (don’t get sick now!). The smell of rotting flesh was intolerable, even for me. I sprayed an air freshener inside my mask, then put it on. It was the only way I could stand to stay in his room. You might try that. Also, chew a breath mint before going near the potty. They usually are VERY minty and may cover any obnoxious smell.

Good luck. I know it’s not easy for the faint of stomach.
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Thanks Sue. I’m going to try those things.
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Never had to do a commode, TG, but prayed Mom wouldn't have a BM everyday. The smell was awful. I would flush the toilet before I started cleaning her up. A bowl of vinegar will help with the lingering smell.
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I wish I had known these tips while changing my daughter's diapers. I'm the Mom and always felt ashamed by being "smell sensitive." My hubby, bless him, handled the poop. Had the same problem with my Mom. I had to put her in an ALF the last three months of her life. I couldn't handle the stench and the fact that she would crap all over herself and her room, out of vengeance. Mom was abusive and a narcissist, which made the whole situation worse. These are good tips, and will keep them in mind for the future.
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gdaughter May 2019
your hubby is a keeper:-)
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I'm surprised people deal with commodes like this. They key for me is to turn it into a solid which makes it smell much less and makes it far easier to deal with. No pouring, scrubbing or rinsing needed. Just seal up the bag and toss it.

1) Line a commode with a liner or a trashbag. I use trashbags since they are much cheaper.

2) Put something absorbent into the commode. I've tried a bunch of things but find that 3 number 3 diapers do the job best.

3) Pour about a shot glass worth of activated carbon in rear of the commode bucket. This really cuts down on the smell.

4) When spinning sealing the bag, having a 20" fan in the window running at full blast really works wonders.

Doing this, I can get away with only changing the commode once a day. The diapers absorb the urine and seal much of the smell in. The activated carbon takes care of the rest and any fecal smell. I grab the bag, spin it to form a seal, tie it shut and toss it in the garbage bin outside.
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Thanks
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When using bedside commodes it can be much easier by buying the disposable bags for them. I use one everyday in my work, very easy. They come with a sanitizer in the. This also soakes up the urine. I dump after a bowel movement. You tie it together like a trash bag. I get one full day with one.
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Even though Mom's attached bath is just a half bath, I installed a fan normally used for a much larger bath. Turning the fan on reduces the smell level considerably in both the bath and the bedroom quickly. Some days I turn the fan in hall/family bath on too for a few minutes. I also place a capful of pine-sol and an inch of water in the pail.

The exhaust fan makes so much of a difference that I would recommend installing one in a bedroom if a bedside commode is going to be used there for any length of time. If you do not want to do a traditional installation in the ceiling, you may consider mounting the fan (and the wall switch) to a wooden framed box you can place in a window. Interior side of the box has the fan, switch and power cord, exterior side has the vent flapper cover; we used a stain on the interior side to match the window casings and paint to match the white window exterior so the "box" wasn't very noticeable. You can add insulation to the interior of the box to reduce heat/cooling loss; we used a can of the spray foam. The foam also reduces the noise factor as it helps reduce/absorb vibrations when the fan is running. Without some kind of insulation the box interior would become a sound box amplifying the normal fan noise.
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Gloves, vicks under the nose, and bags or a touch of lysol in a little bit of water in the commode. I had to put myself on autopilot and just work through it.
My situation went beyond a commode eventually. I had to be brave and approach this all like a nurse would, (developed a huge respect for nurses). My mom became bedridden on hospice, with a urinary catheter and a stage 4 bedsore she developed in a 5 star Medicare rating nursing home for rehab,(this is why I took her home on hospice). I got the sore to heal somewhat with protein in her diet. She had constant urinary infections. My early morning consisted of emptying the bag of bloody urine and then cleaning her up and changing her briefs. She had frequent diarrhea from radiation burns from abdominal cancer treatment years ago. I had to make sure fecal matter did not get into the bedsore. I had to treat the bedsore. I did have great support and training from hospice nurses. My respect for nurses and what they see and do each day got me though helping my poor mom until she found her peace.
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I put about a gallon (or less) of water, mixed with about 1/2 bleach, in the commode pail. It killed the odor, even when the contents had to sit awhile. When emptying into the toilet, the water helped completely empty with a gentle swirl. I had emptied a "dry" pail once and it almost bowled me over. With the sewage sitting in the bleach water, the smell was contained.
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Whoops -- make that 1/2 cup of bleach.
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Wonder if that poo pouri stuff would be of help to anyone...but I don't know how long before use you can apply it to the bowl/how long it will last. I think it has become so popular it was even being sold at Target.
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Janny61 May 2019
You spray PooPourri on the water before you go. It is an scented oil that traps smells under the water. Don't think it would work in this situation. Good thought tho!
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Here's how I handled the commode thing:

1. Buy a case of 1,000 black "t-shirt" style grocery bags from Amazon (or your local warehouse club, if you're a member). So much cheaper than commode liners.
2. Line the commode bucket with two bags. The first bag will be more or less a permanent liner. The second will be the one you lift out and dispose of after use.
3. Put 1-2 cups of scented kitty litter (the clay type, not clumping) in the bottom of the bucket. Keep a bucket of extra litter nearby.
4. After the commode is used, you can sprinkle additional litter over the soiled litter in the bucket to cut down on odor and cover up the contents. Lift out the top bag only, twist and tie, and discard.
5. Re-line the commode with a fresh bag and kitty litter.

I've always used Vicks under my nose for the stinky stuff (a little trick I learned when I was a veterinary technician and had to deal with abscesses). Popping a mint into your mouth helps, too. I also buy surgical masks for when the smell is really bad.

Vinyl gloves are also available in bulk from Amazon. I use the Curad brand.

I generally don't have a problem with handling Mom's ordinary BMs, except when she has multiple episodes of diarrhea over a few days. That's when it gets to me. Everybody has their breaking point. Once things go back to normal, I'm okay.

The difference between changing a zillion diapers when you have babies and caring for an adult (especially one who is elderly) is this: When you have a baby, you know that potty training will eventually take place, so there's light at the end of that tunnel, while caring for the adult often has no end in sight, and you know it will most likely get worse instead of better.

Hope this helps.
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gdaughter May 2019
Wonder if you couldn't layer 3-4 bags at one time so you wouldn't have to keep replacing as often?
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As many of the others have said, wear a good fitting mask and put a dab of Vicks on it.  Or, put a drop of essential oil.  You may have to be careful of how much as it can be overwhelming if you put too much.  Also, I find that Eucalyptus or Peppermint are the best essentials oils to combat the odor.
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They have in camping stores and where portapotties are sold a few liquids that help put in a few drops at a time in a bit of water base. Good luck. If the losing weight is about more, about in general this is getting to be too much to handle know that nausea often goes along with anxiety. It is a kind of pit of the stomach thing. Get help for yourself so that you can cope or can accept it is time to see placement.
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Thankfully, I haven't had to do that, but changing our own children's diapers will never be comparable in any way to handling another 'adult's' poop or pee. But, just the smell of my 85 year old MIL's urine after she has just walked out of the bathroom and flushed the toilet is enough to gag me. But I have found using those rigid "cone" shaped mask's (or doubling the thin mask's) and just dabbing some Listerine on the inside of it with a tissue helps tremendously with cleaning the cat box, or my MIL's toilet, even when doing "her" laundry and bed sheets! Without a mask, even if I hold my breath, I somehow feel I am inhaling her "matter" and dried skin cells. That might sound extreme and I KNOW I would never feel that way about smelling 'my own' mother, but my MIL has given me lots of reasons to not want to breath around her. Lol. Best wishes to you! I hope it helps.
EDIT: I just now saw so many others with the same answer!! I guess I'm not the only one to think like I do!
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Are you using the "bag liners?" If not, get some ASAP. They really help when all you have to do is close the bag and dump it. Double them up if necessary.
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Well, first, I don't see that you've mentioned WHY a bedside commode - - maybe your 'charge' is not in any way ambulatory ??? I'm wondering if it's feasible to place a commode over the toilet, in the case where higher seating and handles to help stand are what the need is ???

But if the bedside commode is a requirement, pan liners, definitely GLOVES (!!!) and either Vicks, Mentholatum or Tiger Balm directly under the nose should all be employed.

However after many childhood diapers, lion-sized litter boxes for 17 indoor cats, and 28 years of caretaking for 3 adult dementia family members, I see what's missing from what anyone has mentioned here is BREATHE THRU YOUR MOUTH as you are doing the emptying !!! My mother taught me that when I was a child - - certainly never knowing that I would need it ALL my life, and especially when caretaking her at the end of hers.
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I had to empty my dad's commode for 5 years. I used a large trash bag around the receptacle so I could just gather the corners and take out to garbage.The liners never fit and were too expensive. I also used a dollop of Vicks Vapo rub under my nose. It really helped! Adult feces is much worse than a child's. Work quickly and if it gets too bad, buy a surgical mask on Amazon. You can put the Vicks inside the mask. I also lit candles during the process and let burn for 20 minutes after. A can of odor Neutralizer helps-just spray a bit afterward. Thinking of you and good luck!
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I always had a air freshener handy and sprayed that before opening it - or going into the room. Keep freshener 'things' near the area (gel like in a container) or anything in solid form as a back-up. Bag liners. What a smart idea. I believe you can buy something (solid freshener) to sit in the tiolet. Google and see what's available.

Make banana ICE CREAM milk shakes or somehow get more calories in - and be sure to get some healthy ingredients. If you don't make smoothies or have a bullet (they are amazing), go to the health food store and get a one, often., if not daily.
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FWIW, our mother raised 3 of us, but would complain about changing my daughter's diapers if/when she was watching her for me! Same deal, gagging all the way!

Changing a baby diaper would, for me, be no comparison to dealing with cleaning up after an adult! Thankfully mom is in MC, so I won't have to deal with this! Cleaning up kitty doots is more than enough for me! Most are not a big deal, but I have one who could clear a large arena!!!

Some caveats:

1) If you use bleach DO NOT use vinegar or vice vera. I did once on toddler pull-up panty and the odor was noxious. The idea was to use the bleach to help whiten it (hard well water) AND the vinegar to kill the urine odor. It was not until years later I found out what it was: chlorine gas! Of all places, it was in the paperwork that came with a Corelle teapot. It said never mix household chemicals, ESPECIALLY chlorine and vinegar. Duh, I wouldn't mix chemicals, but who would've thunk vinegar is a chemical!!!

2) If you use kitty litter, be sure it is a flushable (unless trashing it.) I use World's Best for my cats and although it indicates it is flushable, I won't because I have so many cats AND a private septic tank! Even with public sewage, I would be concerned about my own plumbing, before it gets out of the house!

3) The glove suggestion is a good one. No matter how well we might wash up, gloves first THEN wash up would be better. They are not expensive.

4) Beware tossing bagged poo - I have not found a definitive answer, but this may be considered illegal. Interesting that our transfer station instructions say to put kitty litter in the construction debris bin, NOT the trash bin. The kitty litter I use is corn based, so I pitch it into my woods (spread around, not in one place. It biodegrades quickly - bugs get the rest!)

Even double bagged, the way trash pick is done, I would be concerned for the trash people. Bags can rip and being crushed in the truck they can rupture.... I wouldn't want to be a trash person with all that might be in some people's trash!
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Laugh
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If you can't light candles... lighting a match helps with the smell. Sometimes I light 2 or 3 matches, but it works.
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shad250 May 2019
Lol
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As an EMT for 26 years, I absolutely recommend the Vick’s! We carried it on all of our ambulances for runs that challenged our sense of smell (to put it nicely). You have to put it on thick though and inside each nostril. But it works 100% of the time.

Now, to get over the “ick” factor :(
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shad250 May 2019
What ick? Vomit can smell much worse.
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This is so sad.
God bless all of you who continue to do this day in and day out for your loved ones.
I can only imagine how embarrassing it must be for the person needing this level of care.
I sincerely hope that when your time comes, some kind soul will be there to help you, too. ❤️
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shad250 May 2019
Its a body function
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Trick - Put Vicks Vapo Rub under your nose.
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I second the Vicks. It works.
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I actually heard of the Vicks trick AFTER my mom had died. Glad to pass it along.
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I learned it in college-in human anatomy when we had to dissect a cat
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