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Dad either has diarrhea or is constipated can't tell which one it is today. A couple weeks ago he had diarrhea for a week. Complaint of stomach pain so a trip to the ER and then he gets admitted to the hospital for pancreatitis. After a week there on morphine he was constipated. Pretty much still is from what he tells me (which is never the same). So he listens to everyone else on the phone but the person he lives with.


He has taken to eating yogurts... 3 a day. Someone told him that will work. I advised him they are high in sugar, one a day but not 3. He always over doses EVERYTHING! Oh yes he is diabetic.


I have tried low fat for him but he will munch down anything HIGH FAT he can get his hands on. I've made chicken soup, I try veggies every night at dinner staying away form rice now (someone told him no rice).


He says he has meds to help. Personally if he takes a double dose of dulcolax it should clear up in a day. Not sure I want to be round for that one. Trust me works very fast.


He has an upper GI yesterday, haven't heard what the status is. Any suggestions?

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Miralax is also good for constipation and keeping things moving. Does he have hemmeroids? This could also be part of the problem. If inflamed it could stop normal bm. MIL problem was related to this. Took her to specialist because she is not a surgical candidate, CHF, would not survive anesthesia, he was able to band them (1 a month) to help. Now she's taking 1 1/2 teaspoons every other day and it seems to be working for her. You may have to play with the dosage to find what works. This is not a stimulant type laxative but ine based on fiber and attracting more fluids into the intestine to ensure that there is enough moisture to form softer stools. If this is a medication induced constipation 1 cup of senna tea may help. It is a laxative type of tea but more gentle on his system than pills or suppositories, just make sure he doesn't get ahold of the tea bags himself because he really does not want to deal with the aftermath if he takes too much. Sorry about the dog, our pets are our family too, talk to dad and see what he thinks, there are vets that will come to the house for this reason, especially since a senior is involved. My heart goes out to you guys. Never an easy thing, but sometimes you have to do the last loving thing for your 4 legged friend who is in pain.
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Reply to Takincare
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I think that there might be an underlying cause with dad. He might need a lower GI. Could be medications as well.

But if your dad needs to poop and can't peppermint tea works very well to keep pipes clean. 1 cup a day is good, however, if he is really backed up than 2 cups a day. Now, it takes a few days to work but it makes the body do the work naturally.
If he is prescribed a medication (pain meds) that you know will make him constipated than I would have him drink a cup of peppermint tea before taking the meds and try to get him to drink two cups a day. One at night and one in the morning or noontime.
Along with the Greek yogurt.

As for the dog, well it might be time for his last ride. Sorry😟

Good Luck!
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Reply to Shell38314
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"Doesn't pick up his feet"?

TG, do you go to his doc appointments with him? It sounds as though he has had significant cognitive and physical decline.

Are you taking his word for the fact that he hasn't heard back from the GI doc?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Oh TG poor doggie!

That poop in the kitchen sounds neurological, especially if he's also having trouble walking. It's going to start happening in his bed next and that will really upset him. Will the vet come out to you? It's (microscopically) less harrowing that way, I've found.

Whether or not you do it while your Dad isn't looking - I'm guessing you feel that what the eye doesn't see the heart doesn't grieve over? But I'm not sure he needs or deserves to be protected from facing up at least to this much responsibility.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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He seems a little better now. Says he is on musilex and eating 2 Greek yogurts a day. I try to keep up with him but as long as he is not messing up the place so far so good. He goes to my siblings in a week so we will have almost 2 weeks to ourselves. Hasnt heard back from the Dr. on his GI scan said 10 days to 2 weeks.
Had his birthday this week. Made him lobster and his favorite cake and ice cream, so life is not so bad in this place.
He had 4 nerves in his back lazered yesterday, hopefully that helps his back pain. He fell the other night in my office when I wasn't home, he tripped over a rug because he doesn't pick up his feet. Says he will join the Y when he gets back, not sure why he doesn't start now. All he has to do it walk to build strength. Like when he and mom went to the gym for 2 weeks... spent money they didn't have. He says this is covered by his health plan. I tried 5 years ago when he came here, got him a 3 month pass and he went 1 day...... He talks a good game.
His dog is messing in the house now every week. I let him out at 5 AM. This morning he pooped right beside me. Lucky it was in the kitchen. This has been happening the past month. Has peed in the kitchen a couple of times in the past few weeks, this week on Sunday when we are right there. The dog can barley walk, is almost blind. smells horrible and has one tooth. My wife wants to take him for his final ride while dad is away...... i am on the fence. He is still mobile, if dad were in a car going to my siblings I'd send the dog too since it was hers first then she could deal with it. I have had to put down too many animals, not a fan. Still painful from the last one 5 years ago. I put my dog down (age related and kidney issues) and lost mom a few months later. That was tough.
Not sure how he is going to manage changing planes next week. He got lost trying to find his way out of voting at the school the other day. I guess I will have to draw him a map or put a tag on him like a child on the airplane. Guess my sibling didn't think that one all the way through. Not sure she made accommodations for him. Just got him a ticket. When I travel with him I use my amex and get accommodations like a wheel chair and early boarding blue pass. He hasn't flown SWA yet. Different when you dont have an assigned seat. I will have to advise him to check in early and get pre boarded. Didn't want to have to get a pass to get him through security but maybe I have to. Ugh.
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Reply to tgengine
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When my bowels were a mess after a bad bout of diverticulitis and 2 very strong antibiotics, I thought I’d never straighten out. I was even having trouble walking. I thought I’d been getting enough fiber, but my gastro doc told me to get at least 24 gm of fiber a day so I started actually counting the grams I was eating and I was really underestimating it! So for breakfast I now eat Greek yogurt with a banana and 1/3-1/2 cup Bran Buds sprinkled on them. And I eat a package of Belvita cookies a day, plus other normal sources of fiber, and I’m getting my 24 grams, and my issues have straightened out.

Love those Bran Buds!
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Reply to rocketjcat
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Grapes
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Reply to shad250
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TG, any updates on your dad?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Did you participate in the discharge planning?

What did his discharge documents say about followup?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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How's he settling down now? Any follow up appointments to go to?

If he likes garlic you could try that to help counterbalance the fats. It's amazing how efficient garlic is at breaking them down - see 'le gigot qui pleure' as a classic example, you stuff a leg of lamb with slivers of garlic and sprigs of rosemary and the amount of gravy is astonishing, as well as the tenderness of the meat.

Yumyumyum! - think I might change my dinner plans - !

I'm relieved to hear it's not alcohol, then, anyway; that's one problem you don't need, for certain. But what did the doctors have to say about his pancreatitis? Are you being fully copied in?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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He is not a drinker, never has been a heavy drinker anyway. In the past few years he has had very little, maybe 2 drinks a month would be a lot. He likes fatty foods. It try to cook somewhat healthy but he likes to go to KFC, eat subs, get hamburgers out. Not a lot but 3 to 4 times a week. Last night I made chicken for dinner and riced cauliflower, he had a banana right before. He didnt eat a huge amount but when we went to my civic club meeting we have food midway through the meeting, he loaded his plate with wings, potaoto skins and pizza and had a beer then a large soda. I said to him in the buffet line, didn't you just eat dinner at home with me an hour ago? I cant control when he puts in his mouth.
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Reply to tgengine
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A few bits of information.
1) The easiest way to pick good yoghurt is to get full fat Greek. Avoid anything labelled ‘naturally sweet’ - it usually means it’s got sugar in it, even though we don’t normally think of added sugar as ‘natural’.
2) Opioids (especially strong ones like morphine) are strongly constipating for most people.
3) Constipation can lead to a hard compacted mass of feces that blocks the bowel. However unless it is a total blockage (which is a serious health risk), liquid feces can by-pass the blockage. This gives the appearance of diarrhoea. So you have both constipation and diarrhoea at the same time, or in quick succession. At least that’s how it seems. It can be a common problem in cancer treatments.
4) Step 1 is to get rid of the bowel blockage, and this may in bad cases mean manual extraction. If so, get it done by a professional. Digging around with a spoon etc can lead to a perforated bowel, which is a major problem. I think there is more information on this site about getting the blockage out.
5) Step 2 is to stop the constipation building up again. This is where prunes and other high fibre foods are very helpful. Psyllium husks are good – a packet is cheap from a health food shop. They are a tasteless fibre that absorbs water. You can sprinkle them on breakfast cereal, for example. The fibre helps avoid constipation, and the absorption cuts down the diarrhoea. With luck you get soft regular stools.
6) Keep a diary for a week or so about exactly what he is eating and what drugs he is taking. It sounds from your question as though his poor intestines are lurching from one extreme to the other, as he self treats each day’s problem. Until you know what he is really doing, you can’t stabilise things with him.

Best of luck!
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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They kept him in for a WEEK? And the pancreatitis - is he drinking more than you know about? Or what cause has been suggested?

Frankly, which yoghurt brand is the least of your worries (though hint: get plain, unsweetened full fat live yoghurt and add whatever he likes to it. Low Glycemic Index, high protein, good bugs. Stewed prunes go well and, er, should gee things up a bit...).

If you don't already have full access to his medical information and full communication with his primary physician, get it now. You need to understand exactly what is going on. Don't take any crap about this (no pun etc.)
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