So Grandma's poop is sometimes so big that it clogs my toilet (the standard type from the '80s that uses a ton of water). The poop looks like a bunch of small round balls clumped together to make a large ball. Her poop never looks like normal poop. Looking at the Bristol Stool chart, her poop is not even on it! If I had to pick, I guess I'd go with in between 1 and 2. The most recent one clogged the toilet and I can't unclog it. I'm exhausted from plunging, plunging, plunging. I had to call in a relative to check out the toilet.

I sent an email to the doctor as this just happened and their office is already closed. Her poop is clearly not normal and so I asked what I should do. Last time they suggested Miralax, but I don't know that it works. Feel free to offer opinions.

Anyway... I'm considering doing something disgusting to save myself from future headaches. I'm considering taking a fish net and getting the poop out so it's not flushed, or getting a stick and breaking it up before it's flushed. I could make her go in a portable potty with a bucket, but I still have the problem of disposing of the poop.

Has anyone else had this problem? If so, how did you deal with it?

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He needs to be on stool softeners
I found that sometimes the clog is not far down. If you unravel a metal hanger it will move the clog down. I’ve used it a couple of times and it’s worked for me! Just push it down
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Reply to judy1

Omg, I am having the same problem with my elderly guy! Every week! The poop laughs at the plunger. I boil a pan of water, and pour it in the toilet. It still takes a day and a half to melt it enough to clear the plumbing. Wondering if there are any other tricks. It ends up smelling up his bedroom and bath for a couple of days.
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Reply to Judyscare

So two part answer. First fiber capsules one in the morning one at night has helped my mom quite a bit, now she was getting bound up but it's the same mechanism, the fiber helps bulk up and soften the stool so it takes a more normal shape and breaks up more easily. It's important one gets plenty of water both when taking the fiber and in general. Not enough water can have an effect on stool and it does sound like she may be a bit constipated. That often happens when one is constipated, the stool kind if bunches up and becomes very dense because it's just packing in rather than going through properly. This can also happen if the patient isn't going often enough. Sometimes that's because they aren't getting enough exercise (one of the reasons they give them a stool softener almost automatically in the hospital) sometimes it's medication related (pain meds like opiates are well known to do this) and sometimes a patient is either afraid to void for some reason or just doesn't want to get up to go use the bathroom so puts it off and that can have the same affect as constipation. She might be putting it off as much as she can for instance because it's difficult and hurts to defecate because she is constipated...I would try some fiber first and then a stool softener if that doesn't help.

Now unclogging the toilet. This is going to sound odd but if you have some Dawn dish soap (I'm sure other brands will work too I just know Dawn is particularly good) squirt some of that in the toilet and also pour some white vinegar in the bowl and let them sit for a while. Then see if they will go down. The dawn does two things it helps break down the fats binding stuff together and it adds some slip between the poop and the toilet, the vinegar helps break down the waste as well and helps any smell so between the two it often works. I have unclogged a toilet more than once this way anyway.
Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Lymie61
Judyscare Apr 16, 2019
Running to try the Dawn/vinegar thing right now. Thank you!
Let it sit in the toilet for as long as you can. The stool will soften so it can be flushed more easily. I had the same problem when my Husband was on hospice and the CNA suggested just leaving it and it worked. I would sometimes leave it alone for 2 or 3 hours and had no problems flushing.
If you do go the route of using a catch basin either in the toilet or a commode you can dispose of it just like you would if she were wearing briefs, wrap and place in garbage. The easiest way to do that if you use a catch basin place a plastic bag in the basin then when you have to empty just pull the bag over and the contents will be in the bag. I used grocery store plastic bags, in my area they can not be recycled with regular recycling you have to return them to the store but they fit well in the little garbage cans in the bathroom and in the basin for the toilet and or commode.
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Reply to Grandma1954

Believe it or not, toilets actually wear out. My mom had to plunger every flush, installed a new toilet, no problem since. Your toilet is quite old and that is probably what's happening.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

Miralax (PEG3350) is one of the safer, gentler options and can be used long term, one of the things I really liked about it was that it can be dissolved in almost any liquid and because it is a powder the dosage is infinitely adjustable.

Instead of going fishing why don't you just have her use a commode - you can place it over the toilet (leave the bucket in).
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to cwillie

Kind of sounds like a situation kids get when they hold it in for so long, either b/c they are too buys playing to come in the house to potty or they hurt a little when they DO go, so they hold it in. Then the liquidy stool still gets out around this "packed ball" of fecal matter. It must hurt her so much when this happens--does she complain of pain? Also this can cause awful hemorrhoids which can bleed and then you have a whole new mess.

Gma is probably dehydrated. Many elderly don't drink enough water to stay hydrated--b/c going to bathroom can be such a daunting procedure. I know my mother drinks less than 24 oz of fluid a day. She gets some fluid from food, obviously, but she's had a couple of ER runs for bowel dis-impaction and they always remind her she needs to drink more. It's also near to impossible to place and IV line in a person who is very dehydrated.

As to your current problem: I'd get a bucket, line it with a heavy duty garbage bag, add a cup of kitty litter and fish the little offenders out of the toilet with a fish net. Dispose of this the way you would with a litter box. Then bleach the heck out of everything, toilet, handles. floor. Just lotsa bleach.

Flushing and flushing is just going to be annoying and not work--in the long run, maybe a toilet with "added power" (my daughter has one, it has 2 settings on the flush, regular and "holy cow". ) They are quite expensive, but worth it.

Talk to her doc. She may need an initial enema or two (no fun, I know) to get things moving. Also, see what meds may be blocking her up. If she's on opioids and not moving around much she could be just needing lose dose of colace and more liquid in her diet. Sometimes, just walking around will help get things moving.

How "aware" is Gma about daily life? Just wondering. You'd think having bowel movements like this would be painful! Does she say anything about it?

Good Luck. Seems like we talk a lot on these boards about poop and diarrhea. Seems like we can't keep things "regular".
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Midkid58

What goes in usually directly affects what comes out. I’d caution you against using things like Miralax, Colace, or anything else that’s a laxative because it can (literally) backfire on you. If the dosage isn’t right, it could cause stools that are too loose and Gma could start having accidents. If Gma has a habit of retaining stool, or holding it in, it could also cause large stools.

Take a good look at Gma’s diet. Does she drink enough fluid? That makes the stool easier to pass (and flush). Make sure she gets enough salad and other veggies and fruits. Watch the pastas, breads and cheeses. If she will eat it, give her yogurt. Ask the doctor about probiotics.

Worst case scenario, Gma may need tests to make sure she’s not impacting.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Ahmijoy

I would try a stool softener like colace. Don’t give her a laxative as that may cause diarrhea and lose too much water.
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Reply to rocketjcat

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