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  • swimming causes bowel accident

    I just got out of the hospital and have been released of all bed rest, after over coming a nasty pressure wound. Now my bowel and bladder are all screwed up! I can't seem to figure out what I need to be doing for my routine. I've always used the magic bullet, but I've tried stopping that. I've upped my fiber and liquid intake. Nothing seems to be working. But now the latest thing I've noticed is that when I go swimming in a pool, I almost always have a bowel accident. And that really sucks! I'm going on a cruise at the end of this month where swimming is going to be the main thing to do. Now I'm terrified. I'm at my wits end with all this. Suggestions? Please!!

  • #2
    Was your regular routine just the magic bullet? What is your level of injury? Was your bowel program off schedule in the hospital too?

    I find adding fiber like metamucil or fibercon (If you are not a Lower Motor Neuron injury) can actually act like cement if you don't drink tons of water.

    If your program is "off" you will run the risk of having accidents. You could do a bowel clean out by using milk of magnesia or miralax then start over with your regular program. You have accidents because your program is not often enough or not complete enough.

    pbr
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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    • #3
      Thank you for getting back to me on this. I am a T8 complete para. My normal routine was done every other morning. I would eat something, wait about 10 minutes, insert magic bullet, wait 20 mins and then dig stim every 10 minutes for about 4 times. Since I wasn't allowed to get out of bed while I was in the hospital, my surgeon had me do my program every 5 days (I wasn't eating that much anyway). Since I've been home and up and about, nothing has been right. Along with the bowel problems, my bladder hasn't been holding up either. A new doctor told me to try stopping the magic bullets and upping the fiber. She seemed to think that the magic bullets were the cause for accidents just hours after I did my b.p. I tried using regular suppositories (OTC), but didn't see much difference. If you don't use a suppository at all then I don't understand how your body knows to get started. I feel bloated all the time and it seems to me that should have something to do with this also. I am a huge diet coke fan. I have one every day- usually a 32 ounce that you get from the convenient store. I've done this every day for the last 10 years. Could that have something to do with any of this? And what are your thoughts on the swimming? Again, thanks for your help. I can't find much of a doctor for the rural area I live in, so I really feel like I'm going at this all by myself- and that's a lonely place to be!

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      • #4
        I find luck w/ food fibers e.g. dried apricots and shredded wheat. Add water when you eat them. Build up slowly.
        Blog:
        Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?

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        • #5
          It may just be the motion and movement when you swim.
          Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

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          • #6
            Originally posted by zillazangel View Post
            It may just be the motion and movement when you swim.
            Exercise will get things moving.
            The hospital stays always wreak havoc with our routines.
            Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

            I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

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            • #7
              So if it's the motion and the movement of swimming, does that mean to not swim? Or to not swim actively?

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              • #8
                When things got loose/unreliable for my Dad, we started Metamucil daily and a probiotic. Made a world of difference. He doesn't use a suppository either, but he should because it helps avoid straining.

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                • #9
                  I sometimes have had issues with swimming and bm's too. I don't know if the water relaxes my muscles and makes it happen, or if the water pressure presses on my abdomen and helps move things along.

                  My BP involves no suppositories. I can't get poo to come out on it's own unless it's pretty much explosive diarrhea or if I fail to do my bp and have so much built up that it just pushes out when I get too full of it. So I use a gloved finger and dig it out. It only takes me a few minutes, but it empties my rectum and usually a little ways up further too.

                  So, before I am planning on getting in the pool, I go ahead and check things out up there, even if it's not time for my normally planned bp - which is normally first thing in the morning and last thing before bed.

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                  • #10
                    Since your bowel program worked prior to your hospitalization every other day, then I would recommend a bowel clean out and then going back to your normal bowel program. Try laying off the soda if you have a lot of gas. Clear liquids and miralax for a bowel clean out and stay near the bathroom for a couple of days.

                    pbr
                    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                    • #11
                      i would add probiotics to your routine. that helps get you back to regular, especially after hospitalization.

                      exercise usually makes me use the bathroom as well, so i try to go before
                      "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
                      http://www.elportavoz.com/

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                      • #12
                        Thank you everyone for your advice and input. My bowel program has never been spot on. I've been in the chair now for five years and I've always dealt with accidents. Whenever it starts to go ok, something happens- first I had a baby and screwed it up, then I got this pressure wound and now it's screwed up again. Here are some of my questions- if you don't use the magic bullet or suppository to kick start your routine, how does your body know that it's time to go to the bathroom? And the other day, before I went swimming, I did do a quick check- dig stim to see if I was in the clear, and I thought I was. Then I ended up having the accident. Did I jump start my body into thinking it was time to do bp? This all confuses me so much!

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                        • #13
                          I don't use a suppository. Instead, I just kept doing it at the same time every day until my body "got used to" going at those times. It took a while for that to happen, but it's been nice. And I don't know if that works for everyone and the type of bowel issues that they have, but it works usually for me. That being said, my body has gotten "off routine" this summer, and it is hard to get it back on task.

                          I don't know if you jump started your body into thinking it was time, but it sounds reasonable. How high up do you go when you check? When I first started doing a bp, I would stick a finger up there, find nothing, then go to bed and shit myself in my sleep. It was incredibly frustrating. Then I started using a two-fingered approach (one on each hand), and I would check further up inside. I find more and pull it out, and (knock on wood) I haven't had an accident in bed (not counting a bad incident of explosive diarrhea) in over 3 years now!

                          Do you wear a swim diaper? I had to when I did aquatherapy. Luckily, I never had an accident.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Karen Martin View Post
                            Thank you everyone for your advice and input. My bowel program has never been spot on. I've been in the chair now for five years and I've always dealt with accidents. Whenever it starts to go ok, something happens- first I had a baby and screwed it up, then I got this pressure wound and now it's screwed up again. Here are some of my questions- if you don't use the magic bullet or suppository to kick start your routine, how does your body know that it's time to go to the bathroom? And the other day, before I went swimming, I did do a quick check- dig stim to see if I was in the clear, and I thought I was. Then I ended up having the accident. Did I jump start my body into thinking it was time to do bp? This all confuses me so much!
                            You don't provide the level of your injury, so I'm not sure if this is accurate or not. If you have a lower injury and can use your trunk or legs at all while in the water, it is that action that may be triggering the bm's. In the water you can move your legs and abdomen in ways that you can't while out of the water. If you have a high level injury, then I am just as confused as you.

                            With a lower incomplete injury I never use the pool the same day I've used the toilet. Since I have reasonably good sensation, I have had to make several quick transfers to get out of the pool and in to the bathroom. I made it every time, but I certainly had some close calls. However, the memory of those incidents has kept me from using the pool on many occasions.

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                            • #15
                              Lower Motor Neuron are not water tight. The normal plug required for social continence turns to liquid which they can not contain. Need to wear incontinence swimmers. Been there, done that early during recovery. Since changed.
                              http://zagam.net/

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