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wife learning bowel program for husband

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    Whatever rehab center he is in, the nurses should be ashamed of themselves. I hope they don't have the gall to call themselves rehabilitation nurses!! Have you spoken to the head nurse or patient advocate about these appauling conditions??

    Originally posted by Scaper1 View Post
    My sympathies. I remember this being the single most humiliating thing about rehab. Now it seems like a very long time ago.

    For those recommending Lidocaine, do you use it in lieu of a lubricating jelly throughout the bp routine, or just a bit to insert the sup?
    We recommend putting about a TB. of the lidocaine jelly into the rectal vault about 5 minutes before doing anything, then use it to lubricate the suppository and also to lubricate any finger or device used for digital stimulation. A Uro-Jet is the easiest way to do this.

    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.


      KLD said it. Raise hell if necessary. Talk to the supervisor; go as high up as you can until things improve. It's your job right now to act as your husband's advocate - if you (and he) don't, no-one will. It's not about convenience for the nurses; it's about getting your husband in good shape - and both you and he learning how to keep him there.
      - Richard


        " have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part."
        You are strong woman. Don't be afraid, God is with you!


          Yes as already said he has rights and it may take some time but he needs to learn how to take up for his self. Do not take everything they tell you as policy.

          Best wishes


            Originally posted by newc6c7wife View Post
            Yes he is at a rehab hospital. He has been there for 6 weeks now and he doesn't have any health issues that would prevent him from being put on a commode chair and set over the toilet. We have both questioned this several times and the nurses tell us it is because they don't have time. He needs alot of help still to transfer out of bed, so they usually just use the ceiling lift to make things faster. The therapists are working with him to improve on his sliding board transfers. 6 more weeks to go there at the very least. We have been married for 15 years now, and I think we both have a pretty good sense of humour, too. His optimism and positive attitude have made everything so far so much easier than it would have been if he had been miserable and bitter. This forum is so awesome! I came across it within the first couple sleepless nights after his accident and it has been an endless source of knowledge. Every night I learn something new

            Learning how to eventually transfer on his own or with assistance will become huge in deciding how much independence he can have, including the bowel program. So i hope he really works hard and gets good training at learning to transfer which can feel impossible at first, until he eventually gets it figured out.

            I'm also a C-6 quad and do my bowel program every other day with very little assistance from an aide. I transfer on to a commode shower bench that i later shower on. The aide puts a chuck pad under the commode and puts a suppository in an inserter which is made for quads with no hand function.

            Then i simply sit on the bench until i start going. Eventually i use one of these to check if i'm finished or need help getting the rest out.

            Once i'm confident i'm done, i wrap up the chuck and put it in one of those plastic bags you pack groceries in. My aide then comes in and throws in in the trash and since i'm already on the bench in the tub, it's perfect to take my shower next and get clean.

            I've been paralyzed over 15 years so i didn't figure out this system right after getting home, but it didn't take all that long once i got transferring down very well. I got used to using the suppository inserter quite easily and it didn't take long learning when i was done via the bowel stimulator stick. Once i had that down, i needed very little help except for taking away the chuck pad underneath me.

            So while helping your husband do this will likely suck initially for both of you, don't get to bummed out think it has to be a permanent deal so long as he can learn to transfer on his own or with assistance. Once he can learn to get on to a commode shower bench like this, he'll be on the road to doing his bowel program with very little to no assistance. Thankfully for him, quads at the C-6/7 level can usually learn to transfer, especially males who have the upper body strength. As i said earlier, while in rehab and trying to learn to transfer it can feel like a hopeless cause initially, but through effort, he should eventually perfect it if he doesn't let himself feel like he can't do it after initial struggles which surely will be there. When first learning how to transfer, i thought i'd never be able to get it done. I a few times wanted to give up because it seemed impossible. Then one day, bam it happened and from then on i just got better and better at it until it was easy.


              TheDuder-I am really impressed with your post and pictures. Well done and good information.


                Thanks again to everyone for your advice and support. I now have more confidence going into this and I will be pushing the rehab centre for better care. I know things will get easier with time.
                I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. - Mother Teresa


                  Originally posted by LindaT View Post
                  TheDuder-I am really impressed with your post and pictures. Well done and good information.
                  Well, i hope it can help them. I just remember after first getting paralyzed that the whole bowel routine stuff was mortifying to me. I nearly died from a collapsed lung in ICU and was so drugged up, i never even knew a bowel routine was being done to me. Once awake in rehab and nurses were doing it, i wanted to die from humiliation, especially the whole sticking their finger up my ass part to dig out crap. Even worse was i had a few smoking hot nurses back then. Here i'm super attracted to these nurses, but they are digging in my ass for crap. Wow that was pure torture and i dreaded it each time it was done. Then as i was nearing the end of inpatient rehab, i was dreading the thought of being home and one day an aide not showing up and my girlfriend at the time or my mom/sister having to do a bowel routine on me. Dreading that was a massive understatement.

                  So i talked to an OT i was working with and shared my worries with her. This was very hard to do because she was an OT student and smoking hot also. Plus, she seemed to be flirty with me, thus it wasn't easy to ask her to help me come up with a way to crap more independently because even with my injury at the time, i still thought like a 21 year old horndog male that wanted to get in the pants of any cute girl.

                  She did some research and got me the tools i showed in my earlier post. I couldn't transfer fully by myself then, but nurses/aides helped me get on a commode chair instead of doing my BP in bed. This allowed me to practice doing some of my bowel routine on my own while still in rehab so that once i got home, thankfully i never once had to have my girlfriend, mom, sister, or home health aide ever do finger digging in my booty. I refined the whole routine the more i did it through practice at home, but that sense of terror while in rehab of one day a family member or hot aide having to put their finger where it don't belong unless there is fun and pleasure involved pushed me to not just settle with my BP being done for me, but instead to find a way ASAP to do as much of it on my own. So if i can help any other quad avoid that humiliation along with a wife/girlfriend/mom etc, i'd be happy to have helped because i pretty much had to figure out my current routine on my own. Not that it's brain surgery, but a lot of different things are going through your mind early after injury.


                    Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
                    Learning to do it, and being responsible for doing it on a regular basis are two different things. I think it is helpful for a family member who is a spouse to learn how to do it, so that you can do it in a pinch, or supervise a personal care attendant doing it, but I would really discourage you both, if possible from you doing this on a regular basis. Get a caregiver for this care if you can. It is very difficult, impossible for many, to maintain a lover/sexual relationship with the person that you do bowel care for. Bladder care is similar.

                    Many people with a C6-7 injury learn to do most if not all of their own bowel care with the proper adaptive equipment such as a suppository inserter and digital stimulator, as well as a "toilet aid" for clean up. Has he been issued these tools and taught how to use them??

                    I'm always with KLD on this one. Nothing is more unsexy than handling shit, unless your partner or spouse has a fetish for scat (but that's for another thread).


                      Originally posted by Le Type Fran├žais View Post
                      I'm always with KLD on this one. Nothing is more unsexy than handling shit, unless your partner or spouse has a fetish for scat (but that's for another thread).

                      I agree with you both, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
                      There are no agencies in our area that will take someone with Dave's needs and once anyone who answers an ad finds out about this or giving a shower with a tracheaen the hoyer lift they say no. We have tried everything from Craig's list,ads at college with nursing programs etc. The social worker was shocked when she tried helping us after Dave's summer hospital stay. We started a waiver program in Jan and can pay up to $15.00 and hour.
                      We are lucky to have found 2 great aides that come alternate days M-F. I wish we could clone them!
                      Once in a while they have an emergency or sick kid and is just us again.
                      Last edited by LindaT; 24 Mar 2010, 1:20 PM. Reason: adding


                        I can so relate to where you are right now. My husband is T-4 complete. It has been 4 years since his injury. He has good use of his right hand and arm, good strong left arm but left hand is limited. I haven't seen this on anyone's post so far but about a year ago our primary care physician recommended we consider a colostomy. After a lot of discussion we decided to have it done. It has absolutely been the best decision, for us. Before, we did his bowl program at night. We had to allow about 2 hours to get that done, his bladder, and just getting ready for bed. If we went out to dinner and came home late, we were so late going to bed. The colostomy is so easy and time saving. Can someone tell me why this isn't offered in the beginning? I understand not wanting to do surgery so soon after an injury but we were never even told about this. Just wanted to say also, that I have found that YOU MUST take control and ask questions when it comes to your medical care. I have found that when Kenny has been in the hospital since leaving rehab, I had to basically teach the staff about how we managed the bowl program, bladder, etc. We are very fortunate that our primary care physician is very close to our situation since his father had a similar injury. We do live in a small town and have the luxury of knowing our medical people well but still, I have found that most hospitals, especially in smaller towns, don't know how to deal with our situation very well, you have to stay on top of things.


                          God bless the PSW with long slim fingers!

                          newwife I see you are in Ontario. Do you know about ODSP yet. I am a pro at it through work. You can get far more than two hours a day. ODSP will cover all the costs of supplies, equipment etc. You can also own your home and have assets while on it.

                          and another poster was right about not admitting to being able to do it. I always claim bad back. Because if I keep doing 100% of everything it will be bad!

                          There is also the RRAP program to pay for housing concerns. I found out about this after I put a new roof on - grr. They would have paid almost all of it. March of Dimes has a program for vans. And there is a dependant caregivers tax credit as well. Save all the reciepts for anything that has to do with his care - tax deductions galore.

                          There is a lot of funding out there and they do not tell you about it - you have to find it - the buggers make you hunt high and low for it. If you need any info please just ask.


                            Nobody's mentioned it yet and it may be a little premature for consideration but quite a few of us quads on CC have had reversible colostomy's to eliminate all of the problems, challenges, discomfort, frustrations, humiliations, mortifications, etc., etc. Having been injured 10yrs now and having met 100's of other sci patients and families I do not know of any husband/wife relationship that has endured the bowel program dynamic beyond a few months to 1yr+. It's a strange reality and exceptional commitment and compassion to be the primary caregiver. For some there is no choice and that's understandable. And in an emergency I think it's reasonable to do bowel care. However, and I think most couples will agree, it's probably going to enhance the quality of your marriage and relationship if there is a hired caregiver to assist.

                            A colostomy is a VERY reasonable option and will help immensely in terms of quality of life, schedule, dietary needs, intimacy versus having your partner put their finger up your ass to digitally remove feces. Sugarcoat it all you want but that it is the reality and no one that I've met or know can manage it for an extended period of time.

                            Good luck.

                            Onward and upward.


                              I second what Chris said. Mine lasted about 2 yrs after injury, then went deep south.

                              Six guys I met in all my rehab that I stay in touch with, five are single now because of just that.

                              IMHO, take KLD's advice.
                              Last edited by DIGGER; 1 Apr 2010, 4:46 PM.


                                Originally posted by LindaT View Post
                                I agree with you both, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
                                Absolutely. I know that. I just know that I wouldn't want my mate doing that for me, but I also realize we sometimes just need to be humble and receive help when needed.