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Changing Bowel Routine

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  • Changing Bowel Routine

    I'm new to the world of SCI and working with a woman who would like to change her bowel routine of suppository and dig stim from night to first thing in the morning. Is there a good way to make this transition? Do you think it could help prevent accidents during the day?

  • #2
    My guess is that she should stay close to home the first couple of days. I know others who have switched without many issues. My son has always had his program in the morning. I'm sure the SCI nurse will chime in soon. Sorry I can't be of more help!


    • #3
      When I was released from rehab, I had to change my routine from a nighttime to the morning also. Rather than doing it gradually, I had less to eat for about a day and a half before I changed it so I wouldn't feel too full. Then rather than doing a program that night, I waited until the morning. I have a very fast digestive tract and didn't want to feel bloated. It was a bit uncomfortable, but otherwise everything went smoothly, no pun intended. As with everything, everyone is different. I was fortunate enough to adapt quickly, hopefully this works out for you as well.


      • #4
        Whether changing the time will help with accidents is very individual. If she is having most of her bowel accidents now in the later morning or afternoon, it may help.

        I usually plan on it taking two weeks to make a successful transition of time of day successfully. During that time, an accident or two may occur at the time of the previous bowel program until the body gets used to the new time. We generally would do it by first doing the regular evening bowel program, then doing a day program the next day, then continuing with a day program. If she has an accident, a regular AM bowel program should still be done. Is she on a daily or every other day program now?

        As with her current program, she would do best to be sure she has had a meal or at least a hot liquid to drink within 30 minutes prior to starting bowel care to help things get going, and of course doing bowel care up on a toilet or commode instead of in bed if at all possible.

        In addition, if she is taking any oral stimulant bowel meds (senna, bisacodyl tabs, etc.) she should change the time she takes these from morning to evening if she is switching to an AM bowel program.

        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.


        • #5
          Thanks for your help everyone! She is currently daily and does tend to have her accidents early in the day so I think this info will be very helpful.