Poop, Pee and Boogers

So, you think I’ve gone bonkers with this title? Maybe – but it seems like this is what is taking up my time this week.

I know most people are curious about what I do for my sons behind closed doors and the above title speaks loudly. For whatever reason, this week I have had a double dose ~ a lot more than usual.

For example, one of the guys is suffering from constipation. He’s had all his normal medications, plus some extra stool softener and lots of fiber for the past two weeks, but… where is the stool? Yesterday we decided we needed to attack the problem head on with several enemas, more suppositories, increase in stool softener and had almost zero results! Today has pretty much been a repeat of yesterday and hopefully sometime soon we will see a more positive result from our efforts to cleanse his intestine. Wish us luck!

Constipation has never been a personal problem for me and I had much to learn after I began adopting. Some of my sons have had great issues with the gastrointestinal system. I didn’t even know what a suppository was. When the doctor explained what, where, why, and expectations of suppositories, my first question was, “And you mean I get this poop all over my fingers?”

She probably thought I was hopeless at that moment but gently explained about using rubber gloves, which I had never done (she told me where to buy those too). Over the past 36 years I’ve come a long way in helping some of these fellows pass stool when they are in great discomfort. And as I write this, another son tells me he is constipated and needs a suppository too. So much for having a fresh smelling house in the morning!

I’ll inform you not all the guys have trouble passing stool. One day, I was bathing one of my quad amputee sons when he decided in the middle of a bath he needed to do number two. It just couldn’t wait! There was no time to dry him off and move to a different bathroom with an adapted toilet seat. Therefore, I proceeded to lift him out of the tub and hold him over a regular toilet seat, which was way too big for his smaller body at that time. Panic set in and I began urging him to hurry as he was slipping away (wet and nothing to give leverage to hold him snuggly without arms). “Mom, I’m trying as fast as I can,” he replied.

Well, there is a safe ending to this story, he completed the task of passing his stool before I lost grip of him. He didn’t slip into the toilet bowl. I hope he has forgotten the experience by this time in his life. At least I’ll not use his name here to embarrass him with my story.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not into medical terms or trained to be a nurse or doctor but I do know how to give suppositories, enemas and even handle an appendicostomy (you can Google that one).

As for the need to urinate, that has never been a medical concern for me either but only an annoying issue at times. I just find it annoying that I am busy doing something and don’t want to stop just to take a run to the bathroom. However, I guess I shouldn’t complain when I know some of my sons have a different issue with emptying their bladders. Another new word in my vocabulary many years ago was ‘urinal’. Remember, I’m a small town girl who grew up with a severe hearing loss and had no exposure to such things. Of course this doesn’t mean all the kids raised in my area had no idea what a urinal was (my best friend became a nurse so she must have known), but I sure was one of them – clueless! So, I’ve become quite skilled in helping my guys use a urinal.

For some, this is easier said than done. It also means more lifting and pulling pants down and then pulling them back up when finished. However, for some urinating is not easy and they seem to have the urge to go but then can’t relax enough to go at the moment. I never used swear words until I lived with some of my sons who feel this is “normal and acceptable” vocabulary. However, this is one time I have begun to swear OUT LOUD; when I have to wait and wait and wait. Even after what is sometimes an hour, I am still waiting and at times I just give up. Frequently, I pay the consequence for not waiting long enough and then do some more swearing out loud. I must stop this habit! After all, I’m 62 now and should know better. I do know right from wrong!

And one last nuisance this week has been mucus for one who decided to get a cold. Why this week and not next? So, in addition to taking care of emptying the stubborn intestines and waiting for many bladders, I have also been holding tissues for a stuffed up nose. Isn’t it amazing I haven’t caught a lot of illnesses? Whew! I hope it stays this way.

I have to stop because there is another request that someone needs to use the bathroom now. Bye…but be certain to check back at another time for ongoing happenings in my daily life. These guys are my sons and I love them in spite of all the poop, pee and boogers.

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2 Responses to Poop, Pee and Boogers

  1. Quyen says:

    So Marian, when you travel with the boys, how do you handle the bathroom issues?

    • Marian says:

      Traveling, for me, has slowed down since my sons have gotten older. It’s hard to fit trips into the various schedules with some working jobs and others in adult day programs. These programs don’t have the summer off like schools do. Of course they are heavier and this can make their personal care more challenging, but there are ways to do this. For example many people use catheters and urine collecting bags. Others use adult size diapers while they travel.

      For us, I’m fortunate that most can use a urinal while in his wheelchair but not all can. We put a large bench seat in the back of our large van to use for those who need to be laying down for toileting needs. It’s far from perfect (bench is low, angles back, and makes lifting back into wheelchairs hard) but it works when needed. Depending on who and how much room we have, sometimes I just throw an adapted toilet seat in the back of the van to use in handicap accessible hotel bathrooms.

      Speaking of handicap bathrooms in hotels (and restaurants), they don’t serve my sons well. The design is not something we can use. My sons don’t need grab bars or raised toilets. They need large changing tables to accomodate a much heavier weight than the infant type of diaper changing tables. Therefore, we try to be modest in the presence of others and lay on the beds for toileting.

      As for bowel care, we just try to “clean our guts out” before our trip and hope things go well. But, if the trip ends up to be several days, well, chux (protective underpad sheets) come in handy. This would be a time when everyone wished he had a cold and couldn’t smell :). I’m so thankful the guys seem to be tolerant of each other’s personal needs. It sure makes life easier for everyone.

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