• We're currently experiencing technical issues with our newsletter software, so our Dementia Talking Point monthly updates have been put on hold for now. We hope to restart the newsletter soon.

    Find out more >here<.

A little sympathy please

Chuggalug

Registered User
Mar 24, 2014
8,007
Norfolk
Seriously, Bemused; I'd try a few raisins. Just enough to get things moving again. Put some in a milk pudding or a cake if he can take those. I find them excellent. Impacted bowels are a nightmare. I should know! Been through similar a few years ago. Lack of eating and drinking causes more problems than it solves.
 

2jays

Registered User
Jun 4, 2010
11,598
West Midlands
Prunes & prune juice sorted my dad when movicol, lactulose etc failed.
Also figs and dates. I get them from supermarket "semi fresh" bags. Not cheap, but we don't need many before they "perform" :D


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
 

bemused1

Registered User
Mar 4, 2012
3,402
I've tried all the usual dried fruit but he just chokes on it. The only prune juice I could get locally was like lemon juice , one sip and I almost got it back in my face. Believe me I've tried everything I can think of but the swallowing problem makes it all much worse.If he (and. I) were able we'd be off on a 5mile walk.
 

bemused1

Registered User
Mar 4, 2012
3,402
Just managed to get 8 prunes down without choking episode. Hopefully, light the blue touch paper!!
 

pamann

Registered User
Oct 28, 2013
2,635
Kent
Hello bemused 1 do you soak the prunes, l put them in the microwave so they are soft, the ones that Re ready to eat l still soak or microwave as they are not soft.
 

Batsue

Registered User
Nov 4, 2014
4,886
Scotland
Have you tried syrup of figs, you can get it from large supermarkets, it certainly worked for my mum and you only need 2 teaspoons.
 

Soobee

Registered User
Aug 22, 2009
2,733
South
oh my dad had syrup of figs! I think it must have been successful as he kept buying it :D
 

bemused1

Registered User
Mar 4, 2012
3,402
We were wrong. Doctor has just been and says he isn't blocked up, no pain therefore no constipation.
So she says stop the movicol, do nothing and see what happens. This really doesn't fill me with confidence. The. Last time I cut it down to 1 sachet a day we had liquid faecal incontinence at all hours of the day and night and nothing else.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,710
North West
Did the 8 prunes have any noticeable effect?

Bearing in mind the swallowing problem, what is his current diet? When you say it's difficult to get him to drink is he actively resisting or just very....... very....... slow?
 

bemused1

Registered User
Mar 4, 2012
3,402
Slight effect but am quite happy to keep trying. Up to five days ago, happy with baked beans and a certain companies soft food range. It was while he was on this diet that the problems started. ATM still managing a small portion of baked beans, a very small sandwich otherwise jelly and custard. Drinking, he actively resists. If I push he may have a sip but then refuse any more.
I am concerned that I have said several times are we sure about more movicol? I know his bowel habits have changed drastically over the last 2 months but all we seem to get is 'more more more'or the reverse none at all.
Not looking forward to this.
 

WIFE

Registered User
May 23, 2014
856
WEST SUSSEX
Sad to say Bemused but bowels seem to become the "issue of the day" more and more as the dementia progresses at least it was that was for my husband. The NH and I tried everything we could think of especially when he refused to take the Movicol and ended up with a compacted bowel several times necessitating an enema which was horrible for him as he didn't understand what was happening. Do hope you manage to avoid that - keep plugging the prunes and as much liquid as you can. Have you tried pureed fruit. I used to soften apricots, prunes and apple in apple juice and then blend it with a spoonful or two of golden syrup and added it to icecream. Worked for a while. Good luck. Thinking of you both WIFE
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,710
North West
When my wife was x-rayed it was found that the bowel was compacted further up. The proposed 'solution' was the extreme Picolax prescribed when the bowel needs to be emptied prior to surgery. When I read of people'e experiences with this stuff, I decided not to give it to Sue as it was clearly an ordeal even for people without dementia.

Our solution proved to be a change of diet. I've posted about this previously:

http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showthread.php?81363-Constipation-in-later-stages See post #12 if you're interested.

I realise this probably won't help bemused1 because of the swallowing and drinking issues in the case, but there may be people reading this thread to whom it would be of interest. The quantity of fruit and veg required to clear any blockages and stave off constipation has proved to be very high in Sue's case but, as far as I can gather she has battled with constipation for most of her life. Now she has effectively beaten it despite being quite far along the dementia road and having been through a faecally incontinent period that lasted at least a couple of years.
 

bemused1

Registered User
Mar 4, 2012
3,402
Stanley thank you. I've read your post and there are some things I can put into place with regard to fruit at least. Exercise isn't possible oh is almost bedbound ( other reasons).
With regard to the meds- my faith in drs has just hit rock bottom. My poor husband, who doesn't have an obstruction and isn't constipated has just released a huge amount of semi solid and liquid s***. Wonder where all that came from, I could have sworn he hasn't eaten anything today! Hopefully it was the prunes what done it.
My first port of call in future will be the experts here, not the drs.
Fingers crossed and thanks for everyone's recipes.
 

esmeralda

Registered User
Nov 27, 2014
3,079
Devon
Oh bemused, what a time you're having. Hope with all the good advice in here you manage to get things stabilised for your husband. It would transform your lives!
Thanks for posting the link stanleypj, I'll have a read of that.
 

bemused1

Registered User
Mar 4, 2012
3,402
YAaaY for prunes. The blue touch paper has been lit and we have action. OH managed a small baked potato f9r dinner last night and has been caught smiling a couple of times. Shame drs don't know how precious a smile is from someone with dementia.
Am now making prunes a daily necessity and researching change of diet. Thanks to Stanley for pointing out just how critical diet is.
Fingers crossed that a solution has been found. I will not be contacting the medical profession again if we have more problems like this. They should be made to spend a week with dementia sufferers with gut issues, it might give them a balanced view of how important it is.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,710
North West
Glad it was helpful. I remember how frustrating it was, doing exactly what the professionals told us to do and finding that it usually made a difficult situation more difficult.

I also found, BTW, that some of the dietary things we were doing were not helping. For a long time I gave Sue raspberries and probiotic yogurt every day. When I stopped, there was a big improvement - a shame, because she liked them. The only times she's had raspberries and yogurt since, there have been fresh problems. The yogurt might not have been culpable but I now avoid it to be on the safe side.
 

bemused1

Registered User
Mar 4, 2012
3,402
A lot to learn Stanley but quality of life is so important and if its better for your partner its just that bit easier for us