Yikes a new phase or is it the meds????

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by rummy, May 19, 2006.

  1. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    Hi all,
    My Mom has been having some poopy accidents the last couple months which my Dad is handling. Mom had stomach surgery years ago and her digestive system has always been a mess but nothing like this. Food literally goes right through her within 30 minutes of eatting and she will "go" all day sometimes. Well, today she had a nasty accident in Walmart and Dad had to wisk her out of the store quickly or they were going to have to call the hazmat unit !
    I havne't run across this problem in thread and wondered if anyone else is facing this? I'm thinking perhaps it is a side effect to her medicaiton. She is on Aricept, Namenda and Larazepam. for AD and Evista, and Celebrex for bones/arthritus.
    If this is just the course of the illness, how does everyone handle it? She will not wear diapers and since this comes on her so out of the blue, getting her to go prior to a errand doesn't seem to work. Is this a sign of decline? Seems there have been many lately.
    Thanks for any help you can give.
  2. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    Also, does anyone have any experience with the Alzheimer's ID bracelets? Here a central number is called off the bracelet, then they contact the right people. I'm wondering if it is worth the $40?
  3. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    hiya rummy.

    the only time my mum has been like that is when she had a chest infection and was on antibiotics, but fortunatley she was in hospital not our equivelent to walmarts:eek: ( whats a hazmat unit??)
    my mum is also on different meds to your mum, but it could be worth checking if she's been on them for a while,
    i havent heard of the id bracelets for alz im not sure if id get one for mum as she keeps taking off her jewellry and leaving it all over the place so im sure if she had one it wouldnt be on for long :D
    hope you mum will be ok it must be so unpleasant for her and your poor dad to cope with
    good luck xx
  4. johnw

    johnw Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    When to `go`

    Rummy, I'm going through this `hit and miss` with Beryl my wife, though it's not exactly like your mum's symptoms where the food goes straight through. I suspect in your case it has to be a bowl problem brought on by either drugs or infection. In our case, Beryl has many `accidents` without warning to me. Even if she had a warning before the incident she can't tell me any way. The medics, in their wisdom, told me she was incontinent and would have to wear diapers for life. From my past experiences with the medic I ignored their comments and over a period of time and shear stress I discovered the problem was cognative problems, where Beryl had periods, and still does, of not being able to string together a chain of thoughts. So even if she went to the toilet she would just sit on the pan without removing her clothes with the ensuing results. I have solved this problem, partly, by not useing panties, dresses, skirts etc. She now has trousers only that I change every day, and though we still have the odd light scare, we don't need deipers that she wouldn't tolerate in the first place. I told the GP, not the one who made the first assumption, about my discovery and and he commended me on my vigilance and diagnoses. I just now constantly ask Beryl if she needs the toilet, and if I get a negative answer on accations where I feel it has been a while since her last `visit`, I guide her to the bathroom and leave her in her dignity and it works fine:)
    Now `Rummy` regarding the bracelet. Here in the UK we have a ` care on call` system that is free. It consists of making out a questionare with all the necessary info, drugs list etc etc, the names of persons who are willing to care in the absence of the carer. This info is then kept on file at a central base and they send the carer a `debit card` size thing to be carried on the person of the carer in case of any mishap to that carer. The card has a unique number to be phoned then things are carried on from there. A great weight lifted off my shoulders I can tell you.
    I'm sorry I can't help you by not knowing about other countries systems but I hope I've at least given some help.
    By the way, I've been a full time carer now for 11 years and it was only a month ago I found out about this card system. The medics never said a word about it. I just thought one day, `it would be a good idea if there was such a system`, so I sent an email to our local `Angel` centre and low and behold they replied with all this info:)
    Good luck Dear, keep posting and careing.
  5. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    Hi John and Donna and thank you for your replys. Hazmat......hazardous material removal unit. Usually for oil and chemical spills. The fire departments all have them here. (My attempt at a little humour ).
    I believe the program here is called Safe Return but there is nothing provided on a local level. Like you wife, I doubt my Mom would keep the bracelet on.
    Well, I'm gathering that this isn't a typical situation common to AD? I think a trip to the doctor is in order to figure out if there is something that can be changed to alleviate the problem. Now convincing my Dad to take her is next ! I have a problem inthat I don't have control and have to convince my Dad before anything can be done. I think alot of the problem is that her brain isn't getting the message she needs to "go" until it is too late. STill, it happening in public is quiet disturbing. I am also thinking that up to now we have just had memory and behavior problems, now we are seeing physical problems. One thing about this illness that is constant is change! Just when we figure out how to handle one thing, another is thrown at us.
    If anyone else has any of these experiences I would appreciate the input!
  6. suef56

    suef56 Registered User

    May 10, 2006
    Yikes is right

    Hello dear fellow yank...oh my how right you are about just getting used to one thing when something else new crops up--its like putting out one brush fire and not noticing that two have started behind you. And I did get a laugh out of the HazMat joke!!
    My MIL had incontinence with the dementia as part of her deteriorating mental and physical function. For her it was a combination of being physically less able to move quickly and mentally unable to interpret the signals and remember they meant you needed a toilet (the loo here in UK). At the outset this was mostly wetting but we did quickly proceed to the stage labelled 'double incontinence'.

    First check is always medications and doctors. Your drug store pharmacist should be able to look up all the meds your mum is on and see if there are any drug interactions. Also checking with the doctor is a good idea as food seeming to go right through her sounds like a possible bug of some sort. A person with dementia might have difficulty describing pains or upsets or unusual physical symptoms..I felt my MIL could not work out what pain was and could not remember what to do about it and now my Dad is at a point where we have to watch what he does to help him identify physical troubles (if we see him limping or holding his head or rubbing his eyes we then ask if it hurts or aches so we can give him something for pain or discomfort if he needs it).

    Simplifying clothing is a good idea if your mum lets you. My MIL usually wore trousers so we went out and bought ones with elastic waists---she was upset the first few times she didn't get to the loo in time but would forget she had a problem in between. I finally started telling her we could use a pad in the underpants (or knickers in UK speak) and she was resisting until I went and bought some Poise pads and just put them in the knickers (John is at a distinct disadvantage as I was able to show my MIL that I had a little pad in my knickers and I NEVER called the pads Diapers!!) After that I just put a clean pad into every clean pair of undies so it was already there when we got dressed and said it was there 'just in case'--luckily she seemed to accept it and when 'double incontinence' arrived I got the pads from the incontinence service here and we had them long and thick but still in ordinary full cotton undies (I must say my MIL was baffled when I took her shopping and told her she needed to buy another dozen or two pairs of undies, more socks, more pj's and 6 pairs of trousers!!) I bought easy wash and dry and no iron cloths and had plenty of spares.

    Along with buying more clothing I had a 'going out' bag just like I used to do with my children in potty training times--powder scented nappy (diaper) plastic sacks (to tie up soiled pads or clothing),wet wipes--flushable ones..spare underpants and spare trousers and socks and a little spray air freshener--all in a small sport bag over my shoulder. I tried also to keep a small bottle of cranberry juice and a treat or sweets that she liked to use as a distraction or reward or comfort and a little spray perfume...for BOTH of us!!

    I found taking a wheel chair out with us really helped even in the early stages when she could still walk short distances. Before the medical system assessed her as needing one I rented on for a small fee from my local Red Cross and told my MIL that the wheel chair helped me carry shopping or picnics and she could have an instant chair when we were out. The wheel chair was very handy when accidents happened-- I could cajole her into having a ride and whisk off to the nearest toilet. I have to say that going out eventually got too much but until that time we could still go sit on park benches with a snack or picnic, go to certain friends' houses, go stroll around the shops, go see near by family, go to church where all our good friends made a point of saying hello even if she had been gently snoring through some of the prayers or sermon!..and there were days when it was well worth the effort to get out as I was so bad tempered and tired!!!

    The big difference is that with my MIL I was the main carer (although negotiating with her could be very difficult). I can't imagine how hard that must be for you to go through your Dad and trying to convince him first. I do have a little taste of that now that I help care for My mom and dad, having to talk with my Mom about what Dad might need when Mom is not yet seeing the whole picture...and now that she has some major memory hiccups I sometimes have to excuse myself and go scream in a pillow. In my more rational moments I have to try and remember that I have more of a view from the outside of the problems and it takes my mom longer to realize what is happening and how often.

    Maybe the last bit of advice would be, try to discover where the toilet is first in every shop. It does help to go to the loo before leaving home but it is no guarantee that you will not be inspecting public facilities while out and about!

    Lastly: Be Prepared but Don't expect the Worst before what ever you think the Worst is actually happens--this awful brain injury is like shrapnel in the brain--everyone seems to get the shrapnel in different places and it affects people in many different ways.

    Sorry to bang on for so long...hope something in this is helpful for you and your Mom and Dad. XX Sue
  7. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    H SUe,
    Thank you so very much for all the very helpful hints !! I am printing it off so I won't forget some of it. You are right, it is harder going through my Dad because I can only suggest things and can't just "do" for them. I suppose it will come in time.
    You are a wealth of information and I'm sure many here will benefit from it !
    I'll let you know how things progress and do really appreciate your input.
  8. suef56

    suef56 Registered User

    May 10, 2006
    'wealth of information'

    Dear Rummy--what a luv you are! My family has me pegged as the ace talker and I do still have to learn to judge when to open the floodgates and when to keep quiet and Listen....so thank you for your kind words. I hope I can offer some help or ideas to others in this mutual aid society that is ATP (by the way, as TP has always been on my shopping list as toilet paper I am slowly getting used to it meaning something else which is helpful and necessary in an Entirely Different Way!) This is Thursday which means you must be on Vacation--yippee--xxSue
  9. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Sue
    What have you got for SS?
  10. McK

    McK Registered User

    Sep 13, 2005
    Pgh. Pa. USA
    Safe Return

    Dear Rummy, I sent you info on "Safe Return" last 10-28-05. I don't know if the info will be of help or not. In regards to the "other" problem with your mom, when my wife started having accidents, I just started to use the panty type diapers but then it was a bigger problem getting them off when she had an accident, so I switched to the diapers with tabs. Surprisingly, my wife never put up much of a fuss when changing her, I think that at that time, about five years ago, she would forget what had just taken place. It's one of the more difficult "problems" a caretaker faces on a daily basis, but it soon becomes routine. With all of the meds your mom is taking, along with the dementia, it's no wonder that she's having problems. Hang in there and best wishs - McK
  11. mocha

    mocha Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Lancs, England

    Like McK. I was going to ask if your MIL would wear the all-in-one padded pants which my hubby wears during the day. Luckily[touch wood] unless he has a' bug'
    which he did have a few weeks ago he is mainly just urine incontinent but I found the pants did save accidents out of the home. He has finally accepted pads at night but some nights they still they don't prevent wetting the bed. I think it is just trial and error but finding out about an infection I would say would be the first course. All the best.
  12. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    For SS !!! - I can only think of Silent Sufferer!!! BeckyJan

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