The Poop Chronicles
February 25, 2013
This is Alzheimer's . . . starting at about 2:30 PM this past Friday afternoon my mom seemed to have what felt like non-stop bowel movements. She had 8 that I documented (may have missed a couple) with in about 48 hours. Was her stomach upset? Didn't seem to be. Was she eating a normal diet? Yep. Did she have a fever or any other signs of illness? Nope. Was she acting her "normal" AD self? Yep. Just poopin' and poopin and poopin'. My mom hasn't had a bowel movement in a toilet (except one or two occasions) in over a year and a half. She always has BM accidents in her pants. These are not only upsetting to her but very frustrating (make that for me too). So, let me explain what one bowel accident entails then multiply that by 8 in what seems like back to back episodes (one of these taking place during Teyawna‘s birthday party which was hectic). So, I have to convince her to go into the toilet/shower room. Some times this is more smooth and sometimes it is a huge struggle, but it is NEVER easy. Some times she will shuffle VERY slowly whil shaking her head and other times she will grab on to every wall corner we pass and dig her heels into the ground. I always worry about hurting her as I try to gently guide her into the bathroom. She is pretty dang strong. We have no other choice but to go in there!!! The stench is horrible not to mention what her bottom must feel like. Once we enter the small toilet/shower room the fight is usually on unless I am really crafty at tricking her and quickly. When I try to pull her pants down she grabs on and won’t let go and usually tries to shake me off while spewing out full sentences filled with cuss words (mind you she hardly EVER speaks at all in a day). Usually something like, “Don’t tell me this. Why are you doing that damn it. DAMN IT! Leave me alone” Then when I do get them down she usually says, “Oh shit! YUCK. That is horrible.” I just keep at the task at hand and somehow get her pants off. Then the next thing is to convince her to sit on the toilet sometimes this takes one or two minutes, but usually it takes longer and sometimes after 10 or 15 minutes I just give up and have her get straight in the shower. If I can get her to sit then I can usually get her to wipe a bit with flushable wet wipes. However just because they are flushable doesn’t mean much. For some odd reason mom RARELY throws toilet paper in the toilet. This was a behavior that started early on. Years ago, I remember Judge John complaining about this. She wipes and it goes in the trash or on the floor every time. So, anyhow she will wipe and throw it in the trash. This is hit and miss. Sometime I will hand her the wipes and she just throws them away. One time this weekend she grabbed for the soiled diaper in the trash and started to pull it out. I slapped at her hand (first time I have ever done that and probably ever will), and she screeches, “You did that to me! You slap me!” I felt horrible. Anyhow, then we come to the point were I think she can get in the shower. Usually her hands are unsanitary so I have to do this without her hitting or touching me which is a challenge. Lately my trick has been to show her the soap in the shower and tell her to wash her hands as she goes for the soap she gets in the shower and I can close the curtain. Then we go through the entire showering process most showers trying to avoid having to shampoo hair unless needed. Sometimes her hair needs to be washed and sometimes she will run her soiled hands through her hair and it HAS to be washed. I have to stay right there and pretty much do everything for her and/or repeat everything a bazillion times, “mom take the rag.” “mom take the rag . . . Again and again” then “Mom wash your bottom, mom wash your bottom. Your bottom. No, no mom your bottom.” She usually says, “why?” Sometimes I respond, “Because it stinks” other times I just carry on. Anyhow, then out of the shower. I have to dry her off now which she doesn‘t like and usually says, “why do you do that, ouch, OUCH, why are you doing that?” (if I don‘t she will stand there shivering and wet), convince her to put lotion on, and help her to get dressed and then I ALWAYS have a load of laundry to do (usually BM on rug or pants or both). I am actually getting pretty good and quick about this process. On a good day where things go “smooth” I would say each time this process takes 20-30 minutes. On a normal day closer to 40 to 45. Hard days, easily an hour. It really can get exhausting, but . . . THIS IS ALZHEIMER’S!