G. BOWELS AND SHOWERING
If you dont want to spend your life waiting for staff, organising staff, or putting big demands on family and friends learn to do it yourself.
Find a routine that works and stick to it religiously even when life is not going well. Your bowels do not forgive, they make no allowances, they just react to what you eat. For me – the solution is Normacol, and oranges. You may find another solution.
I’m independent in bowel care because I use a tenodesis splint to give myself an enema every second day. I do this whilst I’m sitting in a commode chair. I put the splint on my left hand, put the enema between the thumb and forefinger, hook my right arm around the push handle of the commode, lean sideways and reach under my backside with my left hand, insert the enema, and then use my wrist extension to get the splint to squeeze the enema.
This works well as long as I take Normacol 12 hours before hand and I eat one orange a day. The Normacol and the orange provide enough fibre to allow the enema to work. Also I generally eat a lot of vegetables and do some exercise. If I let any of these elements slip for three days I have bowel accidents and life becomes difficult and dysfunctional.
Bowel care was the most difficult thing to become independent in (apart from toenail clipping), and its not perfect. Accidents do happen occasionally.
I shower in the commode chair after the bowel routine. It requires a wheelchair accessible (roll-in) shower and a hand shower. I always alter the bathrooms where I live (see houses) so there is no shower cubicle its just an open space with a toilet, shower, hand basin and washing machine.
I go to the toilet and shower every second morning, it takes about and hour and a half.
My tenodesis splint is the gadget I use to squeeze an enema. I can imagine getting a better gadget made. I tried a few times but didn’t get anywhere, so I stopped because the splint works for me, but I’m sure something better could be designed.
There are commodes out there that are designed for people to reach under in the way I do. They definitely make the whole task easier. They have a cut out on the edge of the seat on the side you reach under. I didn’t know about them when I bought mine so it is not like that.
Commode the bed so I can transfer in to it in the morning
splint, hand with the splint, splint ready to squeeze enema
normacol, oranges, enema
commode with cut outs, other types of tenodesis splints
CLICK HERE to see a guy who does it in a very different way from me
Here’s what the experts say
Basically they say it cant be done
CLICK HERE for more info on tenodesis splints
CLICK HERE for more info on the commode with cut outs
Rule number 7 – You are what you eat.