Before jumping into a series on the brain next week, today’s visit with mom reminded me of a topic on the other side of the coin, if you will. Constipation and all things toilet.
(Chirp chirp. Cricket sounds heard over of all of the zero people still reading this post.)
I refuse to dig deep in this topic since mom’s dignity deserves modest coverage.
Generally, though, toileting is a huge, huge, huge challenge given the main symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Anxiety can cause constipation and it can cause diarrhea. Tack on this not knowing where the bathroom is, even perhaps in a house he has lived in for 50 years. Confusion, a calling card of this disease, can turn a bathroom mirror into the mistaken image of someone already in the bathroom to a confused patient. Pride factors in too. Would a 50 year accountant or a former CEO be quick to ask for help doing something we learn to do as a toddler? Articulating pain and discomfort is a battle as well. Mom had a bad corn on her foot that manifested itself in all kinds of acting up and “conditions ” not associated with feet because she couldn’t tell me what hurt. Just getting down onto a toilet and back up can be exhausting, but modesty dictates to many of the proud afflicted that one doesn’t need a toilet audience. 🙁 Heck, I can’t even pee in front of my cats. I get it….
This is a truly tragic facet of this multifaceted disease.
Suffice it to say, mom’s symptoms have led to a digestive mess for her. When I got there today, she couldn’t sit up in bed, was very sore and her stomach was distended. Hoping and praying some meds will fix this soon for her. 🙁 There is a lot to keep track of in a memory unit, and being sure all of patients are reasonably “regular”, in a place where nothing is regular and challenge is around every corner is a Herculean task. 🙁 Terrible, terrible disease. Pray for the Sweet 17, all of their nurses, and the millions in and out of nursing facilities in the same boat.
BTW…sorry for the topic, but it had to be said.