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Old 12-14-2011, 08:07 AM   #1
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Feeling Constipated

My MIL with AZ is now going through a phase that she is constipated. I know up until recently (I think someone took it away) that she was using this old fashioned way of self enima like a water bottle. I was adament that she should not be using this because she could puncture a bowel.

Anyways, she goes on and on about being constipated, which she gets very angry at everyone. She has been Xrayed and no bowel obstructions or anything. Next she goes on about hemmorhoids, which the doctor also says aren't that bad. The other day, she got back in bed and was bleeding. My thoughts are that she stuck her hand where it didn't belong but I have no clue. In laws are considered outlaws.

Has anyone had this issue with the constipation?

Also, one of her sons stays there sometimes with his dog and I feel sorry for the dog since they don't properly care for it. Well MIL ended up again with two ticks on her. This is too much. No one will talk up to the brother because he's the one that deals with MIL the most, they don't want to give up a good thing.

Thank yo for letting me vent too

 
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:52 AM   #2
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Re: Feeling Constipated

Can I assume Mom is taking care of her own toileting? There is no one that actually knows if she is having a BM or not? You are just taking her word for all this?

Bowel obsession is very common. We all know that we need to have a BM daily or every other day. The problem is, those with dementia, do not remember. They may have a normal BM, flush, and forget it. Then they think they haven't have a BM and wonder why they have not gone. They go try again and again and again... and that constant straining creates the hemorrhoid problems. Yes, they may use laxatives, enemas, or other way to make themselves go when they have already been.

I went through this with my Mom. She was constipated, needed laxatives, needed enemas, always complaining about her hemorrhoids. It was the number one hot topic for what seemed like forever. I went to stay with her for a weekend and decided to find out what was really going on. She had a good BM. I went to the bathroom with her intentionally and saw it. I needed to know if it was a constipation issue or a memory issue. It was definitely a memory issue! Less than an hour later she was "constipated" again. She was back in the bathroom trying to go. It was obsessive. She had gone but didn't remember and was trying to go again and again. Mom had her her hemorrhoids fixed. Yet with all the straining and trying to go during that time she created new ones. It was always worse when she was alone and had nothing to do.

There is not a lot you can do to make them remember... and if they don't remember they are not going to believe you. You can take her to all the doctors and have all the test, but if she doesn't remember going she will think there is a problem. You MIL, if living alone, has way too much time to obsess about this confabulated problem and yes she can do damage to herself trying to go when she doesn't need to. If MIL is living alone, it is a good signal to you that she needs assistance. If she can not keep up with her bowel movements, then that is not the only thing she is that confused about. She definitely need watching on a consistent basis... not for constipation or possible bowel obstructions... but because her memory issues and judgement has deteriorated.

As for the son, he's taking care of MIL the best he can. If nobody else is going to step up and do it then you have to put up with him and his dog. You can't ask him to take care of MIL and not take his dog. But I have to wonder how well he is taking care of MIL if he is not taking care of his dog. Somebody needs to step in, asses the situation without the blinders of denial, and make some hard decisions about MIL.

Love, deb

 
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:00 AM   #3
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Re: Feeling Constipated

Most days of the week MIL has a caregiver come in. Many days the other son is there too with his dog which he leaves there. The dog has bitten most everyone and he's not taken care of properly. The whole reason they had to get a caregiver is because when MIL called the police they thought she looked abandoned in her home, food boxes everywhere, etc. The other sons and daughter stay with her every third Sunday. By my observations, they only babysit. They don't know her meds and just sit there with her in her room until it's time for them to go to bed. At 3 in the morning she usually wakes them up banging on the door wondering whose in there. They usually go pick up hamburgers for them all to eat and that is all that happens. The caregiver takes her to the dr. about 3 times a week, which I honestly don't understand.
So wouldn't the caregiver know to check her BM? The one son that stays with her has a crazy co-dependent relationship with her. She needs to be in a home with more help and on staff drs but he won't let the other siblings do anything. The daughter has POA but won't step up.

 
Old 12-14-2011, 11:27 AM   #4
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Re: Feeling Constipated

is there not some agency that you can call to come asses the situation!!

 
Old 12-14-2011, 01:04 PM   #5
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Re: Feeling Constipated

she has the visiting angel individual with her 5 days a week and she takes her to the dr. 3 times a week. So wouldn't the dr. request this? Just curious why someone would feel constipated. I don't check how many times I go to the bathroom.

 
Old 12-14-2011, 09:47 PM   #6
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Re: Feeling Constipated

Mitsy.. somebody needs to step up and do what is needed for your MIL. This dysfunctional situation is going to end in a trauma of some kind at some point. No way does your MIL need to be alone. Doctors only know what they are told. Unless somebody sounds the alarm he can only act on what he is being told by your MIL.... and possibly the visiting angel. Has anybody in the family talked to the doctor about Mom's situation? But I do have concerns about the effectiveness of the doctor if he is seeing her that often and doesn't realize there is something major wrong. As for the care giver, it depends on her training and level of knowledge. They come in all kinds. Besides, even if she sees the BM, she will not be able to convince MIL that it was there because MIL doesn't remember. The best she can do is report it to the family. It sounds like most of the family is not concerned with her observations.

As for why someone would feel constipated... a person with dementia doesn't feel like we do. They are in the moment without the logical rational thinking process that we have. The thing that MIL know is that she doesn't remember having a BM. She may have eaten too many cookies and any little twinge become her shoulders and knees can be interpreted as constipation. I have watched Mom go in the bathroom, have a BM, and come out complaining how constipated she is. As I said... it is not a constipation issue it is a memory issue. It can continue until her dementia worsens to the point she doesn't remember that she needs to BM!

It is unfair to your MIL to have her living with a co-dependent son, a dog that bites, and in an unsafe living situation. Yes, she needs to be in a facility or at least have 24/7 help in the home. Somebody has to step up. It is not good enough to just talk about it, somebody needs to do something. If the police have already documented inadequate care a call to your state department on aging or social services would bring the needed action. What does your husband think and say about this situation? Why are they letting one co dependent son dictate to them what to do? Somebody needs to step up.

Love, deb

 
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:14 AM   #7
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Re: Feeling Constipated

Well from what I have seen, the whole family is a bunch of dysfunctionals. The caregiver though well meaning has been around the son that stays there and has been told by him his tales of misery. I feel that they have bonded and that he's her ticket for staying there. He hung around his Aunt until she passed away. He's made himself into a martar. Yes it is good that he is there, but really there is more to it than that. I talk to my husband all the time and mention what I've read and things that need addressing reg. his mom. I truly see that the family are all avoiders. None of them want to deal with this but they won't do the right thing. They think the care that is provided is great by the caregiver. How can it be great, if they don't monitor what is going on? Ughh. When I was told that the son that stays with her may have to move due to his office closing, I thought that it would be beneficial to him and get him a life for a change. All anyone else thinks is that there goes mom's care. I'm just like wow! Heaven forbid anyone of them takes care of me (which I've already experienced and am so disappointed). They mentioned something for after the first of the year, so we'll see. If this does continue, I am definitely looking into social services. Thank you all for your advice.

 
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:30 AM   #8
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Re: Feeling Constipated

To be honest Mitsy, none of us want to deal with this disease.... it is about pulling up our grown up pants and doing what needs to be done. Letting this situation continue is going to lead to disaster. Maybe not today but eventually. I do not believe the co-dependent son being there is a good thing. It seems to be what is allowing this dysfunctional situation to continue. I do hope he has to move and the rest of the family has to deal with MIL!

There is so much potential for disaster. The toileting issues are not the only problems. If MIL is not remembering when she has toileted she is not remembering a lot of other things. She has forgotten how to respond properly. If the son or the care giver ask for money, it is gone. If the house should catch on fire she would more than likely not know how to get out. If she needs something she may wander off and not know how to get back. She can start a fire or flood the house and not know how to stop it or what to do. She can be abused or neglected and she would not know it. It is obvious that her doctor is not familiar with dementia or he is being fooled by those that take her there. The possibilities are scary Mitsy. Do not be surprised if something happens that force their hand... because it will.

My words to hubby would be... pull up your grown up pants and do what is needed... for it is his responsibility as a son regardless of what the "others" do.

Love, deb

 
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:46 AM   #9
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Re: Feeling Constipated

I so agree! I mentioned to the family multiple times that she cannot drive and I mentioned that the dr said she cannot drive, but they didn't want to take away her independence. So she finally hits two cars in one day,Thank God it wasn't a person
Then one day she left the gas on in the house and sister in law came in and opened all the windows, only to get frowned on by the son for sticking her nose in. Yes it is all unhealthy and all I can do is keep plugging my thoughts in and be steady. I hope that one day they can get it together. Because I've been told that it's not my mother, I have separated our family dealings and I usually let my husband deal with his family and I with mine, which is too bad for all. Because the other daughter-in-law and I both have tried to help and have vocalized our concerns and so by doing this we have become the outlaws. The son that lives with MIL has commented on this to her many times and has got her saying it too which makes it difficult for anyone to do anything without her rebelling. Yes, I am hoping that he has to move for his job to take away the factor which is enabling the problems all around. Yes, I have told hubby to step up. I got the hateful look and the silent treatment. Very Adult of Him, but I now know where he gets it from. I am thankful that my own dysfunctional family seems really sane

 
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:12 PM   #10
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Re: Feeling Constipated

I had to chuckle Mitsy. We all have dysfunction in our families but when we see some of the other dysfunction in this world we like our own dysfunction! Hubby does need to get a grip, pull up his grown up pants, and get his head out of the sand huh? Most social services agencies accept anonymous reports. Or one day she is going to do something worse than hit a couple of cars. And it will happen... I just hope that it is enough to shake them and not take a life. If it gets bad... just call the police

Love, deb

 
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:51 AM   #11
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Re: Feeling Constipated

One thing that I am afraid of is that if I call Social Services and they come out there, on the surface things look fine. Thank you so much for your words Deb. It's helped me chill out and know that it isn't me being uptight. Posting helps me let it go for a while. I've also been dealing with a stepson who was locked out of his company and calling me every day for comfort. It's been nice to be finally viewed as a parent by him, but now hubby is jealous. I just told him he's doing what most kids to and that is go to the mother figure. On top of that, a high stress job and I also need to decide whether to have shoulder surgery. I had shoulder surgery on the other shoulder almost a year to the day. I've already met my deductible and doing it now would be less expensive. The Physical Therapist said that I would be heading towards it anyways... All is good and this has helped. Thanks!!

 
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:04 AM   #12
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Re: Feeling Constipated

Sometimes it does seem that crisis are piling on. No, I did not think you are being unreasonable in your concerns for your MIL. As for social services, they don't just look on the surface. They have a report that initiated the investigation so they are not going in blind but know what they are looking for. The police have already found deficiencies.

Hubby jealous of his son turning to his step Mom? Doesn't want to deal with his Mom? Hummmm

Hang in there Life has it's ups and down... and we survive both!

Love, deb

 
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:55 AM   #13
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Re: Feeling Constipated

Well the other day my Husband brought bills from his mom's house, so that I could call his brother's wife, so that she could tell her husband and pass this info on to the sister. One of the bills is the homeowner's insurance that is overdue and will be cancelled if not paid in a couple of days.
In the meantime, MIL had to be taken to the hospital. She was bleeding in her rectum, probably from pushing the imaginary constipation. The hospital even mentioned a transfusion. Obviously if the family can't keep up with the bills and she needs more and more care and she's in the hospital, wouldn't now be a good time to transition her to an AZ unit? How does this work? Everyone's afraid of the fit that she's going to pitch. One of her son's has finally seen that she is about herself and the rest be ... She is telling everyone now that she paid for her home and she's going to stay there. Unfortunately, she can't take care of her bills and her health issues are increasing. What to do?
BIL did get a quote from a home yesterday, just before they found out she had to go to the hospital. Timing?

 
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:10 AM   #14
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Re: Feeling Constipated

Mitsy, you can tell them all that Mom is going to pitch a fit no matter what!! They need to understand that they are not dealing with a rational thinking Mom that used to be. They are dealing with a Mom who has a degenerative brain disease. There will be a day that she doesn't even know her home. I watched my Dad sit in the back yard and ask who owned that nice house. Mom dug in her heels and repeatedly stated that she would never leave home. Even the suggestion caused upheaval. Yet there came a point we didn't have a choice... for their safety and well being. You have to dig in your heel a little deeper and just do it.

It is an easier transition from the hospital to a care facility for many. Once they have to be in the hospital, moving to a care facility is just an extension of the unknown rather than leaving home. The inability to keep up with bills is classic. It shows you that she can not manage the house whole effectively. The constipation issue shows that she can not manage her personal health and well being.

You need to talk to the hospital Social Worker and her physician. They need to know what you see and that Mom is unable to remain at home alone. You need to let them know that Mom needs placement and they will help you work out the details. You should also contact a good elder lawyer to work out all the financial details and make sure the legal paper work is in order.

The family needs to sit down together and work through this. Hubby bringing things to you to pass on to a SIL who will give it to a brother who gives it to a sister just doesn't work. While she is in the hospital, call a family meeting. Make some hard decisions and then stand together as a cohesive group rather than fearing the rants of Mom's Alzheimer's. Know that the fit she is going to pit is not for her own good but a result of the disease... dig in your heel, and do what needs to be done

Love, deb

 
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:23 AM   #15
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Re: Feeling Constipated

Well they already released her. Heavy Sigh
The other brother is looking to press forward on placing her and discuss this with the family.
They trimmed her fingernails (which she keeps sharpened to a point) at the hospital, which tells me they suspect her of digging around for poop.
I am hoping this is going to come to a head soon. They always keep saying after the first of the year and the time has come. Too bad my husband says that she's doing great. BTW I am not pleased with him anyways.
I had surgery on Thursday. After I gowned up, they asked if I wanted my husband to come back there to be with me. He had already left the facility to go look at books. Then on Sunday when it was his turn to watch his mom, I had to be by myself with a banged up shoulder and throwing up. Then he decided he didn't want to be at his mom's and came home at 4 in the morning. I thought it was an intruder. Ughh. So now I have vented my feelings. Yes time has come and I am glad the other brother is trying to push this forward.

 
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