Wednesday, April 23, 2008

All Backed Up

As I mentioned before, mom was experiencing quite a bit of pain in the mornings. She would come out of the bedroom holding her stomach and saying she "needs to go to the hospital," "wants to die," or other ways to describe how much discomfort she was in.

When we went to the doctor (see above link), she said everything was fine. After an ultrasound at the hospital looking for gallbladder issues that didn't show anything, here's what we found:

First, we increased her Prilosec in case it was indigestion.

Next, we bought two sets of increasing large underpants since she complained that they were too tight. Could it be that simple?

What ended up solving the problem? A couple of doses of Ex-Lax. That's right, she was constipated. The doctor had asked about bowel movements in our office visit and I had heard her going to the bathroom just before we went so I told him there wasn't a problem. As her pain continued, I was more aware of monitoring her trips to the bathroom.

Then I remembered something pertinent. A couple of weeks ago, she stopped eating her daily bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. We had started that about six months ago to keep her regular. She became sick of eating it (can't say as I blame her) even though I bought every flavor under the sun, so we started eating other things. That's when I think her system got out of whack.

Now it is back to oatmeal or some other stool softener to prevent this from happening again. We have prescription Miralax here and some Metamucil, too.

Dementia patients have a hard time identifying their ailments. In this case, severe stomach pain was as simple as constipation but it took us two trips to the doctor and hospital before we eventually figured it out!


Cuidado said...

My mom had similar problems. I went to visit and could tell something was wrong but my dad wasn't in tune to it. i discovered it was hemmorhoids and after a round of suppositories all was right again.

Tilly said...

Poor Mum! OJ is also good, though have to say that I rely on porridge too both as a meal supplement and digestion-regulator for Mum! Custard, apple sauce, yoghurt helps to vary it a bit. How are you feeling? Hope you're feeling a bit better too? Tilly x

Ruthie said...

That's good to know -- I'll keep that in mind. We're not there yet, but I want to be prepared. Thanks for sharing your story!

proudprogressive said...

Raison Bran. or all bran in a more tasty cereal could help too.