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Topic Dissolving stools in toilet Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By Tara On 2009.04.12 22:14
Okay, I know this is a seriously disgusting topic, so I gave it a seriously disgusting title in order to ward off any unsuspecting readers.

Dad is clogging up the toilet big time now. Every bowel movement he has now is almost impenetrably hard and almost impossible to dissolve. This is a very recent development -- just in the past couple of weeks. I don't know the cause -- there's been no change in his medication or diet.

In the past, it was enough to just pour Clorox bleach into the bowl, leave it overnight, and flush it in the morning -- no problem. But now, even that is not enough. I've been in this new place only one week, and I've already had to call out a plumber to unstop the toilet. The plumber costs $90 a pop. At this rate, we'll be calling them about 2 or 3 times per month.

Can anybody recommend something besides Clorox to dissolve stools so they won't clog the toilet? Thanks!

By annwood On 2009.04.12 22:41
I don't know of anything that will dissolve stool but you might want to try a stool softener on your Dad.

I had the same problem but never called a plumber. You can purchase a toilet plunger at the hardware store for under $10.00. Very good exercise for the arms. Since you mention being in a new place you probably have one of the toilets that contains about a cup of water for each flush. I would also use a small bucket to add additional water to the bowl. Good luck!

By Tara On 2009.04.12 23:29
Ah, yes, the plunger. Tried it. Good cardio workout for me, but unfortunately it did nothing for the clog. I'm putting Dad on Dulcolax again, but it didn't work the first time, so it might not again. He has to see his GP on the 29th. Is there a prescription laxative that would work? Or would his neuro be better for this? He sees him on the 17th.

By Pearly4 On 2009.04.13 05:47
Equally disgusting warning -- we tried prescriptions, and stuff too and what time was saved plunging the toilet was spent cleaning the floor, changing clothes, etc.! Try some of the other topics on constipation and Parkinson's and you'll find them much easier on the system and they work. It only took a switch to daily prune juice, with high fiber cereal to solve our problem. Others have used a tea and some fruits mixes, natural remedies., etc. Good luck!

By lbellomy On 2009.04.13 09:54
Warning some of this may be gross. Annwood's idea of adding water is good. Try adding water as soon as you push down the flushing lever. This is what I do. I have just recently started cleaning my husband every time after bowel movements. I flush the stool, then wipe him and flush the paper separate. Oh yeah, I do plunge the toilet frequently also. It was embarrassing when this happened at the doctor's office. Annwood, did I read somewhere that the muscles do not work so that the stool is actually larger in diameter?

By caregivermary On 2009.04.13 09:57
First for the toilet-to unplug, I use large containers of very hot water. After pouring it in the toilet, let it sit for a few minutes and then plung. This may take several times to work. Also, once unplugged, have your Dad (or you) continuously flushing the toilet as he is using it.

Second-Colace was recommended by my husband's Dr. and using it with double fiber bread/muffins, apples/applesauce, and salads worked for my husband. Of course, the salad is finely chopped. Tried the coconut oil and other natural products and no positive result. As with other issues, I think you have to keep trying different things until you find the right recipe for your Dad. Drinking a lot of water during the day should help too.

Just call me Mary the plumber, Mary the computer tech, Mary the accountant, Mary the tv/remote/dvr/dvd repair person, etc. etc. etc. Yesterday, I was the plumber twice and the remote control repair person once. Today is a new day!

By annwood On 2009.04.13 11:00
I think the bowel problem is very common in PD. The muscular action of the GI system is slowed so the stool builds up and hardens as it absorbs the water in the gut. Increased fluid intake is essential but not easy to do when the pt is experiencing swallowing problems. The colace helps in addition to fluid intake and high fiber foods. Despite all of this the stool may still be very hard and large. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to try to pass this!

Do use the hot water and plunge, plunge, plunge. It may take several tries.

I don't remember MJF mentioning this!

Just for fun caregivers need to devise a list of all the newly acquired skills.

By Mary On 2009.04.13 11:30
My Dad uses a stool softner and Citrucel. We now have a nice chocolatey soft serve type stool. Before that, however, I also plunged and had blisters on my hands from doing so and splashed poop water everywhere, not to mention the smell.

By chacha53 On 2009.04.13 12:20
My husband uses Miralax, not a laxitive just a stool softner. The directions is use three times a day , but he only uses it once in the morning and it does the trick.

By bandido1 On 2009.04.13 15:26
I will proxy for M. J. Fox and myself on the ever popular TV Talk Show Topic "Stool Softeniing Made Easy".

When constipated I do one of the following --sometimes more than one:

Drink more liquids and eat more high fiber foods.
3 capsules of 100 mg docusate sodium Stool Softener.
4 capsules of extra virgin,certified organic coconut oil
1 or 2 capsules of 5 mg (adult) Dulcolax

More disgusting choices:

Flush before wiping
Use 7 sets of 2 sheet 2 ply t.p. (for you Charmin and Angel Soft junkies)
Break out the Bounty Quicker Picker Upper --it doesn't seem that coarse.
Buy a 12 inch cerated knife and use it on the stools--not the patient.

Cauition: Do not send this to Oprah,Dr. Phil, Larry King, Letterman or Leno. It will probabaly gross them out. But we can handle it (no pun intended). Bob C

By lynn On 2009.04.13 20:27
Tara-welcome to the club! We've been plunging for several years. My husband was on 17 gm daily of glycolax (now over the counter). We were plunging but at least he was going. His neurologist said he didn't want him on the glycolax long term and recommended prune juice. This has worked like a charm. my husband is constipated so I started him on 12 ounces in the a.m. After 4 days he had an accident so I've backed off to 8 ounces daily. I also give him about 5 ounces of fruit juice only after he's finished the prune juice. We rarely need to plunge. Success! Never thought something like this would bring me joy.

By pikleine On 2009.04.13 21:57
lynn so true about this bringing you joy. We have tried just about everything and usually nothing works. I usually have to give my husband an enema before he can go, but on the rare ocassion he goes without one we get soooo excited. Funny how some of the strangest things will get you excited when batteling PD.

By annwood On 2009.04.13 23:48
Funny how such a topic can bring humor into our lives. When I speak to PD groups I tell them it is important to find some joy in your life. Some pretty funny things can happen while caregiving - even better if we can get the pt to also laugh.

By tryinghard On 2009.08.01 22:58
I have the exact same problem with my dad. His stool comes out the size of soda cans. Sorry for the visual. Stool softeners work but it's hit or miss. Sometimes it's just right other times I'm cleaning up bedsheets, the floor and him.

p.s. I'm soooooo glad I decided to check out this forum! As I sit here reading through postings I can't believe I'm not alone ( silly of me to think I was, it just feels that way!!!!)

By karolinakitty On 2009.08.02 05:13
I have to agree with the first flush then wipe flush...In the 'Burgh we called it a "courtesy flush" mostly to help avoid the "odors" in public restrooms, but i found it worked for a woman i used to care for at her home. I swear she had the thickest i had ever seen. Since i had to walk her anyway and was there, i started flushing after she first sat down. sometimes it took three flushes but no plunging, with todays water savers it just makes sense. I don't believe in laxatives on a regular basis for it messes with the natural order of things. Natural fibers are the best to keep the system going......

By WitsEnd On 2009.08.03 13:39
Try watching diet. Eliminating or reducing some foods (in addition to adding fiber) may help. Benefiber is tasteless and goes in just about any drink.

By BDumler2 On 2009.11.16 04:14 [Edit]
I was having the same problem with my Mom. I found something on the internet that works really really well. First, turn the incoming water to the toilet off and put some liquid soap in toilet. Wait about 15 minutes (sometimes I don't even wait). Take apprx 1/2 to 3/4 bucket of water and pour into the toilet from waist high. It will force it down. It usually takes about 3 buckets of water but it works. Only once have I had to use more than 3 buckets. It has never failed me. Once it goes down freely you can turn the water back on. I have never had to call a plumber.

I have since started my Mother on Miralax as suggested by her Doctor. Once I got her regular I give her a smaller dose apprx. every other day to keep her regular. You have to experiment as to how she is going. If the stool is too soft I skip it for a couple of days or more. You just have to experiment. Everyone is different. I put it in her coffee and there is no taste and she is much happier.

By Emma On 2009.11.16 05:59
And I thought I was the only one who had this problem! We are currently using a combination of Miralax and glycerin suppositories. As a last resort I will give my husband an enema but that usually results in a big mess so I avoid it if possible. It seems like something will work for a while and then we're back to square one. I have a bucket in my husbands bathroom that has a plunger and a paint stirrer in it (to break up the stool). He jokingly calls it my shit kit. We've never had to call a plumber but I've had to clean up a lot of messes.

By overwhelmedinFL On 2009.11.16 09:12
Is my mom the only one with the opposite problem? My sh*t kit is a change of clothes, wipes, plastic bags etc. I have to take it with me everytime we leave the house in case she has an accident.

Is constipation more common with PD than the opposite? My mom had her GB out 15 or so years ago so maybe that plus her diet is what causes hers.

By Emma On 2009.11.16 09:34
Actually we have both problems. We carry a change of clothes everywhere we go.

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