Bowel Program timing

Bowel Program timing

Posted by Dan_2150103 on Jun 27, 2013 7:02 am

By way of introduction, I am the primary care giver for my wife who became a paraplegic in early March as a result of medical procedure.  After a stay in Spaulding Hospital in Boston (great place) of a couple of months we are now home to a newly renovated downstairs living space in our house. 

We have been working on the bowel program for the whole time and it has had its ups and downs.  We recently switched from the "Magic Bullet" to "Enemez" and found it faster and more reliable.  

Our current schedule is to give the "Enemez" every 24 hours early in the morning.  However, her bowels seem to have a mind of their own as they have been producing a substantial BM around eight to nine in the evening with no in between "accidents".  When the "Enemez" is given a little feces results but that is it.  

Thus we get a 24 hour window of no accidents, but the results do not seem to be being dictated by the treatment.  By the way, this schedule is a vast improvement over what we had in the past-- which was unpredictable to say the least.

My immediate question is should we just adjust the schedule to the current reality or get the current reality to adjust to the schedule (and how to do that).

Any comments and suggestions would be appreciated.


RE: Bowel Program timing

Posted by Sandra_2150710 on Jul 16, 2013 7:04 pm

Last year I had a colostomy done as part of a flap procedure for a pressure sore.  i wish they had done one in the operating room the day after my accident.  I don't understand why they are not the basic standard of care.  My bowels move regularly, changing the bags takes minutes rather than the 45 minutes a day I was spending (not always successfully) with the bowel program.  No accidents, no bloating, no constipation.  If I need to, I use an easily placable suppository (maybe 4 times in the last 9 months).  I feel better and I am healthier.

RE: Bowel Program timing

Posted by A-T Broughton on Jul 23, 2013 12:29 pm

And here's the other end of the spectrum:  March is not very long ago, and a lot can happen in the way of recovery yet for your wife.  You and she are so very in the early stages, believe me. As my husband got better, he began having more sensation, albeit faint, in his bowels, letting him know bit by bit, over a couple years, when he needed to go.  The accidents stopped with the addition of extra fiber into his diet.  Then his therapist had an idea:  if by following the impulses in his legs etc and stimulating them, and getting more response, why couldn't we do that in his bowels?  So we began signalling my husband during digital stim to "do more of that" or "that's it, do that!"  Because he never had any feedback, he had no idea what he was doing. The faintest impulses soon became function, and now he not only knows when he has to go, but can move his bowels completely volitionally.  It took some patience, and there were days when he needed help, but it's about 99%.

His level of injury is C7/T1.

Good luck!


RE: Bowel Program timing

Posted by linda on Jul 23, 2013 7:45 pm

Sandra, I had a colostomy after skin flap surgery as well. My pressure sores were a result of sitting on a commode. Also the pressure sores might have been in part due to caring for my two babies by staying up at all hours and carrying then on my lap. Pryor to the colostomy I did the bowel program every other day with the suppository and disimpaction . It was horrible ! And often after the whole procedure I would have a terrible accident while up and dressed. I was so sick of it that after my skin flap surgery I tearfully begged a surgeon to do the colostomy. I am so grateful that he agreed. I had the colostomy about 12 years after my accident that caused my T4 complete spinal cord injury. It's been 21 years with the colostomy. I am so happy that I had the colostomy. It has made my life so much easier. As far as I'm concerned the loss of control of bowl and urinary function is the worst part of being paralyzed. I also have an ileal conduit, a urinary diversion. Because my spinal cord was severed in the accident and my paralysis is complete I realistically doubt that I will ever recover any sensation, making my decision much easier . All the best to you, Linda

RE: Bowel Program timing

Posted by Deryn on Jul 25, 2013 3:41 pm

Hi, Some of you know me and Dr, Dan has agreed that I can use some of his posts. I am writing a book from the view point of a caretaker. A young wife. I thought of including what you write in the text of the book. I would either use your real name or initials or a fake name. In any case I will give you credit in the ackknowledgements. What you all said here is perfect for me or you can also tell me your stories, the whole story. I would be so appreciative. I admire you all more than I can say.  If you copy your post and email me with it or write me your story you can send it to You can go on my website and see the other book I have written and even read a chapter of them to see the quality of my work. I have had good reviews which you can see on Amazon. Thank you so much. I hope some of you will agree. Thank you. Deryn

Re: Bowel Program timing

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