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Debbie53

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Hi,
This is something I haven't seen here yet, but I'm just wondering - does ALS make a person have problems with constipation/diahrrea? My dad seems to spend half his time on the toilet, and makes it clear that things are not ever really "done". Added to this is the fact that he can't really use his hands and you have not a pretty picture. Any ideas? He's a very independent guy and this must be awful for him.
 

rose

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Hi Debbie, I do not think that this is all that uncommon. You should get some suggestions about that from others here. As far as the personal hygiene angle, there is another thread on one of these forums about washlets. The manufacturer is Toto. Basically its a toilet/bidet combo. If you google the name, and search for residential products once you're on their site, you can see the variations of what they offer. Here is a blurb from their site describing one model:


The new S400 Washlet, designed to work exclusively with select TOTO toilets, is our first intuitive Washlet. Experience the ultimate in clean comfort with an automatic, hands-free flushing system and a sensor-activated lid that automatically lifts as you approach the toilet and lowers as you walk away. A convenient, easy-to-use remote control affords you effortless operation of our most luxurious

Washlet model to date. The new S400 offers the following features:

* Auto Flush Activated by Sensors or the Simple Touch of a Button
* Automatic Open / Close Lid Activated by Sensors, or the Simple Touch of
a Button on the Remote Control
* Gentle Aerated Warm Water
* Front and Rear Washing
* Massage Feature
* Warm Air Drying with Variable Three-Temperature Setting
* Automatic Air Purifier
* Heated Seat with Temperature Control
* Convenient Wireless Remote Control with Large LCD Panel
* Docking Station for Easy Cleaning & Installation
* Cleaner, Sleeker Look
* Reinforced Base Plate for Enhanced Durability

How does the Washlet work?
The Washlet is designed to introduce you to a level unprecedented comfort, while delivering on the promise of maximum cleanliness. At your command, an integrated, self-cleaning nozzle extends to release a warm, soothing stream of aerated water to provide the ultimate in personal cleansing.


With something like this, your dad could have some privacy and independence. The remote control can be operated by someone else outside of the bathroom but within the remote control's range. Others here on the forum that have purchased this, or something similar should be able to give you more specific feedback.

I hope this helps some. :)
 

sharonca

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Debbie - I think that this is an issue for PALS. The muscles that help push things along can atrophy. As for the toileting issue. Have you tried getting a bidet toilet seat? I recently got mine and love it. You might try searching on these subjects here on the forum - I know there is information.
Sharonca
 

MtPockets

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Thanks for the info on the S400 Washlet. I had been trying to find something like this. Have a great week.
 

joelc

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I have the Toto Washlet S300 and LOVE it - we got this one because it was cheaper than the S400 and will fit on any toilet. If you are going to do this then I would suggest you start out with an elongated toilet, and get the elongated Washlet
 

Debbie53

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Thanks again!

Wow, I can't believe how many people are ready and williing to help other people on this site! What a Godsend.
 

sharonca

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Try looking at Plumbers Crib web site for Brondell Swash bidet toilet seats. I purchased mine from Home Depot and then found that Plumbers Crib was less expensive. Unfortunately I did the round version and not elongated. Still works great!

Sharonca
 

awieleba

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does insurance pay for this? what is the cost?

april
 

joelc

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Insurance did not pay for mine, it cost $1,100.but it was worth every penny!
 

gbrown

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Debbie53:

In answer to your question about constipation in ALS, most all PALS have constipation. There is a website called Patients Like Me, that each person lists their symptoms on and every one of them (including me) list constipation as one of the symptoms of ALS.

I have found that using CVS brand Laxitive and Stool Softener, 2 pills in the morning and 2 before bed, helps me tremendously. Before starting this my wife was having to give me an enema at least one a week and it was very painful. Hope this helps,
Gordon
 

Al

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As Capt Al would say, guess I'm abby normal. I go twice a day. I still have an appetite and no problems eating anything. I think that helps keep things regular. Cereal, fruit and veggies and meat every day plus a glass of red most days.

AL.
 

brendapals

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Al,

red wine or red pop?

stay happy,
brenda
 

Al

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That would be red wine. Merlot. It helps me to stay happy. LOL.

AL.
 

Mary Helen Barr

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My father was always either constipated or having diarrhea. I think it has something to do with never being able to move. (the paralysis). I was the only one to put him on the toilet every day, and to do the hygiene afterward. We worked out a routine. The last year or so, he would sometimes have this odd diarrhea when not on the toilet, just in his chair, and I would have to go over and clean him and the mess up. I hated it, but I knew he wished it wasn't happening. It was not pretty, and never in my life would I have thought I'd have to do the things I needed to do for him. A bidet would not have been a help for us, but it obviously has been a help to many on this forum. I know this probably wasn't helpful, but I do know how you're feeling. Mary Helen
 

KellyandKay

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ALS directly affects the voluntary muscles, but, ideally, the smooth bowel muscles are not affected. However, constipation is common in ALS, if only as a result of inactivity. As the abdominal muscles lose strength during ALS, "pushing" to assist in elimination is diminished. When my wife began having bowel problems, we first followed the conventional wisdom of her taking fiber laxatives. Her constipation only got worse. She was also having water retention and was on diuretics. Diuretics draw water from all over the body, including from the digestive tract. I found on an ALS web site that fiber can make constipation worse if the person is under-hydrated. We stopped the fiber and switched to another laxative, and her problem got better. Mild laxatives are recommended. If over-the-counter laxatives are not sufficient, prescription medications are available. Glycerine suppositories are helpful, administered on the commode or a short while before, and are much easier than enemas.
 
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