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Distinguished member
Aug 10, 2005
Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the colder air...

I have some questions and would appreicate any help you can give:

Dad seems to have had a really bad weekend. First of all we have a new puppy that is very good and that he loves a great deal. However, between this and a full house this weekend he was not a happy camper. Dad has been feeling constipated the last few weeks. He is not getting to much exercise with all of this rain, eating things that are really not that great for him, and just stressed about life...

He ate a great deal of meatballs, pasta, sauce, avacodo dip, peppers, chocalte,brownies, coffee, and chips... This constipated him more and caused him to over react and force himself to go to the bathroom to the point that he said he sent his body in a panic state and was shaking... What can we do to help?

Then that evening he had really bad chest pain behind his breatbone, a pain in his arm muscles, berping, passing gas, and a nasty taste in his mouth... He did not sleep well at all and of course with all of this going on his walk was so stiff he fell in front of a room full of people and he was even more tight and anxious...

Yesterday more heartbutn on and off... Nasty taste in his mouth, coughing, and burning throat and very tired all day...

Today he is pretty normal...

What could this have been and what can we give him to help him out?
depends alo on current meds

Sounds like a great party!

This was the norm 4 me for 3-4 months last year. The dang pain meds messed my digestion system up. even now i can not tollerate excedrin,and other meds.

each time i empty my bowels completly it takes 4-5 days to get right with the universe. for quick relief i take 1 diazapam and i can at least feel comfortable that day(I dont use it often)>

Hi there. If your dad is on any pain meds they will bung him up. Tylenol is one of the worst. Stress can cause all sorts of bowel problems. Thinking about the coming party might have stressed him more than you or he realized. Prune juice or peach nectar helps me. Or a good feed of corn on the cob with lots of butter. Not very scientific but works for me. AL.
Keeping the bowels runnin' .............

Here are a few more suggestions:

1 tbsp ground flax per day, either on cereal, ice-cream, pudding, or whatever. Ground flax has several other benefits as well. I love it!

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" also has great merit. However, apples can be boring, so perhaps slice them in paper thin slices and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Beets and corn do work wonders.

Bran buds mixed with other cereals aren't bad. Bran muffins are super!

Orange Metamucil in orange juice is quite okay.

I would suggest the secret is to have a bit of variety, and serve the foods in forms that are not boring. That does not mean a lot of time spent cooking, but a little creativity takes the boredom and humdrum out of 'bulk foods'.

Parties are great fun. Encourage them.

Good luck!

I would suggest prune juice for the constipation.Doesnt taste real good but works wonders for my husband.
Also would suggest peppermint candy for the indegestion.
May sound strange but it really works for him better than any medication we have tried.
well, it seems to me that even very healthy individuals eating that variety of peppers, pastas, brownies, coffee...etc would indeed have indigestion as well. i have taken the route of eating :easy: foods.... and for the constipation a good spoonful of olive oil goes a long way... but most any remedy will work. i think the clue here is moderation aand common sense....
I found ginger pills available in the health food store or any big pharmacy helped with indigestion. I used to get it bad from the wife's turkey stuffing and a ginger capsule would cure it in about 20 minutes. Sometimes when I knew I was going to eat food that was going to give me grief later I would take the capsules about half an hour before eating and that worked pretty well.
To go or not to go , That is the question..

I find it hard to know how much prune juice to take to get normal reaction. When I was at my Neurologist last week she recommend an over the counter pill only have to take 1 to 2 times a day to keep regular. I just add it to my regular meds for the day and it has already worked pretty well. It's called Peri-Colace. I just bought the pharmacy brand since it was cheaper. Cost about $7 for 250 tablets.
Might be another idea to consider for all us irregular folks.
God Bless,
Big AL:mrgreen:
Thanks all of you for your suggestions... Dad is doing better the last two days... Not 100% but better....

He still seems to be a bit hard sort of speak and this of course and I am sorry to be so outspoken but I am not cetain of any other way to put this. He now has upset the hemmroid that he had back a few years ago. So now we have some bleeding issues... More fun but he has some medication for this...

His big fear is due to the fact that he never sufferef from heartburn he is scared that the pain could have been something with his heart itself. Of course he was reading the net and saw that his arm hurting was not so good. We reminded him that it was his bicep that hurt and that he was having the repeat of the food. We offered to take him to the doctor but he says no he is fine now... However I am now nervous and want to ask if this is something we should ignore and chalk up to stress, eating bad, and heatburn... I mean is this a common sympton of ALS?

The only other thing that he has once and awhile is this cough when he eats anything that is even a little spicy.... Is this ALS or heatburn and if so is this something to worry about and needs attention right away?

Thanks again and I hope that everyone is doing well
Pain in the chest

Any pain in the chest radiating down an arm should show cause for concern of a possible heart attack, however I do not know if other pals have had these symptoms but I have spasms of the esophagus and they hurt so bad I can not talk. I went to the hospital a couple of times when I had these and they helped me understand it was not my heart. I have had these for past 2 years probably about 2 times a month. They come and go just like every other symptom.

I'm lucky in a way as my heart the dos say is more to the right side of my chest for some reason and these esophageal spasms are directly in the center. I usually sip small amounts of water and be completely still for awhile until they pass. They hurt as bad as a real heart attack and can fool even some young doctors until they put you on the electrocardeogram, and then they know it's no heart attack.

The first time I had a really bad one my wife rushed me to the er, the nurses and doc rushed me back and started hooking up all the testing equip, and I was crying in pain doubled over holding my chest , after about 5 minutes of them working on me I let out a real loud burp. Amazing pain was gone. So embarrassing.

However I never take chest pain lightly. My grandfather had just finished eating supper and complained of chest pain so took some baking soda, (years ago before alka selzer), and he died from massive heart attack. So just be cautious on the safe side.

God Bless,
Big AL:)
I'd agree with Big AL. Any chest pain lasting more than 15 minutes and radiating into the jaw and down the arm is cause for concern. Especially if there is a history of heart disease in the family. I've had a quad by-pass but never had a heart attack and do occasionally get chest pain. Usually if I think back it is from doing something silly like trying to throw the ball too hard for the dogs or lifting something too heavy. It is easier to stretch and hurt the muscles than it used to be. I'd mention the incident to his GP and he may give him an ECG to see if in fact he had a mild incident.
Wouldn't hurt to try the ginger pills if he's going to be eating spicy food. It works wonders for me. AL.
Please Respond ER, Doctor or wait

Yes dad goes to the ALS clinic next friday and until then we are keeping an eye on it all... Do you think that this is cause for an immediate appointment with the doc? Dad tends to over react so it is hard with him. This is a man that is used to not even a cold so when something out of the norm happens he is not sure what on earth it is or how to explain.

Dad takes high blooed pressure medication.. He has that BP problem that it can be real low, perfect, or way to high...

He seems fine the past few days.

He also although will not admit it we notice that when he eats hot things he coughs, dry things with lots of pepper he coughs not a great deal but a an irratated cough. He says I must have a cold... No it means you are eating to fast and or not drinking enough and you should not be doing this.

I need to ask what we need to be careful for. Dad can eat just about whatever he wants when he wants. However, on days he is tired or off he will cough from time to time. Other days he can eat as fast as a kid and all is fine not a cough... However, always when he eats he has to clear his throat before he speaks or it will sound gurgled. Am I over racting or is this yet another ALS sympton. I mean depending on what I eat I have to clear my throat first as well... See I let my mind get the best of me and then I worry and get him streesed and worried...

Hi Jen. I don't honestly know what to tell you about whether he needs a quick appointment or not. Not knowing him kind of makes it difficult to offer advice on something like that. If he gets the pain again I'd pack him off to the doctor. Sounds like you have a pretty good idea what his eating habits are like and I'd say just keep an eye on him that he doesn't choke. Coughing is one thing but choking is a whole different ball game. Try not to worry (not easy I know) but as you say if you get stressed it stresses him and you both don't need that. Caregivers have to look after themselves too. Take care. AL.
Jen, what would you think of calling Home Health out to access you dad? Your doctor could write out an order for this. I did this for LB about a month ago and it helped us get on track with some things. A speech therapist can come and help your dad learn to improve his eating and drinking methods. LB was putting way to much liquid in his mouth and we did n't even recognize it. Simple things like cutting the straw in half so he would not have to sip as hard made drinking easier. Also, it you use a flex straw it is easy to pinch and control how much liquid goes in. A PT and OT also came out and offered some guidance. Not only did they help LB they also helped me learn how to help. It might be worth a try. It is covered under Medicare.

Good luck,
I am scared of aspiration

Thanks for responding AL and Terri

Dad goes to the ALS clinic next week and we will meet all the people you metioned Terri. Honestly dad does not have any problems with eating. A few times I would say perhaps in the last six months three times he chocked on something and it was the obvious reasons... He was not in a good position sitting back and eating, stuffed a whole piece of italian bread and eggplant parm on it, and another time he was yelling at the game at the same time... So these are things that are pretty normal... The part that worries me is this little cough he does at night.

This is my real question:

What is aspiration and when do you have to be concernd about this?

Dad eats and while eating he is pretty much fine. He does not eat and talk at the same time for the most part he does not like to and never has... During eating he will let out a few little coughs but really when you watch him it is due to how fast he eats... Then we have the issue that when he does talk after eating he has that guggled voice until he clears his voice. Lastly in the evening from like 8pm - 10pm he will let out a few coughs and they sound sort of wet not dry, not barking wet... Then at around 10pm he will go to the room and get ready for bed and all is good... The only problem is having to pee a couple of times during the night...

So with this being said is this cause for concern on aspiration or aspiration phnenoma?

Thanks in advance for any response.

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