Let's face it, sometimes the last thing we want to talk about is our bathroom routine. It's a taboo subject, but we all do it. However, for those with spinal cord injuries or other medical conditions, having a reliable bowel management routine can drastically improve confidence, independence and overall quality of life. Online medical supply stores are a great place to look for bowel maintenance tools that may not be available in your local stores.
In many studies bowel management consistently tops the list of concerns of individuals with spinal cord injuries. 40% of those with spinal cord injuries spend over an hour on their current routine. With the right tools and products, it is possible to regain your independence and confidence while reducing time spent in the bathroom. The goal of a good bowel management routine is to manage your bowels, and not have your bowels manage you.
How to Have a Bowel Management Routine:
The Right Time: We've heard it a million times, timing is everything. When establishing a bowel management routine, timing IS everything. Pick the same time every day to do your routine, and stick with it. Remember that it can take up to two weeks for your body to get used to your new routine.
The Right Supplies: A lot of bowel management routines involve the use of laxative suppositories. Check with your doctor to see if this recommended for your situation. Most laxative suppositories contain the active ingredient, Bisacodyl, a laxative that works by stimulating the intestines to produce a bowel movement and usually works in 15 minutes to an hour.
Suppositories have traditionally been vegetable oil-based (hydrogenated vegetable oil). They offer affordable and reliable results, but sometimes take up to an hour to start working.
Magic Bullet Suppositories, however, are a good alternative to oil-based suppositories. Magic Bullet Suppositories are different because they are water-soluble (polyethel glycol). They start working in as little as 15 minutes because unlike traditional oil-based versions, the active ingredient doesn't have to "melt" before making contact with the intestinal walls. Another fast-acting choice is CEO-TWO suppositories. The CEO-TWO suppositories use a combination of Potassium bitartrate and Sodium bicarbonate, start working within 30 minutes and feature a longer shelf-life (up to 3 years).
The Right Equipment: Using a suppository by yourself can get a bit tricky, luckily there are tools like suppository inserters and bowel stimulators on the market that do the work for you and the best part is that they are designed especially for those with limited mobility.
- Suppository Inserters: These make it possible to insert the suppository to the proper depth with ease and without assistance (in some cases).
- Bowel Stimulators: These can be purchased separately or some models have a combination inserter/stimulator. The stimulator replaces the need for digital stimulation and again, can be done without assistance.
Like Thomas Edison said, "Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." So, don't give up on establishing a routine that works for you.