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Thread: Helping my father with temporary IC

  1. #1

    Default Helping my father with temporary IC

    I originally posted this in the Diapers Forum but someone suggested that I might get more advice if I posted this here.

    I have mentioned before here(on ADISC) that I take care of my disabled father who uses a bedpan. For the last four months and about every 3-6 weeks he goes into uncontrollable diarrhea that lasts about a day. Last night was a particularly bad incident. The first sign is a sour stomach and after 3 hours or so it either comes out while he is asleep or when he thinks its just gas. The doctors say that it is just from whatever infection of the month he has. Any other time he has complete control. I have not sat down and talked with him about protection, but on numerous occasions he has said that he would rather die than wear diapers.

    My plan is to order the free samples and not say anything until they come in. When they do I will sit down with him and explain that I ordered them for when he gets a sour stomach. I will tell him that it is entirely his choice if he wants to wear them when he gets sick and that I won't pressure him in any way. I will also say that I just wanted them around the house just in case he changes his mind(I am hoping that if he doesn't have to ask me to buy them that it will be easier for him to accept having to use them). I will also remind him that he never leaves the house when he gets a sour stomach so no one will ever need to know. I won't mention how much easier it will be for me to clean him up but that will be implied. I want to show as much compassion and understanding that I can.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can better handle this?

    Also, are there any distinguishing labels on the free sample packages that I need to be wary of? We live next door to my mother and I want it to be up to him if he wants her to know. I don't want her to be able to be nosy when the package comes in and find out what they are.

    Finally, is there a particular brand which would be better for bowel IC? Resealable tapes or velcro would be a must since I'm sure he will still want to use his urinal.

    I want to add that my father does not know that I am AB\DL and I am not looking at this as a way of broaching the subject. Also, whatever I get for him will be completely separate from my own supply. The only benefit(besides easier cleanup) that I am looking at for myself is that it might be easier for me to get my own deliveries if he has them coming in too.

    Thank you all in advance for any advice that you can give me.

  2. #2


    I had the same thing with my dad after his prostate cancer was removed. He said the same about diapers to me too. I approached him after his surgery when it was apparent that he was going to be IC & started to tell him about all the options there were out there & also the support groups. I came right out & said I can get him several samples from my own supplies. He was a tad confused as to why I was wearing them so I explained about my herniated disc & the mild IC I would get from it. I skipped telling him about the kink part :P I came across so nonchalant about wearing them it made him real comfortable talking about it with me & excepted that he now had a choice & it was not such a big deal to have to used them. Thankfully as time passes for him he is starting to regain control & only now needs guards.
    Hopefully you can talk to your dad & get the same results I did. Good luck.

  3. #3


    Excellent advice Grizz and glad to hear everything is getting better. The first thing that came to my mind was maybe a support group or even an online one. There are a couple good ones I would suggest (in private) that he can also have some 'personal privacy' from anyone knowing him. More like anonymous advice. Grizz's approach was something I would think is another great way but I don't personally have any experience in that way. It would also be a very personal decision and no one will know his reactions better than you. So basically I just have to 'second' what he said.

    The only other possible thing I could think of is what I take for it that you might be able to ask his doctor on the side if it would be an option for him: Loperamide or maybe the over-the-counter Imodium - but I highly suggest talking over with the doc first. There really isn't any other options any of the Docs or other incon sites really offer. *Good luck and I wish you and your dad the best

  4. #4


    Firstly, go back to your doctor and see if there is a medication that would help your Dad for that 24/36 hours, there may not be one, but it's worth checking out, also see what he thinks about the possibility of using something like immodium. I don't know what meds your Dad is already on, but I wouldn't give him an over the counter drug without first checking with his doctor.

    Older people tend to have a lot of pride and do value their independance a great deal. Many of them see nappies as the beginning of the end of that independance. So however you approach your father, you are going to have to be very diplomatic.

    Let's deal with the easiest bit first, samples or even your own supplies will usually arrive in discrete boxes or bags, with no obvious labels over than postage ones. However if you are worried about it, talk to the people you order from, explain it is for your Father and he doesn't wan't to be embarrassed.

    You will definately need an an adult all in one. You can get some that have a belt,( Tena Flex Belted Briefs (Super) Size Extra Large(20) Case/90 (3 bags of 30): Health & Personal Care), that goes around the waist, the pad itself is then drawn up between the legs and velcroed onto the front, so if your Dad needs to pee it's just a case of taking the front flap down. However, depending on how bad the diarrhea is, they may not offer sufficient cover at the rear. So it might have to be a traditional all in one, which will make taking it off to allow dad to pee a little more difficult, especially as you don't say what form his disability takes. My honest advice would be is that if he will accept a nappy for that 1 day, then I'd try to persuade him to use it for everything for that 24 hour period. Night time will definately have to be a full nappy, I can't really see another option (again if he will accept a nappy).

    If he is adamant that he will not wear a nappy then you are going to have to start thinking about either disposable or washable bed and chair pads, (Caregivers, view TENA products for loved ones with incontinence - TENA), if the problem is as infrequent as you say it is then I would go with disposable. Again you should be able to get samples. You can double them up if you need to, on nights your dad is bad, see if he will accept going to bed in just a pair of briefs or boxers, which will at least lessen the washing. you can als get things like

    You know your Dad better then we do, so only you will know the best way of approaching him. However, start by telling him that no matter what happens at home, that you love and respect him and that you want what is best for him. Try to tell him that you know he doesn't like what happens to him on hi bad 'days', and that you think it could be managed a different way. A way that as stupid as it sounds may give him some dignity back. As tactfully as possible mention adult nappies, continue telling him and re-assuring him it would be for that 1 bad day only and that wearing the for 1 day in 14 or whatever it is, isn't going to make him diaper dependant. Tell him that he can wear his normal clothes over the top (although if he insists on wearing underwear, boxers would be better than briefs, unless he wanted to go out), and he could wear his Pj's or whatever at night (remember nappies can leak so you might want to get some bed pads anyway). At this point you can also discuss how much work it makes for you, but again re-assure him that you are doing this for him and to help him and not make things easier for you.

    Hopefully this sort of approach will work, but if nothing else try to get him to agree to a trial, once he sees the difference they make, he might decide it's a good idea anyway. I know the links I have posted are for Tena, you can of course get the equivalent from other suppliers, who are usually cheaper as well. I did look for these on Tena's USA site, but couldn't find them, they do make cleanup easier, ( Carers, view TENA products for loved ones with incontinence - TENA).

  5. #5


    I probably should have mentioned that he is an amputee. His right leg is gone above the knee and his left leg has atrophied where his range of motion is very limited(it is always bent). He has had several tests done with no conclusive results. When it happens in the hospital he begs for immodium but the Doctors refuse to give it to him because the is usually a faint trace of blood in his stool. At home he takes it anyway even though I try to talk him out of it because of doctor's orders.

    PCBaby, those Tena Briefs look great for the purpose but like you said, I'm not sure if they would be up for the capacity. He only sits in his plastic seat wheelchair and on his hospital bed. We have 7 or 8 hospital grade bed pads(chucks) the we use for cleaning and I put under him at the first sign of trouble. One of the nurses told us to take them because he has MRSA and they have to completely sanitize(even more so than usual) the room after he leaves the hospital anyway.

    I like the idea of a support group. It would be nice for him to have something to get him out of the house once in a while. I have been trying to get him to go to the local senior center for different activities. My brother bought him a fishing rod but he's only used it once(the lake is only a quarter mile from our house). The most that he usually does is ride around the trailer park and go across the street to get cigarettes.

    Thank you all for your advice and support. I will let you know what happens when I finally confront him about it.
    Last edited by JackTheWriter; 26-Sep-2011 at 22:02.

  6. #6


    You didn't mention the MRSA, Jack, it is VERY important you protect yourself from this. If your dad develops any wounds even scrtaches on his body, they should be cleaned and dressed properly. Don't touch them with bare hands, and even if you use gloves, make sure you wash your hands afterwards, ideally with one of the alcohol washes designed to cope with mrsa. If you get a scratch etc, you should make sure it is also cleaned and dressed accordingly. ANy bedding or clothing that comees into contact with any wound shouw be washed at 60c if possible. Mattresses and bed frames should be cleaned using an antiseptic based cleaner. You do not mess around with this bug, it can be a killer. Sorry to sound so melodramatic

    Thanks for the update on your Dad. I agree that trying to get him out for some form of social activity or club will only be good for him. If the one leg is permanently bent it sounds as if he has some form of stricture or scarring, which is the common cause of such things.

    As far as the immodium goes, if he does have blood in his stool, that isn't bright red, then you really should discourage him from taking it. If his stool has what looks like tar in it or has a tarry appearance he should really get it checked out as a matter of urgency.

  7. #7


    Have you tried the Boots slip on diapers? my grandad has very bad bowel problems and cant move his legs that well, if he moves he can go 1 metre at max before he has to sit, so he uses these boots diapers, they hold really well and they absorb the smell so it doesn't smell that bad until you actually take the diaper off or there's the possibility of getting him a toilet chair, just lift and shit.

  8. #8


    I don't think Boots diapers are available iin the USA - but that shouldn't be a problem because there is probably a much bigger range of products readily availaqble there and there will be good alternatives. In response to this post on the other forum it was noted that this is not so much about practicalities, as about helping the IP's father cope emotionally with a set of limitations and needs that are very challenging and only now are being fully revealed in this thread. I reckon Jackthewriter needs a medal and some support himself because he is doing a hard job with compassion and understanding. In terms of practicalities it might just be that a pad that fastens in or is located by underwear would be more "sellable" to dad as a precaution against the irregular bowel problem as it would be very easy to still use a urinal and not in any way carry a message that the pad was for pee. Something like this: Abri-San Special - Heavy Fecal Incontinence It may sound over-optimistic but could a "It's your problem dad - how do you suppose we solve it?" approach might work?.

  9. #9


    Hi Dayannight,
    those are the type of pads I'm currently being provided with by the nhs for urinary IC, I think they would be good during the day, but am not sure about night time, if it was just an ordinary bowel motion I'd probably say try them, but as "he goes into uncontrollable diarrhea", I think an all in one is probably going to be the better choice.

  10. #10


    Well, I ordered the Tena Briefs Sample. Had to get the stretch since the flex belted was not an option for the sample. I hope I got the right size, I went for XL. My father is slightly bigger than me and the Depends maximum protection Large only fit me with duct tape(does make a nice snug fit though, no leaks except for the first night)

    A pad would not have worked because he doesn't wear underwear and to remove his shorts he has to roll on his side. I was surprised that it takes up to 5 weeks for the sample. I hope there are no incidents before they come in but if there is, I think I'll use that as an opportunity to tell him what I ordered.

    Thank you all again for your advice and support. I will keep you posted

    ---------- Post added at 19:25 ---------- Previous post was at 19:15 ----------

    PCBaby, yes I am very careful when dealing with any sores. When I was doing wound care daily I would wash my hands before and after with soap, wear gloves, use hand sanitizer afterwards and my after wash would be with near scalding water. I'm too young to be having to deal with that for the rest of my life. The only good thing that comes from the MRSA is that it ensures that he gets a private room in the hospital.

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