How Do I Get Past the Modesty Issue?
Hi everyone, I was reading the post about incontinence and protective undergarments. My mom has moderate Alzheimers and my Dad was dx'd with Multiple Myeloma last June '04. He was on two chemo therapies that didn't work and just began the last possible chemo drug (Thalidomide)available to him on April 1st.
We know the chances of remission are very slim at this point, but we still have hope. This latest chemo drug makes him extremely fatigued. He lost a lot of weight and eats little. I can usually get him to eat a good breakfast, but after that one meal it's downhill from their. But at least he is drinking a lot of fluids now. One of the major side effects of this drug is constipation. He doesn't have "solid" movements(more like a slurry) (Sorry to be so graphic) but still seems to feel like the bowel doesn't completely evacuate. Almost like the lower bowel gets impacted, but nothing solid seems to form. He recently started using suppositories with minor success. I have to be careful when I give him senokot, because then it cause diarrhea and real loss of control. We will see one Dr. tomorrow, but we don't see his oncologist until the end of May. I will try to find out more how to handle the constipation/diarrhea/loss of control at that time. Also, hopefully by then, we will know if the Thalidomide is slowing the MM progress. (please keep special thoughts for us)
Even though I'm supposed to be the caregiver, my Mom is still able to help with his toileting, believe it or not. She helps to clean him up and wipe him, because he doesn't have the strength or flexibility in his arms like he used to.
If this were my Mother (and eventually it will probably come down to that, I will feel comfortable enough to help her with this aspect, being that it is woman to woman) but THIS IS MY DAD!! I feel embarrassed for him and myself. We do try to make light of the situation, but I think he knows how uncomfortable I feel. I have helped him shower, by placing a towel over his private parts while he is seated on a shower seat and then wash him with the shower wand.
I try to help him maintain his dignity.
But so far, when it comes to him having bowel incontinence and accidents, my mom has helped him more. He does use the protective undergarments, but at times there still is leakage. And now he can't even tell if the urge to go is there or not. I'm sure this is a combination of the chemo, pain medicene (oxycontine & oxycodone....very heavy duty) and of course, the mutiple myeloma itself.
It's like I can handle everything else. Preparing & dispensing medicene for both, getting them to & from Doctor appts. Making calls on their behalf, paying bills. Keeping their medical information updated for each doctor/onc. or VA visit. Make or pick up most of their meals (I'm a terrible cook--but neither have much of an appetite anymore,anyway), picking up prescriptions, keeping watch over them during the day & night. Seeing to every other need I can, but this one issue regarding my father.
How can I get over my stupid modesty issues? I still lock the bathroom door even if I were home alone--LOL
Has anyone else felt this way? How do you overcome it and just do it? I have to put his needs first, but I Thank God that even with my mom's Alzheimer's she is doing everything to help her husband of 55 years and he is so very grateful.
Sorry, this is so long & I'm rambling on here, but as you all know this is a hard journey to walk.
TIA & Blessings to All, katclaws
PS. On a happier note we are expecting our first grandchild--a little girl in July. She will also be my parents' first great-grandchild too. I am praying that my Dad will be with us long enough to see her be born. It is all so bittersweet.