Friday, October 11, 2013

Impatient to Pee

        Welcome to day 12 ( I can't believe it is already day 12) of The Nester's challenge. To read the other posts of my 31 Days of Practicing Patience, go here. Now on to a mildly uncomfortable topic. 

    This is one of those topics that no one wants to talk about. Toileting! I read a caregivers blog recently where he referred to it as Waste Management. It is just one of the necessary evils of taking care of a patient at home. Not something that most people think about unless they have done it themselves. I guess I can consider myself lucky that I am a nurse. I know how to deal with this. I know what to expect. Except that hasn't really helped me. It is much different when it is going on in your own home. When it is 'your' chair that is being peed upon. Or you are the one hurrying down the hallway to the bathroom and know that you are not going to make it in time. But I have some suggestions to help with becoming more patient in this area of care giving. Now I need to practice them!

  • It is possible that they just don't realize they need to go to the bathroom. We watch for the subtle signs that let us know. Richard starts to shake his foot when he is in the recliner. When he is at the table he starts to fiddle with the brakes on the wheelchair. Learn to see the signs and then take off for the bathroom or the commode.
  • Try to establish a routine. I am very lucky in that Richard is very regular when it comes to bowel habits (I know, I know TMI) We offer the bathroom or the commode always before and after meals and just before bedtime. This is the times that all us REUGLAR people will your loved one.
  • Accept that accidents are going to happen. I have to remind myself that he sure isn't doing this on purpose. The 'old' Richard, the one before dementia, would be horrified. Heck, he wouldn't even go to the bathroom at a public place. And it is so important to protect his privacy. Sometimes we just have to ask others to leave the room so that he can use the commode. (He would be further mortified to know I was writing about it on my blog, but maybe someone else can be helped by this.)
  • Try to avoid being's not his fault. Find something funny and laugh about it. Make a joke and get him to laugh with you. That will give you time for the anger to dissipate. Try it!
  • Do not limit fluids during the daytime to try to avoid incontinence. Keep them hydrated. It doesn't hurt though to limit the fluids a couple of hours before bedtime to cut down on night trips to the bathroom or incontinence.

     I think toileting is probably the one area that I find my patience leaving me quickly. If I can conquer toileting, I can conquer the world. Any tips you can offer I will be forever grateful. And I will become the QUEEN of the commode.   

(I wrote this blog post in advance and we have since had a catheter placed to keep his bladder drained. He developed urinary retention and could not go 'at all'. You would think that this would have given me some relief from the toileting problems but it has not. He hates the catheter. He cannot remember that he has one and is constantly telling me he needs to go to the bathroom. I remind him that he has the catheter, only to have him ask again very soon. We have had to switch his meds around to try to relieve some of the anxiety and that has caused him to either sleep all the time or be even more confused than he was before. There is just no happy medium in this roller coaster ride that we are on.)


  1. Your right, it is much harder when it is your home. I definitely don't like going to public bathrooms unless its an emergency.

    1. That is how Richard feels. I don't care where I pee! Ha Ha

    2. Your a nurse, you are used to "go when you can". I have gotten over it a little bit, there are still certain bathrooms I will not visit because of grossness.


I love to hear what you might think. Leave me a comment. I guarantee though that I will delete your comment if you are just here to cause trouble. So tread lightly!