Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
URGENT - Hospice patient - please help regarding inoperable large colon polyp
avatar
An_250735 posted:
My FIL has late stage Alzheimer's is on hospice and has lived here in our home with my wife and family for the last 5 years. He is bed ridden and has multiple other medical conditions. We see to his every need happily.

One of the other medical issues he has is an inoperable colon polyp. He has had it for many years. It is too large to remove without doing a resection of the intestine which we determined that he would not survive if attempted. If we had opted for the surgery and he did survive it, his cognitive skills would not permit him to do the necessary rehab following surgery, so we remain between a rock and a hard place.

With the large polyp he has had loose stools and sometimes explosive diarrhea for the past many years. He often will not have any bowel movement for 3-4 days and then have the diarrhea.

We are not crazy about the hospice agency we are working with. They come in an make rash decisions to do this or that without really knowing his patterns. Some of those recommendations have made his bowel symptoms worse such as putting him on laxatives during the days he is constipated which causes more diarrhea when he finally does have his stools. Then they suggest immodium which makes the stool free days worse and longer as well. It seems like we are in a vicious cycle. We are posting this to see if someone might have a suggestion. Again, it feels to us that hospice doesn't really care about figuring out something else that will help comfort my FIL in all this. Literally, we stood at his bedside for three hours in one stretch as we attempted putting a new diaper on him.. The stool just kept coming. We'd get him cleaned up with clean bedding, disposable pads, barrier cream and diaper all in place to have more stool seeping out in mass. For the last 36 hours this has been the norm, in bowel coming continually for these many hours. He appears fine, however. He doesn't appear to feel sickly as one would expect after a diarrhea bout when one has the flu, for example. Based on past experience he will go stool free for the next 3 days.

If anyone has any suggestions we would greatly appreciate it.
Reply
 
avatar
georgiagail responded:
How severe is his constipation?

I ask this because if your father in law is not eating very much he may not be producing much stool and thus may be making everyone believe he is constipated when he is not. Thus, the laxatives, the diarrhea, the immodium, the constipation, the laxatives, etc..

He already has a history no bowel movement for 3-4 days. This sounds like his normal pattern which is being disrupted by the laxative/immodium routine.

Ask the hospice agency to back off from these meds.

Gail
 
avatar
jimzippo replied to georgiagail's response:
After a full 72 hours of non-stop diarrhea we took him of hospice and to the hospital. He tested positive for C-Diff. The immodium and laxatives hospice was having us give him was making everything worse. Docs think he can be taken off hospice for awhile anyway. He is doing much better. Thanks so much for the response. Turns out it didn't have anything to do with the colon polyp after all. I was concerned it was a sign of full blown colon cancer since they weren't able to get the polyp.

Again, thanks for the reply.
 
avatar
georgiagail replied to jimzippo's response:
C-Difficile Colitis...depressing common!

Good news that he is being taken off hospice for a while. We went through the same thing with my father in law.

Gail


Helpful Tips

giving blood saved my life
My iron count was too low to give blood. This can come from internal bleeding. I jumped my colonoscopy schedule by 2.5 years. They found a ... More
Was this Helpful?
2 of 2 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems to the
Food and Drug Administration

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health Gastrointestinal Cancer Center