Totally Stumped????

  1. Hi everybody!

    Just curious. I had a patient last week, 38yo admitted with constipation. She claimed that she had not had a BM in more than three months. She was a walkie-talkie. Not paraplegic or anorexic. Only used Gracol andTylenol ES for pain, cramping and nausea r/t constipation, no narcotics. She said that she had had no problems up unitl a year ago when she had diarrhea x2mos then the constipation started. It was reportedly normal for her to go up to 2 mos with only 1 BM. Her abd was of course severely distended but bowel sounds were present. Palpating her abd you could actually feel hard (stool-filled) loops of bowel. Oral laxitives, stool softners, supps and fleets with no results. Stool too far up for surgury. So when I left we were trying mineral oil enemas to soften and loosen the stool enough so that surgery could be performed. My first thought walking into the room was that she was a psych case, but after spending 12 hours with her I don't think so. At any rate the MDs and surgeons involved didn't think so. Has any body else ever heard of something like this. Thanks.
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    About Helori, RN

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 58; Likes: 72


  3. by   Sleepyeyes
    i had a pt in a LTC setting that was so constipated she was vomiting stool.....

    dangerous & scary--they sent her to the ER

    so i have some trouble believing your pt. had no BM for that length of time.....
  4. by   night owl
    I wish I still had the picture...I think I found it in a nursing magazine a few years back, but it showed this long thing lying on a gurney. At first I thought it was a human leg from a tall person, but when I read the article, it was a picture of a man's intestine and he hadn't had a BM in over a month! Unfortunately, the man died.
  5. by   meownsmile
    Kind of sounds like Mega colon. Have seen some of these, but usually from DD individuals. Areas of the bowel become very distended and bulge, stool accumulates and constipation of what you describe can develop if not treated.
    I have seen people have surgery for this, and it is amazing the pictures that come from OR on the charts.
  6. by   Luv cats
    We had a twenty-something age girl that hadn't gone in 3-4 weeks. ................I don't think she ever did go for matter what we did........
  7. by   BBFRN
    No BM for 3 months???!!! What finally made this person seek medical attention? Did she wait until 3 AM on a weekend to come to the ER? Seriously, though, I hope she ends up being OK.