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November 15, 2015

Elderly Mothers and Water

Back from San Antonio to find that the OC (Other Caregiver) has successfully steam-cleaned the carpet. Blessings on her little pea-picking heart! It looks much better and Mom is happy. Of course Mom helped by getting down on her hands and knees to use a scrub brush to get the spots out. I knew she wouldn’t be able to just watch. She’s now sacked out early. Not surprising.

Clean clear through

Clean clear through

While I was in S.A., several of us at our board meeting were discussing elderly mothers and their care. Most of us were facing the same problems. As fellow sufferers, we had to share our experiences. One of the problems was the rather delicate subject of constipation. It seems to be a “problem” for many others, as it is for Mom.

For years, Mom has been using enemas to resolve her “problem”. I remember Sister-in-law suffering through trying to help her with the “problem” while Mom was in Atlanta. It isn’t the kind of thing one really wants to do, but Mom kept insisting on enemas. She gets completely panicked if she can’t get her enemas.

During the trip to North Dakota for the wedding of Mom’s grandson, the OC also helped Mom by mixing up soapy water and using the enemas I had been sent to the store to get. The tension of the flights and the travel and the family gathering had all contributed to causing the “problem.”

A month after Mom landed here in Huntsville, she asked me to get her some enemas from the drugstore for the “problem.” Two days later she was having diarrhea, only it wasn’t. It was heavy bleeding. The doctor wouldn’t say what caused it but OC and I maintain that it may well have been the use of the enemas. Her skin has become so thin and fragile that it is easy to rupture, causing hemorrhaging.

After her stint at the hospital, from which she has still not recovered completely, OC and I recommended that she try drinking more water. It was a concept that had not even occurred to Mom. You mean just plain water, taken in large quantities could resolve the “problem”?

Not drinking enough water

Not drinking enough water

From the discussions with others who have elderly mothers, it seems that the previous generations did not drink water. They were so used to using medical laxatives, that just drinking water was not something they did. I don’t understand why. I don’t think it could have been because water was impure, way back then, was it?

Now-a-days, every diet, exercise and health program stresses the critical importance of drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. Not everyone does it, but most of us know we should. That concept is completely foreign to Mom, and evidently to many in her age bracket.

Since her hospital stay, I put glasses of water beside her bed, on the dining room table and beside her chair in front of the TV.  I think I have finally convinced her that enemas are NOT her friends, and that she has got to quit using them. Try that with a stubborn, determined and worried Elderly Mother.

Water evrywhere

Water evrywhere

Not Cokes, not soft drinks, not coffee or tea, not wine (she still has been drinking from Pauline’s bottle of Merlot in the fridge), not even fruit juice. Just plain water. And water in large quantities.  To Mom’s unbounded surprise, the water she has been drinking has, at long last, actually solved the “problem.” Permanently.

Who knew water was a medical miracle?

Elderly Mothers, General , , ,
About Caroline Castillo Crimm
Retired Professor Emeritus from Sam Houston State University, interested in writing novels and speaking about topics such as the history of Latin American. Would like to share the AMAZING world of the 18th century in Northern New Spain, that's Spanish Texas and Mexico!
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