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June 9, 2018

WHAT? YOU CAN’T WIPE YOUR BUTT?

One of the most personal questions I have to ask my clients is essentially, “Can you wipe your butt?” Fortunately, my experience has taught me more tact than I was born with so I would normally start by asking them about bowel incontinence issues. Even this question has a lot of people squirming in discomfort. If they deny any issues then I would ask them if they can reach when they go to the washroom. Most people answer yes and change the subject. Sometimes it’s obvious to me that they are not being totally honest. They may have difficulties but don’t want to admit it because it’s embarrassing and they are too proud to discuss it with a stranger. I get that. Because it’s a topic a lot of people hesitate to talk about, I can’t say that I have tons of experience addressing this issue but here’s what I do know. It can be a real problem when you are not able to perform proper perineal care for yourself. It can lead to infections, skin breakdown, odour, general discomfort and least of all, increased laundry. It can also lead to some psychological and emotional distress.

Modified Strategies

If you can’t reach behind you, maybe you can reach from the front. If you have female genitals, be careful not to accidentally touch your vagina while wiping your anus. Always wipe from front to back to reduce any risk of spreading bacteria from fecal matter.

Try using wet wipes to speed up the process. There are adult wipes but baby wipes tend to be bigger and more durable. These can clog up the toilet so don’t flush them down the toilet. If you don’t want to buy wet wipes, I suppose wet paper towel and wet toilet paper are options too.

Equipment

 

Juvo Toilet Aid
https://www.amazon.com/Juvo-Products-Self-Assist-Assistance-SATA1

This device gives you about 20″ of reach and holds the toilet paper secure. You can reach from the front or the back. You can work out which angle works better depending on your approach but the instruction sheet also gives you suggestions. It’s not going to give you the precision that you are used to and you may not be able to apply as much pressure as you did with your hand but it’s still better than nothing. Most reviews on amazon recommend that you don’t bunch up the paper. They recommend that you fold the toilet paper to avoid any mess.

Luxe Bidet Neo Non-Electric Mechanical
https://www.amazon.ca/Luxe-Bidet-Neo-110-Non-Electric/dp/B009ZLRSJ6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1523557172&sr=8-3&keywords=bidet+attachment&dpID=41tXkmJ76CL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

If you’ve never used a bidet, you are missing out. I kicked and screamed while my husband installed this in our bathrooms, primarily because my kids couldn’t clean themselves very well, but now I use a bidet whenever possible. It’s just too much work not to. When I use a public bathroom, I can’t believe how much trouble it is to perform a basic bodily function. And I grew up using newspaper for toilet paper as I’m sure some of you did too. Do you remember having to rub pieces of newspaper together repeatedly to soften them up before using them? We’ve come a long way…Anyways, if you don’t have one, try it. This particular brand is reasonably priced at $35 or so. Installation is easy if you can get down to low level and have any mechanical inclination. The package includes all tools and instructions.

Portable Bidet Sprayer
https://www.amazon.ca/Portable-Adjustable-Disability-Traveling-Postoperative-white/dp/B075H7YZ4T/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1523557729&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=portable+bidet&psc=1

This is the best invention since round wheels and motors. I know it’s weird of me to be so excited about portable bidet sprayer but isn’t it great? You can travel with it!

Pacing

Get it done and get out of there.

Be Kind

It is incredibly frustrating and damaging to our pride to have difficulty with basic tasks like wiping our butts. It’s frustrating enough for us to cry in the bathroom sometimes. However…it does not define you or I. It’s an unpleasant task but there’s more to life so stop feeling sorry for yourself, get off your butt, and get out there. Do something you enjoy with your loved ones.

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