6 tips and tricks for Transanal Irrigation (TAI) users

Posted by Kent Revedal, October 30 2016

Find me on:

”As easy as one, two, three...” Everywhere we hear or see commercials about technical things. We hear that it's so easy, almost intuitive. What many of us have learned – sometimes the hard way is that if it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true... Some things need to take time and practise.

wellspect-transanal-irrigation-navina-kent-revedal

Transanal irrigation (TAI)

When it comes to transanal irrigation it's the same thing. It´s not all that easy. At least not in the beginning. The statistics are clear; a lot of people stop using TAI within the first few months. I'm sure some of them stopped because TAI wasn't really for them, but a lot of them because it was a bit tricky in the start and they had no one to help them through that period.

After using TAI for more than five years, I can honestly say it's a bigger hassle to make breakfast than using TAI. But that´s not where I started. And it's not always an easy procedure. As a peer user I want to give you some practical tips and tricks I have discovered along the road. A few of them may be useful for you as well.

6 Tips & tricks for TAI


Summary

Patience

First of all it takes time with the bowel. It is probably the part of the body that takes the longest time to adjust to a new situation. Allow your bowel to adjust. Create routines for food and bowel so it can fall into a good pace.

Evaluate and re-learn

Over the years I have adjusted how I perform my regime. One example is that I now use TAI every third day instead of every second, which I did during the first few years.

Amount of water

I use about 500-600 ml. When using this amount of water I can feel it reaching up to where the intests turn 90 degrees, just below the ribs on my left side. Bowel treatment is not science – it's art – so do your own thing, your own way.

Holding the catheter

Having a spinal cord injury (SCI), I have no control over my sphincter muscle. And it's the same for most of my peers. That would exclude us from TAI. I see it as an advantage to hold onto the catheter.

Time consumption

Many times I have been asked questions about how long time everything takes. My normal routine is as follows: Empty my bladder, insert the catheter and fill the bowel with water, take out the catheter and wait, and finally emptying the bowels - all in all 25-40 min.

Using gloves and your hand

I need to use a finger up my butt to help the sphincter relax so the stool can pass. It also seems to trigger the reflexes so it helps a lot.

This was the short version of my tips & tricks. Please click the button for full version. I hope some of these ideas will help you with your bowel management!

6 Tips & tricks for TAI

Topics: TAI, Transanal Irrigation, Spinal Cord Injury, Continence