Toilet and Bathroom Aids for MG
Some may find this topic a little embarrassing, but elimination is a fact of life and is nothing to be embarrassed about. As someone living with myasthenia gravis (MG), I've found that parts of self-care can become difficult or impossible to perform. This includes toilet habits.
Incontinence or other elimination issues can involve bladder, bowel, or both. Maybe you’ve noticed you tend to wake up more at night to urinate or you felt urgency during the day. Regardless, you know you need assistance. It seems bladder problems are common for those of us with MG, especially if you are late-onset MG.1
In my experience as both a surgical nurse and working for an e-commerce medical company, I am familiar with toilet aids that may help. You can even order online instead of purchasing at a local store if it makes you more comfortable.
If you find it difficult rising from the commode, here are some products that may help.
A toilet seat riser is a product that attaches to the toilet. They come in different heights depending on your needs. Some are hinged to allow it to be moved out of the way when it isn’t needed. Some have lids, while others don’t. They are easy to install and have different styles to accommodate different toilet styles.
If you don’t need the riser, there are support rails. Some are stationary, while others are hinged. Some attach to the toilet, others fit over or around it.
Grab bars, just like for the tub or shower, can be installed on a wall next to the toilet.
When walking to the toilet is out of the question, you can also find portable bedside commodes. These products come in different sizes and designs and can be kept near your bed.
Some of these portable commodes even fit over the toilet, offering a slightly raised seat and push bars to help you rise from it.
Portable bidet is a hand-held aid that allows ease in personal hygiene. It’s battery operated and is compact enough to fit in a bag or purse. If confined to bed, you can purchase bedpans and urinals.
There are many other aids designed with personal hygiene in mind.
Personal hygiene paper aids are a sanitary, easy-to-use aid that’s designed for personal cleaning and hygiene for anyone that is physically challenged. They come with a release button and a long, curved handle. Many of those aids have what are called "fingers" that extend out of the end of the wand to grab the paper.
Personal hygiene cleansing wipes or no-rinse perineal soap can be used instead of, or after, using paper. They are designed to provide a clean, fresh feeling. Though most say they are safe for sewers, it would probably be best to put them in the trash.
Diapers and pads
Sometimes, disposable incontinence products may be in the cards for some of us. If so, there are many products available for that, too.
Adult diapers, incontinence pads, and liners are available and can be purchased online or at a local store.
Under pads are reusable or disposable flat, absorbent pads that can be used to protect chairs, beds, and linens.
There are many other products available, but are too numerous to mention here. You can find many options through an online search, checking your local medical supply store, or medical supply websites.
Have you made any MG-friendly adaptations to your home?