The Fleet Enema

(Messy discussion ahead)

Bowel Movements are just as important as eating. Sometimes a person may not have proper Bowel Movements (BMs) due to various reasons. Diet, hydration, sickness, certain medications all can affect one’s daily dookie. Diarrhoea is the common unusual BM, while Constipation is the other. To relieve constipation one simply has to drink more water and eat more fibre. But when the situation deteriorates to further to make one’s bowels impassable, that is when external stimuli is needed. There are several ways to make the body excrete. There are oral laxatives, and I strongly emphasise here that, as with any medication, all oral laxatives should be prescribed. There is the belly-rubbing method, but this usually works only with young children.

There are also other methods to relieve constipation through rectal administration, namely suppositories and enemas. Suppositories are small tablets that are inserted into the anus. These are usually used in babies/small children and the bedridden. An enema is a process of introducing liquids into the rectum via the anus, and is used in bigger children and adults. Enemas can be carried out for 2 reasons. One is for bowel cleansing before a surgical operation, the other is to relieve occasional constipation. There are 2 types of enemas, one is the kit enema, which is re-usable. The other type is the commercially available one-use product, the most common of which is the Fleet brand of enemas. Some people prefer the kit enema. It is a bag which you fill up with water, before administering it. But some others prefer Fleet, for it is one time use and disposable.

The Fleet Enema is an enema which is a bulking agent. It works by way of drawing in liquids into the rectum and the increases in volume of matter in it. The liquid solution makes its way up into the lower large intestine, and loosens things up along the way. It then acts as a ‘lubricant’ of sorts when the bowel movement starts.

The benefit of using the Fleet Enema is that it is more effective than a simple kit enema. Lesser liquid is inserted in, causing less discomfort, and the job still gets done.

However, there are quite a few issues with using Fleet. One is that you cannot use Fleet regularly. The instructions clearly say this. They warn that you could get ‘addicted’ or ‘dependant’ on such enemas. Or worse, you could suffer from Barium poisoning and dehydration. The user is advised not to hold back their bowel movement for more than 5 minutes, or these effects might kick in. As such, you can see the issues that might occur if a healthy person with no constipation whatsoever. decides to do some ‘bowel cleansing’. They might get sick. I got sick.

Admittedly, you only see Fleet being prescribed in more serious situations, such as in the case of the elderly, or the blocked-up child who just got potty-trained, but is scared to bits of the toilet. Interestingly, several paediatricians postulate that most forms of childhood bedwetting and incontinence stem from a child having a blocked colon. They propose that the blockage affects the nerves which relay signals to the brain, thus the child wets/poops themselves. And many of them prescribe enemas to address this. Inadvertently, if Miralax fails, then Fleet is tried next. Sadly (for me but not the parent), they poop in the toilet.

Messing a enema into a diaper is an experience, for you get to do it in the comfort of your preferred area. You would be ‘going’ for about half an hour, and it helps to be padded instead of having to run to the toilet every 10 mins and sitting in the cold. However my experience is limited to Fleet, and I’ve heard horror stories of kit enemas with their bag full of water being emptied. My preferred diaper would be the Tena Slip Super, as they are very absorbent and lap up the liquid as soon as possible. The Tena Value does an ‘okay’ job, but because it is rather loose, I feel a little insecure.

On a separate note, WordPress counters tell me that it has been exactly one year since I set up my little blog! I wish to thank you guys for your support. And my present? My second ever comment on my blog! 

Life has been a little unforgiving, but I am able to blog regularly. I just want to say my thanks to you guys for your support.

– Selv


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