Well the summer and early fall have been one incredible ride here and I’m so happy that those yucky months are behind us! I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted in awhile, but I wasn’t able to bring myself to write anything of substance. Anything I wrote would have read like a 5yo whining. Depression has really had a hold of me and has been a terrible obstacle between me and my family. I have been absolutely desperate to overcome it and battle it head-on every day. The most defeating part of it all is seeing how much it hurts the kids. Through my impatience, lack of joy, immobility, and anger I have caused them damage. I have had to apologize every day to them and cover them with love and cuddles in hopes that I can bandage their emotional bruises. I’ve certainly been blessed with a wonderful forgiving family and supportive friends. Without them I would not have been able to get through this. Thank you!
And now I want to talk about TURDS. I want to revisit my monologue on Potty Training children with Sensory Integration Disorder/ Sensory Processing Disorder. For six months now, we all have been put through the wringer and the most affected member is our 4yo son. As I mentioned before in my previous posts, he has been withholding. (If you haven’t read Lets Talk About Poop Logs and Crap Mastery and The Potty Training Push, you wont have the whole story, but this post should be able to stand on its own. Though, I encourage you to read those first as they give details on the problems we are having.) It was getting better and there were even several weeks where he was going poop all by himself. It was looking good… then, he just decided he wasn’t going to poop anymore. So for the last two weeks I’ve been up to ears in turds. Turd nuggets, turd snakes, turd smears on his clothes and all over the bathroom and turd SMELL. My precious 4yo boy SMELLS like TURDS constantly. That’s heartbreaking for a parent. My child smells like poop and his friends say “Somebody smells like POOOP!” or “Somebody STINKS!” or “What’s that smell?” Don’t misunderstand me. His friends adore him! He is their favorite friend, in fact, because he is sweet, fun, tender, caring and loving. Everyone loves him! But it hurts when you think that making NEW friends will be hard especially since they might not have been taught how to be accepting, forgiving and understanding. So… it hurts. A LOT.
There are a lot of problems with his potty training but the biggest obstacle is ME. Because of my own weakness and thanklessness (is that a word?…hmmm, too lazy to look it up. Dont judge me!)… because of those things, I have discouraged and confused my son. He is behind in his communication and language developement which makes it nearly impossible for him to tell me what is going on or how he’s feeling or communicating his understanding of a concept. I have spent a lot of time blameshifting and attacking others, mainly professionals and authors… sorry 😦 , but when it comes down to it, I’m responsible for him. It’s my fault I haven’t done all the reading. It’s my fault I haven’t called enough people for chatted online with the experts. I’m not one of those moms who have literally talked to everyone they can and read everything they can get their hands on. If you are one of those moms, I apologize for diminishing your plight through my complaints and I applaud you for being the kind of mom “I” want to be.
I had a serious meltdown on Friday. I mean, a full-on cussing, screaming, crazy ass mom meltdown where everyone in the house was left thinking, “where’s the tranquilizer gun? I thought I put it in the coat closet after her last trip to Effed-Upville.” The best part was we were about to add 4 more kiddos to the mix for the evening as were going to babysit for our Brother and Sister-In-Law. I’m supposed to be creating a warm loving environment and instead I’m acting like a mad-woman running a round the house with underwear on her head weilding a banana and sing-screaming “It’s A Small World.” Nothing says “WELCOME” like a psychotic episode.
In my panic and rage I sat down at the computer and typed in “children withholding incontinence” and there were a DOZEN articles written by Pediatricians about this very issue. In all my searches (at least 100) I had never thought to type these three words into the search bar?!?!?!?! The answer was staring at me in the face! I had even purchased a book months and months ago and never got around to reading it because I was just so overwhelmed. Why was I so angry with everyone else when it was up to me to find the answer. So…. I read the article.
My Misconception – Our son isn’t constipated because he is pooping everyday, even to the point where his poop is leaking out.
“Fecal incontinence is almost always associated with constipation. Constipation is associated with hard, large stools in the rectum which become difficult and painful to evacuate, often leading to withholding of stools. The lower colonic segment becomes gradually distended with accumulated stool. The urge to defecate becomes irregular because of a decrease in rectal sensation. A vicious cycle ensues. When the rectum becomes sufficiently distended, softer stool arriving from the more proximal colon cannot be accommodated and leaks around the bolus of hard stool. Because of the lack of sensation in the distended distal colon, this passage of soft stool (overflow) is not sensed by the child until incontinence has actually transpired.” – OMAN Medical Journal
My Super Classy Interpretation – Large turds bunch up near the butthole. The intestine bulges, making the butthole numb. The child cant feel the urge to poop because of the numbing sensation which causes more poop to bunch up. When the butthole get stretched enough (due to the large amount of turds in the large intestine), softer slimier poop leaks around the large impacted turds and seeps out into the kids underwear/pullups. Because their butthole is numb, they don’t know they’ve had an accident.
THIS EXPLAINS EVERYTHING! I can’t believe our pediatrician didn’t explain this to me. He just kept saying he was constipated. “But he’s pooping everyday!!!!!”, I thought to myself. Now I know. Finally, a real answer. The article goes on to give a solution to the problem. NOTE: The article’s solution/program is only for children with no medical condition/illness/disease, nor for the child with abnormal psychological issues. As our family follows this program/solution there might not be full success because of his Sensory Issues, but it will solve his constipation problem and restore confidence and trust that pooping is not supposed to be a trauma! Yay!
So we started him on a three day treatment of laxatives (Pedia-Lax Chewable Tablets), then we will give him his readjusted dose of Miralax (per doctor’s instructions), and incorporate a diligent schedule of sitting on the potty for 5 minutes everyday after breakfast. He will eventually sit on the potty for 5 minutes, three times a day, after meals. This will help his intestines and rectum to shrink back to normal size and regain their sensation. It is a 6 month haul so we are tightening our suspenders, adjusting our bowties, and putting on our fezes! If only we had a TARDIS so I could go back in time and change my approach. Oh well, I supposed I wouldn’t be able to revisit my own timeline anyway!
I have high hopes for our little man and for myself. If I can admit my mistakes and repent to my kids, trust can be restored. I hope the article in the OMAN Medical Journal can help other parents/caregivers out there who are feeling equally desperate. The answers are out there, sometimes. And it’s those “sometimes” that can change the course of a persons journey. Good Luck this week and know that you are greatly loved!