Master Potty Jedi

masterpottyjedi

Well, the 5yo did it!  It’s official, folks.   He has now mastered the potty.  I know the last couple of posts have been a little on the more serious side and that you can probably tell my heart is hurting quite a bit.  Well, 2013 has got to be our year because after nearly 2 years of fruitless potty training, our 5 yo son is not using the potty completely.

If you want to read how the victory started… check out my last post Tootsie Roll Factory Working Again! Thanks, Homeschooling.

I couldn’t believe that on March 4th I could be putting him in underwear, but the day after the post went up we tried it.  He has been in underwear for TWO WEEKS!  3 small pee accidents for waiting too long, and 2 poop accidents for being sick (I don’t really count those, but for posterity I list them 😉 LOL!).

Before all of this happened he used to complain about the “bad feelin’s”.  He would say things like “I don’t not

Tootsie Roll Factory Working Again! Thanks, Homeschooling.

Homeschool Started

Last Monday, we started up Homeschool again.  We are still waiting on some evaluations, but I thought it would be good for all of us to get some schooling in.  We were getting SO bored!!!  Homeschooling has been so difficult for me because I just didn’t have the ability to understand or create my own lesson plans.  I’ve had people recommend curricula, but none of them had the lesson plans written out.  The ones that did, were RIDICULOUSLY expensive (some being $900). I’m positive that I have some kind of a learning disability and I’ve struggled with the organizing of information all of my life.  Trying to take different subjects and create lesson plans for them was not overwhelming, it was IMPOSSIBLE.

My second college degree is in Theater Education and I always got horrible scores on my lesson plans.  I just couldn’t understand how to take all of the information I ‘knew’ and put it into an organized plan.  One lesson at a time wasn’t too hard when I knew what the teacher wanted me to say, but the unit long ones would give me horrible headaches.  This is why I don’t like chess!  You have to know where you’re going and most people know that I never know where I’m going. LOL!  I spent hours researching curricula online and it was all very confusing and expensive.  I spent 8 hours one day trying to save money on a curricula by looking for some of the materials at the library, ebay, amazon etc. and creating a Spreadsheet to organize my findings.  The result, I would save $24 off of a $800 purchase.  I spent a full day’s work to save $24?!?!?!  If I were getting paid to be a Stay At Home Mom, I just lost $60 that day. DAG-NIT!!!!

Then, one morning I woke up and I just knew exactly what I needed to do.  I knew that I needed to get curricula that had the lesson plans in them… duh.  However, the miraculous understanding came in how those plans, units, concepts, standards and objectives all lined up!!!! I’ve been praying and praying and praying and then… POOF!  I got it.  I can tell you dozens of stories of how God has given me miraculous understanding in things that were seemingly impossible and where I had NO help.  So, here we are and I was a good week! No boredom, fighting, strife, or whining.

The biggest thing that happened was the 5yo started put his poop in the potty. ALL. WEEK. LONG.  That’s right, parents!  The day after we started school again, the toilet seat started going up on it’s own.  At first, I was creeped out (watching too many paranormal investigation shows I suppose). Then, sanity said, “that’s your son using the toilet…Nerd.”  I’m sorry, but that is not a sound that we are used to hearing around here.  He’s only had a few accidents. One major blowout, at his Uncle and Aunt’s that required a shower… heheheheh… sorry guys…. Other than that, he’s been accident free and has given Butt Birth to some of the most amazing turds!  I’m so proud of him.  This is the longest record he’s held in almost TWO years!  TWO YEARS!!!!!  All of the withholding and constipation and fear and complaints have all but disappeared.  He tells me… “no mom, i want to do it all by myself. I’ll call when I need you.”  What a grown up thing to say!  I think he might be ready for underwear… omg… underwear….  UNDERWEAR!!!!  This is like the Holy Grail of Potty Training!!!!

We’ve been doing the Miralax regime for 18 months and it was the same cycle: gets impacted, give him Miralax, cleaned out, withholds, gets impacted again even though he’s on Miralax.  I still think that he has some sensory problems and physical problems that are hindering him because he’s explained that he cant feel his poop.  But it seems he’s found something that is working for him and he’s going for it!  We’ve been showering him with rewards!!!

For any of you who are interested in our full Potty Training Journey, start from the beginning by reading Let’s Talk About Poop Logs.  You can find the link in the side bar under the “Potty Training” category. Believe me when I say that we have tried everything under the sun and nothing has worked.  He literally started doing this on his own with no motivation at all.  Something just clicked and he’s working with it.  I dont want to say his problem is cured.  It’s not.  He is working with what he has found successful and trying, but I feel that he is building his self confidence right now and I’m not going to doubt in front of him.  I just treat him like he’s succeeded.  If he reverts backwards, I wont dispair and I wont discourage him.  We’ll just keep doing what we have been… going with the flow… or lack there of 😉

The Potty Gremlin Sabotage

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I’m convinced that we must have a Potty Gremlin throwing its evil wrenches in the works of our Potty Training Journey.  Yesterday I posted about my frustration with how I was treated about James’ allergies but I didn’t even get to write about the POOP conversation I had with the  doctor.

Two weeks ago I was given the information of a woman whose 6yo boy experienced the similar sensory issues and the same problem my son has with potty training.  I contacted her and she told me her story via email.  I couldn’t believe it!  Not only could she relate but she had found something that was successful.  It was suggested to her that she try Biofeedback to help her son and her son has been fully bowel trained for weeks now!

I’ve used Biofeedback to help with bladder issue I sustained from a difficult pregnancy as well as a congenital issue.  I was amazed out how this changed my life!  It’s not often heard of or understood but it is the closest thing to a miracle drug you can get.  Biofeedback uses electricity to help your muscles contract.  It strengthens them and teaches your brain how to use them again. I can’t believe I havent thought of this before.  If they can do it for your bladder, why couldn’t they do it for the bowel too?!

I brought this up to the Pediatrician yesterday after the whole allergy thing went down.  I told him that after 18 months of constipation and impaction, 12 of which he’s been on Miralax daily, that I wanted to try the Biofeedback and get a referral to a Developmental Pediatrician.  Here’s where the Gremlin comes in, the Doctor didn’t buy it.  We are on the verge of finding something that could change our tender-hearted son’s life and give him some real victory and we get sidelined.  *Deep Breath* So! He ordered an X-ray because he was positive James was impacted with stool.  I agreed that he probably was, but I still insisted that the reason he is impacted is because he doesn’t know “how” to push his POOP out.

The doctor insisted that it was his Impaction causing the desensitization.  I’ve done a lot of reading and understand the facts about Impaction and it symptoms.  However, James is different and has had bowel problems from the day he was born.  The withholding is a new thing and doesn’t explain all the constipation and Impaction from before that.  I just know the cause of his problems is the lack of muscle control and I’m so tired of being given the run around.

His X-ray showed that he WAS impacted.  Surpriiiiiise! not….  I AM surprised that a simple request for a referral for Biofeedback is treated like a request for a blood-letting. *whew*  I just kept a smile on my face and said thank you and took my son for the X-ray thinking “I’ll just jump through the hoops so that I seem compliant and then they’ll give me what I want.”  Wrong again.  Instead they told me to give him Miralax… I’ve been giving him 1/2 Cap full of Miralax every day for the last 12 MONTHS. That’s not the answer to the long-term problem.  Now we have to do this for another month before we can bring it up again.

I also have to wait until December 10th 2013 in order to see a Developmental Pediatrician. Not surprised by the wait, but the hope of James being potty trained is constantly being discouraged.  We try to keep things light around here but he’s starting to be defeated by the potty.  He doesn’t even want to sit on it or talk about it. I hate the bureaucracy of the system.  “Do “A”, then do “B”, don’t forget “C D E F G” and when we run out of letters there’s an infinite amount of NUMBERS!”  Can I please just get a referral?!?!?!

All of that whining to say this:

ASK YOUR PEDIATRICIAN ABOUT BIOFEEDBACK

LOL! I certainly hope you all have better success with your doctors.  Please pray for me and James.  We are so weary from this.  I just need to be patient and calm, understanding and forgiving.  ❤

Yep. Its that time. O’Frizz:30 pm!

My second son at 7mos!

My second son at 7mos!

Yes indeed, it IS that hour of the day when my hair represents my state of mind.  I feel like I’m about to explode 😛 Pthbbbb!

I am having a very discouraging week so far. I’ve been sick with another random fever. No other symptoms. I thought it was the flu but it wasn’t. Just another FUO (Fever of Unknown Origin). Yep. It’s a real thing.

Also…

Our eldest is almost 5 now and he’s the sweetest little man. He is very caring and friendly but has been having a hard time making new friends at church. All of his friends ADORE him but I think the new kids are intimidated by his self confidence… maybe? They seem put off with how comfortable he is this new situation. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but its hard when he says the other kids wont play with him.

His potty training is halted again and we spoke to a Child Psychologist who recommended that we talk to our Pediatrician about the poop issue. I reminded her that we have been dealing with this for 18 months now and even his Dr is at a loss. Im feeling so desperate!  She was helpful and encouraging in stating that his particular disorder, Postural Ocular Disorder (a subtype of Sensory Processing Disorder), is a low incident and rare disorder so there are not a lot “how to’s” about it. Well at least I know I’m not going crazy when I spend hours on the internet to find nothing!  However, its very hard when your little guy is reaching this huge milestone of life and still cant use the potty.

She also suggested we look into sending him to Public School and having him enrolled in Special Education.  My mind immediately went back in time to when I was in school and Special Ed was for kids with mental retardation and severe physical/mental disabilities!  I tried not to freak out and reassure myself that it’s been, like, 30 years since I was 5yo and that Special Ed has probably changed.  But inside, my heart was just breaking.  I couldn’t help it.  I was thinking that his life would be over if he went to public school NOW.  All of his sweetness, self confidence and esteem would be stolen from him by the taunting children who hate all things different.  Did I mention I was kind of freaking out inside? I did. Okay.

So anyway, I’m having a discouraging week.  I’m not worried that he won’t get better.  I’m sad that its come to this.  A reevaluation of all of our plans and a change of heart towards what we desire.  It’s not bad… it’s sad.  I want to homeschool, but I’m afraid to homeschool.  Now that it may not be best for him to be homeschooled, I want to homeschool more!  weird… I know. I’m remembering all the hurtful laughs and not understanding where they came from.  I was defenseless and didn’t have anyone to teach me about socialization, but my son isn’t defenseless.  I’ve been through it all and come out stronger on the other side.  I’ve been able to see my mistakes in school (socially) and learn from them.  He’ll be so much better off than me.  I’m still freaking out and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope about the situation, but that means there’s a little bit of hope.  And God can do a lot with a little bit!

Whew! I can feel my hair starting to settle down now 😉

Celebrating The Yuletide Poop Log!

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We have had a major victory here in the last two weeks in our Potty Training!  Two week ago last friday our 4.5yo, who has been having an amazingly difficult mastering bowel training, walked into the bathroom independently an put his poop in the potty.

Some of you might be thinking, “Um, yeah, that’s what 4.5yo’s do.” or “big whoop” or “so what?” If you are, then you haven’t been keeping up around here 😉  LOL!  Let me tell you, until you have a child that cant use the potty you just don’t understand how hard life can be.  Especially if that child is a withholder.  Its a whole ‘nother level of frustration… for everyone.  Just count your blessings and rejoice with us!

I couldn’t believe it when I I heard the bathroom door open, the toilet lid go up, silence, then a loud “Mommy! I did it! I did it!!!”  I ran in there to find him sitting there with a large Yuletide Poop Log in the toilet and a totally clean diaper.  Not even the faintest Bacon Mark. (sorry for the Bacon blaspemy… it was term I heard as a child and it stuck).  What a victory for him!

Now it was important for him to start his Pee training again.  We took things really slow and had an entire week of success, followed by a week of constipation and accidents, then two days of independent toilet use!  This is incredible!  I am so happy for my little guy and his success.  Most importantly, I’m happy for his condifence.

Thank you all for your support, prayers, thoughts, helpful advice, patience, concern and hope!  Things are looking better this time of year and we are incredibly grateful!  Love all of you!

On a side note, there have been several people who have been helping me find myself these last six months and I’m so thankful for them.  But there is one person who I really admire.  She’s a nursing mom, with 3 kids and a love and talent for playing video games.  She is also a positive force in a culture that can be elitest and I admire her and love her with all my heart.  She’s been a virtual friend in the Twittervese and FaceBookdom and though I’ve never met her, her honesty and caring nature has inspired me.  She has helped me to resolve my identity issues simply by being herself.  I just wanted to thank you here, Carrie (@Keeba13).  Cyber-hugs to you from your Virtual friend who is virtually unknown to you, but admires you immensely.  I wish the best of weeks and the Happiest of Christmas’.

❤ Jen 😉

SuperHubby and Sensory Integration Struggles

I’ve always worried about my husband’s strength.  He is incredibly strong and extremely goofy.  That’s not  meant to be an insult! Its simply a fact.  I’m married to man who once gave himself a concussion by walking into a post at Walmart.  I’m married to a man who rips handles off of microwaves, doors off their hinges and gets seriously hurt without even knowing it.  I was never embarrassed by this behavior but I sadly admit that I judged him as foolish for it.

It’s not fair to think your husband a fool even when all signs point to its truth!  But its not fair because it doesn’t take into account that there may be a real reason for the clumsiness and apparent recklessness.  My husband has been severly hurt many times throughout his life doing some of the most normal things.  As a child he’s broken bones, suffered concussions, and been stitched up by his surgeon father at the kitchen table more times than he’d like to remember.

As an adult he gets hurt less bc he’s not as active, but when he does get hurt, its usually pretty bad.  Over the last year he has made a couple different attempts to get fit by running.  Every time, I remind him to go easy and not push himself.  Then he gets home from his first run and he looks like he’s on death’s doorstep.  He’s made himself much sicker than the usual puking episode.  He’s been in serious pain and dangerous condition before.

Thursday we had our first workout sessions and both of us felt fine afterward.  We received lots of compliments from the trainers about how hard working we were and that it was refreshing to be around people who didn’t quit.  I’ve been great and suffered only the right amount of soreness.  Vernon however was not so lucky.  The danger of having Sensory Processing Disorder as an adult is that your body doesn’t know the word “no.”  It will literally push itself to the extreme.  Hence, door handles being ripped off.  There’s no feedback between the brain and muscles that regulate movement.  So my husband cant tell the trainer “this is too much.” and because of that he is in sorry shape right now.

So! His arm has this huge swollen knot on it and he is one sick dude.  He’s pushing fluids to get out the toxins that are building up in his kidneys because he’s RUINED his muscles.  He’s literally torn them so bad that the broken down muscle tissue is turning his pee Cola brown and making him whimper like a ten day old puppy… Poor guy!  He cant even put a phone to his ear 😦  He’s laying in bed, icing his swollen arm, learning all about Alexandria on Netflix and getting some well deserved rest after caring for our sorry sick booties this weekend.  When he can work out again, it will be a challenge for his trainers to keep him out of harms way.  I called them and they’re already planning to meet and talk about a solution.  Gotta love these guys! ❤

In the meantime, I’m watching over him and hopefully we’ll avoid Urgent Care tonight 😉

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