Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rearing My Child

So, remember the last time we discussed poop? My mom informed me in an anonymous comment that "this was not the venue for such discussions".

Sorry, mom. But here's the thing...

Sophie is smack-dab in the middle of yet another Poop Strike, and this is the only venue I have through which to vent such frustrations and seek advice. Plus, since I have been CEO of Poop Management for the past two weeks (three years and two weeks), I have nothing else to talk about. My life is, in fact, all about poop.

Part of Soph's issues, in combination with the Rocket Vomit and feeding aversions, involve delayed gastric emptying and constipation. Yes, pile those two things on top of the very large heap of warped body issues and there you have it: Sophie's funked out digestive system. It's all nice and cleverly disguised behind cute chipmonk cheeks, crazy curly locks, and a magnetic personality. But it's there. The truth. Poor child, her innards aren't as cute and cuddly as her outside.

Right now I'm spending my days syringing warm pear juice, and prune juice, and water, along with administering her Mirilax and "toot makers" (the term coined by Sophs for glycerin suppositories). And even though the poop is soft (we won't get into how I know that), since she has no peristalsis, it all just stays in there - stuck. She's the master at holding it in. As I said before, I have no idea why anyone would want to do that. But as I'm sure you know, some people are just odd. Their talents aren't explainable.

Sophie has pooped once in the past two weeks. Yep. Once. Her stomach is distended and hard as a tick most of the time. She looks a bit like a pregnant three-year old. And you know it has to hurt like heck. I've even been doing intestinal massage and the oh so pleasant "rectal stimulation" thing throughout the no avail.

This is the moment in the post where I pause to state the obvious...

If she doesn't poop soon, we'll have to go to the ER for an enema and bowel cleansing. Because cousin to What-Goes-Up-Must-Come-Down is this little proverbial jewel: What goes in, must come out.

And that will be sooooo very pleasant. For all involved. But mostly for the one with the hose up her butt.

Sophie is tough as nails. She always has been. You can stick a four inch needle in her hand and she won't bat an eye (right, Dr. Johnson?). But you so much as get near her rear (ooo, rhyming!) and she's ready to fight. Dirty fighting. She turns into an enraged bucking, thrashing, rolling, screaming, biting wilderbeast. I've sustained a black eye and almost lost several teeth trying to do what is best of her and tend to her poop issues. Which usually makes me want to pinch her cute little head off. I mean, like I want to have my finger up her rear! Plus, since our insurance pretty much stinks, a visit to the ER for an enema would be a very expensive enema, indeed. Nothing like a $1000 enema to make you feel all alive and tingly!

Tonight when Russ gets home, and can hold the little Toot down, we're going to try another suppository and some Milk of Magnesia to try and produce some stimulating action. Typically, m.o.m. results in a Puke Fest, so that'll be neat as well.

Woo hoo! An evening of super fun festivities. What are you guys doing tonight?!

So, there you go. Not really Fun Blog Kristy. But sometimes a girl has to say it like it is. Here's hoping everyone made it past "rectal stimulation" without throwing up. Your prayers for sweet Sophs would be greatly appreciated. As would any suggestions, like "A pinch of cinnamon in my coffee gets me going every time!" I know most people are probably hesitant to reveal their Poop Tricks, but if you're not shy about such matters, please chime in (you can always email me privately). At this point we're open to trying most anything. I mean, really, once you've spent the day with your pinky finger up your child's rear end, everything else is easy-peasy.


Not totally sure what Sophs is trying to express in this picture. But she seems to be shifting the blame to her father. Now there's a new theory I hadn't considered: It's him, Mama. Daddy is the root cause of all issues. Including the poop ones. ...Ah. It's all becoming clear. And Russ does look a tad guilty. Maybe he's been force-feeding her giant blocks of cheddar cheese when I wasn't looking. Hee.


Josh & Margo said...

Kristy, I know you don't know me too well but I am a nurse. I have given lots of enemas to patients in the hospital, both fleets enemas and soap sud enemas. I have never given them to a kid before but it would be the same, just a different quantity of solution. It is not hard at all, although it might be difficult if the person is thrashing around. You can buy the enemas at any pharmacy over the counter. Some other oral liquids to try as a laxative is magnesium citrate or Fleet Phospho-Soda liquid. If you have any questions or need any help feel free to email me. jroehale

Anonymous said...

Well, you KNOW I am an expert in this domian, so here is my advice. First DO NOT take her to the ER, it will make fear of MDs etc worse. You can give her an OTC enema for kids this is not a pleasant experience, but we have had to give Fia these about 5 times in the past. Buy the fleet children's one and only put 1/2 of the fluid in...the best way is lie her on a towel on her back (old diaper change position) have one person hold hands and body, other person do the deed. Then immediately put on pull-up and try to have her calm down (watch TV) etc or alternative, have sit on toilet but you need for her to hold it in at least 30 sec so try to keep her down as long as you can. It is painful and awful as a parent, but it does the job. Once you pass the "plug" then up the miralax and add 1-2tsp Kondrumul to the program. This should keep it for having the problem happen again...unfortunately it might if she keeps holding it in (dx offically as "toddler withholding" behavior). It took Fia about 5 cycles of this over a 6 month period for her to stop holding it she goes everyday, so there is hope. Hang in there...sorry to make this public, but too lazy to get on my hotmail right now!

Anonymous said...

You don't know me what so ever, but I have come across your blog through a friend of a friend of a friend:)!! My daugther did this same thing when she was younger and what worked very well for us was simple. It was called "Mommy's Magic" at our house. I would take a sippy cup (or something that has a lid and can be shook), add light karo syrup (probably 2 tablespoons) and than add some (not a whole cupful) kool-aid or juice to it, shake it up and tell her she had to drink it really fast so the "magic" would start working. It hasn't failed us and has worked each and every time. Good luck with Poop Patrol!!

Kristy said...

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

It's funny because I went into Operation Form-A-Plan before any of the comments started coming in. And I am relieved to read that you guys are all recommending an approach very similar to what I ended up doing.

First of all, Kristen, you're exactly right. Sophie is doing the whole "withholding" thing. She basically supresses the urge to poop until it goes away. She does it day after day, until eventually a plug forms. Then holding it in becomes easier because she's all stopped up. Now WHY would one want to do that? That's the part I haven't the foggiest clue about. Even HOW kind of perplexes me. I mean,I know this falls under "TMI", but when I have to go, I have to GO. I can squeeze my butt cheeks together during the run to the bathroom, but that's about all the "withholding" I'm up for.


I had Russ pick up some Fleet's Children's Enemas on the way home from work. They're larger than the tiny bulb-like Babylax sized ones (the ones we've been using). Sophie took one look at it and said, "WHAT is THAT??" We gave her a dose of Milk of Magnesia (which didn't do a single thing) and then had her lie on a towel on her side. Russ did the holding. I did the "deed". Sophie was fighting, but Russ was able to get ahold of her firmly enough that I could safely insert the enema. I gave her half the liquid.

Then we sat her port-a-potty in the living room (NAST, I know, but...) and we waited. And waited.

The box said it would take 1-5 minutes to produce a bowel movement. She did an IMPRESSIVE job of holding it in FOR AN HOUR. I was starting to wonder if she had an obstruction. But finally, after Russ told her to let go or we were going to have to go to the hospital, where the really BIG "toot-makers" are, she let 'er rip and five pounds of poo (sorry...gross) finally came out.


So, yay! We're in the clear for now. Her stomach is back to soft and non-bloated, and she clearly feels much better. We'll keep on the Mirilax and maybe one day she'll stop holding it in! For Pete's sake, child!

Thanks again for the advice!! I really appreciate it.

P.S To Anonymous - we've been doing the 2 tablespoons of light Karo syrup mixed into liquids since she was born. Everyone has suggested it as a "tried and true". But for our Little Pod, it has unfortunately never really worked. But thanks so much for the suggestion!

Josh, nuh uh, I didn't know you were a nurse! Thanks for the advice. I've heard lots about you and Margo from Walt and Annie. You guys sound like so much fun! It would be great if we could all hang out the next time they're up here. By the way, I don't if you know this (I'm sure you do), but Russ was really good friends with Christy in highschool. I'm sure he would love an update on how she and the kids and Phillippe (is that right?) are doing.

Robert said...

Aside from all these problems with the pooping, you can be rest assured that you are creating a very good reference for potential poop problems for other parents and their children (namely, me and my daughter someday maybe). So if I ever do have a similar problem like yours in the future, I can goto your blog and reread all this stuff for some helpful suggestions! So you are doing a good service by putting this online (just in case your mom is reading). :-)
In any case, I'm glad you got through this latest episode.

Kristy said...

Oh, and thanks to everybody on BC for chiming in with advice as well.

I appreciate you guys!!

Josh & Margo said...

Kristy, we would love to hang out with you guys sometime. I do remember Russell and my sister hanging out in high school, I think they may have gone to prom together. I am 7 years younger but I do remember them hanging out some. You could send me an email so I have your email address and I could give you all the update you want on Christy and Philippe.

Kristy said...

Yes, indeedy, Christy was Russ's prom date their senior year. We have some pre-prom pictures taken of them in the gardens at my parents' house. I saw them when I was perusing the album stash the last time we were home. Man, they look like BABIES. It's funny, I always felt like I LOOKED older (than apparently I really did) when I was a senior. Maybe I just felt wise. =)

I'll email you our address, so you can give us the scoop.


Anonymous said...

Have you investigated whether your child does not have an anal fissure, or some other condition that may cause defecation to be painful?

This may also explain why she does not want anybody messing with her rear.

In order to avoid harming her anus, when inserting suppositories, enema tips or a thermometer, you should always use some kind of lubricant (even if the enema is said to be pre-lubricated). In some child-rearing manuals they recommend vaseline (or, brand-neutrally, petroleum jelly) but it's gooey, sticky and stainy - better use KY Jelly or similar water-based "personal lubricants", which are designed especially for lubricating body openings. Most pharmacies will sell them near condoms.

When I suffered from constipation as an adult (I was taking medicine causing constipation and had never had a worse constipation in my lifetime), I tried Fleet enemas after glycerin suppositories failed to do the trick. It worked but was very unpleasant.

I looked for another solution and bought a "fountain syringe" from the feminine hygiene section at Walgreen's. My model can be used either as a hot water bottle, either for douching, either for enemas. You just pour water at body temperature into a red rubber bag (I read that it's better if you add a little salt), insert the tip (again, use KY Jelly), open the clamp and raise the bag a little.

It was the first time I did that so I did as said on some medical sites: laying on my left side, I pulled my right knee onto my chest. This is a comfortable position, and my husband (which I enrolled as a nurse) had no problem inserting the tip.

Again following Web advice, he was slow and careful sending the liquid in and stopped at some points so that we could massage my tummy. The idea is to prevent cramping by easing the progress of the water.

I don't say it is a pleasant experience, but I found it both more efficient and less aggressive than the glycerin or the Fleet. The only unpleasant point is expulsion - it takes quite a while to get the poopy water out, and once you get up from the loo, you feel again the urge to go. Also, prepare to wash your child's bottom afterwards with water and soap, wiping will be insufficient...

I've used such water enemas a handful of times now and they did the trick every time.

They are obviously not the way to treat a chronic problem (if your child retains her poop, that may be a psychological problem) but they are an instant solution to a stomach bloated by low constipation.

Anonymous said...

Another little tidbit: when my husband was terribly constipated one year ago and was complaining of a bad stomach ache, I proposed giving him an enema. The cliche is true that men are such babies, and he began dithering and fussing. :-) In the end, he got his enema and it also did the trick for him.

Anonymous said...

If this problem is still going on, join the "suppository moms" Yahoo Group.

Anonymous said...

My son suffered from severe constipation and would withhold passing stools. I would give him babylax and help him through it. Each episode lastest a week. It was mentally exhausting seeing him in so much pain. I am happy to say it has been 3 months since he has had an episode. I found he is DAIRY INTOLERANT! It made his stools hard. He is 2 years old and his diet consists of Soymilk, soy yogurt, rice cheese (he did rice milk and DF bifidus (probiotic) for the first 2 months then I switched to soy milk after that)since Soy is also binding for some children so I would start on rice milk, a calcium supplement, and lots of fruits and veggies. He does not have any real milk or cheese. There are so many alternatives out there that this diet is not too hard. When we get pizza I order him no cheese and extra sauce so he can enjoy it with us. Every night he takes a spoonful of Flax oil and if he hasn't gone that day a spoonful of olive oil as well and the next day he goes.
Please try this with any child that is having constipation problems before putting them on a laxative schedule.

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