Friday, October 26, 2012

The Poop Conundrum

As mentioned before, Samantha has issues with her bowels.  She was constipated once really bad when we were in Las Vegas and she was about 9 months old.  It was bad enough for me to think we were going to have to take her to the ER to fix it and finally she was able to get the stool out.  It involved a lot of crying, warm water, some bleeding and her just miserable.

Since then, Samantha has always had really hard stools.  Like rocks.  And if she doesn't go frequently, they are large rocks. 

In July, she had a fecal disimpaction.  It was after several attempts to "clear her out" using massive dosages of medication resulted in absolutely no relief for her. 

The general thought was that she was holding her poops because she was scared it would hurt.  You could physically see her trying not to poop.  How do you explain to a 1 1/2 year old that not pooping will only make it worse.  She just couldn't understand it.

So, we were given a referral for a different pediatric GI in September when it was discovered that she was getting backed up again. 

The earliest they could get us in is November 14th.  Since then, we've been working on trying to help her stay regular on her own.  This means twice a day, she gets a fiber gummy, once a day she gets a full cap of mirilax, she drinks 10 oz of apple juice, undiluted, a day, as well as a bottle of pediasure with fiber and has an apple, with skin, once a day.  We also try to limit her meat, pretty much cut out bananas, and she can only have two cups of milk a day.  It's not easy.  And up until this past week, it had been helping.

One word of advice her doctor had was to not even think about potty training until the issues were resolved.  One reason why was that we want her to get used to easily releasing her bowels.  It should be as easy as possible for her.  When potty training, we teach them to hold it.  Which, she can do quite well. With a lot of the latest research suggesting until the age of 3 to potty train for long term health reasons, I had already planned on waiting until at least 2 1/2 before starting.

This week, she's been backed up.  So, I doubled the apple juice.  It cleared her out.  And it gave her a massive diaper rash.  The kind of rash where no medication or baking soda baths or frequent changes were helping.  She was in pain, hated diaper changes, would kick and scream, and her poor bottom was bleeding.

So, at least half of the day today has to be diaper free.  No choice about it.  But, I also know she's old enough to know we don't just pee on the floor.  And if she didn't realize we don't pee on the floor, I certainly didn't want her to think we do.

So, the potty chair come out.  I barricaded us in one room.  I showed her the potty.  She sat on it.  I told her if she went pee pee on the potty she would have candy.  At first, that sounded awesome.  She would run over to it every 30 seconds, pretend to strain and then scream "CANDY!"  Of course, the toilet would be empty, so there wouldn't be any candy.  That went on for about half an hour.

Then, she was over it.  She didn't want anything more to do with it.  We had one accident on the floor.  She realized what was happening and tried to run away.  After that, I set a timer and encouraged her to sit every 5 minutes to go potty.  After about half an hour, she went.  She freaked out and tried to jump up.  Then, she didn't want to move.  She was irritated that I interrupted her watching Cailou to dare clap for her...

So, I gave it a little longer and put a diaper back on her.  Hopefully if we can do an hour a couple times a day the rash will clear up faster.  If she goes on the potty, great, if not, oh well. 

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