Anyone ever heard of this before??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by rob#30, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. rob#30

    rob#30 hangin in there

    My difficult child has always had "issues" with moving his bowels. When he was very young & just potty trained all the way up until about 1 or 2 yrs ago he held it & held it for so long that he would constantly go in his underwear. Like, as he was running to the bathroom at the very last second. Every single pair of underwear he has has poop on them when I get his dirty laundry. I am constantly finding "dirty" underwear hidden around the house. Even under his brothers bed, which confuses me so much because difficult child KNOWS if big bro finds them he's going to freak out.

    At this point, he seems to go on a more regular basis & I am not finding an entire bowel movement in his underwear but there is always some there. Now he's got this new habit... I keep finding poop wiped on things in the house. His bed, his window sill, the couch. Little pieces of poop all over the floor in his bedroom. Last week my SO was plunging the shower drain because it was clogged & guess what was clogging it???

    difficult child's father is completely in denial about his problems. Bio dad's new wife called me & told me how disgusting difficult child is & he is "way to old to be doing things like that" I wont repeat what I said to her but my point is, other people are noticing it & nothing I say makes him stop. I ask him to try really hard to stop doing it & he acts like its not him????? He constantly smells like poop & even kids at school have said things. Help!!!:surprise:
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    It has a name, and is definitely a sign you're dealing with more. Encorporsis or something like that. Others herer have dealt with it and I'm sure they can provide more insight.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Rob! It's an "elimination disorder". The above website will give you a rough idea about encopresis and treatments that go on. There are quite a few websites dedicated to it.

    Now that you have a name for it, you'll find TONS of info about it!

    Hope this helps!

  4. I have some of those same problems with difficult child. It's so disgusting to go into the bathroom after him and find poop on stuff. Before we moved I found some wiped on his bedroom floor too. He has trouble wiping sometimes (always had) and he ends up using a towel. I keep telling him not to use towels, use toilet paper, but I am always finding towels in the hamper or on the floor. YUCK. I have found where he has wiped fingers on the walls too. His underwear is always soiled and stained too. Sometimes, I think it is just because he hasn't wiped well enough.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Butterfly, have you tried giving him the premoistened, flushable wipes? It might make the job a little easier for him so he's not tempted to use whatever's handy.
  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    There are several of our kids who suffered with bowel issues. My difficult child didn't make the connection between the sensation and going to the bathroom. He was almost disconnected. Some kids become so desensitized that they really don't feel it.
    There is a term encorporesis that will help you understand what's going on. A gastroenterologist can help you. No body wants to smell like that and be a target of humiliation. It is a messy, difficult issue that really stressed me to the hilt. There is a lot of embarassment and misunderstanding.

    The wiping everywhere should be approached as totally unacceptable. He must clean, scrub, unclog and other wise be accountable. in my humble opinion.
  7. I thought about that. I am going to try them when he comes home from Residential Treatment Center (RTC).
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    My son is just starting to outgrow that. Some of it was sensory, some of it impulsivity, and some of it diet (when he was on wheat). Justy last wk I found a streak on the wall. He had no idea where it came from but did not put up a fuss when I calmly told him to clean it off. (Generally a big clue ... :) )
    For a cpl yrs, I had to go in and check him to make sure he wiped. Embarrassing for both of us, especially as he got into the 9-10 age. I suggested that he cover himself up and I just smell his butt and that worked. :) Then I would say yay or nay and have him use wet wipes or wet tissue and soap from the sink.
    Best of luck.
  9. rob#30

    rob#30 hangin in there

    Thanks you guys, I really try NOT saying anything about it because I dont want to embarass him, maybe that is not the right approach and I should make him accountable ie. help clean it up. I dont know, I never feel like I know what the right way to handle things is with him. Thanks again!
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We handle it in different ways. It wasn't quite that severe for us, although it was different with each kid (the three younger ones). We got the "wiping soiled fingers on the wall/clothes/etc" routine so I made them get a scrubbing brush and a bucket of soapy water and scrub everything clean. When they said, "But I didn't do it," I replied, "Neither did I - so why should I have to be always the one cleaning it off? In this house, we ALL take turns."

    If the kid smelt poopy, they got washed. By me. To billy-oh with how old they were, they had to deal with me, and them, in the shower getting hosed.
    We have a hand-held shower which came in very handy for this - the kid would be put in the shower recess fully dressed then asked to strip. Everything. We'd get the water flowing. Sometimes I'd do that before they got in, then turn it off while they undressed. They couldn't stall, because the water in the pipes would chill off again quickly and my getting the warm water trough would be a wasted effort if they delayed to argue about it.

    Then once they were stripped I would throw their clothes into the (empty) bathtub and then use the shower hose to literally hose them down. Once they were visibly clean I would leave them to finish washing properly, with soap, while I took the dirty clothes to the laundry. I found that even if just the underpants had poop on them I still needed to wash everything, because the smell would permeate everything. And the big reward/payoff for getting clean was to feel clean and smell clean, immediately. They needed this payoff so they could learn the difference between being smelly (and uncomfortable, hopefully) and smelling clean and feeling fresh.

    I had no qualms about grabbing a kid and peering down the back of his pants if I thought I smelt something. I had a feral cat once that used to sit under cars with oil leaks - I had to bathe that cat frequently, to get the sump oil out of his fur. And if I could convince a vicious feral cat that he had no choice but to submit to my bathing him, then no mere kid was ever going to stop me.

    However, I didn't use shame at all. I just made it clear that I wanted the smell gone. I would try to engage the kid in helping me with the laundry, because ALL kids should learn how to use a washing machine anyway. And if a kid came home from football covered in mud, I would do the same thing - throw the kid in the shower recess clothed, tell him to strip, help him bathe and then get the kid to help me wash the clothes since they would be HIS clothes after all. Any person in the house whose clothing makes up the majority of the load, gets to wash that load. I started them from 2 years old.

    When he was older I could trust difficult child 1 to be wiping OK and not leaving skid marks, but he still stank. It turned out to be him forgetting it was time to go. All I had to do was say, "There is an air about you, son. When did you last 'spend a penny'? If you can't remember how many days, then get yourself a good book and take yourself to the 'reading room' right now."

    We also keep a box of moist baby wipes by the toilet. They're not flushable for us so we also have a bin by the toilet for the soiled wipes to go. Because female things also go in those bins, emptying the bins each week (or more often) tends to be a job done by the females in the household. I keep a spare unopened packet in the bathroom cabinet and whoever opens that packet to replace an empty one in the loo has to put them on the shopping list. Plus, I keep tabs on them and I check.

    As it turns out, those wipes come in handy for other things. difficult child 1 gets home from a dusty day at work and uses a baby wipe to clean the grime off his face. easy child 2/difficult child 2 swears by them for removing waterproof mascara. And so on.

    It's no good trying to pretend there's not a problem - that is what HE is doing. All you're doing is enabling him. But you do need to be matter-of-fact about it and avoid showing disgust or making a big fuss. If he had been making himself a Vegemite sandwich in the kitchen and had left butter and Vegemite smears on the kitchen bench, you'd call him back to make him clean up after himself, wouldn't you?

    This should be handled with the same attitude. Plus, there is the hygiene issue but frankly, raw chicken is more dangerous to your health. Mind you, this smells a lot worse than raw chicken!

    There will be others with more advice - as I said, it wasn't too bad for us. My kids were moderately compliant, just unaware.

  11. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Hello Rob,

    I don't post much these days, but encopresis is a subject that just goes straight to my heart because I had such problems with it.

    You say your difficult child is 12 and a half. If his encopresis follows the usual course, you can be optimistic because with most cases it somehow seems to "vanish" at puberty. My difficult child, after being completely clean and dry, started with encopresis at the age of four and a half, and it just sort of vanished when he was 13 and a half, no rhyme or reason, it just vanished. I got wrong advice from my children's doctor, so I had to deal with it on my own and it was dreadful. My difficult child is 22 today, and quite obsessed with cleanliness.

    The real reason I wrote here now is to tell you: Please take your son to a pediatric gastroenterologist. He has to be checked, at least once, just to make sure that there is no physical reason why he is pooping in his pants.

    Just to put your mind at rest, usually encopresis is caused by constipation. It (encopresis) is not a disease. It is a condition that is caused by constipation. What caused the original constipation is another question, but what is relevant is that the constipation causes the child to become blocked up with poop, which then presses on the bowel and puts pressure on the nerve endings there, so that the child truly does not feel when he has to "go." The child also somehow develops a defense mechanism whereby he doesn't reall smell when he is smelly.

    If you have specific questions, please do not hesitate to ask them. Encopresis is a very difficult condition to cope with, and you have my heartfelt empathy.

    Hang in there!

    Love, Esther
  12. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    my friend's son had it, it is caused by both psychological and physical factors. I know my friend put her son on a high fiber diet and started giving him fish oil tablets to help remedy the problem, but he also had to see a specialist and do a colon cleanse, and colonoscopy, I would look for a pediatric GI specialist in your area
  13. rob#30

    rob#30 hangin in there

    Thanks Esther & Amaz, I will put it on my list of things to talk to the psychiatrist about. The last time I told him about it he told me to give him stool softeners. Obviously it didnt work. It has gotten better but it isnt gone yet. I hope your right Esther, about it going away with- puberty. My fingers are crossed!!:D
  14. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Rob, I just wanted to mention that a regular doctor, before referring you to a pediatric gastroenterologist, might very well prescribe two sorts of medications: one is a stool softener, and the other is to activate the bowels to have a movement. These are certainly good, and the right thing to try first, but don't let them persuade you not to go to an expert. You need a gastroenterologist for children. I don't understand the medical system in the U.S., but that is the specialist that your child should see.

    Good luck!

    Love, Esther
  15. TMB2S

    TMB2S New Member

    Our son is 14 almost 15. Taken him to every DR under the sun, have a complete work up done every two years. Since he is aware of girls he doesn't do it that often in public, but at home or with the family. He loves to hide the soiled underwear in with his clean clothes and the smell would give it away, so he would save his dirty socks to blame the smell on them. I started showing him the underwear and telling him to throw them away in the trash can. I get to go randomly through his room when the aroma comes out of his room. Every time I think we are improving we just haven't found the new hiding spot. He has been throwing his soiled underwear away but have replaced them in the hiding spots with ****** underwear. Oh course he is a totally different teen at school. His behavior this year is very good & he has some teachers that he has had for several years that have noticed with behavior & grades. I guess our problem is the ones that don't know his history and Social Services shows up and we pull out our file from all the DR and then they show us theirs and it always ends up that they feel our pain, don't know how we have put up with it for almost 9 years and to hang in there.
    It is true when they notice the opposite sex they improve in their hygiene but then they are interested in sex more, 1 cell bill $300, 1 home phone $400, & blocking as many prone sites as possible to the point where you have to stand over him when he is on the computer.
    He has his own bathroom that his friend won't use because it is gross. Doesn't effect him.
    It is easier to just buy underwear, cheaper than diapers. Get some strong cleaner.
    He thinks it's only a problem because we find them. I wish I had a better ending, I guess I just don't have any hope anymore. My husband is moving out with- him because it is now effecting my health. My blood pressure is sky high and the list goes on & on. We have told him we can't stop him from crapping on himself that he needs to at least be man enough to clean them up.
  16. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't really know if encopresis (sp?) is what my son had or not. When he was younger, I think about 6 years old, he use to have bms in his pants and then hide or smear it in places, mostly his bedroom. Used to drive me nuts but he has outgrown it and it has been years now. Hugs.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Encopresis is a problem for a lot of kids/parents here. I think keeping him accountable for cleaning any mess he makes is going to be crucial. If you find poop anywhere make HIM scrub it off. Or, if you ahve to scrub it off CHARGE him in $$, other chores, or whatever will bother him to pay you for the time and trouble you put into cleaning up after him.

    In the US medical system, you will have to see the pediatrician or family doctor, then have a referral sent to a pediatric gastroenterologist. Miralax is newly over the counter and is the laxative most docs recommend for kids. Sennacot is the name of the other one the pediatrician gastro had our daughter use. She doesn't have encopresis, but another gastro problem. Benefiber, or any of the fibers that dissolve completely, can also be a HUGE help.

    I hope you get some relief from this soon.