Potty Problems

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Woofens, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Hi everyone... hope you all are staying warm!! 34 degrees and raining! BRRRRR :cold:

    Ok, on to the point of this post. We have had trouble with getting difficult child J to have bowel movements every since he was potty trained. When he was still in diapers, he had regular, once a day movements. Ever since we started to potty train him, he has had this terrible habit of holding his BM's until he just can't anymore, and this usually means a nasty yucky mess in his underwear. We have tried a DR recommended laxative, high fiber diets, nothing seems to help. I'm tired of having to hand wash every single pair of underwear he owns. He says it hurts to have a BM, but if he didn't wait for days or even a week or more to go, it wouldn't hurt so bad. When he does finally go, it is HUGE and I know it hurts.

    Does anyone have any ideas? I'm just at my wits end. We threw away 3 pair of underwear over the weekend, and I had to scrub the tub after his bath last night because the bottom of the tub was covered. With my stomach being queasy anyway... I'd really like to get him past this!!

    Thanks and hugs
  2. jal

    jal Member

    My difficult child went through a period of this too when toilet training. He complained it hurt and then would hold it. I added a touch of prune juice to his regular juice for a few days. It softened him up and then he just began to go regularly because it didn't hurt anymore. No problems after that. Good luck!
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Well, Woofie -

    I'm not sure you want to hear what I am thinking - but I am hoping it's not Encopreses. been there done that -

    My first thought is that if it hurts to have your son examined by a GP and get a referral for a bowel guy- The best stool softener on the market bar none for kids is Mirlax. You can now get it OTC in most pharmacies.

    When we started Dude on this he said he didn't poop his pants anymore - this stuff pooped them for him. :surprise:

    He was encopretic from 4-17. LOADS (lol) of fun he was.

    If he's encopretic - we'll talk, and you'll get lots of advice from others here. A few of us have /are going through that and it's no more fun that enureses (bed wetting).

    First things first - get him examined....and get advice from your doctor. If it takes laxatives and enemas to clean him out - that will be fine but he's stretching the bowels above the rectum and what is coming out in his underpants is the fresh stuff that hasn't hardened. the longer poop is in your body - the more the intestines absorb the water in it - and then it dries out, and becomes massive and hurts.

    When you clean someone out with laxatives and enemas? You are getting rid of the immediate problem - BUT (no pun intended) the bowels take a LONG time to shrink back to normal size so he can FEEL the sensation for a BM.

    Plenty of water - and fiber - and Mirlax has NO taste so you don't even have to tell him you've mixed it in his water - and he needs to drink TONS of water.....no sodas....and as much greens and good stuff as possible -

    Even if you get on a potty regiment? It's STILL going to take a long time for that bowel to shrink - you and he both need to keep that in mind.

    AND - a little vaseline on the bottom helps with painful BM's....he can do THAT himself.
  4. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Star and Jal... Thanks so much for the suggestions. I have talked to his pediatrician in the past and they told me to start the Mirlax. It didn't seem to do anything. I'll have SO pick up some more of it tonight. I need to make an appointment with his pediatrician anyway so I'll aske her about it then. I'm googling Encopreses right now Star.

    Thanks again

  5. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Jan -- this is Esther here. I have been there done that with encopresis. My difficult child (now 22 years old) was encopretic from the age of four and a half until 13 and a half.

    I won't start throwing information your way unless you really need it (and then believe me I will tell you EVERYTHING I know!!!).

    But in the meantime, in very very rare cases there is a problem with the intestines. And even if it is just encopresis, there is one type of doctor who is the one to check it all out for you, and that is a gastroenterologist. You need a children's one, a pediatric gastro doctor. That is a MUST, just to rule out any other stuff.

    If it is encopresis, just remember: encopresis is not a disease or an illness, it is a CONDITION. It is basically caused by constipation. Now, what causes the constipation is a different matter altogether. . . .

    But first things first: Get ye to a pediatric gastroenterologist, that HAS to be your first stop.

    And buy a good stock of pants and underpants.

    You are not alone.

    Love, Esther
  6. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Another thing that occurs to me is, if J says it hurts to have a bm, he probably has an anal fissure. Every time he goes it'll reopen, until it heals. The approach is the same as already mentioned, lots of water, fiber, stool softeners if your pediatrician recommends them (probably will), and LOTS of Vaseline at toilet time. If you give him warm water (put a little of whatever he likes in it, whether milk or sweet dilute tea, whatever will get him to drink it) first thing in the morning you'll get that nice gastrocolic reflex that will get him on the toilet within an hour - hopefully! It's a way to try to start retraining his bowel and will give you a chance to use the Vaseline etc. Good luck!
  7. justour2boys

    justour2boys Momto2Boys

    Others have given great suggestions, I wanted to give you an online resources that was very help to me when I was dealing with my DS's encopresis. There is an online support group that (much like here) is very helpful and know just what you are going through. I found the group MUCH more helpful than my DS's pediatrician!! Thru this group we found the series of things that work for our DS.


    Also, my 2 cents about Miralax, I used it to help "clean out" my DS and then we found a maintence amount. Finding the right amount to "keep thing moving" versus "ooppps" can be tricky and can be trial and error. Oh and I used a measuring spoon for dosing so I could control the amount... using the cap per the instructions was difficult.

  8. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I'm calling his pediatrician in the AM. It seems to have gotten worse here lately.

    We'll try the things you suggested until we can get in to see the DR :)

  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I STRONGLY concur with the recommendation to see a pediatric gastroenterologist. THEY are the docs who really know this stuff.

    Star is right, your son probably has a build-up of stool in his bowel, getting harder and harder and more and more stuck to the wall of his bowel. Where it is stuck it can get infected, or be stuck so hard that when it pulls away it pulls some flesh away with it. This is PAINFUL.

    So it is important to get him cleaned out ASAP and then use a maintenance amount of miralax and benefiber.

    Last Christmas Jessie got a terrible, horrible pain in her side. It just would NOT go away. We had Xrays, showed nothing (or so they told us). Then we did CT scan. HAd the gyn do a sonogram to check her ovaries and uterus for something twisted or a cyst or any other problem. They told us it was a muscle spasm, but I knew it wasn't. And she seemed to be pooping regularly - I SAW it!

    Finally the doctor looked at the original Xrays and noticed a big dark spot. Jessie was impacted with poop (she was embarrassed, so no jokes about being "full of it"!). They told us to do benefiber 3x/day and miralax by the directions on the bottle 2x/day.

    2 WEEKS later she still hurt like h###. They wanted to put her on pain medications, but they ALL impact the colon. The docs kept fussing around with more tests, and not knowing what to do.

    All this time we were doing the miralax AND large amounts of benefiber AND enemas. She was pooping up a storm, eating very high fiber foods (kashi has some snack bars with 3-5 grams of fiber that my kids really liked) and drinking over 1 GALLON of water a day.

    She still had the pain 2 more weeks later. We did GO-Lightly (the prescription stuff that they have you drink before they do an colonoscopy!) and enemas, and double the benefiber and miralax AND take mineral oil (if you use mineral oil make it COLD. It is easier to tolerate that way, otherwise some people throw it up. DO NOT do mineral oil with-o a doctor's prescription, especially in a child.

    Finally she had been hurting for so very long I was at my wit's end. So was Jessie, and the doctor couldn't figure out why it wasn't moving. They started talking about SURGERY!! EEEKKS Was all I could think.

    Then the doctor decided to use a very old home remedy that one of the older docs got from his mother.

    A milk and molasses enema.

    We did this inpatient in the hospital. IT was just too much to do at home, even the doctor said so.

    They mixed one bottle of molasses (warmed up) with the same amount of warmed milk. Then it went into the enema bag and we did it in stages as there was about 30 ounces. It cleaned her out totally. It wasn't fun, and getting all that stuff out was PAINFUL as it was stuck onto her colon. But a few days after she felt MUCH better.

    She looked a lot skinnier too. The pain was from the impacted stuff stretching the bowel and from gas trapped he has to be careful to use the benefiber and miralax even now, because she NEVER had symptoms before we had that sharp, awful pain. Jess had no constipation at all. Her stool even looked normal to the doctor - 3 of them and nurses from different visits. But with-o the home remedy they would have had to do surgery, and not a small incision surgery at that.

    So, if nothing else will work, get him cleaned out with milk and mollasses, then maintain with miralax. And this is AFTER the pediatrician gastroenterologist makes sure that there is no physical problem other than the constipation itself (there can be a condition where the nerves don't develop all the way to the anus, so messages CAN'T be sent about needing to poop because the nerves are not there or are not working. You want this to be ruled OUT before you do anything!)

    I am sorry. This is not a fun problem for kids of any age. OR for their parents.
  10. difficult child has complained for the last week or so about having problems going to the bathroom. I have given him stool softeners. He has gone a little but says it hurts. He told me last night that he was going to tell me the truth that he has been holding it in because he is afraid that it will hurt. I explained to him that he can't do this that it will just make it hurt more. I gave him a dose of Correctol (sp?) I am definitely going to pick up some Miralax and try that.

  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Christy, I am sorry you are dealing with this too, but Way To Go to your difficult child! he TOLD you what was really going on! That canb e HUGE, esp in boys that age. They HATE talking about that stuff (not about farts, but about the personal medical stuff) and esp talking about it with MOM. So you are both doing a great job - otherwise he wouldn't tell you no matter what! I hope that the miralax can help him. It really is amazing stuff!
  12. escapedagain

    escapedagain New Member

    My difficult child had this problem until this year (he is 9). We saw all the docs and they put us on miralax, it got him going but he still didn't want to go in the potty only in his pants.
    Finallly we were told to use Pedia Lax Liquid Suppositories. They can be bought over the counter and work within 5 min.. It was a struggle at first but when he reaized they didnt hurt and he went potty within a few min. then felt better for 3 -4 days things got better. I gave him one every 4 days or when he started smearing in his underwear. It took about 6 months and he realized how much better it was to go in the potty and that it wouldnt hurt if he just went every few days. His bm's are still big and he still only goes every 3 -4 days but it is in the potty.
    I would recomend having the docs check him out to make sure it is only fecal retention syndrome and not anything seriour.
    Good luck!
  13. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Thanks again to all who have given advice on this thread. I just got a call from difficult child J's pediatrician. I can't get him in until Tuesday because of the holiday. SO got him some Miralax last night now if we can get him to take it....

  14. LAD0563

    LAD0563 New Member

    I would definitely talk to your doctor right away. It sounds like constipation/withholding to me. I have been dealing with this with my daughter for years, she is 7 and I am at my wits end.