Sunday, January 23, 2011

It Won't Hurt Our Feelings If You Don't Want To Read This One

Because it's about poop.

This strange thing happens to your brain when you have a child and suddenly it seems completely acceptable to talk in all seriousness about subjects you would previously have limited to immature jokes. And you don't remember what you used to be like until you're discussing poop consistency with someone in a different life stage and something in their face makes you cough and change the subject to something safer. Like politics.

So. For some still unknown reason, Collin went on a poop strike two weeks ago. He was plugging along just fine, pooping at the same time every day, and he just stopped. Nothing in his diet had changed. No medicine changes or water changes or any other changes of any kind. Somehow, I didn't even realize what was going on for a few days. Once I did, I increased his fluids to move things along, but no go. (winkwink, nudgenudge) Finally, after five days, we started the Miralax. Still nothing. Then came the first retch. He was clearly constipated and the pressure from pushing was making his Nissen wrap feel like he needed to either gag or throw up. And that's when we busted out the first glycerin suppository.

If you have never had to administer a suppository, just take a second right now to give thanks for your ignorance. There are definitely worse things, but it's just not pretty.

The bad retching didn't come for a few more days and I felt pretty sure we were headed for the hospital, but we were able to utilize our in-home oxygen to keep his lips from turning blue with the extended retches and that helped him to start feeling a little better. After a while, the retching seemed to be more from anxiety or tension than pooping and the only thing that would calm him down was singing, so Kyle and I ran through our entire repertoire until we got to the songs that have words like "something something something".

Besides the retching, the other concern with constipation is that it's a major seizure trigger. At least two of Collin's extended seizure spells in 2010 were set off by constipation. And even after over six months of seizure control, just the thought is enough to put you on edge.

Needless to say, we were anxious to keep things moving along, so we upped the Miralax, used suppositories every few days, and added yogurt and lemon juice to his meals. Plus tummy massages and warm baths and anything anyone suggested.

I do have a little bit of decency, so I won't go into too much detail of the ups and downs of consistency, color, and smell over the ensuing week. But just know that I've done a lot of smelling and peering into and squishing dirty diapers recently. We are still battling this, giving Miralax at least once a day, calculating a probiotic into his diet, and pumping him full of fluids. We look down the poor guy's pants about twenty times a day, our shoulders sinking when there's nothing there. Talk about pressure.


  1. I was just having a conversation about poop today, so this falls on very open ears :) And "something something something" is our favorite song. Looking up the rest of the lyrics to "Our House" has been on my list of things to do for weeks, but alas, we're still "somethinging" it.

    I'll be thinking good moving thoughts for Collin.

  2. Annie,

    We've had a few times where we've had problems with getting Julianne to be "regular." We do not usually give Julianne juice (we stick with water and milk), but when she's constipated we give her Apple Juice as it is a natural product to "get things going" per our Pediatrician. Also, we be sure to stay away from bananas if shes not regular, as they tend to "plug you up."

    Hope that helps,

  3. Hi Marc! I would love to be able to give Collin juice but, alas, the ketogenic diet won't allow it. There's no way to get juice into the proper ratio of fat to carbs, so I just have to try to put more apples in his meals if I can. It's one of the down sides to an otherwise miraculous diet. ;-)