DD (5) holds on when she needs to poop. The issue started about the time I took of the diapers and introduced the toilet at 2.5years and she's been on laxatives prescribed by the dr for 2 years now, the dose varies according to whether we're going through a good stage or a bad one. I feel that we have exhausted all the avenues for dealing with possible allergies and intolerances and have eliminated dairy. We've also tried other things like homeopathy, osteopathy, massage etc, but I think it's in her head.
When she holds on her behaviour is pretty unpleasant- she'll be too rough with her brother and rude to me (lots of attitude). She also gets urinary tract infections from becoming blocked up- we initially treated these with antibiotics but on the advice of a specialist now treat only with probiotics, cranberry, water, and an attempt at prevention. This has meant me ensuring she goes to the bathroom. Candy worked for a while as a bribe but hasn't solved the problem (of course, I never really expected it would) and is no longer really effective.
Ok, so that's the background.... I'm EXHAUSTED by this! I love DD like crazy but I feel like running away from her at the moment. She yells at me when I tell her to go to the bathroom but she refuses to do it herself. If she doesn't go and I try to ignore it (almost impossible) I have a child who is constipated, has a UTI, and behaves terribly. I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't!
I've struggled with depression over the past 6 years and this is really affecting me right now. I saw a psychologist who's only advice was contrary to my docs advice and very difficult to follow- she said to just let DD work it out on her own. I know that is sensible in theory but truly I do not have the saintliness to do this and withstand DD's moods and ill health.
I'm not sure where to go from here, lately I've tried a tough approach. She has been soiling her pants and changing them- leaving the dirty ones in the laundry basket (but still failing to take herself to the bathroom to poop). In response I removed all her underwear and now give her one pair in the morning to last all day, and have explained that is what the rest of us do. This morning I yelled at her (and feel terrible about it)- told her that if she can't go to the bathroom by herself she can't do other nice things we have planned and can't stay at her cousin's house for a sleepover (her favorite thing in the whole world) until she can go to the bathroom like a big girl.
I really feel like I'm failing here- I feel like positive incentives are not working and now I'm relying on negative ones which could lead to a bigger problem of self esteem for her. She has total control of this situation and it's not a healthy one. Has anyone else been here too?