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Constipation/pooping woes w/potty learning aged children - Page 8

post #141 of 228
Hi, just joining the "please, please poop" tribe. I've read through about half the thread and all I can say is My ds#1 is almost 3yo and has been struggled with constipation since infancy. As a newborn every Sunday afternoon became "P-day" and resulted in a blowout diaper. Needless to say we usually had a very cranky baby during church. We finally realized how bad it was after a middle of the night trip to the ER because he was in some serious stomach pain. I thought it might be appendicidis (sp?) but it turns out he was full of poop. My husband took him and apparently after the enema he said, "Ahh, my tummy doesn't hurt anymore." He's been on Miralax for about 3 months now. All along I thought he was struggling really hard to push it out but in hindsight I think he was trying really hard to keep it in. Now the only way we know he's done something is if we hear or smell it. He isn't even bothered by a poopy diaper anymore :

He's such a picky eater that it's hard to get fiber into him, although I don't know if it would make a huge difference. I'm adding coconut flour to his baked goods as it is super high in fiber, now the trick is to get him to eat them. When he was younger I mixed psyillium into his yogurt (don't know how great an idea that was) and had him loaded up on prune juice; it barely touched it. If 8+ oz. of prune juice don't get action in a 20 lb kid than you know something isn't right. I had to bite my tongue when an aquaintance told me to give him some fresh-squeezed orange juice and insisted that would do the trick. Anyway, I'm really glad to find some other mothers who are also struggling with this (not that I'm glad you're in this situation with your dc, but you know what I mean). It's helpful to see what has worked and what hasn't as well as other ways to deal with it. Right now all I can think of is that maybe he has a dairy or wheat sensitivity (the only two things he eats). It's good to see that other kids suffer from this "just because" and not necessarily due to allergies.

ETA: It looks like ds#2 might be following in big brothers footsteps. He only poops (aside from frequent smears) once, occasionally twice a week. Looking forward to the fun all over again.
post #142 of 228
Rachel! sorry to welcome you here but at least you found us! the support of this list has been so helpful to me. those who haven't btdt just do *not* get it, which can be terribly isolating! good luck with the journey!
post #143 of 228
Welcome to the new folks--I'm glad you found this thread, although sorry that you're going through poop drama.

Christab, thanks for the link for the mail-order gummy bears! They've been working great for us and my local Whole Foods sells them for TEN DOLLARS.
post #144 of 228
Carlin is still on Miralax after 4 months. I have 3 months of his poop calendar.

2 weeks ago Carlin was doing great!! he had a total of 6 poops in the toilet over 5 days.

but then we all got sick. he had been in the hospital for 3 days for dehydration and seizure-like activity, following 30 hours of vomiting/diarreah. the xray then looked fine. he was barely eating or drinking. they gave him a total of 5 bolus of fluids, 2 salt and 3 with sugar. we did manage to forget to take Miralax for those first 2 days. 4 days after discharge we went to see the Encopresis clinic for his checkup and they took an Xray, he was Totally Impacted. his behavior really improved after the enema.

so how did he get impacted so quickly?? why couldn't I tell when he was impacted? I don't get it.

this week his behavior sucks, can't keep still or is so exhausted he asks to go upstairs to bed 2 hours early. very whiny and out of sorts. he gets changed at least 4-5 times a day, and every change has a tablespoon or less of poop but man, he can clear the room PPPPuuuu!

why won't he poop all at once? he is taking 1 1/2 doses of Miralax a day, 1or 2 fiber tablets at 2grams, and a AllBran granola bar at 5 grams. He gets plenty of water/juice, probably 30-40 ounces a day although once in a while I have to fight to get the first cup of water/juice/Miralax down him. and he gets 1/2 capsule of probiotic mixed with chocolate.

ok so this turned more into a vent than an update.....
but you guys are the only ones that truly understand.
love and light,
Bryanna
post #145 of 228
so sorry to hear, Bryanna! getting sick has thrown us off too. galen is totally stopped up-- no miralax for a week now. he threw up again last night, although he acts totally fine in between. it seems that his retention/slow metabolism has slowed him down in getting all the way over the virus. don't be too hard on yourself for the impaction happening so fast. probably his bowel is just still really stretched out, and after being sick his system will have to remember what to do. since he was empty just days before, there's obviously nothing you could have done differently. do you feel confident that his irritability is just from his constipation? I only ask that because I was just reading up on reye's syndrome because the pepto bismol I bought contains aspirin. I definitely won't be using it now. very scary stuff! anyway, irritability and vomiting can be symptoms, although it *usually* is coming on after a child has recovered from a non-stomach bug, like upper-respiratory flu and chicken pox (evidently those are the most common predecessors of reye's). so, not at all to scare you, I literally just read about it before checking email, so it's on my mind. good luck getting back to a "regular" routine!
post #146 of 228
Bryanna,

(Now I want to add a disclaimer that I don't know very much about impacted bowels, and that my advice is more about behavior than medical issues).

That said, when the poop does come, what consistency is it? I ask because the times I have gone overboard on Miralax/juice/etc., my son's behavior has been extra rotten. I would think that he just needed a little more help to have an easy poo; however, the urgency of a really soft poo made him act like a bear. Instead of holding in a manageable poo, he had to concentrate on keeping in a big messy one.

By scaling back on the dosage of Miralax, I was able to find the point where he was pooping just as frequently (about every other day), but with firmer poop and better behavior.
post #147 of 228
OK, this is TMI to anyone but you guys....


Carlin's poop, when it does come is usually like soft oatmeal. It is like chocolate milk when I get up to a Miralax dose that is too much. even the GI doc said chocolate milk is too much! and the past week he hasn't really pooped, just 'touch of color' in his diaper or a couple tablespoons maximum, but frequently. Soft tan oatmeal but oh so stinky!

I have noticed, historically, that when he does poop in the potty, it is really skinny, like pencil skinny, like a kitten skinny. I thought megacolon was the opposite: toilet cloggers.

We have a 2 year old friend who poops round little rabbit pellets every day. (Sometimes I envy that...)

He has been hitting the 2 year old, shoving her down to get her toy, and when she logically retailiates he breaks down to tears almost unconsolable. He overreacts when the TV show ends. Rushes past to jump into the chair in front of you then makes a neinerneiner noise. He will ask you to make oatmeal, but if it isn't just right he 'hates it' and wants something else. He either can't stop running/jumping/spinning/dancing or is curled up somewhere almost asleep.

Can 4 year olds be depressed? writing this out makes me think of how I feel when I'm in a major depression episode... short fuse, quick to tears, wired but exhausted, with a Need to make everyone else feel just as bad.

It's frustrating because I know that most of his behavior is still 'typical 4 year old', but he is generally not typical.

Thanks guys,
Bryanna
post #148 of 228
I haven't read all the thread yet but wanted to commisserate.

My dd went through this. What I figured out is that she didn't like the *sensation* of poo-ing. She is now 8 and has been going once a day for years now. It's no longer a "problem" but we sure tore our hair out when she was younger, trying to figure out what was going on...
post #149 of 228
OK, I have to confess to two things first: 1) my son's problem is not that bad, he sometimes resists pooping on the potty, but eventually will go. 2) My advice is probably meant for someone like me; someone who has a child with a very minor problem or just the start of a problem.

So, DS is almost 4 and MOST days he will poop on the potty. Sometimes, for whatever reason (he's too busy, knows that the poop is large and might hurt a bit, etc.) he will resist. Aside from good diet and encouragement, the one thing I have found that works is bribery. Or okay, let's call it a reward. M&Ms, a Hershey Kiss, etc. It convinces him to sit on the potty and once there he will do his business and we're all set. I find I have to do this about once every two weeks or so. When he was toilet training, that is how I got him to poop; with food rewards and stickers. He pee-trained very early but the poop thing took forever, he was about 3 years 4 mos. before he would even consider sitting on the potty. Eventually it became a habit and he stopped asking for the rewards. He doesn't even ask for them now; I have to remind him that he can have a chocolate if he sits on the potty.

I know this isn't exactly the best of attachment/natural parenting, but it has kept him regular and has kept it from becoming a huge behavior issue. So if anyone thinks their child is beginning to develop a phobia or control issue with the potty, you may want to consider a food reward. For us it has really worked.
post #150 of 228
Bryanna, if you haven't read _Raising Your Spirited Child_ by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, I **highly** recommend it. your little guy sounds a lot like mine (also 4), and I have also worried about his emotional state (and sometimes still do). the personality spectrum is broad, and when you have a little one who's on the intense end, it can be very confusing, especially when it seems all your friends have these docile little darlings! that was always my situation. another thing to consider is food sensitivities/allergies, especially artificial colors and high fructose corn syrup, along with wheat and dairy. artificial colors are a major no-no at our house. if ds has them, I know to brace myself for the tornado! without them, and with other preventive measures like heavy physical activity when I can make it happen, all is much better. feel free to pm me if you want to talk more about this topic.

on another note, I wanted to share with you all that I think the grapefruit seed extract took care of the nasty tummy bug that was just hanging on in ds. more than 48 hours with no vomit for the first time in a week and a half! woohoo!
post #151 of 228
[QUOTE=goddessjulia;7180950]Bryanna, if you haven't read _Raising Your Spirited Child_ by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, I **highly** recommend it. your little guy sounds a lot like mine (also 4), snip

I have read it for a friends child and Nik fit the bill, but Carlin has spent nearly 4 years as 'text book easy', mild, docile, polite and caring, never went through the typical terrible 2's, etc. it's just the past month or so that his behavior is 'spirited' and the change itself is concern-worthy to me.

thank you guys for listening.
Bryanna
post #152 of 228
bumping....
post #153 of 228
we went to Carlin's GI checkup yesterday. and she agreed that the program just wasnt' working. 1-2 adult doses of Miralax, 1 fiber tablet, high fiber diet and 4t of Magnesium Citrate.

Weekly he goes 5-7 days between poops. and gets so uncomfortable/irritable/out of control/bloated. so she gave him a milkandmolasses enema and it took about 20 minutes for that to work. he had goosebumps, crying, muscles contracted. just trying frantically to hold it all in. but it all came out in the end... and about 10 minutes later another bout. I had to weigh him, the big scale was just begging. he checked in at 38.5 pounds. we checked out at 36.8 pounds. and all he did was poop! holy moley!

she said to stop the miralax and magnesium citrate and go with 4T of mineral oil a day, continuing with the high fiber diet. I'm substituting flax/fish/castor oil for the mineral oil. and mixed the first dose with a yogurt smoothie.

last week he had a superpooper day and noticed his behavior swung completely around. he was able to work a 70 piece puzzle, twice. and read his books and play quietly with his princess and shrek. as the week went on with no poop, things got crazy again. so I think the behavior is directly linked to his 'fullness'.

the GI doc wants me to make an appointment with his PCP to check out the other complaints. bones hurting, headaches, exhaustion. she didn't think it had anything to do with the Miralax or with the constipation.....

have a great day,
Bryanna
post #154 of 228
My ds has not pooped since Tuesday! : I wasn't as vigilant about making sure he gets his flaxseed oil every day. I still have to remember to buy that FiberSure. Anyone here ever use Babylax? I have it from a year ago when he first started this behavior but never used it. When do you think I should talk to my pedi about this?
post #155 of 228
wow, Bryanna, I don't know how your son can hold that all in! That sounds so stressful. Hope your new plan works!

Rox5266, sorry I don't know what babylax is. Is it an enema? I used one for dd when she was very constipated (turns out fiber supplements do not work for her and actually made it worse). I would call the ped. Usually I just get recommended prune juice, etc., but I feel better checking in and the doctor knows what is going on if it becomes more serious.

Dd has been doing great with poops lately, still in the diaper. She agreed to sit on her little potty with diaper on and try to poop - and sat there with her legs stretched straight out trying to hold it in! So I guess she still needs to walk around to feel comfortable.

easy poops for the little ones!
post #156 of 228
Yes, it's an enema. A small bulb syringe with glycerin in it. My biggest fears about using it is that he will be allergic to glycerin (I can't use glycerin soap, burns my privates) or that it will be a disaster because he won't cooperate with it.
post #157 of 228
The one I used was a saline solution,no glycerin, called Fleet's enema for children. Luckily dd cooperated. I guess you could just try it with your son and see if he would let you put it in? The doctor might have some suggestions but I'm not sure they give enemas often.
post #158 of 228
my experience with glycerin suppositories on ds is that they do burn like mad, then cause cramping, and all-around traumatize the poor kid. I tried babylax and fleet's glycerin suppositories back in the day. miralax really saved his a$$

I was thinking of posting the other day-- reason for all to be hopeful! first, ds is finally poop-potty-trained! he will still try to retain sometimes, but it's more like a typical kid who just doesn't want to stop playing to go, rather than being a kid with a chronic constipation problem. when I see him clenching I can usually just remind him, "we do that in the potty, remember? go-go-go!" occasionally I have to cajole him a little, but he isn't battling me about it. and, perhaps more importantly, he seems to be off the miralax as well! he's semi-regular, which he has NEVER been, going every other day. sometimes he doesn't even tell me! every two weeks or so, he'll skip more than one day, and then I'm able to just give him a big dose of citrucel in yogurt (he likes that) and he goes. I haven't used the miralax in weeks! at last, some semblance of normalcy!!

best wishes for everyone to get to this point, and for us to stay here!
post #159 of 228
Yay goddessjulia! That's wonderful news, and just in time for the baby (or has the baby arrived?).

We have had some ups and downs here. Every time I find a solution that works, it gets stale after a few weeks and we're back to withholding--not as bad as it used to be, but still some behavior issues. Right now he's going every 2-3 days.

My latest brainstorm was to create a sign (tapping his head), that my son could use when he needed help in the bathroom. Until he used the sign, I wouldn't talk about poop at all. The first time with this new plan, he was high-stepping and whining all around the room while I ignored it. I thought he was going to have an accident, but then he stopped, did the sign, and all was well. It worked GREAT for about 2 weeks and then it just didn't work anymore. We're back to me having to tell him that it's time to go.

We've been off Miralax since January, and it's done a lot of good decreasing the drama. Now his pre-poop signs are restlessness, throwing, and tooting. I used the fiber gummy bears and they keep his poop just the right consistency.
post #160 of 228
Thread Starter 
it's nice to see everyone-I was also thinking of bumping the thread! I know people here would appreciate the rather warped sense of humor I've developed because of this issue-I think of you everytime dd poops!

Quote:
Originally Posted by goddessjulia View Post
my experience with glycerin suppositories on ds is that they do burn like mad, then cause cramping, and all-around traumatize the poor kid. I tried babylax and fleet's glycerin suppositories back in the day. miralax really saved his a$$

I was thinking of posting the other day-- reason for all to be hopeful! first, ds is finally poop-potty-trained! he will still try to retain sometimes, but it's more like a typical kid who just doesn't want to stop playing to go, rather than being a kid with a chronic constipation problem. when I see him clenching I can usually just remind him, "we do that in the potty, remember? go-go-go!" occasionally I have to cajole him a little, but he isn't battling me about it. and, perhaps more importantly, he seems to be off the miralax as well! he's semi-regular, which he has NEVER been, going every other day. sometimes he doesn't even tell me! every two weeks or so, he'll skip more than one day, and then I'm able to just give him a big dose of citrucel in yogurt (he likes that) and he goes. I haven't used the miralax in weeks! at last, some semblance of normalcy!!

best wishes for everyone to get to this point, and for us to stay here!
CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS!!!! That's wonderful news-and I am certainly hoping you guys have turned the corner for good!


DD is also doing much better-she pooped in the potty for the first time ever last week, and has willingly done it every day since! She's also off the miralax, but I keep it on hand just in case. So far the poops are soft, so her stress level is way down. It's such a relief! She's so dang proud of herself, too.
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