Thursday, November 11, 2010

trauma and poop

Yes this will be a post where I talk about poop, if you are interested in reading about how trauma can effect the bowel habits of children than I suggest you leave now because that is all I have for you today.

When two social workers sat on our couch and first told about the boys it was mentioned that Calvin had "some soiling issues" and Fudge had accidents. That is code for is unable to a have a normal bowel movement  and pees all the time everywhere. Why would two crown wards have these problems? They have them because they have been traumatized and their reaction to that trauma has been to control the only thing in their lives that they had the ability to control .

Since we are talking about poop I am going to leave Fudge and the crazy peeing out of this because that is something we are still battling.

So Calvin stopped pooping. It was not dealt with well, no one took it seriously and he was shamed over and over again as he tried to make the big people know what an unhappy little boy he was. When he was with his foster parents he did ok but then each and every time that there was a visit with Mom he regressed again. 

I naively thought that I would be able to fix this problem for both of my sons. Some love, consistency, good toileting routines similar to those that are used with toddlers and we would be on track. Right.


Let me say that again. I was wrong.

I did all those things and you can read about the things that worked in this post.  I tried really hard not to shame them about what was going on and I was not always successful. It is really hard not to make shame based comments when you are at someones house and your six year old pees all over their floor. I would get mad and say things I should not of said but hindsight is always 20/20. I regret some of the things that I said and did in those early months of being parent but I can not change the past and I can guarantee that I would not say them again.

That being said Calvin is 10 and still struggling with the aftermath of withholding his poop for well over 2 years of his life. From what we can piece together he has had bowel issues since he was a small child and there is perhaps some genetic components to them but coming into foster care just made everything worse.

As soon as the boys were placed with us I started talking to doctors about what we could do about this and to make a long story short we discovered that the damage that has been done to Calvin's colon may be permanent. When a child withholds for a long time their colon actually stretches out and little pockets develop where the poop sits and then begins to create a blockage this causes leakage and constipation problems and even though the child is trying to empty their bowels they are unable to do so completely and then there are accidents. It becomes a horrible cycle for the child and the parents.
There was some discussion and testing for about a missed congenital problem but that has been ruled out it and appears that Calvin is just unable to poop when he needs to and to that the damage that has been done may take years to repair if it can be repaired at all. How are we going try to repair it, laxatives, lots and lots of laxatives and then we are going to monitor him with x-rays to make sure that things are continuing to move through his colon. We have already been doing this for well over a year and it appears as though we will be continuing to do it for years to come. Although we have been giving Calvin an adult dose of Miralax ( PEG) on daily basis it is not really working, things are still backing up so to speak. So we are bringing out the big guns and doubling his dose for the next few days.

Calvin and I are looking forward to a fun filled few days that will include lots of liquids, movies and trips to the bathroom in an attempt tp actually empty him out so we can start again and perhaps finally find the right dose of medicine that will keep things moving through him.

I had no idea that talking poop would become such a huge part of my daily conversations when I decided to become a parent.


Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Oh no, that poor little guy! How awful! I hope it "goes" well.
We are having brand new poop problems here. Always something to keep it interesting.

Corey said...

Daniel had these problems, and God, they sucked.

Add in sexual abuse and the damage done there..