Sunday, November 27, 2011

The best place to eat Halloween candy is...

the bathtub of course!  

Came across these pictures, missing my granty-poo.  Every one of these makes me laugh.

It's time

I'll be starting the Soiling Solutions program tomorrow.  Ian had another accident this afternoon, then nothing happened in the evening when he sat on the toilet.  You can be sure i'll be updating on the process. :-)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Praise God!

My insides were screaming tonight oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh!  Ian self-initiated a poop on the toilet tonight for the first time EVER!!!!!!!!!  I still can hardly believe it and am cautiously optimistic.
His three day cleanout was finished on Thanksgiving.  The next day was Friday, which we spent downtown at the Macy's Day Parade, Finnegan's toy store, and watching the train display in the Macy's store basement.  It was a good day for Ian, considering he didn't have an accident the ENTIRE day, which was a first in, like, forever.  Then that night i made him sit on the toilet around the same time that i had been giving him a suppository the previous nights.  I was making him laugh while reading a book, periodically instructing him to blow hard on my forearm to make a tooting(farting) noise, suddenly he looked at me with shock on his face and said, "The poop's coming out."  It genuinely surprised us both.  
I thought we were back to square one though when he had an accident this morning, wanted to take a bath, then pooped some more in there.  I was planning on giving him an enema for the first time tonight just to make sure he was thoroughly cleaned out, but around the same time as we've been in the bathroom on previous nights, i heard Ian from the other room say, "I need to go poop."  So i yelled, "Okay good, go blow it out!"  I walk into the bathroom 30 seconds later and there's the most beautiful looking poop i've ever seen sitting right in the potty chair!  I was so excited he did it all by himself!  And bless his heart he said, "And i didn't need any medicine in my bottom."
We'll see what tomorrow has in store for us.  It's our day to hunt for our tree.

Our future caffeine addicts

In between the times i wanna strangle 'em, my kids really do crack me up sometimes.
I had to break it to joey that grandpa doesn't even drink coffee, so he might want to change Ian's name to Papa.  He'd be able to serve a lot more of it that way.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The latest with Ian

Test results= normal healthy boy
X-ray showed lots and lots of backed up poo
Currently on day 2 of 3-day colon cleanout= miralax + me & ian each night in bathroom, suppositories producing massive poops in toilet
doctor said it's not an overnight fix, expect to be committed to a few months process, relapse rate is very high.
asked doctor about enemas(not our dr., he's on vacation this week), he said they would get the job done too, but are more "invasive", but he didn't say no either.  Invasive to my ears means cleaned out thoroughly= no backed up poo= good thing.
supposed to schedule appt. with our dr. next week, he will tell me his plan of keeping Ian on Miralax for months and i will tell him my plan.  We'll see where we end up.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My little soldier

(If you're tired of the subject of poop already, you should probably stop reading my blog, for it is my life right now)

I knew Ian was tough, but now he's superhero status.  Had to get the dr.'s finger up the bum and blood drawn on the same visit.  Two nurses were brought in to make sure his arm didn't move and i had to use my body weight to lay over the top his legs and keep his opposite shoulder down.  I wasn't thinking and this was the only part of the visit that i hadn't prepared him for, so i had to give him a brief explanation right before they came in.  He did great, face got red and his little heartbeat was pounding super fast, but he didn't cry or even give the slightest protest.  They suggested to him to look at me which he did for about a second then turned to watch the blood being pulled out of his arm.  Such a trooper!  The nurse was showing him the viles and told him he could hold them if he wanted, so of course i said excitedly Let's take a picture so daddy and joey can see your blood!  He was fascinated by it and maybe looked a little concerned too cause the nurse made sure to assure him that his body would make more.
Anyway the tests were being done to rule out any rare diseases or thyroid issues that could be contributing to the encopresis.  The doctor called me Friday to say he tested negative for all of them, except we are still waiting for the results of the Celiac lab.
Relinquishing anxiety has been a full-time battle for me lately.  I'm much more at peace today but that wasn't the case a couple days ago.  I've been a little obsessed with researching everything i can think of to find out what has worked and what hasn't for families with encopresis.  Saturday was a bad day.  Still feeling sick, tired, and overwhelmed, when mom showed up at the house, i kinda broke down and just couldn't keep it together.  I had just been reading too many stories of moms who had tried everything and their kids weren't any better.  It seems like so many are just trying to control the situation, being super paranoid about diet, precisely calculating when to add more laxatives, stool softeners, and agonizing over when to cut back on them.  No concrete solutions just bandaids to cover up the problem.  Maybe these are the exceptions and the people that have had success with Miralax alone just don't write about their experiences on the internet, but i literally only found two examples of people who said it actually solved the issue for them long term. Anyway, my mom told me what i knew already to be true, that information is good and all, but sometimes too much of it can be pretty dang depressing.  Hope was hard to find that day.  I was still pretty bummed out that night at church, trying to not let it consume me, getting teary-eyed again for who knows how many times that day.  Thankfully we had the Monster X show to look forward to that night.  Mom scored some tickets for free (THANKS MOM!) and we were able to leave O at home with her so we could go have some fun with the boys.  It was so needed, it's pretty fun to be a family of 4 for a night, we actually had enough hands for once!  It was a blast, boys were up SUPER late but slept in til almost 9 the next day, and have been playing monster trucks ever since.  We even had to bring out their fork lift today and use a shoelace for a chain to pull up the rolled over trucks, cause that's what the real ones do ya know.
So back to Ian's appt., the doc said pretty much what i thought he would, that after we rule out diseases, we get an X-ray to check out his colon, then get on Miralax to get him cleaned out.  Here's the rub though.  I don't get it.  I understand giving him runny poops and softening them up to try and clear it out.  But if his colon is indeed stretched out and it takes months, sometimes even a year for it to shrink back down to its normal size, how does that help him learn to push poop out on the toilet if he never did it before all of this started happening?  Wouldn't having more accidents because of the laxative just make him want to hold even more? I had these questions already and a couple weeks ago i came across someone saying the best money they had ever spent was on a manual called Soiling Solutions.  They too had tried everything else and were desperate, and after finding success with the protocol, they were highly recommending it others on the forum.  Being the skeptic that i am, i of course had something new to research, and still have yet to find one negative review of the program.  It's basically a schedule of specifically timed suppositories and enemas for one hour a day, until the child is able to produce a bowel movement without assistance.  I haven't gotten to the specifics of it yet, i just glanced at the visual aid for the treatment hour or "hour of power" :-) and most of the time is spent just hanging out relaxing, the actual "sit" times are only 2-3 minutes long.  So basically, you spend at least 10 minutes or more just chillin in the bathroom, then the child sits for only a couple minutes, then you hang out some more, then the child sits again for only a couple minutes.  If no poop by then, the parent inserts a suppository, waiting time again for 10 minutes or more, followed by another short sit.  More hanging time, then finally the 4th and final sit.  If nothing has happened by this point, then the enema is administered and a bowel movement is guaranteed.  The goal being that the time on the toilet is associated with successful poops instead of long sitting times that feel like forever to a child or even like punishment, and it just produces a sense of failure.  The idea is that the bowel movement is reward enough for the child and they will feel a sense of relief and excitement over the end result, despite them most likely resisting the whole process to begin with.  Eventually the child should be able to achieve a bowel movement without needing the enema, then without the suppository, then finally real celebration happens when the child initiates going to the bathroom on their own.  An hour a day may seem like a chore to some, but compared to a whole day of worrying when he's going to have an accident, having to give him baths either to clean him up or to get his digestive track working, sitting on the toilet and waiting for poop without success, one scheduled hour a day sounds awesome to me.  The wonderful part about it is that it guarantees the colon being emptied for a 24 hour period.  There's no worrying about having accidents.  The body's not confused by mixed signals caused by oral laxatives that take effect half a day later.  90% of children on this program stop soiling by two weeks into it!  That's just amazing to me.  I really wanted to believe in this but there were a couple things holding me back.  One, the price.  89 bucks for a manual? Really?  Two, it's not well known.  If you look up encopresis, you don't find websites telling you to order up Soiling Solutions to fix your problem.  Well, in spite of it, my gut was telling me it was necessary so a week after finding out about it, i ordered it.  The more i read it, the more i have confidence in the program.  Maybe i won't even need it, but the information i'm getting is invaluable, and i have to do something to keep me busy(other than pray of course) until these slow doctors can get back to me and we can proceed.
The problem is, guess what, our pediatrician had never even heard of it.  What?!  I cannot find A SINGLE person who this has not worked for (believe me i've scoured) and our doctor doesn't even know what it is?  I guess enemas used to be pretty commonly used in homes but over the last few decades cultural stigmas and fears have caused a shift in the medical community and now the standard recommendation is the "soft approach" which involves oral laxatives, diet, fiber, scheduled sit times of 10-15 minutes after each meal, reward charts, etc. etc.  The crazy thing is that this approach works in up to 60% of cases within a YEAR, but only 80% after 8 years!  Those just really aren't good enough odds for me.  I didn't want to tell the doctor quite yet that i had already purchased the "Clean Kid Manual" because i hadn't read it yet and really just wanted to feel him out by throwing the idea out there.  And not only did he not know what it was, but when i asked his opinion of whether or not he thought it would be a good idea to do an enema, he was not at all for it.  His reason being that the uncomfortableness Ian felt from the rectal exam would be close to what he would have to experience from receiving an enema.  However, i'm leaning toward the opinion that being half naked in a cold room while a stranger's fat finger probes inside is quite worse than a skinny little tube being inserted by a loving parent in the comfort and warmth of home.  There are basically two "camps" regarding treatment for this issue.  The top down approach which claims that administering everything through the mouth is the gentlest, least traumatic for the child, and the bottoms up approach, which claims that emptying the bowels is the most effective way to retrain the brain to overcome the holding instinct that has by now been habitually ingrained and learn to use the muscles needed to push effectively.  I plan on using both.  If we do indeed find out that Ian is backed up and he needs laxatives to clean him out, then i'll do whatever need be to get all that junk out of him, but i'm not going to keep him on it for six months to a year just hoping that one day he'll decide to go on the toilet and it'll just happen to be at the right time that the laxatives have made their way through his system.  I just don't think that suppositories and enemas are that traumatic for a child if done the right way.  What i do think is traumatic is having to go through life with poop in your pants and feeling alienated because your parents never had the courage to do the dirty work required to fix the problem.  And there's a pretty good chance Ian's colon is backed up and stretched out.  He's got all the symptoms which i won't list here for lack of time, but it can take up to a year for some kids depending on their severity for their colon to return to its normal size.
I think a large part of my stress was me agonizing over which route to take for treatment.  What do i do when our doctor tells us to do one thing but i'm reading something totally different and my gut is telling me to try something else?  Since this condition affects up to i think only 3% of children, i can totally understand that doctors don't have the time to look into it closely and that they i guess have to be on the same page as other doctors so they're not seen as being a radical, but i'm hoping that he can at least be open to it and not take offense that i'm looking elsewhere for answers.  Praying for wisdom everyday, and mostly that this will end as quickly as the Lord is willing.
My little baby deserves this, to live to the fullest.  Thanks to everyone praying, that is what is needed most.

saying, "No i love Youuuuuuu."

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Well, at least now we have a name for it.  All the pooping.  A couple weeks ago, i spent pretty much an entire afternoon, in every spare moment i had, searching the web for anything that could explain what was going on with Ian.  Now i know, now i can help him.  If you want to know what it is, there's a pretty good explanation here
For the past couple weeks, i've done some of the things with Ian that have helped a rare number of kids- removing dairy from his diet, giving him a daily probiotic supplement, increasing his fiber and water intake.  I have even taken him in for a few chiropractic appointments hoping that would help.  None of these things have changed anything.  I think he's really blocked up in there and it's going to take a long time of cleaning out before his body will go back to normal.  I feel so bad for him, and i have to admit, i feel bad for me too.  This really sucks, there's no other way to say it.  I am so sick of smelling poop, of hosing him down, giving him baths, washing out underwear, spending time with him on the toilet, having to ignore my other two kids for large amounts of time.  It's just so depressing, doing this routine day in and day out.  But i do have hope, i do believe that God is going to heal him from this and he will get to be a regular kid who can poop normally and have a social life.  I have done A TON of reading on this subject at this point and cannot believe how many parents out there have been dealing with this for YEARS, and are at their wits end on how to handle it.  Most of them have just been prescribed Miralax and their kids have been laxative dependent for most of their young life.  For some people it has worked great, others it seemed to in the beginning, only to rear its ugly head again a couple years later.  Still others have seen no results other than just increasing the messes that happen because of diarrhea, and the child's body never learns how to regain control over its bowel movements.  The ones that make me want to cry are the parents who write about how they've watched their fun, outgoing children turn into shy, insecure little people who are made fun of and are not able to enjoy things they used to anymore.  That is NOT going to be my kid, i can tell you that right now.  I am going to fight for my little guy, and get this solved before he gets old enough to even remember he ever had a problem with it.  He stayed home with me and Oliver last night instead of going to AWANA's with his daddy and brother, said he didn't like it anymore.  Honestly, joe and i think he's already changed a bit.  He used to be my on-the-go guy, always wanting to get out the door, didn't matter where we were going, but he wanted to go too.  Now he wants to stay home, and i have to talk him into going to play outside or go for a walk.  He just doesn't seem very HAPPY.  And that bums me out like you wouldn't believe.  Tomorrow he has his 3 yr. appt. and i will be talking to his dr. about all this.  I'll be really surprised if they have a plan for me to try, instead of just suggesting medication, but we'll see.  I've already recorded every ounce of food he's consumed the last couple weeks and documented every single poo activity that's occurred in that time span as well, so they can't brush me off with any vague advice like add more fiber, drink more water, blah blah blah.  I love doctors, really i do, i'm not as annoyed with them as i'm sure i come across.  I'm hoping they'll recommend an x-ray, do a rectal exam, all that's necessary to rule out first any physical reasons for the cause of this, then i can move on to a plan of action.  How sad for parents who have dealt with this for years, honestly i would have lost my mind.  I read from one woman who said her family just didn't understand, didn't think it was that big of a deal, thought her daughter was just being lazy, and why doesn't she just let her daughter grow out of it.  No one really understands how frustrating and exhausting this can be unless they're dealing with it as well.  I just keep telling Ian that he's a good boy, he's doing the best he can, and we're going to fix it together.
This has been a really trying week.  I've been sick with sore throat, cough, sinus yuckiness, Joey had some really bad ear pain (and i can now say i've dripped cooked onion juice in my child's ear, and might actually do it again if need be), and Oliver just might have been mildly affected by salmonella poisoning or something like that.  While i was at a chiro appt. with ian and picking up joey from school, joe had let O "help" him with loading the dishwasher, which had raw chicken dripped all over from the bowl that i had in there which the four pieces of chicken had thawed out in.  He had already had a little cold at the time but by the next day he was having massive diarrhea poops and was a little lethargic, and i was actually having to encourage him to breastfeed because he wasn't feeding as vigorously as is normal for him.  By the next day he had only one diaper full of diarrhea instead of three, and was starting to get some energy back, although he wouldn't take an afternoon nap and was incredibly cranky.  Last night he slept in our bed because he was so fussy, and my night time was divided between frequent feedings for comfort and listening to the raspy breathing of a 20 pound sack of potatoes sprawled across my belly.  He seemed to be a little better today, still too uncomfortable to take a real nap in the afternoon, and it's too early to tell how he's going to sleep tonight.  I should head to bed now, tomorrow's a long day, and i'm weary beyond weary.  But i'm alive, i have a place to sleep, food on my table, family to love.  I have all i need, and i will choose to be content.  Thank you Lord, for your healing, and your faithfulness.


Timing doesn't get more awesome than this.  I was soooo hoping that joey would be able to sing this year, "ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT TEETH, MY TOOTH FRONT TEETH........."  and guess who's second top tooth popped out yesterday morning, woohoo!  He's so stinkin' cute isn't he?

Showing off once again

Look who was drinking out of a straw at 9 1/2 months!  Smoothies are very motivating!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Joey was such an early talker and has had no issue with speech at all so i actually enjoy it when he mispronounces a word consistently because i know it means he's still little and has a lot of growing up to do.  I almost cried when just a couple months ago, Ian started to say "smell" instead of "mell".
So here's a couple of joey's that i want my brain to be able to recall.

"Daddy can you read us a vunotional?"  (Devotional)

"The good guys are called autobots and the bad guys are called "aucepticons" (Decepticons)

I may be cheesy, but i'm hanging on to their youthfulness as long as i can, cause it sure is going fast.

Family Camp!

Yes this was 2 1/2 months ago but important to note nonetheless!  Annual camping trip with church family, wish we could stay longer but alas, barber's schedule, we one-nighted it again.  It was a ton of work with two young boys and baby, but the kids have soooo much fun together that it makes it totally worth it.  Joey and his buddies play together the whole time practically unsupervised so that probably explains why i have no pictures of them whatsoever.

This is what you do with an almost 7 month old CRAWLING baby.

To which he says, "You've got to be kidding me right?"



Papa and Grammie even came to play for the day!

Two super excited boys and one predictably unexcited boy.

See you next year Nehalem Bay!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fence Building

Dig a hole.

Set the posts.

Pour the cement.

Just kidding!

 Continue to put in more cute posts til complete.

Try really hard to not to drop a heavy board on your foot cause this is what it feels like.

Done and done!  Minus the gate.  Ahhhh, summer projects, boys outside working = awesome.