health, William

Dr. Poop

Will underwearIt has been months since I have written about our potty training journey, and that is what it has been — a journey. I wish I could report that we are completely free and clear and that Will is potty trained, but sadly I can’t. However, we have made some progress.

Back in November after five months of trying everything we could think of we made an appointment with an expert in Encopresis, aka a Poop doctor. Encopresis is the voluntary or involuntary passage of poop causing soiled clothing in children (please don’t ask me to pronounce it). We wanted to make sure there wasn’t an underlying medical cause to Will’s issues.

She has been a specialist in this area for many years and is the person to go to. Unfortunately her office is a 45 minute drive one-way without traffic. And yes she has pictures of poop on her desk.

Before our first meeting in early December, he had an abdominal x-ray to make sure he wasn’t FOS or full of stool (insert other words if you would like). He wasn’t FOS, but she felt that his nerve sensations telling him when he needed to poop weren’t working correctly due to continued bouts of constipation. She increased his dose of Myralax, added some mineral oil to the regimen and sent us home with worksheets to fill in every time he poops. We record the time, size, color and texture of his poop — super fun.

In the six weeks between our first and second appointments he made some great progress. Even with our travels over Christmas he did well. He actually started to initiate getting up on the potty before having an accident. This was huge because he had never done this.

At our January appointment she was happy with his progress and felt that we could get a reward system started for him to motivate him to initiate getting on the potty. He would get a sticker for every time he got himself on the potty and once he had five stickers he got a Lego. That worked great for a few weeks, until we had a major setback. He had several bouts of diarrhea and unfortunately we didn’t react well. Since then he has gone back to have accidents almost every day.

Last week we met with her again. She is still happy with his overall progress, but understands the setback. We have decided to decrease his Myralax a little to combat any over-medicating that might be contributing to his accidents. She also suggested that we change the rewards to a sticker for no accidents each day. After three stickers he would get a Lego. We will see if this restarts his motivation.

Jim and I are working hard to curb our reactions to his accidents and start to make him responsible for cleaning himself up. It is really hard when he has multiple accidents in a day again. He is also in this difficult developmental period where he is just a turkey.

Everyone keeps saying that he will be potty trained before he goes to Kindergarten. While the thought is somewhat comforting, I remember that we have already been at this for eight months and can’t imagine continuing like this for another year and a half.

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