Thursday, March 06, 2008

Failing as Parents

Yesterday Maxfield had his 4 year old check-up at the doctor. They gave him the full rundown including a hearing and a vision test. He was so cute to watch as he tried to cheat on the vision test. He just did not want to be wrong and I think he had a small crush on the nurse and wanted to impress her.

He is at 90% for his height and 75% for his weight. Which is an "A" and a "C" and is not really honor roll material but we can work on bringing the "C" up to a "B" for the next time. I joke but, a child's physical exam is also a mental/emotional exam for the parents. Of course you want the child to be healthy but as the doctor asked us, the parents, questions I just hoped that we got all the answers right. It feels like the SATs.

Does he play well? Yes. Does he go to school? Yes. Two days a week. Does he eat normally? Well yes. Lots of fruits and vegatables? Yes. Oh of course. He loves his fruits and veggies. Since I said "Love" maybe he will get extra credit. Sleep Normal? Yes. In his own bed? Well yes. Since he was two. Again extra credit. Well occasionally he sleeps in our bed but that is only if he has a nightmare and maybe we should not let him, but you know. Is it wrong? I took too much time one on that answer. Just need to finish the test and go back to this one? Is he involved in any other activities? No. No? Should he? Maybe he needs to be more involved in other activities. We will sign him up for soccer and piano and pottery at the local art center if it means the doctor will give him a A on this exam.

I think there were few moments that Lauren and I actually looked at each other as if we were trying to "cheat" on the answers. We reallly want to succed as parents.

Everything checked out okay except for one area. We mentioned to the doctor that Max has been having some problems with the potty training. He was fully trained but then, a couple of months ago, he started having accidents. I call them "on purposes" because I think he knows when he is going to pee himself. It was and is getting to be very frustrating. The doctor explained that this is somewhat normal and that with all the stress over the past few months this may be Max's way of dealing with the stress.

Then she, the doctor, examined Max's belly and discovered that he is full of poop. So full, that we had to take him to get x-rays to make sure there are no serious issues. He passed his x-ray with flying colors (thats my boy)but is still full of impacted poop. The doctor explained all the hows and the why's and that Max's clogged bowels are causing him to have accidents. She then told us we needed to give Max an enema once a day for the next three days.

I went to the pharmacy and purchased three Children's Fleets enemas (the pharmacist did not appreciate my joke about having different flavors for children) and some stool softener.

Last night, with some degree of difficulty, some tears and wincing (I am not saying whose) we attemtpted to give Max some "heinie medicine". That was what we called it because he already had five booster shots earlier that day we figured he may be okay with one more, so to speak.

Lauren and I failed miserably as parents. I held him down, she inserted. Fluid from the enema bottle sprayed everywhere. She held him, I inserted. Again fluid sprayed everywhere. Whatever we tried we could not get the enema to work. He is either that impacted or Lauren and I are the worst enema givers in the whole world.

After fifteen minutes Lauren and I decided to wait it out and see if any of the medicine worked its way in. Max has still not gone.

Round two is tonight.

46 comments:

Loth said...

I sympathise. The big problem with being "tested" as parents? They didn't give us the textbook in advance so we could revise! We are making up the syllabus as we go along!

SciFi Dad said...

Did the doctor say anything about natural laxatives or dietary changes for the short term that might help the problem?

Maybe tonight will be better with the softeners having a day to work?

Jezz... I feel for you. I can't imagine giving my kid an enema.

I hope he has a monster dump the likes of which would make any dad proud. ;)

Marleina said...

I've read for a long time but never commented! Figures I comment on poop.

Gotta love the parent tests during exams. I always wonder if they think we're lying and make notes about the parents! We had a similar problem with our daughter, and we had great luck with the babylax liquid glycerin suppository - it's made for ages 2-5 and 'produced' within 15 minutes!

Meegs said...

Ohh, that poor boy! I cringing just thinking about it. Hopefully the medicine will kick in soon!


ps. Is it weird reading that so many people want your kid to poop?

Stacie said...

Aw Poor Maxfield! I hope the heiny meds kick in soon. YOu and Lauren most certainly have not failed as parents though, In fact, I can't imagine any 2 people more qualified for the job. You guys rock!
Stacie

Mainline Mom said...

Max is going to kill you some day when he reads this.

BUT I feel for ya, because my 3.5 year old is fully pee trained, but will. not. ever. ever. ever. poop in the potty. He must have complete privacy at home, ie quiet time in order to even poop in his pants. And he only gets that on non-school days, so he often goes up to 5 days without pooping, which of course exacerbates the problem.

And then there's the baby, who has been totally and completely constipated since the day I started him on formula. Now he will only poop in the bathtub, and that might be once a week at best too. Our doctor has recommended fruits, juices, karo syrup...we've tried all that. I think it's time for the suppositories. Yuk. This should be my own post.

Circus Kelli said...

Two words: Prune juice.

We're having some poop problems at the circus, too with the boy clown. We give him prune juice and let him sit in warm baths for a bit to 'get things moving' and plan to start a nightly "sitting on the potty routine". All this because really, I don't want to still be wiping his butt when he's going off to college...

raisingtheboys said...

Ugh sympathies all round. I think Shea is having similar problems and I feed the kid prunes every morning. What gives? Well apparently not poop. Hope things get moving soon!

Sandy said...

Oh man. I feel so awful for Maxfield! I really, really, hope that something gives soon so he and y'all don't have to go through that again any time soon!

Scarlett Wanna Be said...

Ahhh, that is awful, for all three of you. Poor Max, no one likes having their butt probed. I know that had to be incredibly painful for you and Lauren as well. Have you thought about giving him some coffee? I hear that works wonders.

The good news is, after he does poop, you might go straight from a C to a B. I know that is what I always hope for.

By the way, I don't think you and Lauren could be horrible parents if you tired.

Matt, Carrie & Tommy said...

It's been a little while since I've given an enema (I used to work in group homes for developmentally disabled adults), so I don't remember how good the instructions are. But once you dispense the fluid you should put your fingers over his anus, with gentle pressure, so the pushing reflex relaxes and the fluid has a chance to do its thing. Don't know if this will help and it's probably a little graphic. Sorry. I hope Maxfield feels better soon.

Carrie

Bogart in P Towne said...

The rumor is John Wayne had 40lbs of impacted feces when he died. So you got that going for you...

supremetrishy said...

We have used glycerin suppositories with our little one with great success. Also, we have started giving her a few tablespoons of adult prune juice (not diluted) every morning with breakfast. She still doen't poop every day but poops every 2-3 days. it has made a big difference. Suppositories are much less mess than enemas.....

The joys of poop talk... My husband would be saying "EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!! right now.......................

Carrie said...

my SINCERE thoughts of support for you guys right now.

I had such a horrible experience when we had to give Rhena an enema, that just reading about YOU having to do it brings back my tears.

"little tummys" makes an oral laxative drop, supposedly tastes like chocolate, but I didn't test it. just another option aside from the prunes.

ugh. ugh ugh ugh!! good luck!

Renee in Seattle said...

Okay, I had a friend who's son had this problem UNTIL HE WAS NINE! She thought he was having "accidents" on purpose as a passive-aggressive way of disobedience. Finally the doctor explained the situation, and they have had him drink prune juice every day since (he is now 15) problem solved.

The Egel Nest said...

That is true love...when ass spray does not bother you :)

Good luck on round 2 :)

Bradley
The Egel Nest

Katrina said...

Hold the tube in place. ;o) Prune juice or pear juice will work too. Or just feed him a bunch of pears, that fiber will want OUT! Good luck with the poop!

Anonymous said...

My son had a similar problem. We would have him eat the jars of baby food prunes and when it got worse we would give him small amounts of milk of magnesia. That always seemed to do the trick. Now he eats a chewable fiber pill every morning, just to help things. Another thing, if your feeding him bananas stop, they constipate, try strawberries instead.

Jess said...

McDonalds fries work miracles in my family. I don't want to think about why. My mom always swore by them and now they're working on my daughter.

Anonymous said...

I look back at those days thank God they're over. My youngest was constipated from day 1 (a chip off the old block) and Dr. had us try using Miralax around the time we started potty training.

We'd give it to her day after day and we'd be incredulous that she wouldn't poop. Several days later, at pre-school she pooped all over herself and I freaked out because it was EVERYWHERE. I freaked out because to me, it felt like an "on purpose".

Of course, in hindsight, it wasn't and am not very proud of my reaction that day. I probably scarred the poor child for life that day.

MnRooMom said...

Poor Max :( It's a fairly common problem, though, so don't feel too bad. You didn't flunk your performance review. I worked in a children's hospital and "impaction" was one of the top reasons (other than tonsils) that kids spent a night there. Hope the home remedies work well for him.

MnRooMom said...

P.S. Once you get him cleaned out, you might try introducing a TBSP of flax seed oil every day into his diet. Helps with the regular thing.

Tismee2 said...

Oh dear! Can't offer anything other than thoughts. Mine can poop for England!

Hpe by now things have improved for him.

Oh, The Joys said...

Those are THE JOYS, no?

Dear JEEBUS that sounds rough.

Julie said...

I second the Miralax suggestion. It's tasteless and mixes into any liquid. It will also get him moving.

And I totally snorted OUTLOUD at your comment about the pharmacist not appreciating your flavor joke.

Stacie said...

You know, I've been thinking about this today.. it might be time to take Maxfield on a trip to the bookstore. That always worked in the past....
Stacie

Anonymous said...

Just want to comment on the 75% on weight. That's not a C. The percentage is misleading. On my 3-year-old son checkup, he had 50% on weight. I asked the doctor if that meant he needed to eat more (which I didn't think so.) The doctor said his weight was fine, that is 50% is the average. It's really confusing. So, you don't need to aim for 100% for the weight.

Christine

Anonymous said...

We had success with glycerin suppositories and fiberclear. Baked beans with dinner and a warm bath helps too!

O's mom said...

We have a 4 year old "holder" too. We are not big meds people, and we tried natural remedies. But, we have to resort to the Miralax(glycomax) stool softener and baby fleets every once in a while. I am sorry for Max and sorry that you and Lauren have to do the enema thing -- it is a painful experience for all involved. Best part is when we go to the pharmacy and he asks the pharmacy tech for his poop medicine.

kittenpie said...

Oh my good gravy, that is a scenario I don't even want to imagine... I do know one mom who had to resort ot digging out some poop with a gloved finger to help get things moving along, though. Eek. Good luck with the next attempt!

Bridget said...

No! No you didn't! You are supposed to be a cool dad! Max is going to be furious one day when this internet posts comes up in conversation with the girl he is dating. When that happens tell him to call his cool godmother who will take him out.

Anonymous said...

Back in the day, an enema was the cure-all for everything. You didn't call, William! I could have advised you. I was raised in the forties and fifties. The victim of many an enema. The problem for me was that it worked. I felt so much better afterward. My parents knew what to do and did it. Just like you and Lauren. He won't hate you for it. Once he feels the results.:)It's just a flash in the overall picture of life. Nature doesn't always happen on it's own. Needs some coaxing. I love watching my kids be parents. What a joy! momo9

kcinnova said...

Silly Pharmacist. I would have laughed. Okay, maybe not, but I probably would have said the same thing you did!
We dealt with this at the same age. Never had to give the enema, but we spent weeks giving a TBSP of mineral oil (with honey) at bedtime. It helped a little, but mostly he ended up with brown oily smears every time he passed gas. (I know, DISGUSTING.)
In 5th grade, the doc had us give him a nasty drink for an entire weekend to really loosen him up and then he had a month of daily Milk of Magnesia to keep him from becoming too solid again. In retrospect, this was "nicer" than an enema, but at the time it wasn't!
Now we give out daily doses of Fiber Choice "vitamins."

Hope you have big results soon!

Papa Bradstein said...

You don't fail; you succeed for doing everything possible for him. Good luck with that.

eclectic said...

Sending sympathy, and good thoughts! However, like Stacie, my first thought was, "Take him to Barnes & Noble!"

rudecactus said...

Been there, done that. It isn't pleasant. At all.

creative-type dad said...

Ouch, I couldn't do that.

We had some "back-up" problems with my daughter and I opted for an orange smoothie with some castor oil in it.

That really does the trick.

mominmentalmotion said...

So sorry about that. Maybe you all could do some tummy massages on him. Seriously, I was in the same place last spring and my physical therapist did the tummy massages and it helped "clean things out" so to speak. It was better after that. Then I went off all dairy. You might want to do some elimination diet if this happens again soon. Poor kid!

Anonymous said...

what about the suppositories?
seems like they would be easier to manage than an old fashioned enema.
try miralax if doc ok's it. works wonders!
and then there's the laxative you can always count on- a taco bell meal..

kalki said...

Different flavors! Bwah!! That's awesome.

I am the same way with needing to "pass" my doctor exams. I hope Max is able to pass something else tonight...

Undercover Mutha said...

That is the worst extra credit assignment ever. Get better soon, Max. (Our last doc appointment was last week, and the doc noted all the poo in my daughter's tummy as well. We escaped the extra assignment.)

theotherbear said...

Sort of gives a new twist to your blog title, doesn't it.

Charity Donovan said...

Ohhhh...I soooo feel for you and have BEEN there! My son cannot drink too much regular milk or this happens...HAS to have soy! We had to do the Fleets route once and it was a HORRIBLE experience for BOTH of us. Called my grandma & she told me to use Milk of Magnesia instead...worked like a charm within an hour & no tears! Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Once the "medicine" has done its job, try a kiwi a day for breakfast(on an empty stomach) - it does wonders ! Start off with just one. Kiwi have laxative effects and certainly helped our little one to sort out the problem

Toni said...

Ugh, I am relating to this post. Happened to my then 10 month old son back in October. Was horrible!!

Hope he is able to "go" on his own!

crabbymom said...

Ahh, this is EXACTLY,EXACTLY what we went through a couple summers ago. Our son was full too and the doctor said his sons went thru the same thing-they are so full o'poo it results in a build up of pressure on their little bladders -my son thought he had to pee every 5 seconds - and he never had to go - it was just the pressure.

We used the clear fiber powder mixed in orange juice - metamucil is too thick - get the stuff that is fine and clear. Be cautious of using too much mineral oil as it will eventually result in the intestines being unable to absorb essential materials from your sons diet. (don't you love someone who tells you what to do! LOL)