It’s been a long couple of months for us health wise. Em has been sick on and off since December. Earaches, asthma and constipation have had Toby Joe and I at a loss for what to do next. It’s been a great big guessing game. We’re guessing more now than we were when he was first born, something I didn’t think was possible.
I wrote about Em’s constipation a while ago. We received a great number of suggestions and we’ve tried many of them. It’s really about elimination so it takes a lot of time and can produce a great deal of mistakes along the way.
I’m a little uncomfortable writing about this solely because it’s about someone other than me. The older Em gets, the more and more I feel that discussing his personal information is just plain unfair. But I also feel that bringing such things to light can help another mother and father in need. I was also really shocked to discover just how common constipation is for toddlers.
So, here goes nothing. (But if I freak out and take this post down in a few hours, you’ll know why.) One thing is for sure, this is the last you’ll likely read about it on here.
Bananas and Apples
Bananas and apples are very fibrous. I know. Everyone knows that! What I did not know, however, was how they work. Apparently, they take double the amount of water for someone to digest. (Something having to do with using two water molecules for their every one. I dunno. I was on about two hours of sleep whenever my doctor explained it to me. Plus, my son was screaming on the top of his lungs at the time.) So, if your kid is like mine and loves apples and bananas, make sure that they’re drinking a LOT of water. And up until recently my son didn’t drink very much water, so we had to cut bananas and apples from his diet.
Too much milk causes constipation. The hard part is trying to figure what “too much” means for each kid. I was told that 15 – 17 ounces of milk is OK but 20 and more is too much. But that difference seems so small! Nevertheless, cutting down on the milk has been very hard for us because Em loves his milk.
Wheat (and wheat allergies) can lead to constipation and, in our case, that’s probably been the culprit. We’ve been feeding Em whole grains and whole wheat and both are extremely fibrous. So, the whole wheat bread I’ve been diligently baking for him might be a little too fibrous for his tummy, which is pretty ironic. When it comes to Em’s digestive system, it probably would have been better all along had we been feeding him the nutrition-less white bread you often find in stores.
The thing is, I always thought wheat allergy meant loose poop. Have I been wrong with that assumption? I have no problem whatsoever with wheat, so this is all very new to me. (Any insight here would be very helpful.)
Antibiotics cause diarrhea. Most everyone knows this, but oh my goodness.
Antibiotics work by killing bacteria, but they don’t know the difference between the good stuff and the bad stuff. So, they end up killing both. The balance gets thrown off and loose stools are a result. Another result? Smell-less poop! (Which is kind of awful, because scent has always been my cue!)
Suppositories and Laxatives
A few days before Em was diagnosed with asthma, he’d been more constipated than ever before. While we were at the doctor having his chest and ears looked at, we discussed constipation as well. She suggested that we start on Miralax but not until after he was finished with the antibiotics. She suggested in the meantime that we use a glycerin suppository to loosen things up.
The next morning, I gave Em a suppository. Nothing happened.
That night, still nothing. But he was growing increasingly more uncomfortable and let us know by arching his back and screaming. On top of all this, both ears were bursting and he was having trouble breathing. At 9 PM, I called the doctor.
I got in touch with another doctor this time and she gave me a different set of directions. She suggested that I start him on Miralax immediately even though he had just begun the antibiotics. Her biggest concern was that if we don’t get the constipation issue worked out (and the screaming and pain under control) he’d develop a roadblock when it comes to potty training (which we’ve begun but not militantly so).
I gave him Miralax on top of the phantom suppository.
The following morning everything changed. Let’s just say that I ran four loads of laundry, mopped the floor twice. He had three baths, and the carpet in his bedroom had to be scrubbed and disinfected. German fetish jokes were exchanged between Toby Joe and myself (why we pick on Germany when it comes to poop fetishes, I haven’t the slightest clue).
GREENS! AND MORE GREENS!
My kids loves veggies, so we’re lucky here. He will consume an adult-sized portion of broccoli. He loves spinach, peas, carrots, and green beans. We upped these items drastically as of late in hopes of making things easier on him (and us). We’re also offering him more scrambled eggs and a lot more fruits (with the exception of apples and bananas.) I am very much looking forward to berry season which is right around the corner.
I was elbow-deep in poop last week. In fact, just yesterday when I picked Em up from school, he was wearing all new clothes. I was handed not one, but two bags of clothing, which meant he went through the clothes I sent him to school in, his backup pair and was sent home wearing another boy’s backup outfit.
I’m still not sure that we have things figured out yet especially since the antibiotics have pretty much thrown all results out the window. I imagine that there will be some more guessing before we really get it worked out. All I know is that watching your child scream while he or she is trying to use the bathroom is no fun.
Please feel free to discuss poop, lack of poop, or whatever tickles your fancy.