Saturday, May 28, 2011

Oh Poop......Literally

I have dealt with my fair share of poop. Three babies, three toddlers. Then my second child had constipation issues, so until she was about 4, there was ALWAYS the smell of poop on her clothes, my car, my hands. Then we have Garrett now. He is almost six and in diapers. Lately he has been asking to wear "underpants" at home, and while we let him, he usually cannot control his urine, so he pees on everything lots. Then this past week he started having sensory issues with his own stool. Until now, I have not ever really complained much about his poop. I know he is mentally delayed/disabled, and I was not going to push toileting because, well, rushing or pushing anything is not even a possibility in Garrett-land. So I just kept changing and giving lots of meds to keep his gut moving. Enemas, ExLax, stool softeners........and yes, my hands always smell like poop again, but this new deal is absolutely NUTS!!!!!!! It goes like this:
With a diaper on, he will come to me with stool on his first and second finger on one hand and he will be SCREAMING, "I have POOOOOP. I don't like it!!!!" And waiting to change him is NOT an option because he is in a complete panic, screaming, jumping, crying. He is genuinely upset about having any poop. So I have him lie down on a towel on the floor or stand beside my chair so I can change him, and he will just have a tiny smudge of stool just starting to come out. It isn't a huge movement, just a tiny bit starting. And he is FREAKING OUT!!!!! I change him, and sometimes it can be up to another hour, but usually it is 3-6 diapers within 30 minutes, each time with his fingers with stool on them and him in a panic. He has never cared about having poop before, but it is like in a blink of an eye, this became a BIG sensory issue for him. Sometimes he doesn't put his hand into his diaper to get poop on his fingers, but usually he does. I tried to fuss at him, but it seemed to heighten the problem. SO I try to be all positive, but man is that a challenge because he wants to touch me with the poop on his hand. And when I tell him no, it's like I said YES instead as he becomes obsessed with touching me....and he isn't kidding or joking.
Then this evening as I was trying to get our dinner prepared and get the horses up into the corral from the pasture to get them off of the rich alfalfa which they had already had their evening hour, he came out screaming. By the time I could get the fence closed and get back into the house.....all the while Garrett sticking his head outside and freaking out.......he had his diaper off, poop on both of his feet, one hand, his shirt and ALL OVER HIS LEFT EYE!!!!!! It was horrible. I did pop his little leg when I saw the diaper was off. I have told him to leave his diaper on about 532 times in the past two weeks. I didn't lose my cool because I have learned that gets me NOwhere with Garrett, but I was controlled and disappointed in his eyes. "Mommy, don't be sad at me. Be happy!!!! Say CHEESE mom!!!" he said over and over. SO I have to stay positive and tell him how stinkin' happy I am whenever there is any tiny positive, or at least NOT a negative. So I changed him, ate my dinner with the permanent stench of poop on my hands, then gave him a bath and put him right to bed.

I never complained much at all about his poop. Shoot, I was just always thrilled to see he COULD still poop. But this is a new place, a not very good situation. Yes, I have thought maybe this is the beginning of toilet training. He has been doing #1 on the potty more, and some outdoors, and I am thankful, don't get me wrong. However, it all feels endless as this "mess" intensifies into bigger kid issues. And all of these things are so raw, more intensified, more disgusting, and more heartbreaking.

We went to McDonalds today, just Garrett and me, to play on the indoor playground. I was finishing a very good book about a mom and her son who had Autism. As I was reading, he was playing with 3-6 other kiddos his size but younger than him, but he was having a blast and not needing me at all. The poop started. He is in the top of the play deal looking down at me through the netting, no longer playing with his new pals, and he was yelling, "Mom, I have POOOOOP!!!!!! I didn't stick my hand in my diaper!!!!" And he was proud he hadn't gotten poop on his hand. And there I sat, trying to look happy and positive but dying inside as my almost 6 year old was screaming that across the play area and parents slipped little glances at both Garrett and me. So I went to the car, got the diaper bag, took him to the bath room to clean his tiny poop, then we did this three more times in 30 minutes before I called the playtime quits. It was exhausting, yes, I admit, embarrassing, and so obviously not normal. Sigh.

And then that book I was reading, Dancing With Max. It was a lovely book, pleasantly real and funny as I was allowed to be inside another mom's mind and he father's mind as they raised her son, Max. And I was getting to the end of the book today in McDonalds and did finish it, but the finish of the book didn't give me what I had hoped. I hoped I would find some ray of hope, some healing this child of hers received through her strong faith. While the book was very encouraging and I needed to hear her witness to my heart, in the end I put down the book feeling tired and no more hopeful. I realize that through her journey of 19 years with her son who is not going to be independent because of his Autism, SHE changed, grew, settled into her mission as his mom, giving up her career as an artist, always available and committed to his every need and care from day to day. And that's where I am not stepping up. Sure, there are times I feel completely at peace. I have made a path that has left my hobbies, interests and my possible loosely-planned future career ideas aside for caring for Garrett and home educating our two daughters, but to read that it doesn't change, but I change more to make it just felt stupid. It felt like someone was telling me, "It's all on you. You just give in to this agape love, selfless, sacrificing, for the rest of this earthly life and SHA-BAM, you will be happy!!!! Ggggggrrrrrrr. I know, I know, I know, she is right. But I am just in the process of trying to pack for that trip. I haven't checked in online or reserved my seat yet. I am nervously staring at the suitcase, deciding what to pack to keep from my former life, what to leave behind of my future potential plans and wishing God would just come sit here on the bed beside me and pat me on the back or give me "that" look to show me He is for real and this is truly my path. I will get there. I have faith. I am just slow......apparently Garrett got that from me..HA!!!!

Wow, lots more to let out here than I planned tonight. All in all Garrett and I had a nice day. He was a pretty good guy in WalMart today. It was intense from a parenting standpoint, but it is the best he has done so far. And thankfully no poop in Wally World, YAY! I went to look at a horse to buy and he screamed in the Yukon for the three minutes I was out of the car. I won't try that again!! He did well leaving McDonalds, actually asking to leave when we left. So that was good. His tummy has slowed down again, and he is back on laxatives after a few months off. His new med, Focalin, isn't causing negative effects, but I am not sure I am seeing a significant ADHD improvement.

Okay, I really am going to bed now!! I am so looking forward to my parents arriving in a couple days and the rest of my household returning in a week. Gosh, I miss my husband and girls terribly.

Please pray that we can figure out how all of this will work. My parents are a huge part of the solution, at least for the summer, and then we have a business starting 2200 miles away, more time separated, more complication, but I think it will yield dreams fulfilled and possibilities expanded here or there or somewhere God sends us........I need BIG, FAT, OBVIOUS answers!!!!!!! I miss my hubby and girls!!!!!!!


1 comment:

  1. You are always in my prayers. I am so amazed by your day-to-day strength. Hang in there, Mama!!