Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Great Experiment Begins

This post is not about genetics, medical treatments or deep emotional issues. It is about one thing....... KEEPING GARRETT'S BED DRY AT NIGHT. So go no further if you don't want to know all about it!!!

The Great Experiment Begins!!!
Garrett is not able to use the toilet for bowel movements at all. He is pretty much potty trained for urine during the day as long as he is reminded to "go." But the night is another story. He urinates so much at night!! Yes, we have cut evening liquids. Granted, he is usually in bed about ten hours, but still, the kid urinates a LOT! I have tried waking him up at night and sitting him on the potty to urinate, but nothing ever happens. Some nights I change his diaper after midnight. So put a diaper on him at night, and that's all solved, right? BIG NO!!!!!!

Let me also mention that 6 out of every seven mornings, everything on Garrett's bed has to be washed. I have already given up using a flat sheet on top of him because he likes soft blankets, and one less sheet to launder almost daily is huge!!! But when he is wet in the morning, he has his mattress pad, his soft blanket, his fitted sheet and usually this monkey pillow/blanket thing he loves to sleep on all soaked and smelling badly. Because he has a full-size bed (so we can lay down with him when needed), it's a good bit of bedding, resulting in two loads of laundry for his bedding 6 days per week. And that's two loads daily before I can even think about getting to the rest of the family's wash!! And yes, we have a plastic mattress cover too.

Pull-ups are what his medical supply company recommended last year for nighttime, but they never worked. They are not designed for a large volume, and Garrett has little bird legs, especially his thighs, so the pull-ups gap terribly and then urine runs right onto the bed. So then we were sent the size 5 generic diapers by medical supply, and while that worked for volume about half the time, Garrett has outgrown then completely, so that's out. We started ordering these pads that adhere to the diaper on the inside, like a giant feminine napkin, but he fills that and then urine overflows all over the bed, causing more bulk causes more gapping at the thighs, and then the pee is totally bypassing the diaper. So the medical supply company recommended these disposable pads to also place under Garrett at night to catch excess urine. Sounded like a good plan, but they are really thin, move about the bed when Garrett moves, are too small in area, and are cheap plastic that wakes him when he moves around on them. One night last week, I taped two of them together and then onto the bed, and Garrett was a mess of tape and plastic the next morning.....and the bed was soaked. Strike out again!! Then three mornings ago I saw he must have gotten up in the middle of the night and COVERED his bed in the pads.....must have been six pads, but the bed was soaked and the pads were all over the place in the covers, completely dry. The largest size of Huggies Goodnights will likely fit okay for a month or so more, but then urine usually leaks around those also, and Medicaid will not cover them.

But tonight, tonight my life was changed forever!! I had called to ask the medical supply company for some washable pads to lay across the bed under Garrett. Sounded like it could work, maybe. I even had one of the service providers for Garrett's therapies tell me that I could get two washable pads per month. Each is 32 inches by 36 inches. She also said some parents sew two together so they lay across the bed onto the sides of the mattress and seem to stay in place that way. RaeAnn, Garrett's developmental therapist, got excited about that idea and also mentioned sewing Velcro to the sheets and the bottom of the pads to keep them in place....BRILLIANT!!!

But it gets better!! I drove to the supply office to pick up the two reusable pads and for at LEAST the 10th time in 20 months asked if there was any way to get a diaper product larger than baby diaper sizes but smaller than adult diapers. For the past almost two years, I have asked this every other month, and I have always been told that there is nothing between an adult small Depend-type under garment and a size 5 kids' diaper. But Miss Andrea (forever my hero!!!!) at the supply company said, "Why yes, we do have a youth diaper for waist sized 18 to 22 inches!" I almost cried. Literally, almost cried. My eyes welled-up with tears, and I almost hugged Andrea!!! She brought out a pack, and I opened it, and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen and held in my bare hands. Seriously!! It has two waist tabs on each side and a HUGE area of absorbency both side to side and front to back! WOW!! But even better is that they are covered by Garrett's Medicaid. I say this is even better because many times with Medicaid, things that are a bit off the beaten path are not covered. So we could not get larger disposable pads to place under Garrett at night covered, for example. They cover one type, that's all. Now hold the phone here, because I do NOT want to sound the LEAST ungrateful for the supplies Medicaid covers for Garrett. I am thankful for each item, literally!!! And yes, we pay for lots of things it does not cover and have been doing so for years. In fact, none of this was covered at all in Louisiana before we moved to Idaho two and a half years ago. But this was a huge discovery. Now on the other hand, I am still not sure they no one could find these for me within the supply company before today. But that's water under the bridge and MANY loads of laundry that have been washed. Maybe I had to be desperate and sound extra-deranged to get someone to look for them. Today was MY DAY, people!! I also can still get the small under-pads, which I will, because every time Garrett has stool, it takes one or two of those to place him on to change (there is no way to describe his poops with words. You would have to change one.....but if there is one, there are usually 3-8 in a row within an hour, and the consistency is, well, it gets EVERYWHERE), and we can use them for back-up when he is sick at his tummy or we have no washable pads clean. He is no longer like a baby where you can change him on a little cute blanket or a towel to save the furniture or bed. It is vile, horrible stuff coming out of his little body, and we do NOT want that mixed into our laundry anymore than we already have it because of the clothes he soils when he poops through the diapers or pull-ups.

So I walked out of the medical supply store beaming with joy!!!! I felt I had graduated with my doctorate or won the Super Bowl or something. It was so exciting. Even better, Garrett wasn't quite asleep when I got home tonight after the pick-up of supplies and Ainslee's gymnastics. So I went in, showed him the new diapers, put a new diaper on him, and put one of the washable pads under him for the night. He was pretty excited since I had been telling him about the new under pads because any change can throw him for a loop. He was all smiles!

So tonight is the big night!! If all I have is one load of laundry....the pad and the blanket and maybe the monkey, in the morning, I will be a happy gal. Cut morning laundry in half!! Maybe then Grouchy will have some clean boxers!!!!

I almost cannot sleep tonight because I am so excited about these new finds!! Roll your eyes if you like, but you can't imagine (some of you can!) how this may have revolutionized my mornings and possibly Garrett's self esteem, and that's important also!!


1 comment:

  1. OMG!! I SO feel your pain AND your joy! Ly gets 1/2 L of fluid all night long so his bed is soaked through to the bottom despite an overnight diaper and the extra urine incontinent pad. And my 7 yr old is a bedwetter and has to guzzle fluids all day to help his migraines. So, I really do understand where you are. We usually strip both beds mattress pad and all 5-7 mornings per week and I wonder why I can't keep up with my laundry! ;)