Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oh my aching heart

Ahren, sweet, adorable, big eyed, captivating small boy. Oh Ahren. He is struggling big time at school. Today I got a call from the nurse. Actually it was the third or fourth call from her since school started. Oh how I LOVE this woman! She has taken Ahren under her wing and made it her mission to help him.

For the third time in three weeks of school, Ahren had a major potty accident. The first was just #1, but the next both included explosive #2. Each accident has involved the teacher, the nurse, the assistant and the janitor. Each has included a complete change of clothes, including shoes. And each has been devastating to this Mommy. (Ahren is not upset at all. He accepts the situation and is just, well, Ahren)

We tried to implement a system where each time he needed to potty #2 he went to the nurse's office and she helped him. That worked well for a bit, but today he just didn't have time to get there. He ran to the closest bathroom but someone was in the one stall. So he ran to the girl's bathroom but it was too late. Disaster. The teacher found him a little later and called the nurse. Who called the assistant. Who called the janitor. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Poor baby!!!

Does anyone have any thoughts? Ideas? Solutions? At home he has much closer access to the potty and doesn't have this much trouble. How do we help him? Is he losing some function or is it a situational issue?

Oh my Mommy heart aches. I do not want him to be known as the kid who always messed his pants in school. Kids can be so cruel and the NEVER forget!


JB said...

I work in a school and we've found that getting to the nurse's office is not always an option for young children. The time delay/distance, coupled with the pace of the school day and the distraction factor of peers is just too much to allow for travel to the nurse at times. I'd wonder if there's a time of day this happens (after a snack or meal?) and plan that as soon as he eats or right before that time of day he has bathroom access, even if it's just to try. We've also had some kids with toileting issues for health reasons do pull ups at school which are changed midday, to prevent the stigma of peers seeing soiled clothing. I'd start with the pediatrician to rule out if it's a muscle piece as well.

Diana said...

This is a really tough one...much more so than with a non-trauma kid. Sometimes it's hard to tell whether it really is an accident, or if it's an "accidental" way of communicating stress, overwhelm, and/or manipulation...especially if it's a wonderful trick he's learned from a sibling, which is exactly what happened at my house.

So, here's what I'd do.

1. Prescribed potty time. He sits on the pot 10 minutes before school, 10 minutes at lunch, 10 minutes afternoon, 10 minutes at night before bed. It will for sure take care of accidents and it helps a lot with "accidents" too.

2. Is he holding it deliberately? Lots of trauma kids do this to as a way of trying to control part of their world. If so, the feces can become very impacted, the muscles lose their sensation (until it's emergency status) and strength, and then the soft, runny, icky stuff goes around the impacted stuff and explodes out. If this might be a possibility, some good old fashioned "dynamite" (equal parts olive oil and orange juice...about a cup of each) at night before bed for several nights along with the prescribed potty time will take care of the impaction and explosions.

After messing around for a year with doctors who weren't worth the paper their degrees are printed on, I finally did my own thing (what I've just suggested) and we've never had problems again.

Leah Maya Benjamin said...

HOpe you get something figured out it sounds like at least you have some smart commenters. This would be goign the complete opposite way, but my cousin's step son they thought was messing in his pants at school acting out because he had a new little sister etc etc etc. At home they never had any problems. They actually found that he was so severly constipated with a blockage that what would get around it was loose and he just couldn't tell in time that he needed to go. This went on for a long time befor ethey figured that out. Anyway it took a year or so to get his body doing what is was suppose to be doing and quite a few procedures and off solid foods, I mean it was a majoy deal that just wasn't something that they would have ever thought was the problem since he wasn't showing your typical constipation problems. Just throwing that out there. Good luck.