“Over the next couple of days I will get back to the senses. Next up? Oral.
Before I go into more detail about the hypo/hyper issues with orality; I have to explain why it’s REALLY important to know about, talk about, and study about.
The trouble with ‘going.’ Oh my….such a personal topic. You know though, if we don’t talk about it – then it remains a mystery. I wish I would have had this blog to read about eight years ago – that’s why it will be painfully (no pun intended) honest.
One word. Constipation. I’m not referring to the ‘once in awhile I ate too much cheese’ type of constipation. We’re talking daily, for years…the type of constipation that would make a grown human cry.
When he was young I blamed it on myself. I have always struggled with gastrointestinal issues – so I figured he just inherited my ‘bad gut.’ Turns out, it was much more. Much, much more. By the time he was four I knew something much different was going on (but before he was ‘identified’). We took him to his regular doc – he suggested Miralax. Well, no kidding – did he really think I hadn’t already been doing that? Whatever…so we did that for another three months.
Nope. Didn’t help.
So, back we went – onto a pediatric gastroenterologist. Ugh…one of the worst appointments ever. The result? ‘Your son is obese, has nothing wrong with him, and just needs to eat more fiber. Try an enema every once in a while.’
I refrained from punching him in the throat.
Really? Obese as a 4-year old? Sure…he has a little more chunk – but must you say that…and moreso – must you say that in front of him? Jackwad.
Really? An enema? That is your ‘course of action?’ Did you not hear me when I said his poo is the size of a FREAKING GRAPEFRUIT!?!?!?!? Not just one grapefruit every six months – but every time he goes it is the size of an overgrown garden zucchini. Jackwad.
Nope. Obviously, didn’t help.
Two weeks later we had to leave a party because he was in so much pain that he was in tears. We got home and I sat beside him on the toilet. Him pushing and crying. Me reading books and singing and rubbing his back. In the warm tub, out of the warm tub. More tears. Finally, I put on a latex glove and just helped him. Go ahead and gag…but I’m telling you when your child is sobbing because they can’t poo? You will do ANYTHING to help them.
It’s also when I realized that the consistency of his movement was just different – sticky, hard, awful – no wonder he couldn’t get it out. No wonder he was in a very vicious cycle. It hurts. He holds it in. More compaction. He finally goes. It hurts. He holds it in.
We had to break the cycle – I had to help him.
So…I went on my own. This is really when I began to realize that it would be my own research and ‘tracking’ that would get this problem at least a bit under control. I’m a bit ‘crunchy’ – so I’m always looking for natural healing. (Tucker took his very first antibiotic last year – yeah!) The answer? Aloe Vera Juice. That became the solution – at least at this point in his life.
“Aloe vera juice has natural fiber that aids digestion and improves bowel movements. Being a natural laxative, aloe vera juice can also be used to treat constipation.” (http://www.top10homeremedies.com/kitchen-ingredients/10-health-benefits-of-aloe-vera.html) Where do you buy such a thing? Actually – for us? Wal-Mart…I’m not joking.
So, I took the aloe vera juice and mixed it into a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture with water and made Kool-Aid. We tried it plain – but honestly, it tastes awful. Really, really awful. There was no way I was going to get my 4-year old son to drink it – but if I sweetened it up with some Kool-Aid? Sure thing…
It did the trick. We used it for six months straight to get him going on a regular basis. Long enough to get him to forget the thought of ‘not going because it hurts.’ He had to get into a new cycle. Every once in a while we would return to the ‘Poop Juice’ for 1-2 weeks. Yes, we called it that. Yes, it made him laugh. Yes, he would drink it through giggles.
We haven’t had to use poop juice since he was 7 – he just had to get old enough to remember to try to go every day (yes, it was also on our ‘to-do’ lists for awhile). Yes, we had a picture of a turd. Yes, I made it a happy turd. Yes, it made him laugh…and honestly still makes me laugh.
So, now? How’s the ‘going’ going? Eh. Okay – it’s remarkably better in that it isn’t so large that it causes tears – but it is so large that it often clogs the toilet. His movements were (and still often are) huge, like legendary. Last fall we were out late at a local establishment for a family gathering. Soon we heard the people at the next table talking about the size of…well…you know. I looked at Tucker – did you? He started laughing…and said, “Yeah mom, you know everyone has something amazing and famous about them…this is just one of my things.” Oh, boy.
The great news? Research has begun…
Back in October Autism Speaks selected two major research projects – one focused on intestinal bacteria, the other on chronic constipation – to advance understanding of autism’s gut-brain connection. Funding for the studies, each spanning three years, will total more than $2.3 million. For more information on that study please go to: http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/autism-speaks-invests-23-million-research-gut-brain-connection
So, if you come to my house and find a surprise in the toilet? Please, don’t be grossed out. He spent the first of his 8 years of his life being instructed not to flush – for fear that it would plug and/or because I needed to see it. Yes, that’s the honest truth – I needed to see it to make sure the size/consistency was at least ‘closer’ to normal.
Don’t make a big deal of it…just flush – or let me know and I’ll flush for you.