Monday, April 12, 2010

Feeling The Strain

It’s a little known fact about our youngest son, Tom, that he has – without fail – been ill for every Christmas and Easter holiday since he was born. Everything from a bad reaction to the MMR jab to horrible gastro-bugs. If it’s out there he’ll do an X Files and find it.

This Easter we thought we’d got off lightly. Just a nasty cold.

But the nasty cold for some reason mutated into constipation.

And not the “nice” constipation either; the sort where you merely feel no compulsion at all to go. No, Tom got the nasty constipation where you feel bloated, fatigued and are plagued 7 or 8 times a day by stomach cramps and spasms that leave you in pain, upset and (if you’re 2 and a half) a bit frightened. Most of the time these spasms would be unproductive. They’d rack his little body, leave him discomforted and miserable and put him off eating (as eating the slightest little morsel seemed to bring them on in the first place). Finally, at the end of the day, after a titanic battle with his bowel, there’d be a weighty little pebble of poo in his nappy. The kind of thing that would have taken off the top of Goliath’s head if propelled from a well aimed sling.

It’s been harrowing and heartbreaking to watch. Tom (like his father, it has to be said) needs space and privacy when having a motion. Hence he’d shut himself away in the hall or the kitchen and groan and strain away in solitude and fend off any kind of outside interest or interference. Until he got so fed up with it that a “tuddle” (cuddle to the layman) was finally called for.

Karen and I turned to the chemist and got him some lactulose. As per the back of the box instructions he’s had 5ml twice a day since Friday. It’s had a barely discernible effect. In the end we decided we could stand it no longer and Karen took him to the doctor this morning.

Thankfully there is nothing seriously wrong – which is a huge relief. As a parent you automatically fear the worst and I’ve lived with the fear that he has had a blockage of some kind for days and days – a ridiculous fear given that he has been producing poos of boulder-like quality but who said parents were rational?

The doctor (as we suspected) issued suppositories and has told us to up the lactulose intake to 15ml twice a day – to be reduced slowly once he starts producing soft poos.

A two-pronged attack. A pincer movement so to speak.

Tom as you can imagine was not enamoured by the first suppository but as I headed back to work this lunchtime leaving him in the care of my good lady wife, there were sounds and smells that maybe that first efficient dart had found it’s mark and things had begun to move freely once again in the nether-world of nappies. Tom certainly looked a good deal happier.

I too certainly feel a darn sight more relieved than I have done for days (it’s so nice that I can empathise with my son).

I have asked my wife to keep me updated on the poo front and possibly to text me a picture of his first post-medication product. It sounds gross I know but those of you who are already parents will understand where I am coming from.

Those of you who are not parents may now have been put off procreation for life.

I can only apologize.

If it’s any consolation it’s something your own children will not thank me for either.


28 comments:

French Fancy said...

Oh poor sweet little Tom - may he continue to defecate in soft and plentiful comfort.

I know I always bang on about the dogs, but they also get lactulose on occasion. And I examine their poos too - well, I don't pick them up or anything but I do look to see what the output is like (is it shiny enough? Did the poor little thing strain?) On the rare occasion when I don't go on the walk I quiz Mr FF on his return but - to my amazement - he has not noticed the quality, quantity, etc.

So you and I have a lot in common, albeit you have a human and I have two canines. (I bet you think I'm a soppy old thing now - don't you dare agree).

Steve said...

FF: all I'll say is on a good day Tom has a lovely glossy coat and a wet nose...

I might buy him some Winalot for his birthday.

Anonymous said...

As a mother of 6 and having been a nurse for over 30 years I can certainly understand.
But remember THIS TOO WILL PASS (sorry about the pun),I have been there,got the T shirt and should definitely right the book!
Physically having to help it happen is the worst!
Ally

Steve said...

Ally: more like this poo shall pass! And it has done too. Karen has been true to her word and texted me a pic of the biggest log I have ever seen. Canadian redwood judging from the girth. It was a swine arriving but Tom was very, very happy afterwards.

That's my boy!

rb said...

Ah good, glad to hear about the log.

Usually your posts make me feel broody but this was one of those that made me glad that mine are old enough that I no longer have to trouble myself with their toilet habits. Well, other than the wee-ing on the seat of course which they have still not grown out of.

Steve said...

RB: I don't know how to tell you this but... they're boys. They'll never grow out of it.

;-)

Suburbia said...

I sympathise with you sympathising with Tom. I always feel really ill at ease when my two are poorly. Hope he keeps improving.

Steve said...

Suburbia: he's managed a second "unassisted" poo (though not technically unassisted as he has several days worth of lactulose bubbling around his system) and is chuffed to bits. Fingers crossed the worst is over.

William S. Burroughs said...

“Perhaps all pleasure is only relief.”

Winston Churchill said...

“I pass with relief from the tossing sea of cause and theory to the firm ground of result and fact”

Steve said...

Bill 'n' Winnie: I shall muse on your wise words next time I sit on the white throne of destiny.

Alienne said...

Poor little thing, I am glad to hear he has got over the problem now. It's weird what you can manage to find interesting about your offspring when you are a parent isn't it!

English Rider said...

Prunes are infallible!

missbehaving said...

Glad the little one could expel the log, it's no fun to watch your kids in pain and discomfort.
We have these funky things here, sort of fig enemas, shoot them up the bum and things slide on out, many a time they've saved the day.
Hope Tom continues to flow freely.

Owen said...

"Holy shit !", one might exclaim...

French Fancy said...

I returned to check how your littlest one was doing. I am so glad that Tom is now pooing freely and copiously.

Steve said...

Alienne: even the most revolting bodily function takes on a beauty when it's something your own kid does.

English Rider: they are also horrible!

MissBehaving: urgh! I've never liked figs at the best of times. This hasn't improved my disposition!

Owen: I think if Tom could have uttered an expletive, he would have done.

FF: things certainly seem welcomely loose this morning. Fingers (and legs) crossed.

vegemitevix said...

Poor wee thing. My Dark Princess (now 14) used to get this terribly, but happily she grew out of it. Was not so good when I mistakenly overdosed the lactulose the night before Christmas. Ah that was a shitty Christmas.

Steve said...

Vegemitevix: brown snow is not be recommended (even less than yellow snow).

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Poor Tom - it's as if you've left the bathroom door open on him on top of his trauma.

He might forgive you for the beautiful writing, but not the invasion of privacy, I fear.

I hope he doesn't indulge in a dirty protest. ;-)

Steve said...

Laura: when his times comes I'm sure he'll have plenty of dirt to dish on me...

Being Me said...

Owwwch, poor little man. So glad 'none shall pass' turned, indeed, into 'this poo shall pass'.

And by the way, your request to Karen Re "the poo front" just flashed the strangest idea for a T-shirt into my mind. Ewww.

Steve said...

Being Me: I'd like to place a "bulk" order when they're ready...! ;-)

Mark said...

A man and his toilet - a private issue me thinks. And now you've captured it all in words. Poor chap, he will be mortified when he's older f this ever got out ...

So keep this post and when he's a teenager, threaten to show it to his girlfriends - and see how quickly he moves then! I bet he'd **** himself.

Steve said...

Mark: a good 50% of this blog has been written with future blackmail startegies in mind...

absurdoldbird said...

Your son will one day time travel back to this blog...

Steve said...

Absurdoldbird: I am writing it purely as a source of future blackmail material.

Steve said...

Laura: there's nothing like washing your dirty laundry in public...!