Monday, July 15, 2013

Now that's shitty!

As promised in my last post, it's time we talked about poo :D

One of the original goals of this blog was to share our experience regarding Cédric's digestive and intestinal issues and their side effects. Even thought it might seem excessive to some, or at least disgust them, Cédric's feces are a part of our everyday  life. I have therefore wanted to address them for a long time. But last Wednesday's events, July 10th 2013, lead me to believe it's time...

Since he was born, Cédric has never had normal bowel movements. He's always varied from constipation to diarrhea, which should have been a hint to us. But in the spring of 2011, things deteriorated and made us take action. He was three and a half years old and wasn't potty trained, so we had already changed more than the average amount of dirty diapers, and he started having diarrhea.

Diarrhea of gargantuan proportions! Diarrhea 3 to 5 times a day, everyday! Diarrhea that was creamy at best, most of the time completely liquid! Diarrhea that was orange or red! Diarrhea that smelled like acrid vomit!
I'll discuss later, in another post, the causes we identified and the steps we took to remedy to it; I focus here on the our "shitty" daily life.

Cédric is now five and a half and is still not toilet trained. He also has the unfortunate habit of pooing in the bath. Water relaxes him and he feels free without a diaper and I don't blame him. But depending on the smell and consistency of the day, it can be more or less fun to clean up. He also had a phase where he would put his hand in his diaper right after a bowel movement, so we had to clean some poo from his computer keyboard, the floor, our clothes, our arms, hands, ... (knock on wood, he hasn't done it in a while). During the period of intense diarrhea, it wasn't rare for the pjs or even the sheets to be full of it in the morning. The large ones during the days often overflowed and dirtied his clothes. We even invented a word: a "cacastrophe", and songs with colourful lyrics.
And last Wednesday, we reached a new level in our experience with poo. In the bathroom of the school where Cédric goes to IBI, he found a small brown chunk. Despite his therapist holding on to him, he grabbed it. She took his hand to take the chunk away, but considering the nature of the thing, her hand slipped and Cédric ate poo! Another student's poo! His therapist washed his hands, his arms, his face, inside his mouth... even his hair was wet and the senior therapist thought he had stuck his head in the toilet :D
When they told me, I said I'd rather that than dairy (to which he is highly intolerant) and they seemed relieved that I have a good sense of humour! And my mom got a good laugh when I suggested that if the child from whom he ate feces has a better intestinal flora than he does, it might even work as a fecal transplant (a medical procedure unfortunately not very common but that we have considered, which consists in recreating the intestinal flora by introducing healthy feces) ;)

I'm writing all this because someone should!
Not only do Dave and I change a phenomenal amount of diapers (and "play" in shit regularly), but it is a daily topic of conversation.
When you have a child with sick intestines, every diaper counts. Even though we fight as to who will have to go change the diaper (and I should say that I am very lucky to have a husband who changes a lot of diapers, the lucky one who doesn't have to go always check how the contents were. When he's out of town, Dave asks me if Cédric had bowel movements and how they were. We discuss consistency, colour, odour, quantity...
At some point, Dave even described Cédric's stools as strangely not constipated, but not diarrhea. He said they were formed but not hard, of average size, that they didn't smell too strong... It didn't even occur to him that they were NORMAL!! And when this happens, even thought the word escapes us, we rejoice at the news of normal poo!

And there you have it! I hope I didn't gross everyone out, and mainly that nobody decided to read this post during a meal...