Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rant of the week

One of the joys of parenting more than 1 child (I'm assuming that this doesn't only apply to children of the same age) is that just as you get over a hurdle for one, the other presents itself often with the same problems only much magnified.

T finally managed to get on top of his constipation last week and despite a small number of attention getting sessions (he has quickly learnt that crying in a particular way brings the adults running) he has obviously softened stools. Unfortunately as his has improved, N's ongoing problems with constipation have worsened to the point that we nearly took him A&E. His temp shot up, he became listless and sweaty and despite valiant attempts to pass a stool spent the whole day doubled up in pain. Fortunately through some hard core perseverance on his part and much tearful support on ours, he finally pushed out at least enough to stop the cramping - for now anyway.

The rant however is more to do with the way that this kind of problem is brushed off by the medical fraternity. I know that even if I had taken him to A&E today or if I take him to the doctors tomorrow, the standard response will be that this is normal for toddlers and so there is very little that they will do to help. I guess in their eyes it would be perseeved as normal but I am sure that there are many parents out there who have to coach their children through similar 'normal' episodes on a daily basis who would disagree. There is nothing normal about the daily onslaught of pain and discomfort. It may be a common problem, it may be something that is expected and thus deemed normal but to my mind it is anything but.

This general attitude towards normalities like these means that little or no attempts are made to find solutions and parents are left fending for themselves, trying to discover which of the millions of 'remedies' suggested by Dr Google and every single person you speak to, actually work.

I know that we should consider ourselves lucky, that there are so many children and parents out their struggling to cope with much bigger and more complex problems. In all honesty I have no idea how they do it because it breaks my heart to see my boys in pain when there is absolutely nothing I an do to stop it as I'm sure it must theirs. I guess we as parents have to carry that burden until they're old enough to carry it themselves (although I suspect that never happens because parents never see their children as grown up anyway ;-))

Despite my little rant, I would be very interested to hear if any of you have suggestions about overcoming constipation of this kind - I have a few ideas and if they work I will share them.


p.s. Hello!! New readers, you're all very welcome, please leave a comment so that I know who you are :-)


baby~amore' said...

Sorry to hear T & N are in so much discomfort and pain. I worked in a children's ward and many a time we had slightly older primary aged with constipation problems.It is a real problem as much as any other chronic disease.
I wish I had answers for you - you probably know these anyway - daily stool softeners seem to be our paeds favourite MO,plus high fibre diet and high fluid intake.
Hard when you can't reason with a toddler on these things.

katef said...

I am just popping over after reading Baby A'more's twins blogging list (I am a twin Mamma too!) and ooh you poor thing! I am currently dealing with a mildy constipated 6 month old and it is horrible, so my heart really goes out to you. If my Bubba was eating solids I'd be trying the age old prunes/dried apricots/pears trick... though I am betting you have tried every poop inducing food in the book by now! I hope you find something to help really soon.

Stacie said...

Earth's Best oatmeal and prune babyfood always gave our kids frequent bowel movements. It might help soften stools as well.