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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

I cannot handle dd's poo problems anymore.

(39 Posts)
Howlingbellyofbeelzebub Thu 09-Oct-08 22:21:19

dd is 4, became constipated on holiday in the summer, have been battling ever since. doctor thinks I'm a loon and it's my anxieties about dd starting school that have caused it. Won't give me anything but lactulose.

About a month ago we had soiling and overflow eventually cleared blockage by giving other dd's movicol (i know it's not great to give dd her sister's meds but we were desperate and it did clear the blockage) - however since then she has been witholding and just letting a tiny bit of poo out at a time - it's soft enough to be not painful I think but it is literally every 20 mins throughout the afternoon - this afternoon I wiped her bottom 15 times. There is never enough poo to actually fall into the toilet as she stops it coming out so it is just stuck all over her bum cheeks and often smeared on pants too.

At the moment she has just started reception and is finishing at 12pm but in 2 weeks time she is there all day and I don't know what will happen sad. I've had to stop going out in the afternoons as she is on and off the toilet all the time. If I give her more lactulose then we just get to the point where it comes flying out and she can't make it to the toilet so it's poo everywhere. (as happened at the theatre on Monday this week - sigh).

So what can I do? I'm going to ask for another GP appointment and also try to talk to dd's teacher tomorrow. I am so desperate that I am considering paying for hypnotherapy, there's someone here locally who I have seen before and she treats school age children but it's £60 a session and I just can't afford it.

I just wish I knew how to help. The worst thing is that my other dd has had poo problems from birth due to her cerebral palsy and things were going really well with her and she no longer needed her movicol. But with all the crap going on with dd1, now dd2 is witholding poo as well. I literally can't cope anymore, I spend all day wiping crap of bum cheeks but never see any real poo in the toilet or nappy.

nigglewiggle Thu 09-Oct-08 22:31:54

You have my sympathies. I have a similar problem with DD (2.5). I think it started with a bout of constipation for her and now she is anxious about pooing. She also wets herself when she needs to poo because she avoids going to the loo.

I was in despair and resorted to re-introducing a reward chart with stars for each day of "success" and swimming trips (which she loves) if she gets enough stars. I have also explained that she needs to go for a poo each day otherwise the poo gets bigger and is harder to get out. She seems to have understood this.

I am touching wood and crossing all of my fingers and toes, but we seem to be getting somewhere with a week of no accidents.

Hope this helps.

horsemadgal Thu 09-Oct-08 22:32:10

I have the same problem with my DS, he will be 5 in December. In a year and a half of nursery he only pooed there one time, his teacher cleaned him no probs.

He just started school full time a couple of weeks ago. He has been fine and has held it until he gets home so far. School won't clean poo if he has an accident so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

No help probably but just to let you know you're not alone.
Good luck.

neolara Thu 09-Oct-08 22:39:39

Your poor dd and poor you. Sounds horrible for both of you.

Any chance you could see a more sympathetic GP?

Aero Thu 09-Oct-08 22:47:49

Not much help, but I could have written your post myself regarding ds2. Also 4.5 and just started school and I worry too how he'll cope if he has to 'go' there. His teachers are aware of the problem and he's also on long term lactulose. Sympathy. I keep telling myself that he will grow out of this........we live in hope!

Howlingbellyofbeelzebub Fri 10-Oct-08 16:47:37

thanks for the ideas. I've talked to dd's class teacher today who was very nice and suggested leaving a little bag with all the bits dd needs in case of an accident; also she put me in touch with the school nurse so I'm going to see her. I have also made an appointment with a different GP in the practice for next week. I have talked to dd and she has told me that she is holding it in as she is worried it will hurt, she was up 5 times in the night trying to hold in her poo sad. Anyway, at least I'm seeing the GP so will try to hang in there till then.

MinkyBorage Fri 10-Oct-08 16:52:42

Nightmare, I have the same problem with DD1 although she's only 3, and it isn't every 20 mins (yet!!)
I asked HV and they recommended this book, although I can't tell you if it's any good yet as I haven't got around to reading it properly.
good luck

BoysAreLikeRabidDogs Fri 10-Oct-08 16:55:02

Oh bless her.

I have had this problem with DS2 recently. Dr gave me lactulose, MNers told me to get glycerine suppositories to soften the poo from the bottom end.

Success - soft, painfree poo about 3 hrs after administering the suppository.

He was incredibly anxious about it hurting, and we had tried bribery/bubble blowing/feet up on a stool whist sitting on the loo all to no avail.

Suppositories were 92p for 12 from local chemist.

Worth a try?

Good luck.

Howlingbellyofbeelzebub Fri 10-Oct-08 17:07:16

I've tried suppositories- it was fairly traumatic. She kicked me in the face whilst I tried to get it in and then 5 mins later a semi-melted suppository flew out of her bum and landed on dd2 who happened to be crawling past at the time shock, and still no poo.. have tried this several times and made sure I got it up nice and high (sorry TMI) but I think her urge to hold it in is so strong that she can even withstand the might of the suppository.

BoysAreLikeRabidDogs Fri 10-Oct-08 17:11:20


Deffo a different doctor. Keep on until you get a referral to encorepsis clinic.

Good luck.

Howlingbellyofbeelzebub Fri 10-Oct-08 17:14:43

Thanks, i'm planning to go in with a list of demands as last time the doc caught me off guard by virtually telling me i'd made it up and it was all my anxieties. hmm

BoysAreLikeRabidDogs Fri 10-Oct-08 17:16:22

grrrr that's Not On

marmaspook Fri 10-Oct-08 17:22:29

Had this problem with dd1. We were prescribed lactulose. It eventually worked but she by then had become 'scared' to do a poo. One of us still has to sit with her holding her hands when she does a poo.......... I made her a reward chart- a poo chart grin and this worked. she is also in reception and would never go at school. She has only just (after 5 months) begun to forget about putting the stickers on her chart. I sympathise because it is a horrible thing to go through. Go back to your ghp with your concerns. Apparently it is a fairly common problem with young children. Good luck smile

marmaspook Fri 10-Oct-08 17:23:24

gp not ghp hmm

wtfhashappened Fri 10-Oct-08 17:27:26

my GP went mad when he found out another gp in the same practice had prescribed lactulose for the same problem. dd is mow on movicol, but he has said she must take it for 6 months to get over the painful (lit and fig) memories.

mabanana Fri 10-Oct-08 17:29:52

I don't think this is necessarily psychological. I think your GP should refer her to a specialist.

Howlingbellyofbeelzebub Fri 10-Oct-08 21:30:35

thank you, I know lactulose is not going to help as my other dd has movicol and it is te only thing that really works. She's been crying all afternoon and said she hopes she isn't up all night trying to poo sad, poor little thing. I have found a poo chart to fill in on-line so I'm going to bring evidence with me and insist the doc does something.

mytetherisending Fri 10-Oct-08 22:01:04

Forgive me for asking the obvious
How much fruit and fruit juice do they have?
How much fluid full stop do they have?
How much exercise do they do?
How much fibre?
How much chocolate?
How many bananas?

All these things I hope have been considered before leaping to movicol- over use of this powerful laxative can make the bowel lazy and slow down natural peristalsis. Have you tried lactulose 10ml 3x per day regularly i.e. for at least 2 wks and senna at the same time each night? It works adequately in old people who do less exercise, eat less fruit/veg and drinks generally speaking in hospital and who are on constipating drugs such as morphine and codeine. hmm
FWIW the more fuss and attention your dd gets for doing this,the more she will do it, she has seen your dd1 getting lots of attention for it and is now assuming (rightly) that it will get her lots of attention. Personally I would be inclined to let her go to the toilet, put a pullup on and don't wipe her at every poo, or teach her how to wipe herself as best she can which removes the attention aspect. The Dr does have a point as lots of childhood constipation problems are psychological as opposed to physical.

Howlingbellyofbeelzebub Fri 10-Oct-08 22:33:25

Thank you, I don't want to have to use movicol if it can be avoided. Dd drinks well and eats tons of fruit and veg. Bananas, a couple of times a week, I try to avoid them in favour of grapes, berries etc. She has a fair bit of exercise, not a couch potato. I have been told to do lactulose 10ml at night at the moment and if I up the dose she seems to lose bowel control and just explodes. I am reluctant to try senna as it caused my other dd a lot of pain and didn't help, although I realise other children may react differently. I don't think it would practical or compassionate in any way to expect her to clean herself up at the moment, she is well aware that she smells of poo and would get sore very quickly if I left her to it. Even if it is attention seeking, maybe she needs that attention? She's not doing it to annoy me, she is only 4 and is scared of pooing cause the last time she did a really big hard poo and it hurt her. The problem is that what is coming out now is soft enough to not cause her any pain and yet she is still too scared to poo.

mytetherisending Fri 10-Oct-08 23:21:49

Try reading her a story while she just sits on the loo to take her mind off it? It might help her relax if you have a selection of favourite books in the bathroom.
perhaps try 2 split doses then of lactulose morning and night. This should mean more spread out effects but not manic rushing iyswim.
She probably does need attention as I would imagine with dd2 time is scarce, however, trying to notice all the good things she does and not commenting on toilet issues, just potter around and ask her to have a go at wiping and that you will finish off, might make it less of an issue and isn't 'tying' you to her for the time she is in the bathroom, thus reducing the attention and transferring it to something positive.

I can't stress enough how inappropriate movicol is for a child without a medical condition warranting it. With your dd2 movicol is necessary because the condition she has will reduce gut motility, due to the bowel contracting/relaxing and due to spasming. In a healthy gut the same drug will mean that the contractions are falsely stimulated and when the user stops using it the problem returns. It hinders the bowel from contracting naturally (peristalsis)

mytetherisending Fri 10-Oct-08 23:24:59

Thought I would ask about banana as its constipating due to the potassium content and affects kidney balance/hydration if eaten in large quantities.

mytetherisending Fri 10-Oct-08 23:26:09

Have you tried pure fresh orange juice and apple juice with every meal?

Howlingbellyofbeelzebub Fri 10-Oct-08 23:34:20

thanks mytether, it does make sense. I'm going to try the things you've suggested. It's hard work seeing someone who has always eaten and drank really well and pretty well lives on fruit and veg, being constipated.

mytetherisending Sun 12-Oct-08 14:36:29

HBF I do understand the frustration, as I had a mindee who had the same problem. Slightly different in that she didn't eat veg and fruit when I started ninding her, but after 1y with me she ate all fruit and veg. The frustrating thing being that she was constipated due to diet and like your dd had pain going to the toilet, so started to hold it in. This meant that even when her diet became good she was still constipated.

Another thought, does she know what poo is? i.e. waste food? Some children think they are loosing part of themselves iyswim.

Howlingbellyofbeelzebub Sun 12-Oct-08 21:34:13

Things are looking better today, we've gone for 10ml of lactulose in the morning as well and today we have a couple of accidents but also 2 'nuggets' (her words not mine!) in the loo! it's the first time we've had a poo in the loo for weeks so we're really chuffed. Hopefully she'll start trusting that it isn't going to hurt. thanks again for the advice.

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