Monday, September 13, 2010

This Is A Post About Poop

I just thought I'd warn you, okay?

If you're a parent of a child with autism, you probably chuckled and thought, 'Yeah.  SO?'

We just got back from an appointment with our developmental pediatrician who is also a DAN! doctor.
Our M has had a history of some pretty wicked gut bugs that have required the treatment of some high-powered antibiotics and yeast treatments to kill them.   And then, of course, our daily dosage of probiotic to keep him supplemented in the good stuff.

M has a really distended tummy that looks kind of painful at times and is often shown off to the world because he is constantly lifting his shirt and tickling or rubbing on it.  He's a size 8 in the waist and a 6X in the length, so we have one heck of a time finding comfy pants for him.  I'm pretty sure he's destined for a life of elastic or drawstring waistbands, the poor boy.

Anyhow, we did yet another lovely stool test to see if his previous gut buggies were back in force causing the latest belly pain and distention.  For those of you who have never had the pleasure of trying to get a stool sample from your child, let me offer you a pat on the back and a 'lucky you' because it's one hell of a treat, let me tell you.  The past four times I had to do this, I obtained our 'specimen' by holding the lovely fast food, french fry-like paper tray the lab gives you in between my poor child's legs as he sat on the toilet (you'll never eat fries from In n Out burger with the same gusto, I promise you).  This while simultaneously hoping that he does not squirt out a tiny bit more pee on my wrist or worse, in the sample trapper, thus tainting the french fry tray and rendering it useless for said poo sample.

M was younger and much less stubborn the last times we tried this, so I was able to get what I needed with my arm going only partially numb.  That method was not going to fly this time around, however, so I needed to get creative.  I'd heard of people turning off the toilet water after flushing so that the toilet was empty and then putting some sort of bowl in there to catch the poo.  I don't know about you, but I like my cookware and storage receptacles too much to subject them to that sort of torture. Because surely people don't actually keep them after they've been used to trap poo, right? So ingenious girl that I am, I decided to create a tin foil poo catcher by spreading a piece out beneath where said poo would fall (and away from any potential pee tainting), securing it by putting it between the bowl and the seat.  Since I am no longer employed in the out-of-house work force, I felt pretty good about using my remaining brain cell to come up with such a contraption.  I'll gladly lend the rights of my idea to any of you in need of it :)

I will spare those of you who won't be subjected to this delightful process the details of what happens next with the ice cream tasting spoons supplied in the kit.  Let's just say the other half could never handle this without losing his me.

Fast forward to today's result-learning doctor appointment...I would hereby like to exclaim to the world that M, distended belly and all, has NO weird buggies inhabiting his gut NOR any yeast wreaking havoc.  The only negative blip in the report was that he's lacking in some of the good gut flora; a point that stumped our doctor since M has been supplemented daily with one of the strongest probiotics.

We still can't figure out why the continued loss of words (down to no regularly heard ones at all) and the potty training regression.  Despite that, I'm still pretty freaking happy to not have to wrestle with my 61-pound seven-year-old in order to give him antibiotics and anti-fungals.

Another oddly fulfilling day in the life, I suppose.  I'll take it!


Rebekah said...

did the doc have any ideas about what is causing the distention? painful belly cannot make for a happy boy, poor thing. glad you were able to rule out some things.

Mama Deb said...

We're really not sure. He's been irregular lately...going every 3-4 days, so that is probably the biggest problem. They gave us some liquid stuff called 'Ready! Set! Go!' to remedy that.
The name cracks me up!

Lynn said...

Oh God, if I had a nickel for every time I've done exactly what you just described. I never thought of the foil contraption you have a few more brain cells than me. Usually the lab can give you a little plastic cradle thingy that sets in the toilet and then you put the seat down over it. Makes it easier, but the pee contamination is still a risk. Can you believe that we talk like this?

Not even this experience is enough to put me off of in and out burger though.

Molly said...

Zavier had two stool tests that came back as "no issues." I've decided that in his case, it was a big waste of time and money. He has terrible GI issues, and he does respond to Nystatin, antivirals, probiotics, and enzymes. The problem is that the "bad bugs" aren't coming out in his poop, so there isn't anything to measure there. Next time, ask for a Microbial OAT test from Great Plains Labs. It's a urine. It's cheaper and more accurate than the stool test.