As many of you know, Bradley has ongoing bowel issues that result in him not 'going' regularly and getting quite, to quote the doctors, 'loaded'. This often results in 'accidents' (which usually weren't dealt with until he was called on it .. aarrgghh!), feeling miserable/embarrassed and just generally unwell. The constant laundry and replacing ruined clothes doesn't help my mood either!
After dealing with this problem for most of his life and consulting with several medical professionals (who all said there was nothing actually wrong with him; his bowel is just lazy and slow-moving .. like the rest of the family .. lol!), I had come to the conclusion that a significant portion of this problem seemed to be psychological. Straight-out talking and counselling didn't seem to help at all, so I decided to try
I had my doubts as to whether there would be any benefit but I talked the idea through with him and, upon receiving his very vehement assertion that he did want to try it, I made the appointment with a woman who only deals with children and their various problems.
So, on Monday afternoon we found ourselves in her very lovely house, having a discussion as to what Bradley wanted to achieve. Having dealt with many medical/psychological professionals in my time, I just sat there biting my tongue to make myself keep quiet. The results are partly dependent on the child wanting to make a change in their behaviour.
Once she was satisfied that he did indeed want to be there, was willing to try anything safe to fix this problem and assuring him he wasn't going to be turned into a chicken (unless that was what he wanted!), she hypnotised him. It was very strange seeing him 'going under' and then watching his facial expressions and body language change as she talked to him about what would happen if he continued down the 'low road', was all rather surreal. Then to see his face light up like a Christmas tree when she spoke about the 'high road' and having this problem fixed was absolutely beautiful. He came away from that session speaking very positively about the whole experience and the changes he was hoping for.
Here's where the TMI stuff really starts, so for those of you who can't handle bodily functions, stop reading now! You have been warned!!
The next morning (Tuesday), he came down to my room and showed me a 'huge lump' that had appeared in his belly overnight. Normally, when I palpate (feel) his abdomen, I can feel something like a solid sausage all the way across. That's what the doctors are referring to when they say he's fully loaded .. his bowel is full all the way across .. which in itself is not a major problem but this lump was a whole 'nother
can of worms kettle of fish story.
It was about the size of an adult man's fist and, when pressed on, would disappear back into his abdomen only to re-appear a short time later. He wasn't in any pain, had no fever or vomiting but it just didn't seem right to me and if it's one thing I've learned over the years, it's to trust my instincts when it comes to one of my children and their health.
After dropping the other two boys at school, I decide to skip the middle man, in this case our GP who would have advised me to do what I did, and took him straight to the Emergency Department at our local public hospital. (With money being as tight as it is, I figured he would be taken care of under Medicare and I wouldn't have to fork out the gap payment for the private hospital ED).
We got in to see a doctor within 40 minutes which is very unusual for this particular hospital (actually who am I kidding? It's unusual for any hospital!) and probably also due the fact that his stomach looked like an alien was about to burst forth at any moment, hopefully singing and dancing and generally entertaining the other patients. Either that or the clerks were scared he was going to burst in the waiting room and they would have to clean up the mess, so they pushed him through quickly.
The doctor came and examined him (1 hour wait), organised for an ultrasound (2.5 hour wait), waited for the results (another 2 hour wait) and then told me what I knew all along .. "his bowel is fully loaded." Swallowing back the retort of "Really? No shit Sherlock (no pun intended) .. I figured that one out myself!" I asked the all important question of "So what can you do about it?" His response was "I don't know. You have to wait to talk to our paediatrician. He should be available after 5pm."
By now, it was nearing school pick-up time for the other two boys and I had well and truly had enough of sitting there, waiting for them to tell me what I already knew. I asked if he was in any danger from this and, after being given a list of things to watch out for, went and picked the others up from school, resolving to take him to the other hospital in the morning.
After an unproductive and uneventful night, despite the medication in both ends of his body, I took the others to school and headed off to the other ED. Remembered halfway there that I was supposed to be taking the dog to the vet for his 6-week-post-accident checkup but concluded (rightly!) that the child was just slightly more important at the moment, especially considering the dog has absolutely no trouble pooping .. anywhere!!
We presented to the triage nurse and were classed as category five which usually means about an hour's wait on quiet days, but lucky us managed to pick a busier day so we got to wait for 2.5 hours!! Luckily I had thought to actually pack some entertainment for Brad this time and one of the lovely volunteer tea ladies made me a nice cup of tea to go with my catch up reading of last year's gossip magazines. The ED had changed their billing structure, in that you now have to pay the gap payment at the time of being seen so I dutifully forked over $165 (inflation is a bitch!!) and then went back to waiting.
To cut a very long story short, I know .. too late!, the doctor assessed him, organised an industrial strength enema and let it take its course. Upon seeing hardly any result, he ordered another to be administered 1.5 hours after the first, much to Brad's disgust.
After trying to encourage Brad to just let his body get rid of it all and listening to his laments of "I just want to go home", I was rather shocked to hear him come out with "I just want to die! Why did I have to be born with this?" We had a little 'come-to-Jesus' talk about counting blessings and stop focusing on the negative after that which seemed to work for a little while, then he just gave up and either lay on the bed ignoring me or sat on the toilet doing the same.
Just as I was about to call the nurse and/or doctor back to say it wasn't working, a noise not unlike that of a tsunami came from the bathroom. The look of relief on his face was almost comical as was the nurse's face when she came in to view the result. (Poor nurses .. having to look at all sorts of gross things day in, day out!) I said that she was probably going to have to arrange for a plumber to unblock the toilet as Bradley appeared to have given birth to his alien in there. She just laughed and pronounced it a nine-pound 'poo baby'. (No, I'm not making birth announcements for it!!)
So after all that, Bradley's lump had gone, he felt much better and we headed for home where he proceeded to have a nice, soothing, warm shower then fall asleep for three hours. All that effort really took it out of him .. literally!!
Overall, I'm glad that he's feeling better and it was nothing serious.
I'm glad that he has now been given the chance to help himself with the hypnosis without the physical obstacles.
I'm glad that I have my happy child back.
I'm glad that he is back at school and can freely play without worrying about having an accident.
I'm just trying to get my head around the fact that it just cost $165 for my child to poop! It would have been much cheaper at home child ... lol!