After taking Huck off the last anti-depressant, when we went to his psychiatrist the doctor decided to start on a different non-stimulant. Huck was prescribed 1 mg of Tenex, a blood pressure medication sometimes used for children with ADHD. The doctor is hopeful that this medication will give Huck more time to think about his reactions. Huck’s been on it for a week and I think it’s making things worse again. We had some time where Huck was off the other medication and his defiance wasn’t so bad. However, he seems back to his tantrums every day, defiant behavior, and now he is refusing to eat. Friday he would not eat breakfast or dinner at home (I’m pretty sure that he ate his school lunch). He finally ate almost at 2:00 on Saturday. And then today he refused lunch and wouldn’t eat dinner until almost 7:00. I’m not sure what he’s trying to prove, but we have food available at all times, healthy options, as well as juice and milk, so it is up to him to decide.
His counselors have started a new incentive plan with Hubby and my agreement. In the next month before winter league basketball registration, Huck has to have 12 “good” days and then he can play. Granted, he’s had no “good” days thus far (especially considering the refusal to eat). So we’ll see if that works out for him or not. They originally wanted to do 17 days but Hubby was concerned that we were setting him up to fail.
We also decided upon a new strategy for his bathrooming issues. After several weeks of full peeing his pants at school, we’ve decided to stop giving it any attention. They will no longer discuss it in counseling since he’s only been lying to his counselors about it anyways. We will no longer call attention to it at home, as Hubby used to check with him every night to see if he was clean. So Huck, who is now 8 and a half years old, was given the choice to wear underwear and choose to be clean, or wear diapers. He chose diapers. So we have told him that it is under his control and we will be ready with underwear whenever he is. Hubby is very hopeful that it will be soon! I am not so sure. He’s said to us and to his counselors that he just needs to stop at recess and go to the bathroom (I’ve told him to go before recess), but that hasn’t happened yet. So who knows how long he’ll be in diapers.
I don’t know if you use the phrase “come to Jesus” at your home. As in “we’re having a come to Jesus meeting about all the attitude we’ve been getting in this house.”
My husband and I always used this phrase a lot working in retail as managers. It was often necessary to call attention to problems that we were having with our salespeople.
I’ve finally used it as a mom! We had a “come to Jesus” meeting with Huck about the toilet issues. While the pooping his pants issue has almost gone away since the end of school, he’s still been having pee issues off and on. Since he has never once soiled his pants while sleeping, we’re pretty sure (with the help of countless counselors that have seen him) that it boils down to routine and laziness.
Last Thursday my husband and I talked to Huck that if he wanted to continue to pee his pants and wear a diaper, that we would treat him like a baby. He can join Madeline and I in the baby section for the library program instead of being with the big kids. He can take two naps a day like a baby. He can go to bed after dinner like a baby. He can’t swim, ride his bike, or play soccer because babies can’t play those things. I realize this was basically shaming him but we did go a lot of routes before we got to this point. We saw a medical doctor. We saw two separate counselors. The most important thing, though, is that he’s done it! He’s gone 5 days now with no issues in his underwear. He is happy. So happy he’s almost manic and hasn’t been sleeping. Sigh. If it’s not one thing it’s another, right?!
So all you moms that are worried about your eight year old toileting in their pants, don’t fear. You can make it through! We made it a full year. It was my goal to make sure he didn’t need to wear diapers when he starts the third grade next year and he won’t need to!
I figured I would give everyone an update on Huck’s progress (or non-progress) with the bathrooming issues. We’ve been working about a year now with Huck (who is now 8) to use a toilet to pee and poop. When he came to live with us last year it took us a while to realize what was going on. We got him medical help about 6 months ago, so he now takes a mild laxative each day to prevent the severe constipation that he had (probably for years). We figured once the constipation was resolved that we would have better results. This has not happened. He will still have trouble making it to the bathroom on time or not do a good job cleaning up himself so he constantly has marks in his underwear/diaper. He will still have days where he full on pees his pants.
I also thought that once he was out of school and had a freer schedule everything would be better. When he is at home we remind him constantly to use the bathroom. But he continues to have issues. It has become more of a pee issue, but he will still occasionally have poop problems too.
We have tried everything. We have given him incentives. We have started low to work our way up to larger prizes. In the last year that he’s lived with us, he’s made it a grand total of 7 days in a row without issues, and that was a few months ago.
They are working with him at the trauma recovery program, but it really comes down to him listening to his body and leaving whatever he is doing to make it to the bathroom in time.
We are beyond frustrated. We have tried punishments, consequences, cleaning the soiled underwear, paying for diapers. We have tried reward charts, daily incentives, long term incentives, etc. Nothing has worked. I am hopeful that it will resolve itself before the school year next year but I’m not certain.
Warning: a little bit too much info to follow, but I think it’s important to share because I feel like there may be other foster or adoptive mothers going through this!! Read on at your own risk of TMI.
We saw the pediatrician on Thursday morning for Little Man. He apparently is still blocked up, despite several months of Miralax. We love our pediatrician and he hangs on her every word. She said that because of years of severe constipation, that his colon is swollen. This can also cause urinary incontinence. She also said that being so full and having the swollen colon can make him feel like his stomach is full because there is no room for it to expand. So he is probably hungry and feels full simultaneously. She also said that because of the severe constipation and swollen colon that he probably feels like he needs to have a bowel movement all the time. So poor little muffin. I would probably act out and be super cranky if I couldn’t poop and felt hungry all the time but couldn’t eat anything!! No wonder he’s so miserable. Makes me super pissed that in the last 7 years of his life no one cared enough to see a doctor regularly about this medical problem, that they ALL just wrote it off as behavioral and no one took the time to take care of him. I am super pissed.
Since finding out that it is really a medical issue (at least so far), Huck has turned a total 180. I expected for him to hear that it is medical and just throw the towel in, be totally defiant, and basically throw it in our faces that he just can’t control it. Instead, he has been super trying to make it to the bathroom on time and is very apologetic when he can’t. We haven’t made a big deal out of it one way or another and he wears diapers all the time, even to school. His behavior has been much better and so has his attitude. I’ve seen a marked improvement in his willingness to get along with his siblings and Hubby. It’s almost like he’s relieved to know that he’s not a bad kid and that he medically has had problems for a really long time. It makes me really sad that it took this long for someone to figure out, I’m even pissed at myself that it took me over 6 months to get it under control. I’m hoping that he will be a jolly happy soul by the summer and get to experience fun in the sun!