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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Enuresis, anyone?

Let's talk bladder control, shall we?

Here in The Mom Cave, we get down and dirty with our discussions. And, yes, that's right. I'm really going to write an entry about bladder control, a.k.a. enuresis (which is the term I hear allllll the time). It simply must be done--for my sanity as well as for the sanity of special needs parents walking the path behind me.


In fact, I think this post can spawn a slew of other posts under the heading:

Things I Did Not Consider I'd Be Doing When I Became a Parent (or something to that effect).

Number 1: Buying diapers for my ten-year-old.

It's not his fault. I do not blame him in the slightest. Many children with autism struggle with toilet training. Due to sensory processing delays, feeling the urge to use the bathroom may not come easily and could use the help of an occupational therapist. I was very proud and happy when our older son became day trained at the age of six.

We're still battling night training.

Flowers. In my next life, I want to smell of nothing but flowers. Because in my current life, I seem to bathe in urine and then bleach. Urine. Then Bleach--with a little extra fabric softener thrown in for those sheets and pjs that become soaked nightly.

Whoah, daddy, the amount of money we've spent in pajamas...

Our basement has mounds of laundry--the soiled sheets, the mattress pad, the chuckie to keep the mattress from being soaked. And, parents, please, I hope you have that mattress in a cover.

We've gone through a set or two of sheets and pjs a night.

We diapered. We double diapered. We double diapered with a liner. We went larger. We went smaller. We used rubber pants until he outgrew them. We used this brand and that brand then the brand that every person swore was the brand to get for special needs.

Nothing worked.

Yes. We tried the pee-pee pill. We tried a couple. They didn't work on his fragile digestive system. Drat.

Oh, and just for kicks, school breaks inroduce to our household a cousin to night enuresis, a daytime enuresis that happens along with the regression of skills due to the disruption in his therapy. It usually comes to stay for the week, or perhaps it lingers for an extra day or two once the routine of school has returned.

What's that saying about house guests and fish? They stink after three days? Enuresis never smells good.

Yet, along with the smell and the disgust that comes along with cleaning up after this issue is the realization that it can't be fun being the person who is suffering from it.

I wonder if it bothers our son to wear a diaper nightly? For, while he can't speak, he can certainly SEE. He knows that nobody else in the house wears diapers. Does that bother him?

I know it looks like he doesn't have emotions, but he does. He just can't express them.

What a terrible way to have to live.

I'm pretty sure that I can be reduced to cleaning urine and feces all day, and it wouldn't even come close to the feeling of being forced to live a life without dignity.

I think--no, I know it is such a thought that powers many parents like me on a daily basis.




Thinking of my fellow SpEd parents during Spring Break time! (Ours is next week) Good luck!


This entry was written in response to the letter prompt "E" in the Blogging A to Z Challenge April 2012.

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25 comments:

  1. The honesty and compassion in your posts never fails to reach me. Even not dealing with what you do every day, I always take away something to ponder and apply to my life that day. Thank you.

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    1. What a compliment! Thank you!

      BTW, Amy, your responses were somehow being marked as spam here on my blog. I just noticed. I'm not sure the issue but will watch for it moving forward!

      Delete
  2. Oh honey!! I felt like I was on that house training boat forever. Finally we mastered it after 6.5 years. And I really thought I was home free.

    But my daughter is 13.5 and puberty struck about a year ago-- and a new monthly visitor-- and, and, and...let's just say we don't do well with "visitors!" AACK!!

    ((Hugs)) Jenn!

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    1. Jenn--I get that!! I have a fellow special needs mom who's daughter is going through this. (I don't think your daughter has needs?) Seriously, I am very thankful to not have to parent a special daughter through that change in life!

      Night training...I don't know if we'll ever get there. And, if he doesn't, that's ok with me. But I hope for his future that we can get him through it.

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    2. Apologies! I was remembering a son with needs. Momentary lapse. I read Beth's response and got my story straight!

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  3. As I read, I wondered about the onset of puberty and how that will impact your son's view of himself and his willingness to accept help with personal care. I see hat Jenn approached the topic of adolescence above in caring for her daughter through her transition. There are so many phases that all parents deal with, but when you add in the special needs of some kids, it makes everything even more challenging.

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    1. Yes, it's true. It's a good topic of conversation with my fellow sped parents. But, boy, what Jenn mentioned above can really be a tough one!

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  4. Okay, this might be the toughest and most unimaginable part of your daily routine. I know it. I have read it. I have not come close to living it, so my imagination is working overtime here and it's not a pretty picture.
    Makes me wonder if thinking ahead is just not a good idea. Tackling one day at a time would seem the way to go.
    You are just am amazing caring and giving woman and you know I ♥ you.

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  5. I have to hand it you, I don't know how you do it day in and day out. You write with such honesty and tell it just as it is without the candy coating. That is why I love to read your posts. They have really opened my eyes.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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    1. Kathy, thank you for saying this. Even if a handful of people who didn't know anything about life with special needs reads this and learns something, then putting our lives out there has served a purpose.

      This is a topic that touches other populations, and, well, compassion for others should be universal.

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  6. Not a fan of pee smell. Not my own, not anybody else's. I clean my toilet because I don't like a dirty one. Obviously, this is something that is Not Fun, But Must Be Dealt With.

    Could wish things were easier for you, but admire your courage in tackling the tough stuff, and not pretending that everything smells of roses. *ducks after the terrible pun*

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    1. More and more, as he ages, I'm sure he's aware of it. My feelings about it seem less significant as time passes.

      Thanks for always reading.

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  7. You sure have it tough, but you show a great attitude and humor about it. Hang in there.

    Catch My Words
    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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    1. One day, I hope to break the communication barrier with him. Wouldn't it be great to get his perspecitve on this life?

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  8. Being a man of a certain age with an enlarged prostate, I can relate very much to this. Thank you for sharing

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    1. Thank you for commenting. I honestly thought that I would have more personal perspectives such as yours as I know others who deal with it themselves or with family members. It is an issue that crosses populations, and while I don't suffer from it, I can certainly put myself in my son's shoes and understand how it must feel.

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  9. And I thought I had a lot of laundry...you beat me! I appreciate your sense of humor. I'm sure it keeps you sane! You bring up a good point about your childrens' dignity. Thanks again for sharing.

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    1. In times of personal frustration, I think it can be easy to lose sight of preserving the other person's dignity. However, I really think it is an important practice.

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  10. You deserve flowers everyday for what you do. And I know you don't think you deserve anything, you are just being the most fantastic Mom EVAH, because you are. My heart aches for your son, because you are right, he does have emotions where this is concerned. And I know, knowing that is hard. And dealing with the clean up is hard too. Well done girl, well done. Perhaps in your next life you could smell of money...and just have the maid do it.

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  11. I have to say that this is one are that we were blessed with - our son was potty trained by 5 years old. BUT! Puberty is coming for you. And, I hate to say it, but is an even bigger challenge, because the boys confuse the two issues. At least our son has. And, it's not just the bed, but the couch or the chair or anyplace he's sitting when he's struck by the need for "private time" that needs the plastic cover. It's taken several years to really get it into his head that private time is to take place in the bathroom. You are doing a great job at a hard job that few ever really understand. Just being a mom is a never ending job - but as a parent of a special needs child, we get less sleep! Take time for yourself when you can. Have you read that book yet??

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    1. Lol. And, no. That book is taking a back seat to this blogging challenge I'm doing this April.

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  12. Lots of kudos and atta boys to you. In my circle of friends, we have a lot of kids with special needs. I've seen how hard it can be on a daily basis to deal with kids who don't fit the mold that society expects them to. I believe each child is a gift from God, and a treasure. We take it one day at a time, and we do our best. Go Team Tina!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

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