One year of progress
Story of a family who has successfully used the Soiling Solutions Program
I like to see some positive posts now and then to brighten the mood and help motivate parents, including myself. With that in mind I would like to share our journey over the past two years. Not all good, but we have had long term progress with a step-function improvement after starting the soling solutions program just over 1 year ago.
Our story starts with a 4 year old boy two summers ago. The origins are little foggy in the details, but the landmark start of our boys soiling started with his first airplane ride to a remote wedding for close friends. We stayed at a resort for a week. Until then, our son had not thoroughly been potty trained but accidents were limited and he was in underwear rather than diapers and would sleep in dry underwear. From the beginning of the trip, our son became constipated. We arrived on a Saturday and he did not poop until Wednesday if i recall correctly. We had called his physician and asked for help. We were instructed to feed him as much fruit juice as he could drink.
From that time on he has been a withholder. Soiling became a daily problem and he wet his bed repeatedly. After a few weeks or a month we asked for help from his physician. We were instructed to do the PEG clean out and then daily PEG to help things move. This did not have any impact. After a another month or two, we were referred to a specialist. The specialist had a decent bedside manner and our son liked him. However, we just continued the PEG routine. Daily doses with repeated clean-outs. Every time we returned to the GI he would say “he is backed up, do another clean-out”. This pattern continued for nearly a year. We started to get impatient with the GI to the point of a confrontation in front of our son where we challenged the GI’s insistence that repeating the same experiment over and over again and expecting different results was not sane. The doctor took offense and claimed our son was the problem not him. In front of our son! It was all i could do to physically restrain myself.
Promoted by this confrontation, the GI ordered the Sitz test where x-ray active rings are swallowed by the patient and timed x-ray photos are taken to measure transit time. We were asked to clean him out prior to swallowing the capsule and then get an immediate x-ray. Upon getting the 1st x-ray back we were told he was backed up again (broken record) and we should clean him out again. I explained we had already taken the Sitz capsule and should we not complete the test first? The GI agreed. Upon return for the 2nd x-ray to measure how many rings were left, the technician came around from the booth to ask if he had taken the Sitz rings (she was not aware that was why he was getting a gut x-ray and saw some rings). I said yes, he had and asked her how may rings she had seen. Her count fell in the “normal transit time” scale. I felt relieved, validated, and confused at the same time.
The GI called with the result, that I already knew, the following day. The nurse said the test came back as normal, but said he is backed up again and needed another clean-out. To this, I again took issue. I said “does it not sound in the least bit contradictory that he would have normal bowel movement and be backed up?” The nurse agreed it sounded illogical and suggested we schedule a followup with the GI in person. At this point I had little faith in the GI and was at ends for a solution. We had done blood tests, GI movement tests, tried scheduled sits on the potty, rewards, punishments, etc. NOTHING was working or proving useful.
This was now the first week of July last year and Kindergarten was starting soon. We had agreed to visit a children’s theme park with another family on the next day. My wife and I sat on the couch after putting our son to bed and mutually expressed our anxiety about a whole day at a park with others and how many wet and or smelly pants we would have to deal with. For whatever reason, I brainstormed the idea of trying to clean him out with a rectal laxative or enema before we left the house to try and minimize the accidents. We had tried all sorts of oral laxatives with no success. We had not tried the rectal approach yet as the GI had recommended against it. However, at this point nothing that he HAD recommended worked either. So, I went out to the 24hr pharmacy and perused the laxative isle.
I came home with a Children’s Mini-Enema called Ducosol. It’s a small disposable squeeze tube with a slender pointed applicator. I was a bit skeptical since none of the oral laxatives produced reliable results, ever. To my surprise and astonishment, the Docusol produced a large bowel moment within a minute. A sizable movement. We thought this might be good.
We drove 2hrs to the theme park with clean and dry underpants. We did a preventive potty stop upon arrival where our son did pee in the potty. AMAZING.
Not only did our son spend the entire day at the park without pooping his pants, he also did not pee his pants. And what is more, he asked to use the potty when he needed to pee!
This day changed our lives.
From that day on, we gave him a Docusol every morning and had the same results. He was still wetting at night, but that was a non-issue for us at that point. He was not pooping his pants. With our son staring Kindergarten in just a few weeks my wife and I nearly cried with relief that the soiling seemed to be under control.
At this point, we immediacy jumped the gun to wondering how to get him off the laxative. We had heard rumors of dependency and damage to the digestive track from laxatives. This led me to scouring the internet for how and when to ween him off the mediation. This is when I found Dr. C’s website. I was curious but skeptical. We had spent hundreds, if not thousands, on books and behavioral guides with zero return on investment already. But, the more comments i read the more i found our son seemed to match everything I read from Dr. C and his patients. It took a few weeks, but we broke down and bought the SS program. I read and re-read the manual a dozen times over a week. We implemented the power-hour right away, continuing our morning schedule albeit two hours earlier. We use a generic brand solid glycerin suppository and if needed we still used the children’s Docusol as the final enema. It has not failed to produce a movement so we have kept using it.
Our son is a really, really slow eater. So, power hour for us starts at 5am. I get up and rouse him from bed at 5, and feed him breakfast. It often takes him 30 minutes or more to eat, but I get a change spend time with him and enjoy a coffee. If the full regime is needed, it runs until 6:30am and allows us time to get him dressed and ready to leave by 7am for school.
We soon wrote off the GI. I made one more appointment with him. I brought a copy of the SS manual for him to read and told him we would call if we needed more help. We have not.
Fast forward 12 months and I am here writing a success story. Today, we still have to do power-hour. However, it’s rare that he needs the whole hour at this point. He has very slowly made progress from needing the Docusol every day to needing it ~50% of the time, to not doing sits on Weekends, to now where he rarely needs more than the glycerine and has self initiated bowel movements on occasion.
Our son has also conquered bed wetting thanks to a bed wetting alarm we bought this spring. Again, a step function improvement in life for us all. It only took a week for him to wake up dry with the alarm and has only had one bed wetting accident since. He’s not won the alarm since early June.
We are still working on this issue together. And we will be at it for some time longer. But, we are a very long way from where we started and that is a very, very good thing.
Where are we now - February 2018
So it's February 2018, my son is turning 8 in April and I felt it was well past time for an update on what has been happening. I first made this website about 3 years ago. We had been for our second visit to hospital for a cleanout using Glycoprep and a nasogastric tube. Our first trip had been a bit of a waste of time because we didn't trust the nurse who i believe knew what she was talking about when she said my son was still impacted and instead put our trust in his Paediatrician who sent us home. It wasn't long after being sent home that he started soiling again which indicated that he was still impacted so upon my request we went back to hospital. My son was having 350ml of Glycoprep per hour every hour .This cleanout took 96 hours almost straight. It was only after this that an xray showed that he was clear. After this we started the Soiling Solution program with enthusiasm.
Straight away we had what I would call massive success. When you have been going through 5 - 6 pairs of undies a day with the mess and the smell.. To go to no accidents immediately feels nothing short of a miracle. We progressed along that path, following the program and revelling in our success but my son was about to teach me a huge lesson when the accidents started again. This seemed impossible because he now pooed every day so why was this happenning. To cut a long part of the story short, he would snap his poo off so he could get off to go and play more quickly so that poo that was left inside slowly backed up again and we were almost back to square one. Staring down another visit to the hospital. The take problem was, I had no time to take him. Due to issues at work I couldn't take the time off or someone else would have lost their job. I couldn't let my son go back to having accidents and have all his Prep friends find out about his condition and was at a loose end on what to do. I was sitiing having a quiet wine that night when an idea entered my head, Colon Hydrotherapy. I knew they traeted adults but I wondered if they took care of children so next day I made the phone call. I found a lovely lady called Rosemary who agreed to see us that afternoon and we were on our way. UNDER CONSTRUCTION