We took a little trip to the emergency room on Friday evening and it was decided that she'd need to stay for a little while. Three nights to be exact. They had to flush out her digestive system with two gallons of GoLytely liquid to get rid of a partial bowel obstruction.
Disclaimer: This post may be too much information about Leah's bowel issues, so feel free to skip it!
To give some background on this little problem we've been struggling with for almost two years...
When I was pregnant with Anna, I was given Zofran for nausea. Apparantly it can also cause constipation. And I was still nursing Leah so it also caused constipation in her. Going potty while constipated hurt her once, at about 14 months old, and she has never forgot about it. She's been trying to hold it in ever since then. We've been to the pediatrician over this many times and she's been on Lactulose and Miralax, but neither have worked well enough to overcome her trying her best to hold it in.
Last weekend her tummy started hurting on Saturday evening. It wasn't too bad and I didn't think to do anything about it since she only complained sporadically and it wasn't an urgent type complaining.
By Sunday night she was in a lot of pain. I ended up sleeping in bed with her because she was waking up all through the night. She'd cry hard for about a minute and then fall back asleep. I made a same day appointment for her to see a pediatrician on base in the midmorning on Monday, but leading up to that, she was in intermittant intense pain. It looked like the poor girl was experiencing labor contraction type pain sometimes. Sometimes the pains would be just a few minutes apart, sometimes a half hour or more.
We went to her appointment, I described exactly what was going on, but Leah didn't have any of those pains in the 20 minutes we were there. The doctor didn't feel anything amiss when she pressed on Leah's abdomen and said it was probably gas or another side effect of upping her Miralax dose the week before and sent us on our way, with instructions to come back in a few days if it didn't get better.
That day it got worse and by that evening, we decided that it wasn't just gas and she needed to be fixed now. I asked Chris to take her to the emergency room instead of going myself. I seriously think that the doctor thought I was exaggerating or being too emotional earlier that day. Either that or she didn't know what the heck she was doing.
So Chris took her in, the doctor saw some of her pain episodes, took some x-rays, felt and saw the #2 that was stuck in her, did and enema, and thought she was okay to go home with instructions for suppositories and a high dose of Lactulose. She started having BMs everyday and we thought it was taken care of.
Come Friday late afternoon, and she's got a hurting tummy again. The pains came pretty close together and we knew that waiting around wasn't going to make it any better. I took her back to the emergency room at about 5:30 PM.
They saw us right away, did a catheter urine test (OW!) to see if the pain was caused by a urinatry tract or kidney infection, and took an x-ray which showed that the blockage hadn't gone away from Monday night, and decided she needed to be admitted so they could give her the GoLytely (what they use to clean people out for colonoscopies) through a nose tube because there is no way she'd be willing or able to drink a gallon of that nasty stuff.
There ended up being two different partial blockages of impacted #2 in her and it took two gallons of the GoLytely to clean her out. Getting the IV and the nose tube in her was so hard to watch, but knowing that it was much worse for her, I sucked it up and didn't cry (well, maybe just a few tears). She cried for a few hours straight after the nose tube was put in because she wanted it out, but she finally fell asleep at about 3AM and when she awoke at about 7AM the next morning, she wasn't miserable anymore. She asked every once in a while to get the tube out, but we just hung out and watched the Enchanted movie about ten times that was playing on the hospital movie channel. Chris came up on Saturday to hang out for a few hours while a friend watched the kids and then I went home, cleaned myself up, and took a nap for a while and then went back up to the hospital. I brought some books and games for Leah and I to play and that's pretty much what we did for the next two days.
It was kind of nice to get to cuddle and hang out with my sweet girl for so long. She shared her hospital bed with me and she was pretty content to just hang out in bed for the whole time.
I changed a bajillion diapers and had to push the little nurse call button dozens of times because she was going so much, so liquidy, that her diaper leaked every BM she had and we had to change the sheets or bed pad every diaper change. (TMI?)
It felt like we were there forever and it got pretty boring sometimes, but it could have been worse and I was thankful that we were there for a reason that was not life threatening or risky or anything like what most people there were probably there for.
On Monday, they decided Leah could go home. Taking off the tape from the IV and nose tube was almost as bad as putting those two things in was. I took this picture to show her that her nose tube was out so she would feel better after having the tape painfully removed, and she wanted to look at it several times but wouldn't let me take another, happier one. (And all of these pictures were taken on my phone since I didn't think to bring my camera!)
But Leah is home now and we've been talking about having good #2 habits from now on and so far, she's been doing great. Having the whole nose tube threat will probably work to keep her from holding it in again.
And she's pain-free now and back to being a happy little girl. And now you know more about her BM than you want too probably.