I could tell you all about our travels, Christmas holidays, (which were great, by the way) etc but I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm going to talk to you about poop.
That's right. Poop. If you are at all squeamish, this post is not for you.
We had an appointment with the GI doc today to finally, finally figure out what surgeries Connor is going to need. After reviewing the approximately 8,000 tests (maybe a slight exaggeration) the little guy has had to this date, the doc came in and gave us the good news and the bad news.
The good news was, well, good. Fantastic, actually. The doc told us that not only will Connor need to just have the g-tube and not the other two surgeries, but that also in his opinion we'll be able to start working Connor down off the reflux meds once the g-tube is in place, as he probably doesn't need them anymore. This is awesome news. This means that more than likely they will be able to do the surgery endoscopically or laparoscopically, which in practical terms amounts to a much, much shorter hospital stay and risk of infection. This was exactly what we had hoped to hear.
The bad news was that Connor did have some issues with food staying in his stomach too long. The reason, however, was probably not because Connor has too small of a pyloric valve. The problem is that he is constipated.
See, Connor currently subsists on a diet that is composed chiefly of whole milk, carnation instant breakfast, and cooking oil. This apparently is not so good for keeping the plumbing moving if you know what I mean. To be frank, it produces poop like small boulders. Action must be taken. Which leads me to the topic of the day...
Enemas. Yep. Fleet Pediatric Enemas, to be exact. Two of them-- one today, and one tomorrow. In addition to that, we will be feeding our son a teaspoon and a half of MiraLax (their slogan: Restore Your Body's Natural Rhythm!) for the next year, and then we'll go from there.
So when we left the hospital, I went straight across the street and shuffled-- head down and with sunglasses on-- into Safeway. If I'd had a trench coat and fedora, I'd have been wearing them. I have to admit, as laid back as I usually am about these things, these are not products I was comfortable buying.
I was really hoping they sold MiraLax in a container that said PEDIATRIC-- WHICH MEANS NOT FOR ADULTS-- THIS LADY IS NOT BUYING A HUGE JAR OF LAXATIVES FOR HERSELF in three inch high letters, but unfortunately they didn't think to put that on the label, so I had to buy two or three things and hope to kind of slip the Miralax in and pretend it's I don't know, vitamins or something. I sidled up to the counter, praying from the bottom of my heart that I wouldn't get a chatty clerk, while desperately trying not to blurt out those five little words that doom you to shopper's hell: "those are not for me." Cashiers automatically don't believe you when you say those words. Those are the words that the shifty looking guy with the red eyes uses when he buys that big bottle of vodka every week "for his cousin." If they weren't paying attention to what you had in your cart before, they sure as heck are now, and you can bet it will be discussed in the break room and, depending on the contents of said shopping cart, possibly posted on the Internet at a later date.
Luckily, I got a clerk who was obviously towards the end of his shift and was therefore in the "zone"-- you know, the kind with slightly glazed eyes who asks you how you are and then says "Fine, thanks!" when you ask them for today's date. Good fortune was with me only so far, however, because they did not carry pediatric enemas at Safeway, so I had yet another embarrassing shopping trip to look forward to later in the evening.
After my sign class, I ventured out yet again to scour the stores. The first place I tried was sold out-- who knew there was such a demand for enemas--but I was able to grab the last two off the shelf at the local Walgreens.
This time I was not quite so lucky in my choice of cashiers. I got the super optimistic bored teenage guy-- you know-- the one who really, really wants to know how your day was. Really. Our conversation went something like this:
Him: Hi! How are you?
Me: smiling nervously Fine.
Him: How was your day today?
Me: Um. Interesting.
Him: He has his hand on the first package of enemas but has yet to ring anything up. Interesting good or interesting bad?
Me: thinks: Oh God. I'm Doomed. Um. Just interesting.
Him: So what happened? Looks at package, sees the word enema, turns bright red, suddenly becomes extremely interested in the buttons on the cash register.
Me: Those are not for me.
Him: Okaywellnicetoseeyouhaveagooddaybye. Shoves package and receipt at me, has a whole lot of urgent things to do on the other side of the store.
So anyway, I did finally get home around 8:30 at night, and Connor was still awake. We decided that now was as good a time as any.
If you are at all squeamish, this is the part where you stop reading my blog and go look at pictures of kittens or something. You've been warned.
First things first. We read the directions, which involve placing your child in one of two positions, both butt up, and, well, we won't get more specific on the rest of the directions but we decided based on one key phrase that it was going to be best to start out in the bathtub. I quote: "keep child in position until urge to evacuate is strong (usually one to five minutes.)" So what we essentially had here, folks, was a game of poop explosion hot potato.
Naturally, since I had been to the doctor's office and heard the instructions so this whole thing was apparently my idea, it was somehow decided that I would get to be in the line of fire, holding the boy in position while Jer did the honors.
We were prepared for Extreme Sadness, but Connor took the whole thing surprisingly well. I waited about 30 seconds after Jer pushed the plunger, so to speak, and then got out of the bathtub (which, given the events to follow, is something that I am still extremely, extremely thankful for), leaving Connor on his side on a towel. Here's a loose reconstruction of my conversation with Jer in the moments that followed:
Jer: Wow. He's not upset at all.
Me: Yeah. Crazy. I guess those years of rectal thermometer use have kind of jaded him to this sort of thing.
Jer: Yeah. Guess so. How long has it been now?
Me: About a minute. How are we supposed to know when it's time to move him to the toilet?
Jer: I don't know. Maybe we should go ahead and HOLY CRAP DID YOU SEE THAT? HOW MANY FEET DO YOU THINK THAT WAS, ANYWAY?
Me: Oh. My. God.
Ever seen a kid erupt like a geyser? Well, if you never, ever want to see it (and believe me, you don't) please don't show up at my house tomorrow around seven in the evening, when we will be staging a repeat performance. Joy of joys.
And that was my day today. How was yours?