Warning: this blog post is full of crap. Well, it’s about being full of crap. If this talk offends you or grosses you out, you might want to quit reading now. Come back in a day or two and I will have something less wasteful to talk about.
This is actually a serious subject: constipation. More specifically, teen constipation. Recently, my friend’s daughter, Katie (oh yeah, I changed her name to prevent her from being mortified and horrified by the sensitive nature of this subject) went to the ER with severe stomach pain. After an examination and x-ray, it was determined that she was severely constipated. She was given a laxative to help clean her out and sent home to wait for the inevitable.
Only, it didn’t happen. There were some loose stools, but not nearly what needed to happen. She had some bleeding from the straining, probably from fissures or hemorrhoids. It go to the point that it was so painful to try that she didn’t want to go.
It was a horrible waiting game, full of misery and pain and doctors. The pediatrician referred her to a specialist who tested her for bacteria. Negative. Katie had an enema. No luck. Drinking lots and lots of fluid. Nothing much. Finally, 2-3 days after drinking a mixture of Miralax (laxative) and Gatorade, Katie had success! Lots and lots of success! All day long success. Along with that came more tummy aches, probably from all the movement and cramping going on inside.
So why am I sharing this poor girl’s unfortunate story? Katie’s pediatrician said she was constipated because she wasn’t going when her body was telling her to. She was holding it in. Katie readily admitted that she refused to poop at school. Even though she needed to go, she wouldn’t let herself poop in the school restrooms. According to the pediatrician, this is common among girls. Not only do poor diet choices (common in teens) lead to constipation, but some girls just refuse to use public restrooms. I had never heard of this before, but I wanted to share Katie’s story to encourage others, especially pre-teen and teen girls, to not fight the urge and go when your body tells you. If not, it can lead to big problems. Katie ended up having two x-rays, an emergency room visit, three trips to her pediatrician, a visit to a pediatric gastroenterologist, two sets of lab work, an enema, a couple of different kinds of laxatives, and lots of tears and pain. Because of her situation, she missed 4 days of school and her parents missed work. Not only is all of that a pain in the gut, but a pain in the pocket-book, too.
I have tried carefully to maintain a serious tone to this serious topic butt it was hard!. The pun-creating area of my brain is getting constipated and I need to let it all out. Talking about constipation is an uncomfortable subject. We just need to open up and not be ashamed. I’m not trying to be a pain in the ass, but please, show your concern by encouraging your loved ones to poop!
This has been a public service announcement brought to you by www.karenthemommy.com.