My youngest daughter Min has had issues with bowel movements ever since she was hospitalized for Rotavirus infection over 2 years ago. She alternated between constipation and diarrhea as well as accompanying tummy pains and lack of appetite. Since then, she regressed very rapidly in terms of behavior. She also showed many autistic features and we feared she would regress fully into Autism. With a combination of mainstream and biomedical treatments, we have successfully prevented the further onset of Autism.
Nonetheless, the lingering side effects of such a virus leaves a long lasting damage to her health. Till now, Min has a compromised immune system and susceptible to gastrointestinal issues. Last year, Min had 9 months of chronic diarrhea. It was soft, mushy, liquidy, yellowish and smells horrific. It was also at times extremely mucousy, bubbly (yes, with lots of little bubbles in it) and with trails of slime.
We have tried many mainstream and biomedical means to resolve this. We did many types of dietary changes, natural supplements and pharmaceutical medications to no avail. I can’t count how many doctors we’ve consulted. How many stool tests and showing photos of Min’s bowel movements to doctors.
I have an abnormally large collection of photos of my daughters’ bowel movements. For a moment, I thought of posting some of them here. Then I thought better. My hubby used to joke about the photos on my iPad. You’d see many lovely photos of the children and family, then Bam! A disgusting larger than life photo of Min’s latest ‘creation’ would show. It’s like a photographic minefield my hubby says, you never know when a poopie photo will turn up.
Yes, the photos are disgusting. But they are also photographic evidence of Min’s condition. We can’t walk around with a stool sample in our handbag every time we have a Doctor’s consult can we? Though I have done it too. Photographs are very powerful, I have heard many gasps of surprise from seasoned doctors. They might think I was a skeptical, over-anxious mother. At times stool tests come up negative for whatever we test it for. But photos don’t lie. Especially if it was taken with a high-resolution camera and shown on a large screen.
So don’t forget to take regular photos of your child’s poops, rashes, behaviors or whatever you think is important. Take videos as this will give doctors a clearer look at behaviors they wouldn’t normally see within your consult time with the doctor. Hopefully one day, you will look back at the photos or videos and be grateful that those days are long gone.
We have to consider the amount of tummy pain and abdominal discomfort that my then 3 year old child had been living with. No wonder she behaved so atrociously. I would too if my guts were on fire. We have been extremely patient with Min, for I knew her behavior was directly related to her GI issues.
We consulted several biomedical doctors in Australia and USA. We also consulted with pediatric gastroenterologists well as a Pediatric Immunologist in Malaysia. We were all advised to do an endoscopy and colonoscopy. As you can read in my previous posts, we didn’t find anything wrong from the scope. Please read it here Preparing for the Endoscopy” and Post Endoscopy & Colonoscopy…….” target=”_blank”>
But being the sceptic that I am, I would have loved it if the surgeon could have used a pill-cam instead and been able to look at the small intestine. Nonetheless, we are still grateful to have done the scope.
I have read the works of Dr Arthur Krigsman and other pediatric gastroenterologists respected within the Autism community. And I was blown away by their conference presentations. I had been hesitant and scared to do the endoscopy for far too long. I even had a dream where I had a long conversation with Dr Andrew Wakefield. It was obvious that my subconscious was battling it over.
The procedure had a huge positive side-effect. Indirectly, it resolved Min’s 9 months chronic diarrhea. Pre-procedure requires massive amounts of laxatives as well as a rectal wash, similar to colonic irrigation. I had to force feed her nearly 3 liters of laxatives within 24 hours. And we needed to do the rectal wash twice. And both times powerful sedatives were given to Min. This cleared up all the blockage and any fecal impaction. Let’s just say that I was retching and nearly threw up when I saw what came out of my daughter. Just doing that was worth the risk and any side-effects of sedatives and anesthesia.
Up till then, Min was not toilet trained. However, cleaning out her bowels had obviously done much good. For within 1 week of the procedure, Min could finally do a bowel movement on the toilet, rather than in a half-crouch with a nappy on.
So, 9 months of chronic diarrhea has been resolved. We are profoundly grateful. So what’s next?
It was replaced by the other bane of our existence, constipation. For the past 9 months, Min’s constipation has gotten worse. Again we tried mainstream, biomedical and sequential homeopathic treatments. All to no success. But that’s a story for another day…..