OMG what a few weeks we have had. It is becoming increasingly apparent that my daughter can suffer from constipation and as a result this can have a massive impact on her mood!
Constipated daughter = ratty, tiredness, not knowing where she wants to be, rolling around on the sofa, wiggling her bottom and clambering all over me, using me as a sole source of attention.
Constipation free daughter = happy to play on own, chatty, carefree and a general delight!
Recently we went for 6 days before we finally had a jackpot moment, and even then this involved regular prescribed laxatives and lot of fruit, wholegrain cereal and coaxing!!!
When we hit one of these episodes, as the days go on my daughter goes from happy, funny, joyful and carefree, to a whiney, uncomfortable, tired and testy little soul who doesn’t know where to put herself.
She flatly refuses to play or entertain herself at all and ends up clambering all over me all day long. Slightly frustrating in itself at the best of times but with a bump between us and every slight movement pulling in my hips and giving me excruciating pain, it’s even more so. No matter how much I try to encourage her or sit her on the floor she just clambers back on top of me, elbowing and kicking me in the breasts and bump as she goes.
The additional problems in all of this are:
a) hubby can often be at work on night shifts so I can be on my own most of the day with her = long, long days!
b) everyone tells you to give them things like prune juice or luke warm boiled water, but my daughter won’t drink ANYTHING other than cold water. She is also picky as to what fruit she will eat, despite having eaten strawberries, pineapples and blueberries in both whole and pureed form, she generally lives off grapes, raisins and bananas! So prunes and any other reasonable suggestion are often off the menu too!
Recently, day 5 of the latest carry on constipation saw my ratty daughter have a spectacular meltdown whilst my parents and I were out shopping. It appeared she wanted to go an explore the escalator that we had just come up whilst I was paying for some items, but she refused to allow my mum to hold her hand, which of course resulted in my mum refusing to allow her to go near it. A battle ensued that saw my daughter go limp and hurl herself in the middle of the shop floor, screaming and crying. My mum was trying to pick her up but she made herself a dead weight. The look of horror on my parents faces was hilarious. She then spotted one of those sit in ride machines and headed over to have a look. My mum followed and hoping it would distract her, tried to put her in it, but this again resulted in sheer hysteria, why I have no idea as she usually likes them! As I turned around I once again saw my daughter laid in the middle of the floor kicking and screaming with people staring and walking round her… nightmare! Having paid for the items I marched over, swiftly picked her off the floor and carried her downstairs and outside, with people staring at me all the way. I placed her on a spot outside the shop and told her I was having none of it and had we not travelled so far to get to where we were I would be putting her straight back in the car. I then ordered her to calm down and told my parents to walk away and ignore her as the more attention they gave her, the more she continued to carry on. After a few minutes she finally stopped and we were able to carry on our day, but I think my poor parents were traumatised by the whole experience, especially my dad!!!
Day 6 saw my hips playing up badly, I could hardly move, so we couldn’t really go out anywhere. Hubby had been on nights, so after helping us both with getting ready and breakfast, and setting us up for the day ahead he headed off for some much needed sleep, leaving me downstairs with our angelic little girl. The day pretty much consisted of me trying to stop her clambering all over me, me asking her not to kick mummy while she laid down as it hurt, me placing her in time out repeatedly for throwing food and drink all over the floor and hitting and trying to bite me. It was a total nightmare and admittedly I did shout at her a few times as she just found it all a game and I was in agony. However, after a tummy massage, lots of fruit, shreddies and laxatives wonderful things happened!! yes, you know what I mean… the blockage became unblocked… three times! and miraculously after the last time, my daughter was like a different person, playing happily on her own and charging around the house instead of rolling around on the sofa. In fact she was giggly, jumping up and down and playing within half an hour of the second one!
It’s amazing how much constipation can affect children, apparently 1 in 3 children can be affected.
I hadn’t realised that a lot of my daughter’s mood swings were down to this until I had a chat with the Health Visitor. I was oblivious that the two could be linked, and now that I can see the two issues as one I feel much better equipped to deal with it! Whilst it is frustrating and tiring I can imagine it’s horrible for them to feel the way they feel, they are so young, can’t express themselves properly, it obviously hurts and becomes a bit of a vicious circle for them, as well as us as parents.
The Health Visitor had prescribed me laxatives a few weeks ago and I had given them but stopped once she appeared to be going normally. I hadn’t realised that if they have suffered from it regularly you often need to keep giving them to them for several weeks or even months to get them back into a healthy routine.
I also hadn’t realised that too much milk or dairy products can have a detrimental affect.
On my google search for a bit more info as to what to do I came across this website which I thought may be helpful to other parents ChildhoodConstipation has some great advice and a great tools and charts for helping you work out whether your child may have constipation or not, what to do and how to keep track of what may affect your child.
For now… we’ll keep up the fight and hope things improve soon.