“When they gotta go, they gotta go” (article)

Hey everyone,

How are you? I hope you are all safe, healthy and happy. I found this article posted online recently about a 2 year old boy experiencing a “poo explosion” at the shops, in public. I don’t know if he has Encopresis or not, but the moral of the story is what I love. Here is the link to the article:

http://www.kidspot.com.au/parenting/real-life/reader-stories/mum-rescued-by-shoppers-as-her-son-delivers-almighty-poo-explosion?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=editorial

Everyone in that shop was kind and very empathetic in helping the family with the clean up and waiving the bill. After reading this article and how the parents can see a happy side to it all (and how the general public handled it too) it makes me feel happy inside. This is more preferable than to be yelled at or be told that I was “an embarrassment to be out in public” with during my personal experiences with Encopresis. I wish I was there to lend a hand and support.

At the end of the article it says this:

As for advice for other parents who find themselves the victim of a public poo explosion, Amy says try to remember that it will be funny … one day.

“You’ll get through it, even though it doesn’t seem so at the time, and at least you’ll have a good story to tell at their 21st Birthday!”

The Encopresis journey may be hard now, but it does get better. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You are not alone anymore. Let me know what you think about this. What are your thoughts/experiences? Tell me below or you can e-mail me: naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com

Stay strong, happy and never stop being who you are inside. Take care and enjoy the weekend,

Dimity

 

The Right To Go campaign (school toilets and Encopresis)

Hi everyone,

How are you? I hope you’re all going well, and returning to school life (for those that do). I found this picture recently on Facebook about a comic strip of a school and a pass to be able to go to the toilet during class time, as an excuse to do something less constructive. See diagram below:

School Hall Pass for toilet breaks (found on Facebook, 14th February 2016)

I’m not sure if this is meant to be humorous, however it did get me thinking. During my time as a student, going to the toilet during recess/lunch wasn’t a positive experience. The few times I went in there (especially in High School) made me want to get in quick and get out. Bullies in the classroom are hard enough to deal with on a normal day to day basis. Students laughing, gossiping and pressuring me into smoking cigarettes isn’t something that I was comfortable with. It was easier to go at home in peace and quiet. Already self conscious and low self esteem because of living with Encopresis meant that doing anything other than a tinkle was out of the question. Unfortunately neither  of the schools that I attended was aware of Encopresis, and how to treat their students with it.

ERIC UK (The Children’s continence charity) started a campaign in 2014 called, “The Right To Go” to highlight every child’s right to good care for a continence problem at school and to access safe and hygienic toilet facilities. Here is the link to their campaign for more information: http://www.eric.org.uk/Campaigns/TheRightToGo . I truly support this campaign, and plan on collaborating with the schools to help educate them on living with the condition, so other students don’t have to suffer a similar experience. Here in Australia and around the world.

Here is also a link to the “Toilet Tactics Kit” that the Continence Foundation of Australia have available as a resource. Link here: http://www.continence.org.au/pages/-toilet-tactics-kit-411.html .

 

Let me know what your thoughts are on this, or if you have anything else to share. Enjoy the new week ahead. Stay true to yourself, keep smiling and be authentic. @TheEllenShow #BeKindToOneAnother .

Dimity

Beauty Personified

Hey everyone,

How are you all? I hope that you are all doing very well and enjoying the new week ahead.

I received a beautiful poem written from a fellow Incontinence (Encopresis) survivor that I have been corresponding with for several years. Let me know what you think about it. Here it is:

BEAUTY PERSONIFIED

Looking around in wide and breadth

I went in search for a place where beauty had no dearth;

Found myself on a museum called ‘earth’

Below whose bower laid beauty well covered

 

I noticed the beautiful ocean, ‘so blue’!

But the beauty of blue was not so true!

The sky never did give us a clue….

But without the brocade over it, never the ocean had the ‘true blue ’

 

Came after the cozy night, appeared there the golden moon!!

Shining bright, but I don’t fall for it that soon

Wondering at the moon I discovered, she is filled with scars,

She was just trying to brazen staying that far

 

My search took me around the globe

Tired I was full of grief, singing in my lament;

I closed my eyes, after which mother earth opened her latch,

My questions all answered, I found a beauty for which had not match

 

I was scandalized but finally had a reason to smile

I felt like I just came out of exile!

This search left me satisfied

Oh! Mother Nature you are a beauty personified!

A list of Encopresis books (those that I currently have)

Hi everyone,

How is your weekend going? Below is a list of Encopresis books that I currently own (book copy), and will review in a future blog post including where they are available to buy. If there are other physical books on the subject available that you know of that aren’t on this list and am interested in a honest review, feel free to mention it in the comments section or e-mail me: naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com

List of Encopresis books:

  • A Girl Like You: A story for older children who soil – British Edition (Author: James Parkin) (Publisher: Amazon Digital Services)
  • Stool Withholding: What To Do When Your Child Won’t Poop! (Author: Sophia J. Ferguson) (Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
  • The Ins and Outs of Poop: A Guide to Treating Childhood Constipation (Author: Thomas R. Duhamel, PhD) (Publisher: Maret Publishing)
  • Scared To Poop: A Guide To Overcoming Constipation And Stool Withholding In Children (Author: Kathleen M. Diehl) (Publisher: Gateway to Being)
  • Solving Children’s Soiling Problems: A Handbook For Health Professionals (Author: Jackie Bracey) (Publisher: Churchill Livingstone)
  • Constipation, Withholding and Your Child: A Family Guide to Soiling and Wetting (Author: Anthony Cohn) (Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
  • Elimination Disorders in Children and Adolescents: Advances in Psychotherapy, Evidence-Based Practice (Authors: Edward R. Christophersen & Patrick C. Friman) (Publisher: Hogrefe Publishing)
  • Clouds and Clocks: A Story For Children Who Soil, Second Edition (Author: Matthew Galvin, M.D.) (Publisher: Magination Press)
  • It Hurts When I Poop!: A Story for Children Who Are Scared to Use the Potty (Author: Howard J. Bennett, M.D.) (Publisher: Magination Press)
  • Bladder and Bowel Issues for Kinds: A Handy Guide for Kids Ages 4-12 (Author: Janet  A. Hulme M.A., P.T.) (Publisher:Phoenix Publishing; 1 edition (June 2003)
  • I Can’t. I Won’t. No Way!: A Book for Children Who Refuse to Poop (Author: Tracey J. Vessillo) (Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 31, 2011)
  • The Un-Constipated Gourmet: Secrets to a Moveable Feast. 125 Recipes for the Regularity Challenged (Author: Denielle Svetcov) (Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.)
  • Poop: A Natural History of The Unmentionable (Author: Nicola Davies) (Publisher: Candlewick Press)
  • Softy the Poop: Helping Families Talk About Poop (Author: Thomas R. DuHamel, PhD) (Publisher: Maret Publishing)

What do you think of the list so far? What are you most interested in reading a review of? What are your favourites? Are there any others that need to be included?

I hope this list helps. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for my book. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and have the most amazing week ahead. Take care,

Dimity

Encopresis and beyond (4 Questions asked)

Hey everyone,

How are you all doing? I wish to give a huge warm welcome to all my new subscribers (and Thank You).

I was asked recently via e-mail from a parent, about my experiences with Encopresis with a different angle. Below are the questions, and after that will be my responses to them. I hope it helps you all, for those that need it, and feel free to post your thoughts to them or e-mail me: naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com

1. At what age did your parents decide to let you take responsibility for managing your Encopresis on your own?

As a young child and more importantly as a teenager, I was given a plastic bag with a spare change of underwear (and can use the bag to put the soiled underwear in until home). However one spare change isn’t enough when that gets soiled literally as soon as it’s on (smell always lingered). After being constantly bullied when at the school bathrooms, I wouldn’t go in them during school hours unless absolutely necessary (ask your son/daughter about this), and never felt comfortable in there. My stools are very large (thanks to having Encopresis), that they have been known to block the toilet. Blocking the toilet in a public place is very embarrassing and highly increases low self esteem and very self conscious to the point of avoiding it. As a teenager (13 years old), I was old to put my dirty underwear in a bucket of Napisan (stain remover, in the laundry) to soak, which I would do. However when the underwear had the skid-mark type hard stools (and worse), then was yelled at and made to scrub it. This constantly made me cry my heart out to empty ears and very angry & disappointed with myself (as was everyone else). Admittedly and ashamedly this also led me to throw my underwear in the bin in secret to avoid the pain of going through it all, and survive and be a “normal” person. I was later found out (obviously had less underwear in the laundry), but it didn’t stop Encopresis or the emotional pain. Having the spare underwear handy is good and discreet at the time (not so discreet when people can smell it, except me). I wasn’t ever officially diagnosed nor had any X-rays/scans that are available now. I was also given a daily stool softener, Paraffin Oil (before dinner, and water after). It tasted yummy and makes me happy to think about it (it did from time to time give me Diarrhea or leave a oily residue). Did it make a difference? Honestly and in my personal experience, I definitely say YES! My bedroom was extended at age 15, when we did home renovations, and I was given my personal ensuite (and TV in my room), this also made all the difference…and the year I noticed my Encopresis had stopped.

2. Were you able to stop withholding cold turkey or did you still withhold and have the occasional accidents?

See above about personal ensuite/TV installed. I wouldn’t say that I “stopped withholding cold turkey” because I didn’t know that this was happening. No one, not even my parents, mentioned my clean underwear for a significant period of time. No one noticed, not even me. It was an advert on TV or a story or something I heard that when I thought about it was like, “Oh I stopped soiling…cool”, and then continued living.

3. Did you have an epiphany moment when you decided to change? What was that moment and what triggered it?

As mentioned previously.

4. Do you consider yourself to be completely free of Encopresis or do you, as an adult, still catch yourself withholding and take appropriate actions to avoid getting backed up?

Yes I do consider myself Encopresis-free..I’ve referred to myself as an “Encopresis Survivor”, and proud of it to admit it. If you or someone you know is Encopresis-free, then you’re an Encopresis survivor too. Keep in mind I will never say that I am in remission, of Enco (might explain this in another post). Admittedly I can’t pee/poop “on demand”, and this also means that I have difficulties to go successfully (go and not “get the urge but can’t physically go Now”) on the toilet on long haul flights. Sometimes I will get the pain in my abdomen for a few days (after long travel), but this eventually disappears after appropriate action has been initiated. I do continue to have large stools, although go more regularly (doesn’t have to be daily…it’s normal for me to NOT do a “number 2” daily). I prefer to poop at home/hotel.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please let me know in your comments below if you found it useful, any tips for others and what your thoughts are on this.

Don’t forget to subscribe and keep up to date.

Check out (and LIKE) the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/helpencopresissurvivorseeellen

or e-mail me: naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com

Have a wonderful day, keep smiling and stay strong.

Dimity

What to pack for Encopresis emergencies

Hi everyone,

How are you today? As school has returned for the year (in Australia), I thought I would share with you some of my suggestions of things to keep handy for Encopresis emergencies. These tips may need to be adjusted accordingly for your son/daughter and be age appropriate.

A plastic container (as above) is portable, discreet and easy to clean.

When I was at school, I had a plastic bag handy (in my school backpack) that held:

  • 1 spare pair of clean underwear
  • a spare plastic bag to hold the soiled underwear separately
  • spare change of clothes,
  • spare women’s sanitary pads/pantie liners

My main problem was at my worst with Encopresis, I would change my soiled underwear for the clean one…and that would get soiled with no spares. To make sure you don’t get stuck with this I would highly suggest that you keep several pairs handy. I always got changed in the bathroom and wrap any soiled underwear in toilet paper before putting in plastic bag and disposing (or wait til come home and soak/wash it). Another tip is after changing (or doing any “number 2” bowel movements), wash hands thoroughly and put on some perfume/cologne (as mentioned earlier this may change depending on the age of the child/teenager/adult. Encopresis smell does linger, so ideally get changed as early as you can.

If the soiling is light/medium, changing Sanitary pads (or pantie liners) can be really helpful to remove any initial mess. If the stool is runny/soft it would leak around it occasionally. I personally prefer the ones with “Wings” on them (it holds it in place on the underwear and stops leaking). Still change the underwear when convenient.

School and especially bullies can become tricky around this area. If your parents can advice the school/school nurse of what is happening I would HIGHLY suggest that (and make sure they are aware of it throughout the year, incase they forget). Neither of my schools was aware of this condition (in a previous post I shared the story of my worst day with Enco and how the school handled it). ERIC UK have done school awareness programs, something I’m grateful for and hope that other countries do the same. Keep it discreet and the Encopresis pack discreet also. No one knew that I had the pack, apart from close family. One thing the bullies never knew about or had access to.

Other products available are Snap Lock bags (very useful), which you can substitute for the plastic bag initially mentioned. Baby wipes (and other wipes) are also something handy to have in the pack to wipe up any messes/hands. Soap & water is preferred but wipes are a suitable alternative. Just make sure that they don’t dry up (over time the alcohol dries up). There are small and large packs available. Remember to include a small portable hand sanitiser bottle/cream.

When I had Encopresis and at the comfort of my own home, I would sit on the toilet and read a book/play video game (or course wash my hands after and make sure the product is clean/sanitary). I’m not someone that can pee/poop on demand/under pressure. I love to be able to read or think about something else and just give the body time to do it’s “business”. Might take half an hour, might be more or less. However long it took, while relaxed and focusing on something else..trust me, it makes a world of difference. Positive difference. Perhaps in your Encopresis pack you/parent can supply a book/iPad (small). Just a suggestion.

If you haven’t created an Encopresis pack before, I highly recommend that you do now. Have you done this before? Do you have any recommendations for other parents out there? If there was a pack available (or a customisable pack), would you buy/use it? I’ll organise it if there’s enough demand for it. Don’t forget to Subscribe to this blog for more tips, tricks and inspiration. Also don’t forget to LIKE the Facebook page (and share it around): https://www.facebook.com/helpencopresissurvivorseeellen?ref=hl

Take care everyone and have a wonderful weekend ahead. I’m always available via e-mail: naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com

Dimity

P.S. “With an open mind, and an open heart…anything is possible”

Is being suddenly cold a sign of the body “needing to go”?

Whilst reading a book about encopresis recommended by parents (“It’s no Accident” by Steve J. Hodges, M.D), it mentions the signs of children when they are withholding stools. However I haven’t come across anyone yet that has mentioned their child (nor encopresis survivors) that have had a sudden feeling of being cold when was actually a bodily sign of “to go”. It sounds confusing doesn’t it? Let me explain.

If you have been reading my blog so far then you will be familiar with me having Encopresis (faecal soiling) as a child/teenager. There have been several occasions where I’d be at home happily playing a game with my toys when I would unexpectedly feel cold. I would get goosebumps on my arms, my outie bellybutton would be hard (not soft like normal..is an innie now) and the body would tense up. It was a momentarily feeling, last for a few minutes at most, and a few seconds at least. Then move on and continue playing. I am wondering if that was one of the very few signals I ever received of my body needing to have a bowel movement. Understandably there are other more common symptoms that children show when they are withholding (I don’t know if I was withholding or not, as my colon was so enlarged I rarely felt it, but that’s another entry). If I did withhold it was never intentional nor did anyone connect it with Encopresis. I would like to add that this cold feeling isn’t connected to actually being cold or in a cold environment. My cold feeling are usually in my bedroom with just the fan on (I live in a hot tropical environment). I’ve never had the urge to go (either pee or poo) when in a cold environment.

It got me thinking.  This is my observation.  Have any of you readers noticed your child mention this? Have you noticed it yourself? Let me know, or you can e-mail me at: naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com