Does Encopresis mean bad parenting?

For many of the parents whom have children with Encopresis, a common thought that I hear a lot of is wondering if it’s a result of bad parenting. It breaks my heart when I hear this. My own parents have also been accused of being a bad parent or to not have brought me up right. This is a majorly bad assumption. My parents raised me correctly and I’m proud to be their daughter (only daughter).

Due to the many different (and many unknown) triggers of Encopresis, it’s very hard to pinpoint what exactly is the individual’s trigger. For some families it’s a food sensitivity, moving house, death in the family (or other traumatic experiences) or simply something wrong with the body. Sadly not many people (including fellow survivors) open up publically about the condition, leaving others in the dark and feel so alone. Myths and misconceptions breed including false accusations from people that don’t truly understand Encopresis. Everyone’s story and experiences are unique.

Each child responds differently in different situations, and respond accordingly. Parents do as best they can with all the love and support within them. Encopresis isn’t a result of bad parenting, and it never will be. As a vocally proud Encopresis Survivor, I will support all parents through this condition as best I can (including supporting fellow battlers and survivors). If you as a parent is reading this blog, please be rest assured that you are NOT a bad parent. Encopresis does not mean bad parenting and I stand by that. It’d be easier if my parents knew what was happening, but that’s not what happened. They aren’t bad parents. They love me and support me. This is what a parent does. It’s not their fault my body wasn’t working properly. Only a small percentage of people in the world are diagnosed (and not diagnosed officially) as having Encopresis. If I’m not at a certain developmental point in my life as I “should” be, how come I have been measured with a societal standard that doesn’t know anything about personally having Encopresis?

You are not bad parents (nor are the parents that have raised you if you are an Encopresis Survivor/battler with this). I’ll go onto The Ellen DeGeneres Show (if she’d have me) and verify that Encopresis does NOT mean, or result from, bad parenting. I’m here for you. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you been accused of being a bad parent because of Encopresis? How does it make you feel?

You can always e-mail me: naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com

Encopresis in Adults (even you aren’t alone in this)

I have recently received several e-mails from other Encopresis battlers whom are in their 20’s. Their identities are withheld, and I honour and respect their wishes. My heart goes out to each and every one of them and their families. Some are embarrassed to talk about it to others, understandably, and feel so alone.

A recent e-mail from a 20-something Encopresis-battler asked me about Encopresis and if it affects fertility or not. Whomever sent this (and you know who you are), you can be rest assured that as far as I know (and researched) Encopresis doesn’t negatively impact fertility because I know of someone who is also a 20-something Encopresis-battler and his girlfriend (that doesn’t have Encopresis) is pregnant!! I have also received e-mails/Facebook chats from parents whom have children with Encopresis but suffered similar incontinence problems as a youngster too. If I do find evidence of Encopresis affecting fertility (or Cancer) I will definitely let you know, my fellow readers.

The suggestions I have for parents whom have children with Encopresis are also useful things to consider if you are an adult with Encopresis. Drinking plenty of water (or Tea), daily probiotic, exercise regularly, check for any hidden dietary allergies (such as Gluten or dairy), have fibre in the diet, remain positive, don’t yell/punish (if you are the parent), have open and loving communication and never let Encopresis determine you or your life. Encopresis doesn’t last forever. Yes it may seem like it, and I too have often felt it to be a curse. Now I’m turning it into a blessing and helping you guys and everyone else I can about this condition (and the professionals too, if you wish to collaborate).

“Encopresis in adults” has been a common online search name, and with the recent e-mails I have received lately I thought it was something worth writing about today.

If you have any comments/feedback or suggestions, you are welcome to post your thoughts below, share my blog around or e-mail me: naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com

Stay strong. YOU are NEVER alone with Encopresis. I am here for you all (and my love).

“With an open mind, and an open heart…anything is possible!” – Dimity. T

How I overcame Encopresis

Of all the questions I’m asked as an Encopresis survivor, the most popular one is: “How did you overcome Encopresis?”

When I was 15, the family home got renovated by expanding the current bedrooms and installed an ensuite with my bedroom. Although it didn’t stop my Encopresis at the time, I do remember noticing a significantly smaller amount of soiling after the renovation completion. It took a while, and it took longer before I actually noticed myself the soiling had stopped (6 months to year after soiling). No one else noticed or commented it gone, or anything like that. Life went on reguardless.

I can’t pinpoint if it was the combination of Paraffin Oil use at night, drinking more tea (English Breakfast) or minimalising stress. It was a long time ago. As my stools became softer (less huge at least) and more frequent in passing, my body slowly got into a new rhythm. Although for several years going to the toilet once a week became the “norm”, admittedly it was a lot better than not going in 10 days.  Sadly my tummy won’t ever be flat because of Enco and the magacolon I have, no matter how hard I train at the gym, I’m ok with it.

For many families this condition is more complex in how to deal with it, and what are possible triggers of it. What are your experiences with this? If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them below or you can e-mail me: naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com

Have a wonderful week ahead everyone 🙂

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

My most painful day with Encopresis

In a previous post I wrote about what I considered my worst day with Encopresis and you can read it here: http://themagicwithinus.com/2013/02/02/my-worst-day-with-encopresis/

Today I will share the day I considered my most painful day with Encopresis.

I was 10 years old, and in Grade 5 at school (Primary School). The day itself began like any other, studying the subjects that were currently being studied. Being teased, treated as a loner and last in group/pair activities part of “the norm” for the time, especially as a kid with Encopresis. The pain kicked in by lunchtime. Sometime near Noon or 1pm, I began to have stomach aches (maybe earlier it started but by this time it was definitely getting stronger). When school finished for the day at 2:10pm, my tummy was really hurting.

A normal walk home from school usually took 20-30 minutes maximum, on this particular day it took me 45-60 minutes total to walk the same distance. Every 20 or so steps (not literally…it was) I had to stop and have a break on the footpath. Walk a little further and have a break. Same repetitive motion for the whole way back, doubled up in pain. Finally returned home, had a drink of water and literally spent the rest of the afternoon on the toilet, training to push what wouldn’t come out. It was hurting to push, physically hurt and uncomfortable, soiled underwear, shallow breathing (holding breath while pushing). Definitely not fun. After a while I’d get off the toilet (obviously clean up, flush toilet, wash hands, etc), have a drink, do homework, run around and try again later. At one point crying in pain.

Told my parents what’s happening and how I feel when they came home from work, and I was given a suppository later that night after dinner. It was one of the very few times (or only time) I remember a suppository being a good thing. After not pooping in 10 days you can understand why it gets painful (even I understand it from a medical stand point). My tummy had the painful after effects from where the pain was, if that makes sense. It was a relief to get that huge stool out and release that built up pressure and the pain did start to slowly go away after that.

I’m an Encopresis survivor…and this is my story. Feel free to e-mail me (naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com) if you need someone to chat to, I’m here to help. Please Like my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/themagicwithinus

Take care, thank you for reading and have a great day. 🙂

It’s fair to be Fair (skin)

For many years, I have been constantly asked or commented from friends or people I know with the suggestion of me getting a tan or “why don’t you tan?”. I have fair skin. I burn easily and quickly, shed skin like a snake, then literally go back to white again. When I was really young I didn’t like my freckles, but over time as I met more people with them I got used to it and accepted my freckles quickly after that.

There are several websites and television commercials with information about “slip, slop, slap” (something lost at schools when they send you to do sport in mid-day sun at hottest time of day for several hours) and being sun smart about skin cancer. There are other commercials with the slogan, “There is nothing healthy about a tan”. The tan is the result of the skin creating a special layer to protect the body as all the other layers have been killed/burnt off over time. Last stage of defence. Some people are more comfortable and confident with a tan…..why can’t people accept I’m happy with fair skin? Also, fair skin doesn’t turn tan from the sun, so clearly a solarium will do nothing to it too (I’ve never tried anything like that, and never tried a spray tan before either).

When performing onstage I look more whiter under the stage lights. It would be one of the few times I would consider getting a fake tan (that and my wedding day..unless I have to for an acting job). I’m happy to stand proud at a tiny 5″2 (in height) and say “I’m happy and confident to have fair skin”. Would being tan make me appear more attractive/sexy to the opposite sex?

I’m confident in my fair skin, and I’m happy with that. Otherwise what’s the point of saying “love the skin you’re in” if you have to change it to suit someone else? If you’re tan, great! If you’re not, that’s great too!

Let me know what you think about this topic.

“It’s a power struggle” (- quote from Dr Phil)

Today (here) I have just watched something gut wrenching on the Dr Phil show. In an episode called “Biggest Mistakes you don’t know you’re making” (original broadcast date 11/24/09), there was a family whom have a son with Encopresis. Ironically I get a season in Australia that’s 3 years old, but I’m lucky I saw this one.

The boy (at time of broadcast) is pre-school age (3 years old I think) poops in his pants. Dr Phil commented that it’s a “power struggle” with the boy winning, and that comment has really upset me. If you have been reading my blog so far (thank you if you have) then you’ll know by now that I am an Encopresis survivor. Something that Dr Phil never mentioned in this particular episode is that their son (the parents on the show) has this medical condition. Dr Phil admits he doesn’t know much about it (even though he has had a previous family on the show with Encopresis, and mentioned it, in 2007). Dr Phil never had enco, nor Robin and neither has his own sons had it. The more I hear stories like this the more inspired and dedicated I am to complete my manuscript and get it published.

I wanted to so much to hug the boy and tell him he’s ok. Ironically Dr Phil hasn’t interviewed in the episode mentioned any survivors (such as myself) for opinions/thoughts/advice nor any “experts”. I can’t let these children suffer because of the myths and misconceptions. I’m understanding how hard it is for the parents in this situation, but I feel it more to how the children/teens/adults feel whom have (or have had) this condition. I have just measured my blood pressure and pulse, both are high (pulse measured at 75). I’ve also been crying my heart out.

If Dr Phil genuinely thinks this is a “power struggle” does that mean that what I have been through (punishing, yelled in public, no friends, no social life, bullied/stabbed/work stolen/things thrown at me, etc), is that meant to be intentional?? If the medical aspect has been looked at (for example chronic constipation or spasdic colon) then perhaps there may be something else involved (especially after talking to some of the parents on Facebook). However NOT every Encopresis child has a power struggle and Dr Phil didn’t acknowledge that. Something that is correct that Dr Phil says in the story is this:

“You’ve got to make sure that he knows that you love him unconditionally, so don’t withhold love and support.”

 Definitely keep this in mind and heart, my dear readers. Let me know what you think.

Here is the link to the website with the story: http://drphil.com/slideshows/slideshow/5439/?id=5439&showID=1360

For those interested here is the  link to the only other previous story on the Dr Phil show about Encopresis (I haven’t seen this episode myself. Dr Phil does seem more forgiving in this story and the comments from the public aren’t. However what he said in this link, he didn’t say to the story mentioned above that this post focuses on):

http://drphil.com/slideshows/slideshow/3908/?id=3908&slide=0&showID=916&preview=&versionID

I have to help and I’m here to help. I’m willing to do anything and everything I have to for these families. My book is written from a survivor…an Encopresis survivor. xx