Friday, December 14, 2007

Another Fleet-ing Moment?

Hopefully...and hopefully not.

Kyra has been complaining of stomach pains the past couple of weeks. Combine that with the acid reflux that she regularly experiences and refers to as "heart pain", and it hasn't been a very fun time. We took her into the doctor Wednesday morning where we were informed that she could feel another "blockage" in Kyra's tummy. Yes, I said another. Not good news. Diane then took Kyra to get an X-ray of her stomach to see the extent of the back-up.

The first blockage happened a couple of years ago, and it was bad. So bad that Kyra was throwing up, getting dehydrated and not pooping at all. After several calls to the pediatrician, one of her nurses finally called us back with instructions. Diane was at work and I was the poor sap to receive her sadistic marching orders. "Yes, we're going to have you go ahead and give her a Fleet Home Enema and we'll see if that clears her out." Her delivery was monotone and matter of fact, as though she were telling me to do something as simple as showering, shaving, or clipping my toenails. I didn't even know what a Fleet Home Enema was.

"...a wha...what was that again?" I stammered.

"A Fleet. Home. Enema."

That's what I thought she said. "And can I get this at Walgreen's?"


And do you do house calls?

There are some things that you should never, ever have to do to your child. The Fleet Home Enema is one of those things. There are also life situations that reveal a depth of love that you never thought you could experience, a depth of love that empowers you to do things you never thought you could do, things like changing disgusting diapers, rinsing out puke-filled sheets, and giving Fleet Home Enemas. I took my bowel-bound 4 year-old to Walgreen's and picked up the treatment in the seemingly harmless green box. We returned home where I read the instructions, one thousand times.

When I felt sufficiently informed (notice I didn't say "comfortable"), I gathered Krya into the bathroom and gave her the lowdown. "OK Sweetie, this is going to help you go potty." I walked her through the procedure and told her that she was going to feel a lot of pressure and that she was going to want to poop. Really bad. "We're going to wait one minute before pooping," I said. "The longer it stays in, the more effective it will be and the more the poop will come out." Or so I thought.

At this point, if I were Kyra I'd be running for the hills. I thought that she would start to throw a tantrum, but she had no idea what I was saying to her, no frame of reference to let her know that the poop chute was a one-way exit only. She trusted me and simply replied with an "OK Daddy", and I felt terrible about the rude awakening she was about to experience.

I applied the enema and she freaked. It was the worst I have ever felt as a father because I was causing my child this discomfort. She screamed the whole time, but allowed me to empty the bottle and then sat on the toilet for that whole minute before letting loose. She was a complete trooper (a pooper-trooper, if you will) and though I felt horrible about inflicting this torture on my child, I felt equally proud of her.

The enema, however, didn't even scratch the surface of the behemoth that dwelt inside of her intestines. We had to do another enema, and when that didn't work, we had to delve into the realm of prescription stool softeners before Kyra was finally able to pass the obstruction. "Get the poop out" became our daily mantra where we encouraged Kyra to sit on the potty longer than her normal ten seconds. "Otherwise we'll have to go to the store to get another home en-e-ma." Talk about motivation to take a crap. Kyra would do well to take a page out her old man's manual of bowel movement etiquette: grab your book or the sports page and have a seat for some quality throne-time.

We have yet to hear back from the pediatrician on the results of the X-ray. She ran through possible treatment options where the #1 priority was getting Kyra cleaned out. She only mentioned using Merilax, an over-the-counter laxative, in that process, but in the back of my mind I have this strange feeling that we'll be getting a call from the nurse suggesting a parallel home-treatment.

I originally thought that the makers of the Fleet Home Enema merely had a good sense of humor branding their product "Fleet" which means "swift", or "to pass quickly" if you use the term "fleeting", because, really, that's what you need to do, pass quickly. But I did a little research and found out that C. B. Fleet was a man who built a bowel-cleansing empire! Talk about destiny. At any rate, all of us want this situation to pass quickly, with or without the home enema.


The Undaground said...


Hope she's OK. That sounds like a nightmare.

the battered ham said...

Thanks. It definitely falls under the category of "not fun moments".

And an update: I heard back from the doctor, and NO ENEMAS!! WHOO HOO! However, in addition to daily Miralax for a month, Kyra needs to drink 6 oz of Magnesium Citrate for the next two weekends. We (and by "we" I mean Diane) supervised the first dose this morning, which entailed about 45 minutes of gagging, crying, and eventual pooping. And Kyra needs to do this three more times. It would be easier to just give her the damn enema.