Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Don't want to...but have to...Constipation

Never in a million years did I think I'd be writing or thinking this much about something I really don't want to discuss! But I figured, for my own benefit - I'm going to have to write this all down, so that I can refer back to it when I've lost my marbles :)

We deal with significant constipation issues, a mixture of contributing reasons: post-op (the effects of so many very hardcore drugs-morphine,anaesthetics etc in a short space of time), muscles just not strong enough from the low-tone with Down Syndrome and then the fact that she's really not mobile at all, so when she starts to move around it'll get much better I'm sure.

So here's my list, starting with the most natural things, the things I've learnt from various doctors / physio's / specialists...and the progression that I take (daily) when figuring out at what stage of the process Katelyn is at...the joys :)

*I really may have left something out...if I do...I'll add it in another day, so forgive me!*
**Obviously, drinking the right milk and eating good healthy foods(not processed/refined) is an essential**

Natural, non-medicated options:
-Flaxseed oil                            
To mix a teaspoon into food daily / twice daily. Has so many other benefits too.
-Fruit...like prunes, peaches, paw-paw            
Fruit-fruits that help your bowel move. Be careful, if she doesn't drink enough, high fibre fruits require lots of liquid to work successfully, otherwise it has the opposite effect (apple, pears, banana's) 
-Bathing or sitting in warm water
So good for the stomach and bowel, relaxes it 
-Water and sugar water....always good
-Glycerine suppositories
These are not medicated, your body doesn't become reliant on them in any way. They only release the 'plug' if there is one.Can give multiple a day.
-Tummy Massage
To the next step:
Laxette is not a laxative. It just helps soften the stool, it doesn't make your gut move. Katelyn is on a very high daily dose of it, and I am continually re-assured that she will not become reliant on it as you would if you took a laxative. Can give a really high dose - though can end up in cramping and discomfort.
Pegicol seems to be far superior to Laxette. Sachets that you need a prescription for. The trick is, they need to be taken along with enough liquid for it to bind itself too. So unless Katelyn drinks 150ml minimum when giving her a              pegicol, it can have the opposite effect. When she is very bad, she unfortunately doesn't drink much, so I often have to rely on Laxette and not Pegicol as I probably would prefer. 
This makes the bowel work. Katelyn seems really uncomfortable when I give her one, but I have to do it often. Preferably only every second day, and not for an extended period. 

My new next step to avoid hospital:
-Enema(1/2 adult dose)
Not even going to go into it...

If no luck...then back to the doctor, x-ray....then hospital admission for a washout....

**Thanks...I needed to get my head around it again. I'm so full of medicine schedules, that sometimes I forget to apply my mind to this daily, as its really (for me at least) about daily staying on top of it if possible, otherwise she stops eating, drinking and it only gets worse. **

Friday, 11 November 2011

Where did the time go?

Feels like its been a lifetime since my last post.Yikes...its November!

Katelyn has had a tough time since being home, with throat, nose, tummy, wound issues...all one after another. She ended up back in surgery after 4 weeks at home, as her wound wasn't healing around her pacemaker. So they cut her open again (not the whole way up, but almost), moved her pacemaker and stitched her up nice and tightly. Out of theatre and back onto a ventilator, which really was just hard to see...after all that she's been through...going in for a 'surface' surgery...and back to that state.[I of course know it was the best thing]. Anyway, she struggled a bit in hospital, and came out after 6 days on more medication than after her open heart surgery! After that again, has been one thing after another, ears, coughs, noses etc...with the one odd happy day inbetween, but her poor little body I think has had enough of getting attacked by things! I keep trusting that we're on the road to 'good health' soon...or at least to get to 7 days straight of a happy healthy little girl! Desperate for her body to get a chance to get strong again, start preparing for crawling (military mom almost in action) and learning more and more.

I've started working. In amongst the medical chaos I'm trying to get a good few hours work in a day...proving to be interesting jumping from work meetings to doctor's appointments, sending Katelyn with others to doctor appointments, daddy covering for me while I'm at work. So all interesting. It feels like madness, but this madness feels right (how is that possible!). 

But in between all of it, Simon and I had a great night away, we celebrated Simon's 36th birthday (getting seriously old!), had some good times with friends and family. Katelyn still manages to charm her way through life, making lots of doctors, granny's, passers by, nurses all smile...which always warms my heart. When I think of the past 7 weeks, I can't quite believe what she has gone through (and I wonder why she bursts into tears when she sees a syringe!) but still, even when she's feeling pretty rotten, she smiles and gives me a nice warm cuddle and I just want to squeeze her tighter.

Think we're in love with her more than ever before, so proud of her and looking forward to what lies ahead for her in the summer months to come.