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We are currently struggling with E holding in her poops. She will have a few good days, where she goes to the bathroom when she needs to go, without any struggles. We reward her with stickers and celebrate her achievements in the bathroom. All the while knowing that she is almost certainly going to stop pooping sooner or later.

She has a phobia.

It’s taken me a long time to understand just how big this issue is for her. She is literally afraid to poop because she thinks it will hurt. She has held it in for as long as six days, and she tolerates the stomach pains she gets as a result. I’ve never had any fears of going to the bathroom and I have a hard time sympathizing with her. When you have to go, just go, right?

But that’s not how her mind works, and she is training her body to comply. She refuses to release her poop when nature tells her to do so, and, in doing that, she is able to hold it for several days without discomfort.

We do what we can. We give her a cap full of Miralax hidden in milk or OJ every day. We give her a tab of chocolate Ex-Lax as needed, and we sit with her while she “tries” to go. We’ve given her a few enemas to clear out her system. We provide encouragement, support and rewards. But she has a real fear, and it overshadows all of our efforts.

I’m told this is a common issue, and I know there are many other things that parents struggle with that make this seem like small potatoes. But seeing my daughter struggle so much is hard for me. I truly hope someday I can read this post and think about how far we’ve come in this area. Because now, as I am writing this, it seems like a situation that will never end, and I feel hopeless. Which is not a good feeling to have.

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