We have been working on this for what seems like an eternity. Almost two years to be specific. On January 6, 2010 I posted about the first box of pull ups we bought. We weren't really thinking about potty training at that point but he showed interest so we went with it. As the year progressed he made progress and was going often at school when they took him but not ever telling anyone if he needed to go. Fast forward to our end of the year conference at school this last June and the discussion of potty training came up. Riley was making no progress from where he had been the previous spring. That alone didn't raise any red flags but the fact that we would take him at home and then just a few minutes later he would have a little accident. Never river down the leg but noticeably wet. This "dribbling" did raise a red flag with the group around the table. That combined with how much progress he had made in all other areas brought everyone to the suggestion that it was time to bring the pediatrician into the discussion.
So off to the Dr we went for a ear infection I'm guessing, but I made sure to throw in the questions about potty training. We chatted about what was going on and his pattern of going and then dribbling not long after. Our Dr wanted us to go see the one and only pediatric urologist in town. Everyone had told me that if this was what we needed to do it would take months and months to get in. I was prepared for a 6-9 month wait but figured we'd better get it on the books since potty training was one of the last obstacles standing in the way of Riley going to a typical kindergarten. So I called made the appointment and was surprised that we could see the PA in just a few weeks. We had to schedule an ultrasound pre and post void and then would see the PA when we returned from vacation in mid July.
I'll catch you up on our fabulous trip through Montana another day but upon our return we made it in to see the PA at the Urologist office. We had just been to the ENT for a check up so as we get out Riley says "no ears NO ears!" I assured him it wasn't his ears that this Dr was interested in. It was a fairly routine appointment with a slug of questions about our potty habits. Things were going along smoothly until it was time for the actually exam. She checks him out as she causally looks over to me and says "has your pediatrician ever mentioned that his testicles haven't descended?" We as a matter of fact have had the conversation and he assured me that they had. I distinctly remember the part where he said "once they come down the don't go back up". It has taken a lot of phone calls and conversations with nurses and Dr's and I can tell you the short version is that its a temperature issue. If the testicles are up more than they are down (apparently his float a bit) the temperature is not what it would be if they were down where they were supposed to be. This rise in temperature not only causes issue in sperm production, which lets face it I don't care about, but also can cause malignant tumors. Enough said... surgery scheduled. I give the long version another day but for now back to the potty.
The whole testicle issue has nothing to do with potty training ( I know I was disappointed too) so we left the Dr's office with some "exercises" and a pinwheel. The things I've learned from Riley... If you bend over and touch the floor and take some nice deep breaths the floor of the bladder relaxes and allows you to finish emptying. The pinwheel was to encourage the deep breaths. It can be a little awkward but Riley now will bend over and take his deep breaths with no cue from us. After a month of the exercises a lone we added a medicine that helps the bladder from having little spasms and contracting on its own. This medicine is the miracle potty potion in my mind. We wouldn't want to leave things as simple as just a medicine so the Urologist wanted us to do a full clean out to ensure that constipation issues weren't adding to the issues. I didn't realize how closely 1 & 2 were connected. Wow did I underestimate how constipated Riley was. We've now added in a daily dose of miralax to keep things moving. I'm hoping to transition to just adding fiber to his diet but for now we are dealing with the miralax and I was quite excited to discover Kirkland makes a version now! If ever a family needed it in bulk its mine. I swear my life won't revolve around poop forever.
Riley has made amazing progress in a very short amount of time. He started on the magic potion toward the end of August and started school in big boy undies on September 12. He averaged an accident a day the first couple of weeks but the last two weeks he has arrived home in the same pair of clothes and underwear that we sent him in. Most days he wakes up dry and I've been brave enough to let him nap in undies and he typically is dry.
We go back to the urologist office next week for a ultrasound and a check in. Not truly sure why I'm going to pay for another office visit or what the ultra sound is looking for but I believe it all has to do with the magical potty potion. I'll keep you posted on that. For now we celebrate and enjoy not buying pull ups!