Emotional.February 1, 2013 at 10:12 am | Posted in Battles (aka: toddlerhood), doctor, Mama Bear | 15 Comments
Lucky saw the pediatric urologist this week.
I don’t post much about the accidents anymore, because that’s just our reality and what we deal with. Some days it’s bad – we’ll have 2 or 3. Some days, nothing. His issues at school have gotten MUCH better since the fall – he rarely comes home in his backup pants. The weekends here are hit or miss; Charlie and I have to remind him to use the bathroom (and yes, we still bribe with the iPhone) for him to stay dry.
Basically we can’t trust him to stay dry if left to his own devices. Which kind of sucks, but it is what it is, and we’re working with it.
So. The pediatric urologist. There’s one of them. When I looked him up on the hospital website, I found him in the “pediatric surgery” department. Which made me think that it wasn’t going to be the best of appointments.
A surgeon can only do so much with managing accidents in children. He is not a behavioral specialist.
I did like him; he asked a lot of questions about Lucky, about my pregnancy with him, about his habits and potty training and all of that. He spent time with us, did an exam, and was generally really good.
But he told me that, if this was a congenital and physical issue, we’d be dealing with it 24/7. But he noted Lucky’s funny ear – he was born with it – and told me that he wanted to get a renal ultrasound in order to completely rule out physical issues.
We went for the ultrasound on Wednesday, and though I haven’t heard back from the doctor yet (I’m calling this morning), I could tell that the kidneys were the same size and had blood flow in and out on both sides. I’d be surprised if there’s a physical issue.
What the urologist DID tell me, which I knew at some level but never really paid attention to, was that some kids hold their anxiety/stress in their bladder. Sometimes it’s their stomach – they get stomach problems. Sometimes it’s their heads- they get headaches. Other kids wet their pants. He asked me if things between me and Charlie were okay, and told me to talk with his teachers and see if there was stress at school which he wasn’t telling me about.
Now, to be fair, he also told me that this could be regression (which we’ve been dealing with, too), or him not wanting to use the bathroom and waiting too long. Basically developmental stuff – not necessarily related to stress or anxiety.
But when I spoke with Lucky’s teachers about it, they both thought that there might be something to the anxiety/stress thing. You see, he’s been having trouble with outbursts in class; he’ll get so worked up about something that he’ll lose it and scream and yell and cry, and even once he’s calmed down, he’ll be sensitive and touchy for the rest of the day.
He does this at home, too – has outbursts, where he screams because he’s so mad, his voice hoarse with tears.
And it was bad this past fall. It’s gotten better over the past month, his teacher told me. But it was bad just before Christmas.
I will be honest: spent the day after hearing this feeling like shit. I took all the blame. He must have been picking up my anger at the infertility stuff, the dark hole I’ve been in after my miscarriage. The anger I had at Charlie, myself, our life.
I said when we first went back to the damn doctor that I didn’t want this infertility shit to take away from the kid I DO have. And here I am, making my poor kid anxious because I can’t have a baby. Awesome.
Thankfully I have friends – and a therapist – who told me that I just don’t know, this could have happened if we had a baby (you know, if we weren’t infertile), too. And Charlie was traveling, and who knows how Lucky felt about that, really?
And honestly, we’ve had pee issues for a year and a half now. Not just this past fall.
So I’m taking a step back. At the very least, clearly Lucky feels things strongly and doesn’t seem to have a good handle on figuring out how to handle them. We need to help him learn how to release his emotions in an appropriate way, or at the very least, how to soothe himself when he gets worked up. They seem to have luck at school with a ‘safe place’ where he can read, or snuggle with Bear, or just take a break, so we’ll do that at home, too.
But really, I’ve always felt that parenting is about TEACHING. I can’t expect Lucky to handle his emotions if I don’t show him how *I* am handling my own emotions. I need to be better about showing him that I’m taking deep breaths to calm down, by repeating my mantra (“May I be happy. May I be free from pain. May I be healthy. May I live with ease.”), by really letting go when I’m angry.
Which I’ve been working on. It means this: I need to be better about handling my own emotions. It is really important to me that I be a role model for Lucky by DOING what I expect from him, too. I hated that about my parents – the hypocrisy. I do NOT want to be that kind of parent.
And this is where I ask for input: I’ll take any words of advice you’re willing to offer about helping your kids better handle their emotions, what’s worked for you, what hasn’t, if you are willing to share.