Holding bowels/bladder

by David Tapley
(Westbrook, ME. U.S.A.)

I am curious to see if there is any correlation with SPD and bowel and bladder habits. Our 22 month old daughter has been assume-ably holding her bowel and bladder for over 4 months. We originally felt she was constipated, but then realized she was holding it fearing pain, and yet she inevitably caused herself to be impacted. She ending up going about every 4th or 5th day, with a very large and rock-hard stool, and the worst episodes of pain a parent can witness.

Our Pediatrician said we needed to give her Milk of Magnesia to keep her stool soft and runny. So then we had our daughter trying to hold wet stool, which was constantly leaking and causing immense diaper rash. We were told to up the dose and keep what we were doing. We feel we were put between a rock and a hard place.

Our daughter is the happiest child in the world, yet she has to endure this ordeal over and over again. We feel that our Pediatrician was giving us a Band-Aid treatment for a bigger SPD issue. Our pediatrician was fully aware of our daughter's SPD, yet left us pulling our hair out. We have fired her, and we are searching high and low for answers. I am trying to contact our daughter's SPD occupational theraist, and we are attempting to see a ped. GI specialist. Does any one have any advice or answers?

At 39, I now realize I live with SPD issues. I feel that the fear of pain, holding, and SPD are all related. I appreciate any and all help that we can get.

Thank you,
David and Pam Tapley
Westbrook, ME

The SPD Help Line Answers

SPD and bowel/bladder issues are definitely connected!! Many, many parents have dealt with the same issues. The sensations are not interpreted correctly and cause either pain or not being aware of the sensations of needing to go. I talk more about this in my newsletter... SPD And Potty Training.

See if this helps you better understand what is going on. You are definitely on the right track in your thinking!! And, your OT should also be able to help you out. Working through the underlying SPD issues should help resolve this, as well as a lot of diligent work on all of your parts, through this sensory lens. She will need extra help and extra cues to compensate for what her system is not helping her with. Work out a plan with the OT.

I'm sure others have some advice and suggestions too. Please let Dad know any ideas you all have!

This is common with our SPD kiddos; sensory integrative OT will help! Not usually Milk of Magnesia! I see you got that... good for you!!

Take care.

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