- You make sure that you skip over the line in the potty training book that states that diapers are only for babies.
- You have to make sure you stick to the cathing schedule.
- You have to make sure that your child doesn't miss a dose of medication.
- You are constantly watching out for signs of a shunt malfunction.
- You are constantly watching out for signs of a urinary tract/bladder/kidney infection.
Em and Allie have been Pull-Up free for quite some time now. They basically became overnight potty trained at the same time they became day time potty trained. We had them wearing Pull-Ups at night "just in case." After a few months with only two or three wet Pull-ups (Allie being lazy), we decided to pull the plug on the Pull-Ups for several reasons.
- The cost
- To be green
- I didn't want Allie and Em to become dependent or rely on them.
This is usually the time when parents celebrate but for our family, it didn't really feel complete because Anna is still wearing Pull-Ups. And will be for some time. The girls understand that there is a difference between them and we are trying to educate them the best that we can. Spina bifida is extremely difficult for three year olds to understand.
Anna doesn't fight us when we cath her (empty her bladder.) It has become part of our daily routine. But lately, she doesn't want to be cathed. She wants to go on the potty like her sisters. How do I know this? She has told me. So now whenever I say, "Come on Anna, it's time to do your peeps," she responds with, "Nooooo, there's no peeps in me."
You can imagine my shock when reading a potty training book to the girls last year and seeing the sentence "Diapers are for babies." Really? Seriously? Is that even considered PC now because I can guarantee that there's a whole bunch of people out there wearing "diapers" who are most definitely not babies.
Allie has been the most inquisitive regarding Anna's status. She asks a lot of questions. If Anna wants to wear un.die.s over her Pull-Up, she can. One day, Allie said to me, "Mommy, you forgot to take Anna's Pull-up off," when Anna was running around with un.die.s on. Allie has asked why Anna still wears a swim diaper. Then there was the night that Allie had peeped in her Pull-Up and when I asked her why, she responded with, "I went in my Pull-Up just like Anna."
On Saturday, I asked Allie to put on her sandals so that we could leave the house. She was sitting on the kitchen floor with Elmo lying in front of her. He was on his back and Allie was holding his legs up. She said, "Hold on, I'm doing Elmo's peeps." She was pretending to cath him.
We always explain to the girls that the boo-boo on Anna's back hurt her nerves and she can't feel when she has to peep or po.op.
Anna had been on a low dose of antibiotics from birth until a few months ago. Repeated testing has shown that her kidney reflux reversed on its own and she has never had a UTI. Her urologist and kidney doctor decided to stop the antibiotics because she was doing so well. We were happy with that decision because we really didn't want her to be on medication if she doesn't have to be.
Anna was acting a bit off this past weekend. Sunday night, we confirmed that she was running a low grade fever. There were too many floaties in her urine and I assumed that she had a virus and was a little dehydrated. When the situation didn't improve, she was rushed to the doctor. We received confirmation today that she does in fact have a UTI. The lab is still running tests to see how bad it is. Her pediatrician is going to confer with Anna's other doctors to discuss placing her back on a daily antibiotic.
I'm kicking myself for not picking up on what was really wrong with Anna from the get go. She's never had a UTI and the last time she had a low grade fever, we rushed her to the hospital fearing a UTI and she didn't have one. I didn't want to overreact but with Anna you have to overreact.
Her pediatrician started her on antibiotics yesterday and today, she was doing much better.
When you have a child with Spina Bifida, you are grateful for each day that she is healthy and smiling.