I never imagined that I would have a child with pooping problems. It just seems so random. And gross. But I think I've learned a few things from the experience.
1) Compassion for others. I have so much more compassion for other people's struggles now. I see people with parenting problems and health problems and my heart just goes out to them. I know how hard this can be.
2) Love for my child. I have always loved my child, of course. But working through her encopresis problems has deepened and expanded my love for her.
3) Don't give up when the doctors are out of ideas. Medical doctors are wonderful and they provide great service in many areas. For some reason, however, the doctors we saw were not very helpful in treating my daughter's encopresis problems. I had to do a lot of outside reading and reach out to family and friends with similar challenges in order to find solutions that worked for my daughter. I learned that I needed to be an advocate for my daughter in the doctor's office.
4) I am not alone. When my daughter first started having pooping problems, I was confused. What was wrong with my child? No one I knew had a child with this kind of problem. I have since learned that lots of people have pooping problems, they just don't talk about it much! I have now connected with dozens of families who have encopresis problems. There is strength in numbers!
5) This too shall pass. For about a year, I wasn't sure that we would ever get over my daughter's pooping problems. I wondered if she would ever go to school or ever be able to lead a normal life. But now that we are mostly over her pooping problems, I can look back with gratitude and realize that we made it through to the other side!
6) Poop can be really gross. I never dreamed that I would have to clean up so much poop! I have cleaned poop out of carpets, rugs, bedding, mattresses and hair. I have cleaned poop out of the bathtub more times that I care to remember. I have cleaned up poop at church, at parks, at the pool, at pre-school, in the car, on the side of the road, at museums, at the grocery store, and at friends' houses. Pretty much anywhere we've ever been :)
What have you learned from dealing with encopresis?