Iyyar is constipated.
Let's just get that part right out in the open to begin with. This has been going on for a while now, since before Thanksgiving at least, since the weekend after Thanksgiving is when Sarah came to visit and accompanied us to a memorable family photography session at which Iyyar alternately smiled cheesily for the camera and bent over double howling, "Poooooopyyyyyyyy! Imma, I need poop potty! Hurt me! Tushy hurt me! Imma, tushy hurt me!" A few minutes after the end of the session, he pooped--cataclysmically--and felt better.
Since then, it's been sort of off and on. He's had a really bad cold, and some kind of a bug, and he's thrown up a few times (once rather memorably when Sarah was here). Now the cold is gone, the bug seems to be gone (although he did throw up a little last Friday night) and he is really, really, really constipated--as in, last Thursday he woke up from his nap crying and screaming and writhing so much that, in the absence of an open pediatrician's office to take him to, I brought him to the ER.
Without going into too many details, let me just say that none of my several visits to our local ER has greatly inspired my confidence. This one was no exception. They did give Iyyar an x-ray and pronounced him impacted; they gave him a suppository, which, much screaming and wailing later, produced four very full and very foul diapers and a much happier Iyyar. They told me to follow up with an appointment with my regular pediatrician, and sent me home with an extra suppository just in case. They seemed to think the matter resolved and so did I; but less than a day later, we were right back where we'd been with the pain and the wailing. I gave him suppository #2, which worked somewhat. Sunday night, it all started up again, and I wasn't happy about waiting for my Wednesday appointment but circumstances around here (an unexpected trip out of town for my husband) weren't really conducive to my trying to go elsewhere.
Last night at around 9, he started crying, and then the crying escalated to wailing and writhing and howling and the whole nine yards. I called a neighbor who had mentioned sometimes using suppositories on her own kids and asked if I could have one; I used it on Iyyar with no results whatsoever. I tried all my tricks (this is, obviously, after a couple of weeks of the full-on anti-constipation diet, which Barak has been loving--hey, juice! Imma never lets us have apple juice and now we get apple juice and applesauce and raisins and dried apricots ALL THE TIME!), to no avail; the only thing that calmed him down at all was, between around 1 and 2 am, some time on my lap in my office watching Grover clips on YouTube with occasional pauses to cry and strain and try to poop. "I can't! Poop! Hurt me! Hurt me Imma!" It was awful. At around 2 we called the doctor's office for any ideas; she asked why he hadn't been prescribed a laxative or given an enema and I gave the bitter rundown of the ER visit. Sigh.
Fast forward to this morning, far too few hours of sleep later. Barak went to school and I took Iyyar, still unhappy but no longer crying, to the pediatrician. The pediatrician checked him out, prescribed Miralax, and said he wasn't that concerned. "He's not really that impacted. I don't feel anything up there, so let's see what the Miralax does. It's not as though he's been throwing up and..."
"He has been throwing up, actually." Hmm. I'd forgotten to mention that.
"What?" This, apparently, makes a big difference. Now we are scheduled for an upper GI series for Iyyar on Friday morning, with the barium and the rest of it. I'm still not sure exactly what they are looking for--I have been told not to worry yet but this is just about the worst thing to say to me if you really think I shouldn't worry. I told the doctor as much. "If you tell me what you're looking for, I'll know. If you don't, I'll imagine all kinds of catastrophic things, so you might as well just tell me." Congenital anomalies, I have been told, or any kind of a blockage.
In the meantime, I gave him the Miralax and he's had three dirty diapers since. He does seem to feel much better. Here's hoping that this will all turn out to be nothing much and will resolve itself speedily, with no more lasting adverse effects than Avtalyon having figured out that stray sippy cups found on the floor might contain something he now knows he likes very, very, very much.