Gotta Go, Right Now

Pee Pee Dance
Tim isn’t having a good week. 
We’ve joked since Tim was first potty trained at age three that he has a bladder the size of a walnut.  At that age, we sort of thought that using the bathroom was new, and he was always curious, and thought that maybe he just wanted to know where the bathroom was everywhere we went, so he always used it.  Always.  Tom still swears he knows where every public restroom is along I-80 from Chicago to Salt Lake City after a vacation we took driving there one year that probably took 12 hours longer than it should have, had we not stopped at EVERY rest stop along the way.  If you’re curious, Nebraska’s got our our favorites.  
His ability to “hold it” has never really improved.  There have been times along the way where medications have contributed to his need to visit the restroom, and at several points during his childhood, we’ve consulted urologists to be sure there isn’t something physically wrong.  He’s got a clean bill of health – nothing wrong with the plumbing.  
The past several weeks has been challenging for Tim and his teacher and the RTC staff.  Tim’s request to visit the facilities is about at once very 20 minutes right now.  He’s not complaining of any pain, and he’s not drinking more fluids than usual.  He just wants to go, all the time, no matter where they are.  10 days ago when he was home, he was like this too – we went to lunch out and he visited the restroom three times in 45 minutes, twice in the half hour we were in Target, and wanted to stop on the way home.  
I’m debating the urologist, again.  But…Tim has used bathroom breaks as an avoidance technique before – as in, “how can I get out of doing school work?  Go potty!”  If he’s asked to hold it, he can – which makes me mentally rule out any kidney issues – but he is pitching a wicked fit about being asked to wait which is why he’s having a bad week. 
One of the less common but listed side effects of his medication is the frequent need to…you know.  But I have to wonder if this is a fun, new sign of some new or better developing symptom…something in the OCD area?  
I’d love to know your thoughts.  Do you have a potty frequent flier?  Have you pinpointed a cause?  

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  • TwisterB May 5, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Well here's my completely unqualified theory. Since Tim wets his bed, maybe he doesn't have great bladder control (I know you said he can hold it if he has to but the question is, when he does is he thinking "hold it hold it hold it"?) and possibly over time that has created a lot of anxiety for him. OCD is an anxiety disorder, so it's hard to say without him telling you, what kind of anxiety he's feeling, and whether its compulsive and disordered or if it's just plain fear about urinating. Also if you haven't already, a quick blood-glucose check wouldn't be a bad idea.

    I'll post this here because I think it's a safe enough environment…

    I still pee my pants. Not often, once last year, and then a super close call that jeff helped me maneuver this year, but most 22 year olds never do.

    What happens for me when I do is that I will have been absent mindedly ignoring the vague urge to pee and then BAM all of a sudden I realize I have to pee. BAD. Then what happens is I freeze. I literally can't move for fear that I will pee my pants if I do, but the longer I stand in one place the more likely I will pee my pants. I'll start crying and gasping for air and gripping my muscles but I can't move so it only has one possible outcome. Last time Jeff saw that look on my face and bless him, he just took my hand and dragged me to the washroom.

    This has made me hyper-vigilant about peeing. If I am in a grocery store and I have to pee I will drop all my stuff and leave. I've peed in peoples shrubs in their gardens because I am so afraid that if I leave it, it will end up running down my legs. I have peed in public places and I'm sure lots of people have seen me and thought I was a total weirdo, but the whole peeing my pants thing is such a terrifying experience I really don't care what they think. I just hope I never get caught by the cops.

  • Chrisa May 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Very good, if unqualified, theory. 🙂

    He's rarely wetting the bed the past 6 months or so, but I agree, he still has anxiety about it.

    VERY good point about the blood glucose. I will ask that he get one at his next blood draw.

    Thanks for sharing your personal story too!

  • Johanna May 6, 2011 at 4:34 am

    I have a kid who uses the pee thing to avoid things all the time. He's much younger than your kiddo (11) but I've been pretty ruthless – he can only go after he finishes whatever it is that he is trying to avoid. Once in awhile I get the feeling it's genuine and I relent. He's never had an accident so I'm pretty confident that's his motivation. He's done this since we adopted him at 4.5 and he's never really gotten any better at not using this avoidance technique. He was diagnosed Mood Disorder (NOS) last May.

  • Chrisa May 6, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Johanna – I actively hate those NOS diagnoses. Tim's had two during the course of this whole thing. I think it offends my need for order and explanation for things. 🙂

    Tim definitely has used it to avoid…I've been mulling the glucose test idea all day…dreading if that is part of it. Because that may be what gets him off the only med that's worked so far. Sigh.

  • Chrisa May 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Hey- I wanted to let you know, TwisterB, that the blood glucose and the 24 collection tests came back normal. So the doctor is debating if she should run some other tests. Thanks for the idea!